Seasonal Allergies

pollen-helps-allergies-phot

Are seasonal allergies keeping you from stopping to smell the flowers, or anything else out doors during the spring time?

Over the counter antihistamine medications have come a long way and can be very helpful when people need them for acute management. But, like most medications they can have unpleasant or dangerous side effects. AND they do not address the core issues behind seasonal allergy.  Nature has remedy and recourse. Let’s examine allergy care the Homestead Healthcare way…

Main Underlying Issues:

Chronic Stress. Chronic internal inflammation. Environmental Pollution.

Chronic stress keeps the body in a continual state of degeneration. When stressed, endocrine functioning is taxed (and can eventually “burn-out”), digestion and assimilation of nutrients is impaired, glucose functioning can become imbalanced, the immune system becomes dis-regulated, natural detoxification is slowed. Not to mention, sleep, mood, focus goes right out the window, which makes it more difficult to get though the day and stress builds. Its an on going cycle. ALL of the ABOVE contribute to chronic pro-inflammatory status.  Many health professionals (including myself) feel that chronic inflammation is the primary instigator of degenerative illness.

Allergies are like the proverbial “canary in the coal mine”. They are an in-your-face (pardon the pun) way to let you know its time to change your lifestyle.
 

Histamine are specialized molecules that are involved in triggering the inflammatory response via immune system response.  They are responsible for the host of allergic rhinitis symptoms:

  • Stuffy, runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Red, itchy, and watery eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Itchy mouth, throat, ears, and face
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Headaches, facial pain or pressure
  • Partial loss of hearing, smell, and taste
  • Fatigue
  • Dark circles under the eyes
Histamine begets inflammation, and inflammation begets histamine. It can be a snow ball effect. The body has natural compounds that help to regulate immune response and the liver is responsible for metabolizing histamines. But, if there are impediments such as liver congestion or ongoing life-stress, then this process can be impaired. Too much histamine can stay active in the body–starting the inflammation process over again….
It is no secret–more people are suffering from allergic rhinitis than ever before. Many, have lived their whole lives without allergies, only to now have them. They want to know why, and so do I!
I cannot substantiate this with good research (yet), but it is my professional opinion that environmental pollution is a huge contributor to seasonal allergies, along with genetically modified plant pollens.  We do know, that thousands of environmental pollutants we are exposed to daily are endocrine disruptors, carcinogenic, AND immune dis regulators.  I cannot help but be highly suspicious….

Homestead Healthcare Solutions:

Deactivate stress response. Down-regulate inflammation. Reinforce health.

I cannot begin to emphasize how important it is to have productive ways of reducing stress. I know, I know. I live a crazy life too. But, it is crucial to being happy, productive, AND HEALTHY!

Keeping stress response under control is going to go a long way in keeping  inflammation down. Those two things help to reinforce good health and well-being. Good nutrition, and healthy habits: sleep,emotional intelligence and hygiene are all basic building blocks to good health.

Nature has provided us an amazing apothecary to help with this.

Foods:

Guess what? Greens leaves and bright colored fruits have vitamins, mineral, bioflavanoids and antioxidants that ALL help with the above issues. (I’m sure you knew that already). Remember “Rainbow” eating.

Don’t forget that CLEAN meats and fats support mental and endocrine functioning….

Herbs:

Go for a walk by a shady river. It will help with stress relief, and you will likely find Stinging Nettles.

Stinging Nettles have been used traditionally as a seasonal allergy remedy. It is a short-acting antihistamine, highly nutritive and promotes detoxification.

Many spring- edibles such as: purple deadnettle, chickweed, cleavers, violets, onions can all help with histamine response, detoxification, and nutritive support. I encourage you to use them in salads and cooking.

Huang Qin (Baical Skullcap) is a very effective antihistamine and immuno-regulator. It is used in TCM, but wildly available here. I definably recommend it to be part of your Homestead Healthcare medicine chest.

Herbal Adaptogens are a classification of herbs that help the body be able to adapt to stressors. Many of them support organic functioning, immuno-regulation, resistance and endurance.  Because we do not have a physical remedy against environmental pollution, I believe that Adaptogentic herbs can help us “adapt” to our environment.  Holy Basil is an adaptogen that could be very helpful with allergic rhinitis.

There are many other herbs that can be tailored to fit your specific allergic patterns.

Other Therapies:

I am a HUGE fan of liver detoxification to help with proper immune functioning, histamine metabolism, inflammation and reactive-load.

Netti Pot with medicinal herbal tea or essential oils.

Quercetin Bioflavanoid

I am a firm believer in not-suffering. If you need over the counter medications to help with acute allergic symptoms, take them with care. I would encourage you to look beyond symptoms to the underlying cause of your allergies. Nature provides remedy, not just symptom control. I know this, because I used to suffer from horrendous environmental allergies. I had years of conventional therapies such as allergy shots with no help. I have always loved spring time, but had to watch it from behind a window in my air-controlled home. Using natural therapies, I changed my sensitivity and immune response.

Now, I stop to smell the flowers every chance I get.

For more information about using natural therapeutics for allergy relief, please consider a consultation with Crystal Honeycutt, clinical herbalist. http://www.balancedliving4u.com

 

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