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March 22, 2000

Allergy Sufferers - Gardening May Reduce Symptoms

Choosing the correct plants can make all the difference

Milwaukee, WI (SafetyAlerts) - A mild winter is causing spring to arrive early in many areas of the United States. As a result, people are dusting off their lawn mowers and gardening tools earlier than normal. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) encourages those people with allergies to be selective in their choice of flora because some plants are much worse in provoking allergies.

For the more than 35 million Americans with seasonal allergies, a lawn or garden can mean endless sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion and a scratchy throat. Allergies can even trigger asthma episodes. People with seasonal allergies can enjoy a beautiful lawn and garden with minimal allergy symptoms if they choose the right plants, trees, shrubs and grasses, say pollen and mold spore experts.

To avoid symptoms, allergy sufferers should first identify which plants cause their allergic reactions. Skin testing by an allergist can determine which allergens trigger reactions. Allergists can help you develop strategies to avoid those plants that cause reactions and prescribe medications to alleviate symptoms.

Allergy experts have found that some plants cause fewer reactions than others. For instance, maple trees are usually problematic for allergy sufferers, but apple trees cause few allergic reactions. These plants have large, waxy flowers and their pollen is too heavy and sticky to enter the air and cause an allergic reaction.

The following trees, shrubs, plants and grasses have been found to be better for people with allergies:

Apple Plum  Crocus  Hydrangea  Phlox
Azalea Roses  Daffodil  Impatiens  Salvia 
Boxwood Viburnum  Dahlia  Iris  Snapdragon
Cherry Alyssum  Daisy  Lilac  St. Augustine
Dogwood Begonia  Dusty Miller  Lily  Sunflower 
Hibiscus Cacti  Geranium  Narcissus  Tulip
Magnolia Clematis  Hosta  Pansy  Verbena
Pear Columbine  Hyacinth  Petunia  Zinnia

Allergy sufferers should avoid these trees, plants and grasses:

Alder  Cottonwood  Oak  Walnut  Orchard
Ash  Cypress  Olive  Willow  Perennial Rye
Aspen  Elm  Palm  Bermuda  Redtop
Beech  Hickory  Pecan  Fescue  Salt grass
Birch  Juniper  Pine  Johnson  Sweet Vernal
Box Elder Maple  Poplar  June  Timothy
Cedar  Mulberry  Sycamore

Weeds, like ragweed, pigweed and Russian thistle, are common in the United States and are highly allergenic. In most cases, weeds are unavoidable. Allergists also recommend wearing a mask when gardening, leaving all gardening tools (including clothing) outdoors and showering immediately after working outdoors to help control allergic reactions.

Taking these steps and avoiding the appropriate plants can make it possible for the allergy sufferer to enjoy being outdoors in the spring.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is the largest professional medical specialty organization in the United States.

To find an allergist in your area, contact the AAAAI’s Physician’s Referral and Information Line at 1-800-822-2762 or visit their Web site,

The National Allergy Bureau™, a program of the AAAAI, can also provide pollen and mold spore counts for specific time periods. To access this information call 1-800-9-POLLEN or visit

Selected Recent Recalls

Health Professional:

Did you know?
During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
States for safety reasons!

How many did you hear about?

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.