With sunny skies and temperatures expected to warm up this week, it's no surprise that pollen counts in western Massachusetts are on the rise as well.
It's a sure sign that spring is here. Pollen counts today were considered medium to high, according to pollen.com.
Some allergy sufferers are forgoing allergy medications and turning to unconventional things - like fruit, onions, even fish - to help alleviate their symptoms.
Could the key to alleviating those spring allergies lie in the produce or seafood department of your local grocery store? or perhaps from honey made by local bees?
Tami Beaupre, who works at Rice Fruit Farm in Wilbraham, said that honey absolutely works for her son who suffers from spring allergies.
"I started giving him a teaspoon in the morning and a teaspoon at night." Beaupre explained.
Beaupre told Western Mass News that once she started giving him local honey, The difference was dramatic.
"I saw a remarkable difference in his allergies. They were tolerable, they were manageable, and he required a lot less over-the-counter medication because he used local honey," Beaupre added.
Rice's owner Jeremiah Maloni said that they sell gallons of local honey this time of year.
"It's very popular. We sell a lot of it. Customers come in specifically and ask for it and we sell a lot of it," Maloni added.
It's not just honey. Some studies show onions, peppers, berries, and parsley contain something called quercetin, which may reduce histamine reactions.
The same effect is reportedly seen with fruits rich in Vitamin C, like kiwi.
Pineapple with an enzyme called bromelain, some said, reduces irritations from allergies.
Tuna, salmon - those Omega-3 fatty acids are also know to reduce inflammation from allergies.
"These all seem like good, healthy lifestyle choices to make and if you have the benefit that it seems to help with your allergies, all the better," said Dr. David Robertson with Allergy and Immunology Associates of New England.
Robertson said that these grocery store remedies can't hurt.
"But in terms of an overall affect to cure allergies, I just don't know if the data is there for that," Robertson added.
Whether it be honey, nasal spray, or oral medications, Robertson said that with pollen counts on the rise, now is the time to start loading up on whatever you use to help alleviate those spring allergies.
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