Written by: Preston Thompson
Who loves Spring weather? I do! It may be unpredictable sometimes with cold mornings and mild to hot afternoons and evenings, but after a true Winter season is over you can enjoy the warmer weather. It’s just something about the Spring that says, “I want to start new and clean out all the junk I had stored in the colder months.” It also tells us, “Now is the time to rearrange my life!” Activities from walking the dog without wearing layers to little league baseball with the children to barbecues that leave a nice-smelling aroma around the neighborhood make Spring one of the best times of the year.
We human beings are not the only creatures participating in the Springtime fun. Nature, of course, gets involved in all the Springtime activities. As soon as the vernal equinox gifts Earth with more hours of sunlight, nature takes its course. Since the beginning of time, nature has a natural affinity for the Spring. The grass starts to wake up from its six-month dormancy, the animals begin to roam more, and oh yeah, pollination reaches its peak during the Spring months. Trees, ragweed (weeds), and grass begin their mating season by releasing pollen into the atmosphere in hopes that it catches its mate to germinate and produce more offspring during this time. Then the bees, nature’s most valuable player, play a major role in most plant cycles.
This sounds like the best time to be alive, and it is…unless you have springtime seasonal allergies. As soon as the first signs of warmth hit the atmosphere and the plants begin to release pollen, our sensitive immune systems become active! Immunoglobin E (look it up) is our own antagonist for the perfect Spring. One of five immunoglobin antibodies involved in allergic responses kicks into high defense mode when our body detects an allergen (for this blog, the allergen will be pollen). It fights pollen by releasing histamines from the mast cells (can you tell I took a biochemistry class before?). Our responses include watery itchy eyes, coughing, sneezing, itchy skin, rashes, snotty noses, itchy throats and mouths, swelling, and enough mucus to keep the paper wipes manufacturers in business. In extreme cases histamines can cause fevers. People with asthma suffer from difficult breathing when allergens are present at high levels thus producing more histamines that tells the body to create more mucus in the lungs.
And if you are like me, my best friends are the antihistamines during the Spring months. Thanks to today’s smartphones I am looking on the Weather Channel App and Pollen.com to see the predicted pollen count from day to day. I have had most brands of antihistamines throughout my life from Allegra to Zyrtec. Year after year I am telling myself just make it to June, the Summer will come and the pollen count will not be as high, yet manageable. I get that 12 to 24-hour relief when I pop one with some water, but I have had situations where my immune system developed a tolerance to the antihistamine and had to switch up the brand. It is an uphill battle for many of us allergy sufferers.
Please note I do not work in the healthcare industry nor am I a dietician, but I found a sidekick that alleviates most of my allergy symptoms in an unexpected way. On my path to becoming healthier, I wrote a blog or two about running in 5K’s and how I want to continue running in more so I can stay disciplined on my path to become healthier. So, one day in February my coworker told me about how he drinks lemon water for more energy. I thought to myself that I should give it a try. I do love lemons, and if it can give me energy then I want to take my chances.
Spring started a few weeks earlier this year. As pollen counts begin to rise, so did the allergy symptoms. Day after day I took Zyrtec and a nose shot of Flonase as a part of my daily routine only to see those symptoms of springtime allergies return hours before the 24-hour relief ended. Thinking to myself this cannot be my entire Spring. By the first official day of Spring, I maintained my routine with the addition of lemon water.
The mixture is very simple. I cut one whole lemon in half followed by squeezing the juice with a handheld lemon squeezer into a cup. Then, I pour the lemon juice into 7 ounces of water. Next, I stir or cap and shake for a minute then drink. Some experts recommend drinking lemon water twice a day in the morning and at night before bed. I typically drink lemon water everyday during allergy season in the morning and go about my day.
SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU ARE SQUIMISH: The first week of drinking lemon water I noticed I was coughing up lots of mucus, thick mucus at that. My sinuses were constantly draining mucus out of my nose as well. Within a week I noticed my allergic symptoms reduced, and the expelling of mucus from my nose and mouth decreased.
NOW YOU CAN CONTINUE READING: After one week of drinking lemon water, I was skipping days of taking allergy medication as the forecasted pollen count was rising by the day. I was able to do more outdoor activities with little to no symptoms from the pollen allergy. For even better relief I began adding natural honey to my lemon water for a soothing feeling.
I still use allergy medication from time to time, but since drinking lemon water daily I have not been as dependent on it as I was in previous years. What I like most about this lemon water is not only has it minimized my allergy symptoms to pollen, but this home remedy is so easy to make for the on-the-go person. Since lemons are a good source of vitamin C, it can help reduce risk of heart disease and aid in digestive health. And did I not mention since drinking lemon water daily I have more energy to juggle my busy life.
Please note I am no dietician, nutritionist, or work in the medical field. Everything I wrote in this blog is self-observed improvements I have experienced within my own body as a person who suffers from seasonal Spring allergies associated with pollen. Human physiology comes from the years I took courses in Human Anatomy & Physiology and Biochemistry. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits of drinking lemon water before deciding to stock up on lemons from your local grocery store and/or farmer’s market. Your healthcare provider knows what works best for your health and has developed a plan to make you healthier. If drinking lemon water is part of that plan, then I say give it a try.