Eliminate Your Seasonal Allergies With Healers From Nature

Seasonal allergies are one of the most common medical problems that occur mostly during the seasons of spring, summer and fall.

Seasonal allergies are non-discriminatory and can affect people of any age. Seasonal allergies will vary in different regions depending on the time of the year and the types of plants that are in the area. Most pollen levels tend to be the highest in the morning. Some of the most common seasonal allergies include allergies to weeds, grasses, flowers and trees. Certain types of outdoor mold spores can also cause seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are often referred to as allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, which is a collection of allergic reactions that irritate the eyes and nose.
What are the Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?

The symptoms of seasonal allergies include nasal congestion, a runny-nose, sneezing, itchy nose, breaking out in hives and post-nasal drip. Some people may even experience ocular allergy symptoms that cause the eyes to be red, painful, watery, itchy and swollen. In severe cases, the eyes will discharge a thin, mucus-like substance that hardens overnight while sleeping and causes the eyelids to be stuck together.

When Do Seasonal Allergies Occur?

Depending on the location and the climate, the pollination of weeds, plants, flowers and trees begin between the months of January and April. Trees that cause seasonal allergies to flare up include elm, birch, oak, hickory, poplar, ash, maple, cypress, olive and walnut.

Many people are allergic to a wide variety of grass pollens which include southern grasses which tend to pollinate in the late spring and early summer. The pollen counts of grass are usually the highest during this time. However, many people have reported that mowing the lawn or coming into contact with grass during other times throughout the year can cause allergic reactions even if the pollen count is low. Hives are a very common allergic reaction to grass pollen and it is referred to as contact urticarial.

Weeds are the main cause of seasonal allergies from late summer to early fall and include ragweed, pigweed, sagebrush, cocklebur and tumbleweed. In other regions of the world, certain trees may be the cause of seasonal allergies in the fall.

Ways to Heal Seasonal Allergies

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid antioxidant, which means it is among the plant nutrients that give many foods their characteristic colors and flavors. Scientists are studying how to use quercetin for allergies. It’s found in many of the same foods that contain other antioxidants such as resveratrol. Taking it in a supplement form may be the best way to use it to combat allergy symptoms. Quercetin can be used for allergies as a natural product to fight histamines. 

Here’s how it works: When your body is exposed to a substance that it identifies as a foreign object, it responds as if an invader were present. At the basic cellular level, biochemicals called histamines stimulate the production of white blood cells. These are plasmocytes, more commonly known as antibodies, and they result in your allergic reaction—either with a rash, wheezing, swelling of organ tissues, or in some other way. Quercetin placates histamines with a unique effect on our body’s blood vessels and capillaries. Scientists speculate that it counteracts an enzyme that stimulates this inflammation. It also stops platelets from aggregating. These actions explain why it reduces the inflammatory degree of an allergic reaction.

Food sources
: Quercetin is abundant in
onions—the red ones, and the yellow kind that make you cry. Green and black teas, dark leafy vegetables, and broccoli are also great sources. You can also find it in red apples, tomatoes, grapes, cherries, and other red fruits and vegetables. If you prefer to take it as a supplement, look for a quercetin-bromelain complex. Bromelain is an enzyme that occurs naturally in pineapple, and it increases quercetin’s bioavailability—your body’s ability to absorb it.
Amazon sells NOW quercetin with bromelain for $14.31. or Jarrows quercetin for $10.47.

Butterbur is a waterside plant native to Europe, Africa and Asia. According to a study published in “Phytotherapy Research,” an extract of a butterbur leaf works as well as an antihistamine in alleviating seasonal allergy symptoms. Butterbur contains petasin, which blocks leukotrienes (an inflammatory) and histamines. Histamines dilate blood vessels making the walls extremely permeable.
A study published in the British Medical Journal was a randomized controlled trial comparing the herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus) to the antihistamine cetrizine in patients with seasonal allergies. One hundred and twenty five patients from four outpatient clinics in Switzerland and Germany participated with 61 receiving butterbur and 64 receiving cetrizine.  After two weeks, the groups were comparable on measures such as physical and emotional functioning and physician assessment of the symptom severity and overall improvement. Butterbur can be purchased at Amazon for $13.30 or on IHERB for $14.01.

apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is truly a cure-all. Many people have eliminated their allergies with daily apple cider vinegar (ACV). Before the onset of the allergy season the ordinary dosage of ACV (with local raw honey if you wish) should then be taken 2-3 teaspoons of ACV diluted with water three times a day. This dosage should be maintained during the entire hay-fever season.

neti pots
Neti pots are by far the most effective weapon against seasonal allergies, and can be used as both a preventative measure and as treatment.  Basically, netis are traditional ayurvedic tools that look like little tea pots (traditionally ceramic, though commercial, store-bought netis are plastic) with a special spout small enough to fit in your nostril.  

When filled with lukewarm water and a powdered saline solution, the liquid irrigates and cleanses the nasal passages, and also thins the mucus built up in there, flushing it out of your nose.  If you are prone to seasonal allergies, start using a neti pot daily a little before your symptoms would typically start.  Regular use will strengthen your nasal cilia, improving their ability to remove allergens, bacteria, and other irritants from your nose before they start causing problems.  If you're already experiencing symptoms, you can start using your neti morning and night to flush out allergens and ease congestion. You can check out neti pots on Amazon.
Vitamin C is also very helpful in treating seasonal allergies. Not only does it nearly stop histamine production, but it also helps to break down and get rid of histamines that are released, giving it the double-punch of allergy fighting power. It doesn’t stop there; vitamin C reduces inflammation throughout your body. This is very beneficial, not only for your overall health, but for asthma or respiratory allergy sufferers. Keeping air passages open with daily doses of vitamin C have show to greatly reduce allergy and asthma attacks.

Food Sources:
papaya, red peppers, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, cauliflower, kale, cantaloupe, rosehips, brussel sprouts, lemons, asparagus, kiwi, tomatoes, cabbage.
The best vitamin C supplement is Madre C, which is a whole food vitamin C supplement, which can be found on IHerb for the best price.

Turmeric has been proven clinically to boost the immune system and strengthen its resistance to common allergies. Curcumin, the primary ingredient in this ancient spice, is commonly used in alternative medical systems, such as Ayurveda, Unani and naturopathy, to treat all types of allergies. 

Clinical research published in the September 2008 issue of the journal "Molecular Nutrition and Food Research," found that curcumin blocks mast cells in animals from releasing histamine, thereby preventing allergic reactions. Research conducted by scientists at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, which was published in the "Journal of Clinical Immunology," January 2007, concurred that curcumin is not only a potent immunomodulatory agent, it also increases antibody response when administered in low doses. This implies that curcumin is effective in treating allergies. According to a study published in "Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications" in 2008, curcumin protects the immune system from responding to common stimulants, such as dust and pollen.

The best way to get turmeric into the diet is in it's whole form either with dried turmeric or fresh (some health food stores sell fresh). You can add these to cooking and the dried powder can be used on popcorn. If you want the convenience of turmeric capsules you can buy curcumin at Amazon for $16.60 or on IHerb for $26.37.

green tea
Researchers have found that components of green tea possess potent anti-allergy activity due to their ability to block substances known to trigger allergies.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a compound found in green tea, can affect the action of mast cells and basophils, cells that are responsible for the histamine release that occurs in seasonal allergy sufferers. Histamine triggers allergy symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose.

The researchers investigated the effects of EGCG on receptors for Immunoglobulin E (IgE) on mast cells and basophils. IgE attaches to mast cells in the respiratory and intestinal tracts and plays a major role in allergic reactions. EGCG inhibited the activity of an important receptor for IgE on basophils, preventing the IgE-triggered activation of the cells that would normally result in a histamine release.

EGCG also is found in black and oolong teas, but green tea has a much higher concentration of this anti-allergy substance. Green tea can be consumed in the form of supplements or tea.

A recent clinical study involving 36 allergic rhinitis patients has demonstrated that ingesting only 2g of spirulina a day provides a significant reduction in the level of Interluken-4 (IL-4) in the body. IL-4 is produced by certain immune cells and is responsible for the production of the antibody, Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which mediates symptoms of allergic rhinitis. You can view spirulina options on Amazon. Nutrex organic spirulina is a good quality option.

vitamin d

Medical research has shown that vitamin D is important for immune system function and that a deficiency of vitamin D is strongly associated with increased inflammatory reactions. Even more importantly, a number of studies have shown that raising blood levels of the vitamin has worked to reduce inflammation, both in groups of generally healthy people and in critically ill patients.

These findings suggest that while low levels of D vitamin don’t necessarily lead to seasonal allergies, keeping levels high is an important part of avoiding or at least short-circuiting the miseries of seasonal allergies.

A growing body of research, including studies by Harvard Medical School, Pittsburgh’s Allegheny General Hospital, and others, indicates that sufficiency of vitamin D  is particularly important for children. The studies, which monitored inner city children under 12 years of age, showed that youngsters with deficient levels of D vitamin were more than twice as likely to experience seasonal allergies, as well as allergies to specific foods. You can find Thorne Research vitamin D 1,000 IU at Amazon for $9 or at Iherb for $8.06.

Garlic (and to a lesser extent, onions) contain quercetin, which is a strong anti-inflammatory mentioned above. Most sources recommend garlic as a safe and easy way to prevent or reduce allergy symptoms. It is worth noting, however, that cooking with garlic will not give the full protection, because most of the anti-inflammatory substances are very heat sensitive and will break down at cooking temperatures within a few minutes. Instead, add garlic to food as it is being removed from the stove, or better yet, eat it raw, such as on a salad; one clove of raw garlic a day should be sufficient to help alleviate hay fever symptoms.

folic acid

In what is believed to be the first study in humans examining the link between blood levels of folate -- the naturally occurring form of folic acid -- and allergies, the scientists say results add to mounting evidence that folate can help regulate inflammation and allergies.

Recent studies, including research from Johns Hopkins, have found a link between folate levels and inflammation-mediated diseases.

Reviewing the medical records of more than 8,000 people ages 2 to 85 the investigators tracked the effect of folate levels on respiratory and allergic symptoms and on levels of IgE antibodies, immune system markers that rise in response to an allergen. People with higher blood levels of folate had fewer IgE antibodies, fewer reported allergies, less wheezing and lower likelihood of asthma, researchers report.

Food sources
: lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, asparagus, collards, parsley, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, broccoli. Innate Response makes an awesome whole food folate, B6, B12 formula on Amazon.

grape seeds
Grapes contain natural histamines and in some people grape wines can cause an allergic reaction. Ironically the seeds of grapes contain the cure. A research scientist in the Bordeaux region of France, Dr. Jacques Masquelier, discovered that the most powerful and usable antioxidants are in grape seeds. 

Antioxidants protect cells from free radical destruction. Research has identified free radicals as the most common factor in every single degenerative disease. Dr. Masquelier was successful in isolating the protective antioxidant called Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins or OPCs for short. OPCs prevent free radicals from causing oxidation and damage and are known for their ability to strengthen the heart and blood vessels. OPCs also block the release of histamine and this provides allergy relief. Many individuals report allergy relief and improvements in memory and mental clarity from taking OPCs and grape seed extract is the richest source of OPCs available. You can check out the supply of grape seed extracts on Amazon.

perilla extract
Researchers conducted a study on the effectiveness of perilla seed extract in treating 20 allergic patients suffering from symptoms of sneezing, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes and skin. For two weeks, patients were given 50 mg of perilla extract twice a day if they weighed under 60 lbs., and three times a day if they weighed over 60 lbs. After the two-week period, patients evaluated changes in their allergic symptoms. In addition, two patients were selected to have their IgE (i.e., type of antibody produced during an allergic reaction) levels measured before and after perilla seed extract administration.

Following treatment, patients demonstrated a marked reduction in allergic symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes. A significant suppression of IgE levels in two patients provided further evidence that perilla seed extract may inhibit an allergic response.
These findings suggest that perilla seed extract may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of allergic disorders.

There is a really nice looking allergy formula on Amazon with perilla extract in it that might be helpful to you. 

pine bark
Pine bark extract inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells, and may prove to be a key player in the relief of asthma and allergy symptoms.

The effectiveness of pine bark extract was based on four factors: the ability to breathe, the severity of symptoms, frequency of rescue inhaler use, and the amount of inflammatory molecules in the child's body. A study showed that breathing improved after only one month of using the supplement, and that it continued to improve with further use.

The double blind and placebo-controlled study followed 60 children ranging from 6 to 18 years for three months. The children who took pine bark extract were able to reduce their need for rescue inhaler use and in some cases stop inhaler use altogether more often than the placebo group.Previous studies have shown pine bark extract to be effective in decreasing asthma symptoms among adults, without any adverse effects. Swanson company makes the cheapest pine bark/pycnogenol that you will find anywhere.

ditch the dairy

One of the biggest reasons that dairy products worsen seasonal allergy symptoms is because dairy contains arachidonic acids, which increase the production of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes restrict the bronchial tubes, thus making it difficult for air to get through. This can bring on the production of phlegm and mucus, which can worsen the symptoms of allergies. Dairy and dairy products also play a key role in the weakening of the immune system. When the immune system is weak, it causes an overreaction to certain foods, pollen or dust, and can also make other allergy symptoms worse.

One of the proteins found in dairy that weakens the immune system is casein. Casein in limited quantities is good for you. However, the high amounts of casein found in dairy products is too much for the human body to properly digest. This causes excess proteins to float around the body, which in turn can worsen allergies. Furthermore, many dairy products contain high amounts of saturated fats, which also contribute to weakening the immune system. These products include milk, butter, cheese and ice cream. If you must have dairy products, look for goat milk products from grass fed animals only. Goat milk products have much less casein.

Minimizing exposure to offending substances
It's certainly not easy, but it is possible to minimize your contact with the allergens in your environment. Of course, first you have to know what you're allergic to, and that requires a skin test by a health-care professional. Let's say the skin test shows that two very common allergens--pollen and dust mites--are your nemeses. Here are some suggestions that can help, for these and other allergens, too:

1. Wash your hands often, especially if you have been in contact with the offending substances.
2. Wear a thin paper mask when working outside (to protect against pollens) or while cleaning the house (the primary source of dust mites).
3. Purchase allergy-proof mattress and pillow covers, to keep dust mites contained.
4. Keep windows closed when pollen is at its peak, as well as on windy days.
5. If possible, purchase a HEPA-quality home air-filtration unit.
6. Shower at night, to keep pollen accumulated on hair and clothes from "contaminating" bedclothes.

Additional Personal Remarks...
Seasonal allergies are extremely common but it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what plants or molds are causing your symptoms. Something that has helped many is taking large amounts of vitamin C. As you may know by now I highly recommend whole food supplements (or just whole foods) rather than synthetic vitamins. If you choose to use vitamin C, you might want to use a whole food supplement and start slowly and build your way up.

I highly recommend starting an intensive regimen to eliminate your allergies. Start by getting a neti pot and using it daily. There are just so many amazing reviews when it comes to these. Then begin by reducing dairy from your diet, and start adding turmeric, apple cider vinegar and garlic to your every day palate. If you have oxalate sensitivies you may want to limit your turmeric usage. Drink 1-4 cups of green tea a day. If you have low iron, you may want to limit the green tea to 1-2 cups a day or a few times a week. In addition, add a quality vitamin D supplement daily. You may want to use 2,000 a day or anything up to 5,000 depending on your current levels. Lastly be sure to add the herbs above that interest you. I wish you good luck in eliminating your allergies. Thanks for reading and for your continued support!


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