16 herbs and supplements for allergy relief
Find out what to do “off-season” and what to do right now for allergy symptom relief-the natural way!
It is that time of year when eyes start to itch; you have a runny nose or congestion, an itchy throat and are constantly sneezing. Do you rely on OTC anti-histamine products or just suffer through it?
There are natural ways to relive your seasonal allergies. Read on for allergy relief!
Everyone is different so it may take a few tries before you find the right product that works for your body. After allergy season (and even during and before) it is best to start working on supporting your gut health and immune health so that you can reduce or eliminate your allergies come next season.
Why you should avoid OTC allergy medication
A new study found that medications such as anticholinergics (of which Benadryl is classified) found an increase in brain atrophy, dysfunction, and cognitive decline in users, especially older adults. Don’t think that just because a medication is OTC that it is safe.
An allergy medication that has been linked to increased suicide risk is Singular. This medication is also used to treat asthma attacks. While this drug is by prescription only, many may take Sudafed as an OTC alternate for relief. Sudafed has also been related to suicidal ideation in some. If you do choose medication, please do your homework first or talk to a professional first about whether these meds are the safest option for you.
Why has there been an increase in seasonal allergies?
Cleanliness, our lack of exposure to environmental microbes-do kids play in the dirt anymore? Look at all the anti-bacterial soap we buy and use. While having good hygiene is a plus, too much of a good thing can disrupt the normal immune development and will increase your risk for allergies.
Birth by C-section
Not having pets in the home
Pollen counts continue to rise-blame it on air pollution. Many types of pollen such as ragweed are toxic. They contain enzymes that damage the lining of your nose and lungs when you breathe them in. This sets the stage for rising allergies.
All this sets the body up for lack of diversity in our microbes and contributes to allergies. When on antibiotics, especially repeated usage, this will disrupt the gut microbiome. A birth by C-section means the baby did not get the healthy bacteria from its mother. Studies show that those who have pets in the home or those who grow up on farms tend to have fewer incidences of allergies. Studies also show that if you have access to and drink raw milk your chance of seasonal allergies is also reduced.
When is the best time to address allergy symptom relief?
Actually, it’s not when your symptoms appear every season, rather you should be addressing them by supporting your immune system year round.
As always, food first! If you take supplements and herbs but still eat like crap then you are wasting your efforts and money!
What to add in year round to support your body
Address delayed food allergies/sensitivities: Seasonal allergies may be related to delayed food allergies (see my blog post April 2016) or food sensitivities. Get tested or do food elimination diet.
Manage stress: stress can impact your immune system and your adrenal glands. Support the body with whole foods, mineral salts and adaptogens if adrenal fatigue is an issue for you. (for more on adrenal fatigue read Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Wilson or go online and take the adrenal fatigue quiz)
Reduce/eliminate sugar: sugar lowers WBC count and reduces immune function. Opt for raw, local honey in small doses instead. (see note below on bee products and seasonal allergies)
Address gut health with Probiotics and Prebiotics: probiotics will help to populate the good bacteria in your gut. The prebiotics are essentially food for your good bacteria to help them thrive. Choose supplement form or add in raw garlic and onions, raw asparagus, kombucha, kefir, raw fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and fermented soy
Vitamin C: while we get vitamin C from our whole foods such as fruits and vegetables the amount that we get from these foods has been greatly diminished over the past 80 years or so. Take vitamin C with bioflavonoids at 500-1,000 mg. daily. Children can take ¼-1/8 this amount depending on size.
Vitamin D: in studies with children with seasonal allergies, low vitamin D status was associated with higher risk of allergies, especially to birch, ragweed and oak. It is best to know your vitamin D levels before supplementing. Safe dose is 2,000 IU daily of D3. Avoid D2 as it is synthetic. If you choose products fortified with vitamin D, know that this too is vitamin D2, the synthetic form which is difficult for the body to absorb.
NAC: this stands for N-Acetyl-Cysteine. This is the precursor to glutathione, our master antioxidant which also helps to balance the immune system. Take NAC at 50-100 mg. 3 times daily.
Curcumin: this is a compound found in turmeric. This enhances the immune system and can be taken year round. It also reduces inflammation and thus may also be good for symptom relief. (I like a brand called Curamed by europharmausa.com and it can also be found in many natural health stores.).....More Here