Thought you could escape seasonal allergies in LA? Think again—even city dwellers are prone to allergies, and LA is no exception. In fact, the Asthma and Allergies Foundation of America recently ranked Los Angeles as the 66th worst city for allergies in the U.S . Understanding local allergens can help you start combating symptoms and feel like yourself again. Here’s what you need to know.
“The environment in Los Angeles for most allergy-sufferers can be particularly problematic because you’re dealing with common pollen-related issues, as well as the environmental issues associated with big cities, like pollution,” says Jaclyn Tolentino, DO a physician at Parsley Health Los Angeles.
Especially during an environmental event like the super bloom, pollen and grass levels can rise, making your allergies even worse, she explains. “At the same time, we’re also contending with Los Angeles’ significant air pollution, which is exacerbated by our geography and climate. These two factors in combination can be really problematic for people with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems,” says Dr. Tolentino.
“There are definitely different factors to consider when you’re treating a patient in an environment like LA,” says Dr. Tolentino. But she stresses that each person’s level of toxic burden will be different, so she always takes an individualized approach, regardless of the environment the patient lives in.
“I like to work with each patient individually to make sure we’re getting an accurate diagnosis based on initial assessment and testing.”
If you’re suffering from allergies, these are just a few natural remedies for allergies from the doctors at Parsley Health.
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables. It’s also a natural antihistamine that works without the side effects of other medications. Use quercetin regularly as soon as seasonal allergies hit in order to build up levels in the body and then continuing throughout the allergy season. You can get quercetin in supplement form—consider starting with 1000 mg, taken twice daily on an empty stomach—or by increasing your intake of foods high in this flavonoid. Some natural sources include:
Also known as Stinging Nettle, Nettles get their name from the leaves of the plant which are prickly to the touch and have been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms. Nettles may reduce the amount of histamine that is produced by the body in response to an allergen. You can consume Nettle as a tea or take it as a tincture.
For those dealing with a pollen allergy, local, raw honey can be a great way to resolve symptoms. Local honey acts similarly to a vaccine: by giving yourself a little dose of the local pollen through the honey, you allow your body to begin building a tolerance to the pollen and have a less severe allergic reaction. It’s best to start taking either honey or bee pollen daily at least six weeks before allergy season begins.
You can find bee pollen and raw honey at your local farmers market or health food store. Bee pollen has been shown to decrease the IgE mediated activation of mast cells, thereby dampening the allergic response.
Low vitamin D levels and its inability to be utilized in the cells is associated with an increase in allergies. Consider taking a high-quality Vitamin D3 supplement and increasing your exposure to sunlight to help decrease allergy symptoms such as sneezing and nasal congestion. Vitamin D3 has been shown to naturally support immune system function, and strengthen respiratory health. Parsley Health’s Vitamin D3 with K2 comes in an easy to absorb liquid form.
The Neti Pot has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine but is quite popular today as a gentle and effective way to rinse the nasal cavity. By flushing the nasal cavity with a gently warmed saline solution, you clear out allergens and loosen mucus. You can use a Neti Pot two to three times a week to help get rid of your allergy symptoms.
Sara is a content creator who has worked with outlets such as Outside Magazine, Well + Good, Healthline, and Men's Journal, and as a journalist at Shape and Self and publications in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Rome. She is also an ACE-certified personal trainer. She has a degree in communication with concentrated studies in journalism from Villanova University.
Outside of office hours, you can usually find her taking a dance class, trying out the latest fitness craze, or teaching and performing synchronized swimming with The Brooklyn Peaches.