A few years ago I started to notice a seasonal pattern.  Every year, in late September or early October, I would come down with the worst cold.  It would start with exhaustion,  a scratchy throat, runny nose, leading to congestion, coughing, and a downward spiral leading into couch surfing and feeling absolutely miserable.  

I’d look out the window at the gorgeous weather and feel sorry for myself…but at least I didn’t have allergies like my husband…

And then I did a little research.

Turns out, for me and for as much as 30% of the population it’s actually allergies, not a cold. To top it all off, the number of people affected is growing due to our changing climate and the increased airborne pollen count, according to this article at the National Institutes of Health site. 

Basically, hay fever feels like a cold, but it’s an allergic reaction to ragweed.  I like to think I’m pretty self-aware, but it took me 46 years to figure this one out.  Although, admittedly, I think it has gotten more severe as I’ve grown older (and pollen has increased).  An unofficial poll of my friends seems to suggest that many of them agree with my theory. 

Maybe you’re currently suffering from symptoms that seem an awful lot like a cold, and you’ve noticed that everyone around you seems to have it too?  

Symptoms of Ragweed Allergy (or Hay Fever)

  • Sniffles, runny nose
  • Coughing, chest congestion, wheezing, and asthma-like difficulty breathing (or triggering your asthma)
  • Scratchy throat
  • Itchy or watering eyes
  • Exhaustion, unusual tiredness 

It feels so wrong to be coughing, trying to clear my scratchy throat, and keep my nose from dripping into my pumpkin spice latte all while the sky is supernaturally blue and the sun warms my face, but, at least now I know what the problem is so that I can choose to do something to feel better. 

Here’s what many natural and alternative medicine practitioners recommend to support our bodies and feel better during ragweed season and things I’ve already begun adding into my daily routine.   I’ve added in some links to Amazon to products I use and love.  I do earn a small amount of money from purchases, as I am an Amazon affiliate.  I appreciate your support.  

Natural Ways to Treat Ragweed Allergies/Hay Fever

    • Stinging Nettle – I prefer to drink this as tea, but there are capsules as well.   You may want to add in raw local honey or manuka honey for more benefits.
    • Quercetin and Bromelain – These are naturally occurring phytochemicals found in onions (quercetin) and pineapple (bromelain), but it also comes in capsule form in case you’re not eating a whole lot of raw onion and pineapple. 
    • Vitamin C – Foods with high amounts of vitamin C naturally combat the histimine reactions and symptoms of seasonal allergies.  Plus, as an added bonus, vitamin C is so good for our connective tissue (think glowing skin).  Here are some foods with high vitamin C content.  
      • Camu camu
        • Apparently, camu camu has 10 times as much vitamin C as an orange! 
      • Guava
      • Acai
      • Goji berries
      • Red, Yellow, & Orange Bell Peppers
      • Broccoli
      • Kiwi
      • Strawberries
      • Oranges

Breakfast smoothies are a great way to get more fruit and greens into your diet. I like to add in freeze dried goji powder for a little extra zing. It reminds me of cranberry.

Another healthy favorite around my house, Acai bowls are super easy and deceptively nutritious. Take two bananas (fresh or frozen) , add in one frozen packet of acai (or powder) and whip it up in your Nutribullet or high speed blender. It comes out like chocolate pudding, only healthy! Top it with sliced fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut, granola. Best breakfast/snack ever.

So, if you too find yourself sniffling this late summer and early autumn, know that there are things you can do, options and choices you can make to feed your wellness and alleviate the symptoms of ragweed season.  

I raise my mug of nettle tea to you and wish you wellness, my friend.