Rhinitis is a mild, acute, or chronic inflammation of the lining of the nasal passages. Suffice to say that it has many causes and can take many forms. The most common is due to coryza or cold. It can be chronic and is characterized by a more or less significant thickening (hypertrophy) of the nasal mucosa, up to sometimes severe obstruction of the nasal cavities.
In spring or summer, many rhinitis result from allergy to pollens, but other allergens such as dust mites, animal hair, molds, dust, among others, should not be neglected.
What is seasonal allergic rhinitis?
Also known as allergic, anaphylactic or perennial rhinitis, it is the nasal form of allergy which results in, among other things, frequent sneezing, a significant runny nose and congestion of the nasal cavities. It is often a pollen rhinitis, that is to say triggered by allergenic pollens (pollinosis). The treatment is fairly standard, mainly based on antihistamines or cortisone. There are desensitization programs to pollen, especially grasses.
There are 2 types of allergic rhinitis:
- Seasonal allergic rhinitis, called hay fever:
It is most often caused by allergens in the plant, which vary according to the season.
Common plant allergens include the following:
- In spring: Tree pollens (oak, elm, maple, alder, birch, juniper, olive)
- In summer: Grass pollens (cynodon, timothy grass, quackgrass, dactyl, Johnson) and herbaceous pollens in summer (Russian thistle, English plantain)
- In autumn: Other grass pollens (ambrosia)
The causes also differ from region to region and allergic rhinitis is sometimes due to airborne fungal spores.
- Persistent rhinitis:
It is the result of year-round exposure to allergens inhaled at home (dust mite faeces, cockroaches, fragments of animal hair or feathers) or to a strong reactivity to plant pollens for many years. done several seasons.
Let’s focus a little more on allergens:
Asteraceae or Compositae group together around 25,000 species which include ambrosia and sagebrush in particular. Ambrosia, accidentally introduced in 50-year-old France (by American paratroopers), are responsible in particular for severe pollinosis and asthma in subjects often sensitized to foods such as celery. Ragweed has the particularity of having an explosive pollination concentrated in the second half of August and early September. Sagebrush pollinates from mid-July to mid-October. Pollens are very allergenic and cause rhino-conjunctivitis and asthma.
The Urticaceae include around 700 species, mainly tropical. In Europe are mainly found the pariitaires. The parietary is responsible for persistent rhino-conjunctivitis and severe asthma, its pollination, as abundant as that of grasses, is spread over a long period (from April to mid-October).
- Trees :
Trees are an important source of pollens with a strong allergenic power. Their pollination extends over a long period; it begins between December and February depending on the geographical area with cypress and thuja in the south of France and ends at the end of June, beginning of July with chestnut trees. Cypress pollen allergy has the particularity of being a winter pollinosis responsible for intermittent rhino-conjunctivitis, and more rarely asthma.
Cupressaceae include cypress, juniper and cedar. Birch pollens are of great clinical importance, they are emitted from March-April in the north and east of France.
Betulaceae include birch, alder, hornbeam, and hazelnut. We also find the pollens of plane trees and Fagaceae; beech, chestnut and oak.
Anemophilous pollens like those of the olive tree, can be collected at a distance from their place of emission in places unusual for these trees, others like those of mimosas have only a local role.
Oleaceae, in addition to olive trees, include ash, privet and lilac.
Pinaceae, whose allergenic role is very reduced, include firs, pines, spruces, larches and cedars.
Some naturopathic advice in case of seasonal allergic rhinitis:
- Dispose of objects that collect dust, such as knick-knacks, magazines, books and lint
- Use synthetic fiber pillows and waterproof mattress protectors
- Frequently wash bed sheets, pillow cases and blankets in hot water
- Clean the house frequently (dust, vacuum and wet mop)
- Remove upholstered furniture and rugs or vacuum them frequently
- Replace curtains with blinds
- Use dehumidifiers in basements and other poorly ventilated and damp rooms
- Prefer vacuum cleaners with high efficiency particulate filters
- Limit pets’ access to certain rooms or keep them outside
- Wear sunglasses when you are outside or in the garden
- Brush or wash the hair before going to bed (allergens can remain in the hair and then settle on the pillow).
- Close windows on windy days or when there is a lot of air
- Avoid playing sports outdoors during heavy pollination
- Do not dry laundry outside
- Avoid country walks on days of high pollination
- Practice daily nose washes
Complementary non-allergenic triggers (cigarette smoke, strong odors, irritating fumes, air pollution, cold temperatures, high humidity) should also be avoided or controlled when possible.
What herbal remedies should I take for seasonal allergic rhinitis?
This bud is THE remedy for any inflammatory syndrome starting from the mucous membrane in the acute suppurative phase.
Calendula has an anti-asthma activity with an antihistamine effect.
Renowned for its antihistamine properties, this plant is useful in asthma and allergies.
Matricaria chamomile is known to be an antiallergic and antihistamine herb.
Black radish is anti-allergic and nasal decongestant by glucosinolate derivatives.
This essential oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic by inhibiting the release of histamine by mast cells.
Fragrant verbena is spasmolytic and antihistamine by inhibiting the release of histamine. They are also anti-inflammatory.