It’s that time of year again for allergies! Seasonal allergies and sinus congestion are no fun, and I’ve been getting questions about these lately. Here are some helpful hints to get through the season without being dependent on your Claritin®!
In order to help with allergies, you need to get your immune system working properly. Your body needs good nutrition to do so. Although eating fruits and vegetables is very important, I also recommend taking a whole food based multivitamin to help ensure you are getting optimal amounts of nutrients. Amino acids can help with allergy symptoms, so I recommend finding a multivitamin that includes the essential amino acids. L-cysteine and L-tyrosine promote healing from respiratory disorders. Probiotics are also beneficial. You should reduce exposure to chemicals so eating local or organic is a must. Also consider using hepa filters, as well as filtering drinking water. Indoor plants can help produce oxygen and remove pollutants.
Allergic reactions are caused by excess histamine release. Quercetin can help stop histamine release as well as increase immunity. It takes 3-4 weeks to become effective though. Garlic and onions have plenty of quercetin in them so eating these foods may be of some help. Black and green teas and red wines also contain quercetin as do apples, red and black grapes, blueberries, blackberries and cherries. Quercetin can also be found in scallions, kale and broccoli. Some herbs that are rich in quercetin are thyme, parsley, licorice root, and scutellaria root. It comes as a supplement too; the usual dose is 50-500mg daily. Some formulations of quercetin also contain bromelain which reduces inflammation.
Deficiencies in magnesium, manganese, and the essential fatty acids are linked to asthma and allergic symptoms. Foods that are rich in magnesium include black beans, broccoli, halibut, peanuts, okra, oysters, plantains, scallops, pumpkin seeds, soy milk, spinach, and tofu. Some foods that are high in manganese are spelt, brown rice, garbanzo beans, spinach, pineapple, pumpkin seeds, tempeh, rye, soybeans, and oats. Fatty acids are needed to produce prostaglandins to keep the bronchi and trachea of your lungs open. See my blog post on omega-3 fatty acids at ktipfitclub.com. Optimal calcium consumption is also recommended.
Vitamin C also is a natural antihistamine so try 1000mg three times daily. The only side effect you may experience is diarrhea so you can back down on the dose if that happens.
A reduction in sugar, grains or other types of carbohydrates in the diet helps with hay fever as well as taking digestive enzymes with every meal. Avoid mucus-producing foods such as dairy products, sugar, wheat, and food additives (such as MSG or artificial colors).
The herb stinging nettle can help with allergy symptoms and takes 3-4 days to work. It reduces inflammation in the sinus cavities and also prevents free radical damage. The freeze dried form is more concentrated and works better. Take 600mg three times daily.
Ginkgo can help with allergies and inflammation but may have drug interactions with medications and increase bleeding risk. You can try 60-240mg daily of the standardized extract.
There is some research indicating coenzyme Q10 inhibits histamine release, helping with allergy symptoms. It also improves cellular oxygenation and immune function.
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. You can buy it as an essential oil or in some creams and put it on your skin or drink it in tea form. However, do not use chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed.
MSM (methysulfonylmethane) has anti-allergic properties similar to that of antihistamines.
Bee pollen can strengthen the immune system, however it also causes allergic reactions in some individuals, so use with caution and discontinue if allergic symptoms occur.
Boswellia, or Indian frankincense, reduces inflammation and allergic responses. Yerba maté also helps relieve allergy symptoms. You can take 2-3 teaspoons in 16 ounces of hot water.
You can soak and ounce of either Eucalyptus or thyme leaves in a cup of boiling water and inhale the steam to help with congestion.
Eyebright tea may help with watery eyes and runny noses.
Licorice root can help people with allergies by restoring normal breathing and having anti-inflammatory effects. Do not use if you have a history of diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, or stroke.
Give some of these natural remedies a try, and let me know how they work for you!
**As always, here is my medical disclaimer: You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.**