Although spring flowers are welcomed by many, it also brings with it seasonal allergies. There are multiple medications available to address the symptoms of allergies. But by naturally addressing allergy symptoms with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and dietary changes, you can help to calm an overactive immune system.
Dietary changes such as decreasing dairy products, which can increase mucus production, also can decrease the inflammatory burden on our bodies. Foods and
There are laboratory tests that can be done to assess an individual’s own unique food sensitivities. These are done via a simple blood draw, and examine two portions of the immune system (IgG and IgE) that mediate inflammatory responses.
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and supports portions of the immune system as well. You can often find a vitamin C powder, which usually combines well with apple juice, as the powder is a little tart tasting. Typical dose is 1,000mg two to three times daily. Too much vitamin C can cause loose stool, so it is recommended that vitamin C be consumed in divided doses.
Quercetin: a bioflavonoid that also acts as a natural antihistamine. It is typically only found in capsule form, at a dose of 250mg per capsule. Recommended doses of quercetin are 1,000mg – 1,500mg daily.
L-glutamine: if food sensitivities also play a role in increasing seasonal allergy symptoms, include l-glutamine. It is an amino acid. If a protein is a brick house, an amino acid is a single brick. Therefore, amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. L-glutamine is the preferred fuel source for the digestive tract, as well as muscle tissue and the immune system. If one limits exposure to foods that they are sensitive to, they can decrease the inflammatory influence on their digestive tract. L-glutamine will speed healing of these tissues, and regulate bowel function. Dose: 1 teaspoon ~ 4,000mg of l-glutamine. Take 1 teaspoon twice daily away from meals (AM and PM dosing). L-glutamine does not taste like anything, but does not dissolve well in cold water or juice. Add a little warm water to l-glutamine first, and swirl to dissolve. Then add juice or additional water. Once it is dissolved, it will not fall out of solution.
Vitamin A: this vitamin plays an important role in protecting all mucus membranes—specifically the respiratory and digestive tract. Dose: 25,000IU capsules. Take 2 capsules daily for one month at the start of allergy season.
Stinging nettles (urtica diocia) is a mineral-rich herb that also exhibits antihistamine properties. Nettles can be taken in capsule form, but also can be boiled and made into a tea, or added to a soup or stew. Dose: typical nettles capsules are 200mg per capsule.
Herbal tincture formulas are available from multiple companies. Both Gaia Herbs and HerbPharm are excellent companies. Ask a clerk at a health food store near you to direct you to the herbal tinctures that are (1) alcohol-free (glycerite formuluas), and (2) specifically anti-allergy. Use based on the recommended dose on the bottle.
Easily obtained at most health food stores (Whole Foods, etc…):
Get 30x or 30c strength. Take 2-3 pellets under the tongue every 15-20 minutes as needed for symptomatic relief.
Euphrasia: indicated when watery eyes are burning.
Allium cepa: used when nasal discharge is acrid.
NETI LOTA POT
Nasal lavage is easily achieved with a Neti Lota pot. You can use either a saline solution, or a Chinese medicine herbal formula (sold near the Neti Lota pots in most stores) to keep sinus passages clear.
There are herbal or grapefruit seed extract nasal sprays that will provide local treatment to affected nasal passages. Quercetin-based nasal sprays are especially effective. However, another excellent option is Xlear nasal spray (pronounced ‘Clear’). It is a xylitol-based spray. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar that has significant antimicrobial and anti-allergy activity. It is also sweet tasting, which makes it more useful in children.
1. Bove, Mary Encyclopedia of Natural Healing for Children and Infants 2nd Ed., 2001, Mcgraw Hill
2. Tisserand, Robert Essential Oil Safety, 1995, Churchill, Livingston Press.