Start Spring Gardening Not Sneezing

Just because you suffer from seasonal allergies does not mean you cannot enjoy spring gardening and have a beautiful garden and yard. With some careful planning now, you can enjoy a spring and summer full of color without itchy, watery eyes and a runny or stuffy nose.

Gardening with AllergiesgardeningSeasonal allergies start in the spring with certain varieties of trees and continues on through the summer with grasses. The one thing that the allergy-causing plants have in common is that their pollen is spread through the air. If you keep this in mind, you can plan a spring and summer garden that is full of color but not air-borne pollen.

One way to bring color to your yard without pollen is to select plants that have multi-colored leaves. There are many varieties of coleus that sport colors ranging from pinks, to yellows, to reds along with splashes of green and white. Scarlett, Pastel, Pineapple and Coral Sunrise coleus are beautiful mixed with common impatiens.

Weigela will make a shrub with flowers that attract bees and hummingbirds. Because weigela relies on bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to spread its pollen, it is perfect for the low pollen garden. In general, any plant that attracts bees or butterflies will not cause a problem with your allergies.

This also means you can have hibiscus shrubs, buddleia, hydrangeas and roses in the yard and create an Eden for the pollinators without adding to your pollen problems. All of these plants rely on bees and butterflies to move pollen from one plant to another. 

All of your garden vegetables will be pollen allergy friendly. This includes the brassicas (cabbages, collards, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) the nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes) and cucurbits (squashes, cucumbers, and melons). These plants all self-pollinate or utilize bees and other insects for pollination. This means that they do not produce air-borne pollen and makes them allergy friendly in the garden.

If you want a plant that not only looks god but taste good, try Opal basil. The leaves are a beautiful purple and a delight to the eye. It is slightly fragrant so it pleases the nose. The leaves are yummy in salads and Italian dishes. The plant does not produce wind-blown pollen. You are safe planting any member of the mint family. This includes the mints, the basils, the oreganos and marjorams. When these plants do go to flower, they produce waxy pollen that attracts bees. They do not produce air-borne pollen.

If you want to plant trees avoid elm and birch trees. Plant apple, pear, peach and dogwood trees for less air-borne pollen. If you want more succulent-type plants, use sedums such as golden sedum or dragon’s blood sedum. Hen and Chicks is a succulent with an interesting shape and color and will not produce pollen.

If you have mold allergies, be sure to wear a mask when turning over the soil or moving mulch, as spores might be disturbed.

With a little careful planning, have seasonal allergies does not mean you cannot have a colorful garden.

Till next time

Cheryl

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss

Do You Need a New Mattress if You Have Allergies?

One of the greatest customer service challenges we face regularly is making sure that a new dust mite proof zippered cover arrives on the same day as a customer’s new mattress.  Everyone wants the guys delivering the mattress to put the new dust mite mattress cover on their new mattress.  Great idea and we are always happy to accommodate.  But it did get me thinking, “Why are so many people with dust mite allergies buying a new mattress?”  After doing a little research, it turns out that there is some misunderstanding going around about mattresses, pillows, and dust mites.
 
It is true that a sizable amount of an old mattress’s weight is due to the collection of dead skin particles, dust mites (living and dead), and dust mite feces.  However, if you get a new mattress, within 6 months you will have already started a new collection of these particles.  I am sure that the mattress salesmen of the world would like you to buy a new mattress every 6 months, but that really isn’t practical now is it?
 
The truth is whether you have allergies or not, you should follow the advice of Consumer Reports and only replace a mattress when it no longer provides the comfort or support you need to get a good night’s rest.  If you have dust mite allergies, the most important thing you can do for your mattress is encase it in a zippered mattress dust mite proof encasing.  This is true of a mattress that is 10 years old and it is true of a mattress that is 10 days old.
 
Don’t fall for claims made by manufacturers of latex, foam, and wool mattresses that their products do not need a dust mite mattress cover.  It is true that the lanolin in wool repels dust mites, but it is also true that the very same wool will capture and hold all the allergens to which it is exposed.  Latex and memory foam are dense, but not so dense that they don’t harbor mites and other allergens.
 
Also, every so often you really should clean your mattress (yes, even if you have a cover on it). Your mattress influences your health beyond just comfort and support.
 
If you’re not familiar with the ways on how to clean and maintain your mattress, then you’ll love this infographic from ASleepyWolf.Com.  It is an informative guide on mattress care!
 
Mattress Care 101: The Ultimate Guide For An Ageing Mattress 2019
(Layla Parker, the founder and chief editor of ASleepyWolf. ” I decided to start taking my blog about sleep seriously to help people find what they needed to experience better sleep and maintain their health.” Please check out her website ASleepyWolf.com to learn more about improving your sleep.)
 
I slept on an old soft-sided waterbed for many years. You might think that dust mites can’t live in a waterbed.  Wrong! The padded foam that encapsulates the water cells is a perfect place to capture dust mite allergens.  So even though I could not put a zippered dust mite cover on my bed, I had a fitted style cover.
 
The people that sell pillows would like you to buy new pillows every 2 years.  I sell pillows and I would love to sell you new pillows all the time as well.  However, I will be honest and tell you that you should buy a new pillow when your old one is no longer comfortable.  If you have dust mite allergies, just make sure you have a dust mite proof cover on the pillow.
 

©Copyright 1996-2019 AllergyStore.com™ All Rights Reserved

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrss

Breast Cancer and Parabens Could be Connected

A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology reports breast cancer and parabens connection in journal of toxicologystrong evidence for the connection between breast cancer and parabens.  You can read more here at  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.1786/abstract.

In a nutshell, researchers in England studied the tissue removed as part of mastectomies and in 99% of the cases, the tissue contained parabens. The tissues studied came from different parts of the breast and from women of all ages and breastfeeding history.  The one thing they all had in common was the presence of parabens.

Parabens are widely used in the cosmetic and personal care industries as preservatives.  While some folks have long suspected deodorants to be a factor in cancer, it is interesting to note that some of these women didn’t use any form of deodorant (must be an English thing). Parabens also a common irritant to people that are sensitive and can cause dermatitis.

Deodorants can contain parabens, as well as shampoos, conditioners, shaving creams, sunscreens and other substances that people apply directly to their skin and hair.  Kind of scary when you consider that your skin is the largest organ in your body.  You think you are doing something to protect yourself when in fact you could be doing more harm than good.  We don’t recommend that you stop using skin lotions and creams and sunscreens and we aren’t saying to quit washing your hair.  But we are saying to be aware of what you are putting on your body and start reading labels if you don’t do so already!

Dermatologists have been recommending VaniCream and Free & Clear personal care products for years because they are free from dyes, fragrances, masking fragrances, and other irritating substances.  Based on these findings, I  recommend that anyone concerned about breast cancer and parabens should start reading labels.  Look for parabens in any of their skin or hair care products.

Even if you don’t have outward appearances of sensitivity to parabens, bad things can be going on under the surface.  The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database of personal care products has always rated the Vanicream and Free & Clear products as safe.  The Vanicream Sunsport sunscreen made the list of preferred sunscreens this year.  If you are already using a paraben free skin cream like Vanicream, be sure to tell your friends and family about this breast cancer link and urge them to start reading labels.

Friends don’t let friends use skin and hair care products with parabens!

Til Next Time

©Copyright 1996-2018  AllergyStore.com™ All Rights ReservedFacebooktwittergoogle_plusrss