Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ugly plants--ugly symptoms

According to Robert Valet, MD, assistant prof of medicine and an allergist at Vanderbilt, the uglier a flower or weed, the more allergy-inducing pollen it produces and sends into the air.

Ragweed, mugwort, plantain, and pigwood--best examples and worst offenders.

Rayweed produces up to one billion pollen grains per plant--75% of those allergic to pollen are allergic to ragweed.

Why is this? Well, Ma Nature had a logical plan--the prettier the flower, the more bees and pollinators, so the less likelihood the pollen had to be airborne.

Allergy season begins with trees--oak, maple, walnut, pecan, and hickory. The flowering trees--the pretty ones--the pollen is carried by bees.

Late spring and early summer, grasses.Timothy-grass, rye grass, and Kentucky bluegrass--and of course our friends Bermuda and Johnson grass.

Late summer and fall--weeds. The aforementioned and some others.

The doctor recommends trying over the counter allergy meds and taking an anithistamine before yard work and a shower after, before going to the doctor.

Yick.

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