CHICO, Calif. – If you suffer from allergies, you may be pleased to learn, a Butte County-based business is working hard to go straight to the source of some of your angst: pollen! And they are trying to offer some relief.
Take a drive around our region and you will see plenty of trees and plants that are in springtime bloom.
Action News Now Morning Anchor Julia Yarbough, while out and about, came upon a work crew, carrying out a job she had never seen before.
Two men were perched in a hydraulic lift, hitting trees with long sticks. On the ground below, large sheets of plastic had been placed, to catch everything falling from above.
A third crew member was busy at work sweeping up the tree debris.
As any good journalist does, Yarbough stopped to find out what this team was doing.
She learned the crew was a Durham-based company. It specializes in harvesting natural ingredients to help people who suffer from allergies.
In this particular case, the team was collecting pollen from the Eastern Sycamore, which is fairly common and abundant here in Northern California.
Mike Weidert is the owner of Weidert’s Western Pollen. He says many people are impacted by allergies associated with Eastern Sycamore.
“We’re gathering it so we can collect the raw material and send it to a lab where they will create a serum and it will be used for people’s allergies,” explains Weidert.
Those people will get a shot in the arm once or twice a week and that will help lower their sensitivity to the pollen over time and not be hit by typical symptoms.”
Yarbough asked Weidert if the pollen collected here could eventually end up in over-the-counter medications. He said no.
“Rather than a treatment that masks systems, such as taking an allergy pill, this treatment will work on the body’s own immune system," he said.
Weidert says after knocking down the pollen balls from trees, they will sift through the sticks and leaves. The little green balls hold 95% of the pollen that is utilized.
He says it is the ingredient which will ultimately be put to good use to stop those itchy eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats that are par for the course come allergy season.