Monday, May 7, 2012

Seasonal Allergies | Pollen is in the Air

Did You Know that the Most Allergic Substance is Pollen?
So, it's that time of year again, Seasonal Allergy Season. For most, the beauty of spring is delightful, but for millions of Americans, this is a dreaded time of year. The beauty of all the spring flowers in the fields, the blossoms on the trees and the rich green grass sprouting up after a cold winter, brings with it a deluge of pollen and plant spores.  For allergy sufferers this can bring misery.  These pollens are a major cause of seasonal allergic reactions. Pollen levels are important in helping many people with allergies plan their day. There are also a number of natural alternatives to help reduce the reactive response to their allergens and improve the level of comfort, your ability to function, and enjoy life allergy-free.  

Where does all this pollen come from?
Pollen is a very fine powder released by trees, weeds and grasses. It is carried to another plant of the same kind, usually by bees and wind, to fertilize new plant seeds. It is this pollination process that fills the air with a gazillion microscopic allergens. 

The pollen of some plants is carried from plant to plant by bees and other insects. These plants usually have brightly colored flowers and sweet scents to attract insects. They seldom cause allergic reactions. Other plants rely on the wind to carry pollen from plant to plant. These plants have small, drab flowers and little scent. These are the plants that cause most allergic reactions, or hay fever. 

When conditions are right, a plant starts to pollinate. Weather affects how much pollen is carried in the air each year, but it has less effect on when pollination occurs. As a rule, weeds pollinate in late summer and fall. 

What is the pollen count?
The pollen count tells us how many grains of plant pollen were in a certain amount of air (often one cubic meter) during a set period of time (usually 24 hours). Check out the pollen levels in your area:

The weed that causes 75 percent of all hay fever is ragweed which has numerous species. One ragweed plant is estimated to produce up to 1 billion pollen grains. Other weeds that cause allergic reactions are cocklebur, lamb's quarters, plantain, pigweed, tumbleweed or Russian thistle and sagebrush.
  • Trees pollinate in late winter and spring. Ash, beech, birch, cedar, cottonwood, box, elder, elm, hickory, maple and oak pollen can trigger allergies.
  • Grasses pollinate in late spring and summer. Those that cause allergic reactions include Kentucky bluegrass, timothy, Johnson, Bermuda, redtop, orchard, rye and sweet vernal grasses.
Much pollen is released early in the morning, shortly after dawn. This results in high counts near the source plants. Pollen travels best on warm, dry, breezy days and peaks in urban areas midday. Pollen counts are lowest during chilly, wet periods. 

Natural Herbal Remedies
While many people find relief with over-the-counter medications and nasal sprays, there are a growing number of people concerned about the side effects of these treatment options, and are looking for more natural sinus allergy remedies.  There are several important herbs that naturally provide sinus allergy relief. click here for more info.

Feel Better the Natural Way!
The Naturally Botanicals Team