Think you might be suffering from cedar fever? If you live someplace where there are lots of winter-pollinating evergreen trees, you just might. To help you sort it out, we've gathered the basics in one place. Have a look, and if you think you're suffering from this annual scourge, check out our Easy Breather herbal formulas. They're made to help you power through cedar pollen naturally.
Cedar fever is an overreaction of the immune system to the pollen of certain juniper tree species, especially the so-called mountain cedar tree (juniperus ashei). The pollen of other winter-pollinating juniper varieties, such as western red cedar and rocky mountain cedar, can also cause cedar fever. Of all the tree pollen varieties that cause upper respiratory problems, mountain cedar stands out for its ability to produce intense discomfort. Blame it on male cedar trees. They produce pollen in the winter when their pollen-packed cones unload golden clouds that drift across the landscape.
Cedar fever is typically indicated by runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, nasal irritation, sinus congestion, and sneezing; it can also produce fatigue, headache, body aches, facial discomfort, sore throat, temporary loss of smell, and a feeling of plugged ears. Despite the name, fever is not a common symptom of cedar fever.
The densest concentration of mountain cedar tress (juniperus Ashei) is on the Edwards Plateau region of Texas, but their range extends from the Rio Grande Valley to the Texas Panhandle and into Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. Cedar pollen isn't limited to these areas however, since dry winter winds can push the grains hundreds of miles in any direction. Other winter-pollinating members of the Juniper family, such as Western red cedar, Rocky Mountain cedar, and Eastern red cedar can be found coast-to-coast in the US and into Canada.
Junipers and other evergreens release pollen in winter, usually from December to March, with January and February typically seeing peak pollen counts. The worst times for cedar pollen are in the morning, especially on warm and windy days following a period of cold weather. Juniper pollen can travel great distances, and grains originating in Texas have been found as far north as Ontario, Canada.
If you're sensitive to cedar pollen and live in an area where cedar trees grow, there's little you can do to stop the pollen itself. You can avoid going outdoors. But if you do go out, wear a jacket or coat that you can leave outside to prevent bringing pollen grains into your home. A towel (also kept outdoors during the cedar season) is also useful for removing pollen from your clothes and shoes. If you have a dog, use a separate towel to wipe down their coat.
Get a good HEPA filter for your central air system and change it more often than usual. And shower more to rinse the pollen off your skin and out of your hair. And pray to Mother Nature for windless and rainy days that keep the pollen safely on the ground.
For those of us who can't hermetically seal ourselves in a body-sized plastic bubble or exile ourselves to the desert for three months, allergists often recommend a weeks-long desensitization regimen of shots containing cedar. For the worst cases, cortisone is on the menu, though its side effects make it a measure of last resort.
If you're sensitive to cedar pollen and not ready to start the battery of injections allergists recommend, Herbalogic's Easy Breather formulas may be able to help. Especially if you start taking them before the cedar pollen starts flying. Easy Breather blends several natural ingredients that have been used traditionally for centuries to support a normal immune response to seasonal pollen. The drops are alcohol-and-water based tinctures with a pleasant herbaceous flavor, and the capsules are alcohol- and taste-free. Pro users of our formulas take Easy Breather capsules a couple of times a day and supplement with the drops as needed.
Easy Breather is an herbal remedy made especially to fight cedar fever. The formula, adapted from traditional Chinese herbal remedies by two acupuncturists from Austin, is jam packed with herbs used for centuries to support the body's immune response to seasonal changes in the environment. When added to your dietary routine before and during cedar season, Easy Breather can greatly reduce the likelihood you will experience the effects of tree pollen.
Easy Breather is available in drops and capsules and can be purchased online, from Whole Foods Markets across the southwest, and at dozens of independent health stores, pharmacies, and wellness practitioners.
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