Alternative Solutions

Allergies continued...

Gluten intolerance is fast becoming the number one allergy plaguing about 5 % of the American and European population.  Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer.

Gluten sensitivities and celiac disease are markers for autoimmunity problems, related to dozens of severe diseases. It is no coincidence that wheat products are a common denominator of all these problems. The rise of these problems have also been linked to Monsanto's glyphosate (ROUNDUP) spraying of wheat.  Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. 

About one-third of seasonal allergy sufferers have something called "oral allergy syndrome," in which your immune system is triggered by proteins in some foods that are molecularly similar to pollen. Your immune system looks at the protein molecule and s Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancerays, "Close enough!" and attacks it. If you are allergic to ragweed, for example, you may have cross-sensitivity to melons, bananas, tomatoes, zucchini, sunflower seeds, dandelions, chamomile, and echinacea. If you have a grass allergy, you may also react to peaches, celery, tomatoes, melons and oranges.

Besides avoiding foods that may trigger your allergy, there are a number of foods that can be helpful for calming down allergy symptoms.

Consider the following:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: According to Mother Earth News, a German study published in the journal Allergy found people who have diets rich in of omega-3 fatty acids suffer from fewer allergy symptoms. A second study in Sweden found that children who regularly ate fish prior to age one had much lower allergies by age four. My favorite sources of omega-3 fatty acids are grass fed meat and eggs, and krill oil. (Fish has become too contaminated to rely on as a staple.)
  • Probiotics: In a 2008 study, researchers discovered that people who took probiotics throughout allergy season had lower levels of an antibody that triggered allergy symptoms. They also had higher levels of a different antibody (IgG), thought to play a protective role against allergic reactions. Other researchers found evidence that giving probiotics to newborns and mothers-to-be may help prevent childhood allergies.
  • Vitamin D: Insufficient vitamin D levels have been linked to more severe asthma and allergies in children. Vitamin D has also been found to reduce allergic responses to mold.
  • Hot peppers: Hot chili peppers, horseradish, and hot mustards work as natural decongestants. In fact, a nasal spray containing capsaicin (derived from hot peppers) significantly reduced nasal allergy symptoms in a 2009 study.
  • Locally produced honey: Many believe that consuming locally produced honey, which contains pollen spores picked up by the bees from your local plants, can act as a natural “allergy vaccine.” By introducing a small amount of allergen into your system (from eating the honey), your immune system is activated and over time can build up your natural immunity against it. Just be careful to consume honey moderately as it’s high in fructose.

Below are several other foods and herbs you might want to try:

  • Quercetin: Quercetin is an antioxidant that belongs to a class of water-soluble plant substances called flavonoids. Although research is sketchy, many believe quercetin-rich foods (such as apples, berries, red grapes, red onions, capers and black tea) prevent histamine release—so they are “natural antihistamines.” Quercetin is also available in supplement form—a typical dose for hay fever is between 200 and 400 mg per day.
  • Butterbur (Petasites hybridus): Another natural antihistamine, this herb has been used for home remedies for allergies and other health conditions since ancient times, including migraines. In a German study, 40 percent of patients taking butterbur root extract were able to reduce their intake of traditional asthma medications. A British study found butterbur as effective as the drug Zyrtec.

    A word of caution is needed, however. Butterbur is a member of the ragweed family, so if you are allergic to ragweed, marigold, daisy, or chrysanthemum, you should not use butterbur. Also, the RAW herb should not be used because it contains substances called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can be toxic to the liver and kidneys and may cause cancer. Commercial butterbur products have had a lot of these alkaloids removed.
  • Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica):  Another natural antihistamine, stinging nettle has a long history of use for seasonal allergies, without the drowsiness and dry mouth associated with many pharmacological antihistamines. Nettle inhibits your body’s ability to produce histamines. The recommended dose is about 300 mg freeze-dried nettle extract daily.
  • Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): Goldenseal may be helpful for seasonal allergies. Laboratory studies suggest that berberine, the active ingredient in goldenseal, has antibacterial and immune-enhancing properties.
  • Eucalyptus oil: This pure essential oil can be healing to mucus membranes. You can apply a drop on a cotton ball and sniff it several times a day, add a few drops to water (or to a nebulizer, if you own one) for a steam treatment, or use a few drops in your bathwater.

Refer to this University of Maryland article for a more complete discussion of common herbal allergy treatments

Your body reacts to a number of things that promote histamine, but we need to rcognize that histamine is also a signal of dehydration. We should immediately increase our intake of clean, filtered water. Taking an antihistamine is simply telling your immune system to "take a hike...I know what I am doing".  It does not seem like you are in need of more water when it is running out of your nose and down your face, but it is trying to get your attention. It also could be that your diet is too heavily laden with sugar and simple carbs. Eating a diet of fresh vegetables and fruit will definitely help. Remember also that all drugs, such as Claritin, are counterproductive to any vitamins you might be taking to help you get over the allergies.  Lots of natural vitamin C  and D3 is useful, as well.

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