Monday, January 13, 2014

Cedar Time Again... Know the Enemy

Over the weekend, the weather warmed however as in all of life there was a downside… the wind. The velocity was so fierce as to blow about small children and the elderly as they fought their way to vehicles after Church. The dust blew in billows as the cattle braced against it and walked slowly through pastures and the tumble weeds were truly tumbling.

The Cedars are pollinating once again and if one merely brushes by one a fine yellow mist will fill the air. The Cedar is the product of sophisticated and evolved survival tactics. During the drought they produced pollen which was a thick and prolific, and the like of which had never been seen before… it was an alarming testament to their determination to survive.

The female trees are covered with small blue berries; each one is an infant Cedar tree. The birds find the berries delicious and baby Cedars are spread through their bodies. The birds gorge themselves, fly to rest in treetops, and invariably drop a Cedar ‘package’ of unprocessed berries to grow at the base of the tree. The aggressive adolescent Cedars surround and literally choke or starve any other species of tree, taking all water and nutrients from the soil for themselves, leaving less aggressive trees to perish.

Cedars are also infamous for the effects they have upon the human race, causing much misery as their pollen drifts through the air this time of year. Their pollen is microscopic and can travel hundreds of miles on the wind, and of late we have had wind aplenty!

It is wise to make efforts to partially protect yourself from pollen based illnesses. Obviously the more time spent outdoors the more problems with allergies so do not invite pollen inside by opening doors and windows for fresh air on pretty days… there is no fresh air during Cedar season. Wash your hands after playing in the yard, wash your hair before bed, and change your pillowcase daily. If necessary take an antihistamine to relieve allergy symptoms and remember Cedar season does not last forever, it just seems so.

Allergy Medications 101
Medications for Allergies~  For basic relief, take an antihistamine. There are many kinds of antihistamines, most of which do not require a prescription. The antihistamines that have been around for a long time are called first-generation antihistamines. These have been used for many years and are considered very safe and effective. Some of the best-known ones are Benadryl, Demeaned, Chlor-Trimeton and Zirtec-D. The main negative to these antihistamines is that they cause most people to become sleepy, however the effect may be modified if one takes a low dose headache remedy containing caffeine, which combats the drowsiness with no ill effects. A decongestant such as Sudafed opens up the nose, makes breathing easier, and reduces the amount of drainage from the nose.

The decongestants tend to be a stimulant for many people, and when they take a combination of antihistamine and decongestant, the decongestant helps to counter the sedating characteristic of the antihistamine. If you can successfully use the first-generation antihistamines, they are much, much cheaper than the new second-generation antihistamines.
The second-generation antihistamines such as Allegra and Claritin do not cause drowsiness, but are much more expensive with Allegra requiring a prescription.  Loratdine does not require a prescription, is easily available, and the site suggests it as one of the first things to try when having allergy problems.

For those who are wondering when Spring will arrive just ask the onions whose internal clock has said ‘Why wait, it‘s coming… let's grow‘!

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