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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Improving Indoor Air Quality with Houseplants

 Did you know that many of the synthetic building materials used in building and furnishing newer buildings are known to emit toxic compounds, including formaldehyde?

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most indoor air pollution comes from sources that are inside of the building. These chemicals, called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can cause acute reactions at low to moderate levels of exposure and serious health issues in people who are exposed to high levels.  VOCs are most commonly released from things like adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, man-made wood products, copy machines, cleaning products, and pesticides. This problem is compounded by the fact that most newer buildings are constructed to be as airtight as possible to conserve energy used on heating and cooling the building. Thus, pollutants are trapped inside and have little opportunity to dissipate outside.

This is certainly not a good thing, especially considering the average American is spending a lot of time indoors between the office and their home. However, with the simple addition of some common house plants to your living/work space, you can breathe a little easier. A two-year study conducted by NASA found that plants improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. And some plants actually filter pollutants from the air. Several of the plants they studied were even found to absorb some of most common indoor air pollutants — such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene — which are often released by the synthetic materials used in buildings and by chemicals found in household cleaners and solvents.

NASA conducted these air quality studies to find a way to ensure pure air for those living in a space station long-term. They found that in a closed environment, there are certain species of plants that absorb polluted air, filter it, and release clean air back into the atmosphere.  Fortunately, many of these plants are easily found, as they are common houseplants, and most of them require little care. This makes the addition of such plants a plausible clean air solution for everyone, even those who don’t have a “green thumb.”

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