A Holistic Treatment Plan for Seasonal Allergies

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know how frustrating the symptoms can be. Dealing with running, itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing can make life very uncomfortable and unfortunately, prescription allergy medications can leave you feeling groggy and tired. There are ways, however, to treat allergies holistically. The results are not immediately effective, however, when the treatments are done faithfully, the result is permanent relief from seasonal allergies and better health overall.

PREVENTATIVE PROGRAM

It is best to start this part of the treatment when you are having the least amount symptoms, well before the onset of an acute allergic reaction. Continue the below program for 6 months to a year.

Support the Liver with Diet & Herbs
Allergies occur when the liver over reacts to foreign protein bodies in the environment, including things like plant pollens, dust, animal hairs, chemicals, foods, and cosmetics. Usually, this hypersensitivity to environmental factors is caused by a weakness or breakdown somewhere in our internal system.

If cellular wastes are not being efficiently broken down or eliminated, they build up and begin to weaken internal tissues and organs. This excess protein build up in the blood triggers white blood cell activity, which activates other defense systems in the body. This creates a state of chronic low level agitation in the body that makes it hypersensitive to foreign proteins, also known as antigens.

When an antigen enters the blood stream, the body produces antibodies to “protect” itself. This reaction causes the production of histamine, which is toxic to membranes. This substance causes blood vessels to dilate and makes them more permeable. Histamine is responsible for causing allergy symptoms, like swelling of the mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, and lungs, and the contraction of air passages that results in wheezing and edema.

The liver is responsible for deactivating poisonous substances in the body, even those that the body itself creates. When the liver is healthy, it is able to produce an enzyme, histaminases, which is a natural antihistamine. However, when the liver is stressed, it can not produce enough histaminases to eliminate the histamine the body produced and allergy symptoms continue. Thus, a healthy liver is crucial to being able to eliminate allergies.
Because the liver plays such an important role in the allergic process, the first step to treating hay fever and getting rid of allergies is cleansing and toning the liver.

Diet

Most liver imbalances can be classified as deficiencies or excesses. A person who suffers from hay fever tends to be liver deficient.

In this case, the liver function is slow and weak. Cellular wastes are not properly eliminated, and the body is polluted with its own toxic metabolic wastes (as described above). A liver deficiency results in poor use of ingested nutrients and inefficient uptake of the proteins and cholesterol the body needs to regenerate cells. Diet is crucial to helping to improve the health of the liver and establish balance in the body.

Deficient livers are often caused by a diet that includes too many simple carbohydrates and not enough quality protein and fats. Usually, too much emphasis has been put on raw, or cold “yin” type foods; dairy, fruits, and carbs. So in general, a corrective diet for a liver deficient person should include more high quality proteins, fats & oils, and warming foods, as well as:

  • dark leafy greens
  • fresh sprouts – especially clover, fenugreek & alfalfa
  • fresh, steamed vegetables – especially beets and other root veggies
  • whole grains
  • seeds – especially sesame
  • raw almonds
  • fresh, alkalizing fruits, like lemon & grapefrui

Foods to Avoid 

  • alcohol
  • cold drinks and foods
  • fried, fatty, oily foods
  • dairy
  • food preservatives and additives
  • sweets, sugar, and fruit juices
  • raw fruits and vegetables

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Natural Relief from Spring Allergies 

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, April showers and May flowers can bring you a lot of discomfort. And you aren’t alone. Hay fever (an allergy to mold or pollen) affects 30 to 60 million people nationwide each year. Springtime is especially rough for sufferers since trees are beginning  to produce pollen. Additionally, all those spring showers, especially accompanied by warmer temperatures, encourage mold growth. Spring breezes worsen the problem further by carrying these allergens far and wide.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology there are 11 types of trees that trigger spring hay fever. They are: oak, sycamore, maple, elm, birch, ash, western red cedar, walnut, hickory, poplar, and cypress. These trees start to produce pollen as spring arrives, around the same time every year. Once their pollen is airborne, those who are allergic to it will experience sneezing, congestion, along with  itchy eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Rainy and cloudy days, or days when there is no wind to carry the pollen will allow some relief from these symptoms. However, warm, dry or windy days will aggravate symptoms because there will be higher levels of airborne pollen.

Mold spores are very similar. Molds, like yeast and mildew, release spores (seeds) that can be carried in the wind, much like pollen. Spores, however, can be found both outdoors and indoors. Some outdoor molds are Alternaria, Cladosporium, and Hormodendrun. Indoor molds include Aspergillus and Penicillium. These molds can cause common allergy symptoms, such as congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.

If you experience springtime allergies, you’re probably wondering what you can do to eliminate or at least lessen your symptoms. While there are many prescription and over the counter allergy medications, there are also many natural options you can try instead of medication.

Using a saline nose rinse can help alleviate allergy symptoms by flushing out irritating particles that can become stuck in your nasal passages and cause itching and inflammation. You can buy saline solution at the drugstore or you can make your own rinse at home. Just add a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda to a pint of warm, distilled water. Then bend over a sink and sniff some of the solution through each nostril and let it drain out through your nose or mouth. You can do this once or twice a day.

Taking a hot shower may help during a coughing/sneezing allergy attack because it helps to open up the sinuses, which allows you to breathe easier. Additionally, it will rinse off any irritating allergens that may have stuck in your hair. Rinsing itchy, red eyes with clean, cool water can also help to alleviate symptoms.

Hot herbal tea can also provide allergy sufferers with relief. The hot liquid and steam helps open up nasal passages. Additionally, many herbs have medicinal properties that can help alleviate allergy symptoms.  Natural or health food stores usually carry tea bags that contain blends of medicinal herbs. Traditional medicinals teas, for example, have blends specially prepared to help treat and nourish various body systems or ailments. Their blends  Gypsy Cold care,  Herba Tussin, Organic throat coat, and Breathe Easy are ideal in helping battle allergy or cold symptoms.

Natural food and health food stores often also carry herbs in bulk if you want to mix your own tea blends.The following are just a few herbs herbs that can help with allergy symptoms. Look for these herbs in your pre-blended tea bags to identify teas that will help with your allergy symptoms  or mix and match them in a variety of your own tea blends to see what tastes and works best for you.

  • Peppermint: helps relieve nasal and sinus congestion; has antiseptic properties; an anti-inflammatory 
  • Mullein: a natural expectorant, helps clear the airways of mucus
  • Licorice: helps relieve pain and inflammation of mucus membranes; helpful for sore throat
  • Elderberry: a natural expectorant and detoxifier
  • Marshmallow: often used to treat respiratory disorders and inflammation; a natural expectorant
  • St. John’s wort: used to treat bronchial problems; a natural expectorant and antiseptic
  • Wild cherry bark: used to treat respiratory disorders, soothes cough; natural expectorant

Adding honey to your herbal tea may be a great way to boost its effectiveness in fighting allergy symptoms. Consuming local, non-pasteurized honey is thought to help reduce your initial reaction to pollen. When bees make honey, they transfer some of the pollen they collect from local plants into their honey. So, when you consume honey made by local bees, using pollen from local plants, its like you’re getting a series of mini allergy shots and specifically targeting the pollens in your area. Eating this honey will help you slowly build a tolerance to allergens and thus, can eventually decrease the severity of your allergic reaction to pollens. Honey also has anti-inflammatory properties and thus, can help relieve allergies in the short term as well.

Wasabi and horseradish can also help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever. This is because they contain allyl isothiocyanate, which promotes mucus flow. Try putting a generous amount of horseradish on your sandwich or wasabi on your sushi to help with allergy symptoms.

 Allergies can certainly make life miserable for those who can’t kick the symptoms. But, living with allergies doesn’t have to be terrible. It is possible to get your symptoms under control and to enjoy everything life has to offer, without all that snuffling and sneezing.


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