Severe Allergy Problem
Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Research shows around 50 million people are affected by nasal allergies alone. 30% of adults get hit and 40% of children, leading to it being the #1 health issue affecting kids. Costing the US $18 billion per year. 1
Allergens come from all angles. Indoor allergens from pets and mold to outdoor pollens, grasses, weeds, and more. Skin allergies can range from hives, inflammation to eczema and other skin contact problems.
Traditional approaches include painful and expensive allergy testing to identify the culprits. Over the counter medication (antihistamines) are taken heavily in America but carry with them the uncomfortable and harmful side effects of drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and mood effects. 2 Finally, immunotherapy is usually a harsh approach and can cause short and long term complications and get very expensive.
6 Natural Allergy
Nature produces the irritants but it also gives us some great anti-histamine allergen support without all the harsh side effects and big price tags. Try these before or during your next allergy season or outbreak…
1. Tinospora Cordifolia
The Tinospora Cordifolia is a plant extract which has been used since the early 1900s in Ayurvedic medicine for its immune-modulating action. It contains a complex of polysaccharides and polyphenols that have been shown to regulate key immune mediators and stimulate the activity of macrophages—specialized cells that are a primary part of the immune system.
Solid research has been done to show the plants anti-allergy powers. In 75 allergy sufferers studied, Tinospora Cordifolia users reported 100% relief from sneezing in 83% of patients, 69% from nasal discharge, 61% from nasal obstruction and in 71% from nasal itching. In the placebo group, there was no relief in 79% from sneezing, in 84.8% from nasal discharge, in 83% from nasal obstruction, and in 88% from nasal itching.3
2. Vitamin C
One of the most well-known and widely studied nutrients of our day, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin with many functions in the body. Besides its antioxidant and immune-supportive roles, it is necessary for the body to make collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. It is a naturally occurring compound found in many plant foods, most notably citrus fruits, berries, pineapple, bell peppers, and broccoli.
Quercetin has been called “king of the flavonoids” because of its powerful antioxidant properties and its ability to promote a healthy response to inflammation. It is found in many foods that are recognized for their health benefits, such as red onions, apples, olive oil, dark berries and grapes, capers, salad greens and culinary herbs, such as dill, cilantro, watercress, and radicchio. Quercetin contributes to the richly colored pigments in these foods.
Quercetin shows anti-inflammatory action by its direct antioxidant action and inhibition of inflammatory mediators and enzymes. Quercetin and vitamin C also inhibit the release of histamine, which causes congestion, by basophils and mast cells. Studies have shown an improved lung function and lower risk of certain respiratory diseases (i.e., asthma and bronchitis) in people with high apple (rich in Quercetin) intake. 4
Nettles (a.k.a. “stinging nettle”) is a perennial flowering plant which has been employed throughout the ages and across the globe for a wide variety of purposes. Documentation points to its use in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and among native peoples in North America. Extracts from stinging nettle contain a number of substances including phenolics and flavonoids such as caffeic acid, malic acid, polysaccharides and silica. These, and many of the other nutritional components in nettle leaf, contribute to its antihistamine effect. Nettle extract also contains active compounds that reduce inflammatory cytokines, which may be beneficial in additional inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Nettle can be consumed directly, or made into soup or tea. Its high content of vitamin C and iron underlies its immune-supporting effects. Nettle has traditionally been used for supporting respiratory and joint health. It is also a compound with natural abilities to help balance the body’s inflammatory response.
5. Vitamin D
As a powerful immunomodulator vitamin D plays many important roles in the body. Vitamin D deficiency has a strong correlation with allergy symptoms like asthma, allergic rhinitis and wheezing. Children with allergies are linked to having 20 times increased probability of vitamin D deficiency.5 As well as benefits in decreasing cancer and diabetes risks.
Measuring blood vitamin D levels is the primary way to measure any deficiencies. Ideally, levels should be above 50ng/mL as growing research points to a needed value above the traditionally recommended 30ng/mL.6 Daily doses between 2000-10,000ius can be used to achieve these levels to get the maximum benefits of proper vitamin D levels.
The body has more bacteria in it than cells. These much needed helpers allow the body to run and make up to 70-80% of our immune system. Antibiotics, more nutrition, drugs, acid, and other lifestyle choices deplete our probiotic supply over time and leave the defense system weakened.
Studies have shown a direct impact on allergies with probiotic use, although not with all symptoms.7 Probiotics can be supplemented but are found in highest concentration in fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, kombucha, and any other fermented are excellent sources and can provide the needed probiotic doses to get immune and gut health.
Anti-histamines may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Bicarbonate salts and electrolytes can curb these side effects. As always, consult a physician especially if taking allergy medication.