advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Allergic to the Holidays?

I'm dreading the allergy symptoms I develop every year during the holiday season. Could I be allergic to pine? Should I avoid Christmas trees?

A
Answer (Published 12/9/2008)

Allergy symptoms are a common complaint during the holidays, but allergies to pine - and by extension - Christmas trees, are actually rare. A more likely culprit is the mold you might encounter when watering Christmas trees or mold and dust mites that accumulate on ornaments that have been in storage for the past year. If your symptoms develop when you're decorating the tree, you are probably reacting to allergens from dust and mold. You should be able to minimize your exposure, and your symptoms, by washing your hands after taking boxes of ornaments out of storage and unpacking them.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet! - Everything you need to get started eating a healthful, satisfying diet is here - including eating and shopping guides, over 300 recipes, and an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid! Start your 14-day free trial now - and start eating anti-inflammatory today!

However, some research has suggested that mold from Christmas trees themselves may be responsible for at least part of the allergy symptoms encountered during the holidays. In 2007, Connecticut researchers reported to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology on research that found high levels of mold in a house with an indoor Christmas tree. The investigators took repeated mold counts, which were initially low but rose dramatically after four days, eventually reaching 5,000 spores per square meter. That's five times above normal and more than enough to cause allergy and asthma symptoms.

The researchers suggested that individuals who are sensitive to molds shouldn't keep their Christmas trees for more than seven days. (Artificial trees are not a good alternative since they gather other allergy provoking dust and molds when stored from year to year.)

If you determine that the tree itself is causing your allergy symptoms, just don't keep it in the house too long.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here