START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Crush Your Allergy Culprits

  • March 13, 2011
  • 4:01 pm
  • 1 of 2
Crush Your Allergy Culprits

Strapping on a gas mask and inflating the sterilized bubble that will soon be your new abode? Stop, put down the bicycle pump, and take these easy steps first.

From the Editors of Women’s Health

For nearly 36 million Americans, spring comes with a major buzzkill: allergies. And natural allergies are only getting more severe. Allergies to pollen, ragweed, and other common airborne triggers have doubled in the past 20 years–a 5 percent per decade increase since the 1970s–clogging up even those who’ve always been sniffle-free.

Plus, allergy seasons are longer. “Hay fever is typically caused by trees in the spring, grasses in the summer, and ragweed in the fall,” explains Paul R. Epstein, M.D., associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. But thanks to global warming, our growing seasons are lengthening. “In some states, spring is coming 10 to 14 days earlier than it did 20 years ago,” says Kim Knowlton, Dr.P.H., a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Health and Environment program. And that trend is likely to continue.

Get some relief with these alternative anti-allergy medicines.

Get a grip on your allergies by crushing your culprits first:

Pollen is growing out of control. In case you’ve erased ninth-grade bio from your brain, here’s a recap: To grow, plants require sunlight, water, warmth, and carbon dioxide. But these days they’re getting way more of those last two than they need.

“Ten years ago we thought, ‘OK, more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means more energy for plants, so they’ll grow better,’” Epstein says. Weeds (such as ragweed), however, aren’t merely flourishing; they’re reproducing like jackrabbits. And there’s not just extra pollen circulating around your schnoz–the CO2 overload has also led to a kind of superpollen that’s more allergenic, so that just a teeny amount can get your nose running.

  • 1 of 2

Read more: Allergies, Alternative Therapies, Conditions, General Health, Health, Natural Remedies, Nature, , , , , , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Rodale is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.


+ add your own
8:44PM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

4:45PM PDT on Aug 1, 2012


8:21AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting but I did promise my sixteen year old blind cat that I will not be crushing her any time soon as she needs my constant action at her food dish.
Just have a regular a/c, not all of us can afford buying expensive filters and hepa vacuum cleaners. Living near a lot of fields, grass, trees and Nature in general it will be difficult to escape the wrath of the pollens!

2:59PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

I'll try the local honey idea hoping that it will allow me to stop taking anti histamine tablets.

12:16AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:41PM PDT on Jun 4, 2011


10:18PM PDT on May 14, 2011

Thanks for sharing!

6:27AM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

I have witnessed people to recover from allergies using homeopathy. The problem with allergy is that the immune system read the harmful substance as a threat and start cleaning from it with tears, running nose.
With homeopathy, however it will take time, the immune system can actually unlearn this wrong reaction.

9:42AM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

trying to remember to eat local honey.

7:49AM PDT on Mar 24, 2011

I have horrible seasonal pollen allergies. Thanks for some extra simple tips I have not used.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

thanks for the tips...will try the light bulb vase

Coconut sugar is a good alternative and definitely healthier sweetener. Anyways would like to share …

I have a horrible time buying good melons of any kind. Fruit generally doesn't last long here.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!