How to Manage Allergies & Sinusitis this Spring

As the seasons change we have noticed an increased number of people coming into the clinic with sinusitis & allergies.

Did you know seasonal allergies can be managed very effectively with herbal medicine, supplements or acupuncture?

Taking antihistamines daily have been shown to cause lethargy, constipation, urinary retention, dry mouth, increased appetite, increased heart rate and even weight gain in some study participants. More research is needed on the effects of taking this medication whilst breastfeeding.

We spoke with our very knowledgeable naturopath Rebecca Van Horssen about how she treats allergies. Here are her tips below:

There are so many ways natural medicines and foods that can support you through allergy season – here are some things you can use straight out of your kitchen, as well as some thoughts for deeper Naturopathic work if needed.

Vitamin C and Histamine
Histamine is a chemical our body makes and releases in response to potential allergens, in an attempt to neutralise them and the threat they may pose to our health. With hayfever however, Histamine is often in abundance, setting our body up to ‘jump the gun’ and see threats everywhere, even in inert, unthreatening substances such as pollens or grasses. One way that you can work on this Naturopathically is to increase your Vitamin C intake, as Vit C stabilises Mast Cells – the guys responsible for holding and releasing histamine appropriately. Vitamin C is rich in many different fruits and vegetables, but especially orange and red ones such as citrus fruit, tomatoes, and capsicums, kiwi fruit, berries, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables.

Inflammatory Foods
Eat less inflammatory foods for support with excess mucous – refined carbohydrates, dairy, most processed foods and sugars all have an end point in the body which tips the scales towards an inflammatory response. Not only can a long term inflammatory response due to poor dietary choices cause excess mucous on it’s own, but inflammation in general makes it more difficult for the body to respond appropriately to any kind of problem. The mucous membranes in particular, the inner lining of our sinuses, throat and digestive tract, are particularly sensitive to inflammatory problems. Eating less inflammatory foods, or following guidelines for an ‘alkalising’ diet, can significantly reduce the severity of seasonal allergies, as well as having a multitude knock on effects for the rest of the body, too.

Eating less inflammatory foods and more fresh fruit and veg will also increase your antioxidant intake, which is great for reducing mucous and supporting an appropriate immune response overall.

Local Honey
Lastly, eating local honey has been shown to have an almost homeopathic way of supporting your body with allergies, as the pollen collected to make the honey is potentially the very same kind that is causing the trouble to begin with! Think of it as a form of microdosing!

If your allergies are particularly bad or stubborn, or have been going on for a long time, some deeper work might be needed. It is common to see gut issues, a poor microbiome balance, a history of chronic or frequent antibiotic use, respiratory difficulties or asthma, skin conditions, or a childhood history of immune problems can all be major contributing factors to how your allergies are playing out now.

The good news is that addressing whatever the core issues are for you can mean long term, easily maintainable relief! Herbs and nutritional medicine is a wonderful way to help your body get back to a more appropriate immune response and stay there.

If you are looking for some support in overcoming your allergies, then Rebecca offers Telehealth Naturopathy appointments on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and can assist in prescribing herbal remedies and direct you towards making the right changes. To make an appointment, book for a circle or ask a question, you can go online at, call the reception crew on 03 94824325, or email them at

If you’d like to try acupuncture in combination with herbal medicine, our Chinese Medicine practitioners are also here to help!

A 2004 study by Brinkhause et al., found patients in the active treatment group showed significant after-treatment improvement with acupuncture & Chinese herbs compared with patients in the control group. The study presents Chinese Medicine as a very effective means of treatment for seasonal rhinitis & allergies.

Get in touch today to schedule an Acupuncture appointment at the clinic, to discuss your allergy needs this season with a practitioner. Call 94824325 or click here.

(Brinkhaus B, Hummelsberger J, Kohnen R, Seufert J, Hempen CH, Leonhardy H, Nögel R, Joos S, Hahn E, Schuppan D. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the treatment of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized-controlled clinical trial. Allergy. 2004 Sep;59(9):953-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2004.00540.x. PMID: 15291903.)