It’s been a while since my last post and I blame it on my new puppy, Kona…
She’s a rescue from AARCS and a pit bull mix. But if anyone can tell me what else they think she is, I’m all ears!
Boy, do puppies take it out of you! It has been quite the learning curve figuring out her routine and how I can still get work done. Thank goodness puppies sleep most of the day ;).
Anyway, I’ve finally found the time to write this post…
Natural Treatments for Hay Fever and Environmental Allergies
Grass is being cut and the pollen is flying.
Can you tell?
This is about the time when many of us start itching, sniffling, sneezing, and popping anti-histamines.
For some people, it’s manageable. For others, like me, it’s incredibly annoying, and probably why you’re reading this post.
About ten million Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies or seasonal allergic rhinitis. That’s a lot of Claritin!
The Immune Response
Hay fever or seasonal allergy symptoms are triggered by an immune response to inhaled allergens, in an attempt to eliminate them from the body:
Itching, sneezing, swelling, asthma, and nasal discharge are all to keep the allergens out.
Antibodies cause specific cells called mast cells to release histamine and other inflammatory mediators which cause the above symptoms. This is why we take anti-histamines for hay fever.
What’s the problem with just taking anti-histamines?
Taken once in a while, they are quite effective, however they do have their share of side effects, especially for people who take them often:
- Abdominal pain
- Cough, sore throat
- Drowsiness- less so with second generation antihistamines like Claritin
- Dry mouth
Side effects of asthma inhalers:
- Bitter taste
- Throat irritation
Our main treatment targets for hay fever and other environmental allergies is to inhibit the release of histamine from mast cells and to reduce inflammation.
Though the more natural therapies still don’t treat the root cause (scroll to the bottom for that), they tend not to have as unpleasant side effects, and are actually nourishing to the body.
Here are my top 6 effective natural remedies for seasonal allergies:
Quercetin, Vitamin C, and Bromelain
Quercetin, vitamin C and bromelain are all dietary nutrients that help support the immune system. They inhibit the absorption of substances into the body that may induce the allergic response.
An antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables like apples, bell peppers, and berries, quercetin is also a natural anti-histamine.
Vitamin C and bromelain help to increase the absorption of quercetin but they also have benefits of their own…
Vitamin C prevents the release of components of the allergic inflammation response (including histamine), and bromelain breaks down large protein complexes so that they are no longer recognizable as an allergen. Vitamin C and bromelain both help prevent allergens from passing through mucosal linings, such as the the mouth and nose.
You can increase your intake of vitamin C-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, apples, bell peppers, berries, citrus, and tomatoes, or take a supplement. Bromelain is found in appreciable levels in pineapple.
Receive 10% off Douglas Laboratories Quercetin-Bromelain Complex at Complete Health Center until the end of June. Includes vitamin C.
Nettle is a very nutritive herb, containing many vitamins, minerals, including iron, and flavonoids including quercetin, and is particularly good at supporting blood detoxification. Nettle has been used around the world to treat asthma, eczema, allergies, coughs, rheumatism, and the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Though brushing up against the fresh herb can sting and cause a rash, the dried herb can be quite effective for the same symptoms the fresh herb causes. Look for it in tea, capsule or powder form.
Other herbs that may help: green tea, ginger, and chamomile.
Our gut bacteria regulate our immune system, so it’s important to keep those little guys healthy. See my post on gut bacteria for more info on their role in our health. Eat fermented food such as kim chi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir to replenish your gut bacteria or consider supplementing, and get lots of fibre to feed them.
Magnesium relaxes the smooth muscles in the lungs which can relieve the difficulty breathing of asthma.
Now for the best part…treating the root cause:
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)
SLIT is an allergy desensitizing treatment that involves taking drops under the tongue daily.
Partial or full symptom resolution can be seen in the first season of taking the drops, but permanent results are more likely after taking the drops daily for 3-5 years.
The safety profile for sublingual immunotherapy is superior to injection immunotherapy. Systemic reactions are 3x less with SLIT and no anaphylactic reaction (life threatening) have ever been recorded for over 30 plus years of sublingual treatment.
- Easy, affordable, safe environmental allergy treatment
- No injections
- Can enjoy the outdoors
- Can stop taking all pharmaceutical and natural treatments, or at least can reduce how much is needed
Procedure: we do a simple skin scratch test to identify your specific allergies, then order the drops
I’ve been taking my own drops for the past 2 months in preparation for this summer. My symptoms usually start in May and last until about early August. So far, I have only experienced very mild congestion and occasional sneezing in the past few days. But I consider this a huge win as I’ve been working in my yard with the pollen flying and the grass being cut, and keeping my windows open all day and night when it’s hot, which would usually have me itching like crazy and taking my supplements, but I haven’t had to take anything yet…finger crossed.
You’re probably wondering whether it’s too late to start. Though it’s recommended to start the drops at least 30 days before the allergy season, some people have reported improvement of symptoms soon after starting the drops, so no, it’s not too late!
Have pet allergies? SLIT works for that too! At Complete Health Center, I can test for dog, cat, horse, and cow.
Now offering 10% off sublingual immunotherapy drops until the end of June!
What natural allergy treatments have you tried? Did they work? Let me know in the comments.
Please like and forward this post to anyone you think would benefit from allergy treatment!