What plants & flowers are the worst for allergies?
Allergies affect a large number of people, with some suffering more than others. You feel it coming on every spring. The allergies begin building up until your eyes itch, your nose starts to run, and there is that persistent scratch at the back of your throat. Then you take an anti-histamine medication that either makes you sleepy or provides questionable relief.
Did you know that the flowers in or around your home could be making your allergies worse? Some flower can produce epic levels of pollen, which can trigger an allergic reaction in almost anyone.
These flowers are the worst offenders.
1. Asters (Daisies)
Most plants in the aster or daisy family, including many species in the Aster genus, would be at the top of the list of allergen-heavy plants. During the warmer months, asters can be found everywhere and even in homes as container plants. Even though most asters are not pollinated by wind, many allergy sufferers are sensitive to pollen.
The Aster family of plants is responsible for the majority of allergy symptoms in allergy sufferers. Aster pollen does not even have to be floating in the wind to cause allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, irritated eyes, red eyes, and skin irritations in some people.
These flowers, which are often called daisies, don’t produce high levels of pollen. They do produce a pollen that triggers a powerful allergic reaction in people. If you experience hay fever in the spring, there’s a good chance you have an allergy to this flower.
2. Baby’s Breath
This flower isn’t usually found in the garden, but it does make an appearance in most professional bouquets. The flowers hit you with a big punch of pollen, even after being cut, that can trigger allergies for you while you’re indoors. The single-flower variety is worse than the double-flower variety, but both could cause problems.
Baby’s breath is popular in cottage gardens and can be found in a variety of florist bouquets. Despite their small size, the flowers can pack a powerful pollen punch. It may seem counter-intuitive, but double-flowered baby’s breath is preferable to single-flowered varieties.
The sap from baby’s breath can cause contact dermatitis, so baby’s breath can be irritating to the skin and cause itching and/or a rash. Baby’s breath is not only irritating to the skin, but the dried blooms can also irritate the eyes, nose, and sinuses in some cases.
Chamomile, another member of the aster family, can cause double trouble. We’re taking this one separate from the Aster family because chamomile grows wild in a surprising number of locations around the world. It is often picked as a weed without people realizing what it is. If you’ve seen flowers that look like small white daisies, then you’ve seen this flower. Here’s the issue: if you’re allergic to the pollen, then you might be allergic to the tea. Pollen is produced by the plants, and the flowers are used to make tea, which can still contain some irritants after steeping.
People who consumed or came into contact with chamomile products experienced rare cases of anaphylaxis (a potentially fatal allergic reaction). People who are allergic to related plants such as ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, or daisies are much more likely to have allergic reactions to chamomile.
Traditionally, these flowers are a fall favorite. Chrysanthemums will also introduce you to a strong dose of pollen near the end of your allergy season. Mums help to extend allergy season into the fall. Because stores like to set these flowers out around the first week of September, you may want to bring along a little help as you go about your errands.
Contact dermatitis from chrysanthemums typically begins on the fingertips (from trying to remove flower buds) and spreads to the forearms and face. It can be very persistent at times and has been linked to the development of chronic actinic dermatitis (a severe form of photosensitivity dermatitis).
Goldenrod and ragweed look very much alike. The difference between the two is that ragweed is pollinated by the wind. You’ll find them along the road as you drive, the occasional vacant lot, and sometimes in fields or meadows. You’ll definitely feel it if you step into a field with ragweed when the wind is blowing.
Ragweed allergy is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies, also known as “hay fever.” Its light pollen spreads quickly, causing nasal allergies and allergic asthma in those who come into contact with it. It’s important to understand what you’re up against if you’re allergic to ragweed pollen.
The size of the sunflowers makes it a massive pollen generator that can be problematic for people with allergies. Some varieties do have pollen that is too heavy to be carried on the wind, however, so check the variety to see if it is hypo-allergenic.
Oral allergy syndrome, bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, angioedema, contact dermatitis, and skin lesions of acute urticaria are all symptoms of a sunflower allergy. In 1979, the first case of sunflower seed allergy was characterized.
Some pollen-free sunflower varieties, such as Apricot Twist and Joker, are listed as hypoallergenic since their pollen is too heavy to be carried by the wind.
Another common cause of allergies is pollen from trees. The pollen of the oak tree is released in late winter or early spring. Even trace amounts of this pollen can cause allergic reactions in people.
Many trees flower in the spring, which offers additional pollen to the counts that happen over the season. Some trees are especially heavy with their pollen, including cottonwood, aspen, willow, oak and birch.
The most common term for tree pollen allergy symptoms is “hay fever.” These symptoms are caused by pollen released by trees, grasses, and weeds. They are as follows: Nose congestion (nasal congestion) Nosebleed.
Cedar grows in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. This tree’s pollen appears almost like smoke and can be carried for miles, affecting everyone in its path.
The best way to avoid allergies is to stay away from your potential triggers whenever possible. For those dealing with a pollen allergy, these are the flowering options that you’ll want to remove from your home and yard for a more peaceful experience.