continued - see Part 1 above
If we want to feel our very best during pollen season, it's important to "clean-up" our environment. Work to create a natural, healthy home, car and workspace environment. Strive for a chemical and additive-free, fresh diet that is rich in nutrients. Reducing the number of allergenic and toxic irritants to our body frees our immune system to more effectively cope with pollens as we progress into a more tolerant health status.
Toss out the artificially-fragranced room deodorizers, car fresheners, laundry products, shampoos, soaps and cleaning products. Whenever possible, avoid unnecessary medications and seek natural medicinal solutions that will harmonize with your body's healing process. Many pharmaceuticals inhibit natural healing actions and can result in tissue accumulations of undesirable substances. If indoor air pollution issues exist, such as pollution particulates from outside, pet dander, dust etc, - you may wish to purchase a quality hepa air cleaner for your space. If you suffer from pet allergies, hay fever season may inspire you to find allergy reduction strategies around pets, including making sure they are kept away from your bedroom at all times.
If you choose to add fragrances to your world, use healthy, organic essential oil products that are solvent and pesticide free, and be aware that even some plant concentrates can cause allergies.
4. Nutritional and Herbal Supplements for a More Healthful Allergy Season
Some of the herbal and nutrient supports that you may consider using to help raise your allergy threshold include buffered vitamin C, MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane), grape seed extract, an immune boosting herbal blend, and a high potency multivitamin/mineral.
Buffered Vitamin C, such as Dr. Ron's Ultra-Pure Buffered Vitamin C sold in the Whole Approach store, contains ascorbic acid and buffering, alkalizing minerals. The minerals help the body assimilate the ascorbic acid (vitamin C) while neutralizing its acidity. A good quality buffered vitamin C will contain ascorbate mineral(s) in addition to the ascorbic acid. Lower quality supplements will have a cheap alkalizer such as calcium carbonate, which can have negative consequences.
Vitamin C is well suited to an anti-allergy program. It has antihistamine activity and has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms. Two grams a day has been shown to improve bronchial tolerance to histamine as well as lowering blood levels of histamines. It was also proven to reduce histamine release and increase the detoxification of histamine. Histamine release by the body is the trigger for most of our allergic discomfort.
MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) is a naturally occurring compound related to DMSO, a well known anti inflammatory. It is thought that MSM may be the active ingredient that has given DMSO its reputation for being so effective. MSM is 34% sulfur which is an important mineral for many physiological processes. Easily digestible proteins are good sources of sulfur and so are many vegetables grown on well-balanced, organically cultivated soil.
Times of illness, healing or detoxification increase the body's need for sulfur and supplementation is helpful for many therapeutic applications. The most common uses include inflammation reduction and support for skin, hair, nails, mucous membrane support (including allergies) and detoxification.
MSM has become an enormously popular supplement and has caught the attention and interest of some nutrition researchers, leading to a couple of very promising pilot studies. These studies have shown a significant benefit to people suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis as well as osteoarthritis. As with most nutritional supplements, those choosing to use MSM on a long term basis should take a break either one day a week or one week every six to eight weeks. This may assuage any concerns, while also allowing for a deeper integration of the product as a result of cyclic use. The use of this product for a few months during allergy season would not be of concern and may provide some significant relief from symptoms.
Grape Seed Extract is a powerful antioxidant that provides many strengthening benefits to support the body during allergy season. It is particularly helpful against illness or allergy induced free radical damage, as it improves the exchange of gases in the respiratory system and throughout the body. Grape seed extract has been the subject of a number of very exciting university studies verifying several very useful, specific therapeutic actions. Grape seed extract has been shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease (by reducing low density lipoproteins (LDL's) from oxidation that is associated with heart disease), reduce the risk of heart attack, reduce oxidative stress (associated with various forms of cancer), reduce post operative swelling, inhibit cancer cells and strengthen capillary walls. It's also been shown to "generally support tissues containing collagen and elastin", (proteins found in blood vessels, skin, muscle and cartilage.)
Dr. Ron's Ultra Pure Quercetin Bromelain Quercetin is a potent antioxidant and free radical fighter richly supplied in blueberries, red onions and certain other vegetables and fruits. It is also a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory agent. Bromelain, derived from the pineapple plant, is another potent natural anti-inflammatory.
Doc's Best Multi Vitamin/Mineral When our bodies are well nourished, our immune and nervous system function at their best to increase resiliency to stresses like allergies. Our skin, bones and cardiovascular system benefit as well. Doc's Best high potency, full spectrum multi formula is an excellent example for overall nutritional balancing health support.
St Francis Herb Farm Astragalus Combo/Deep Immune This formula supports the immune system with several herbs that each boasts many centuries of traditional use in Eastern (and Western) herbal medicine. Detailed product information is available in the Whole Approach online store describing the remarkable qualities of each of the herbs in the formula. This formula is recognized as an anti-viral and anti-allergic remedy that enhances the immune system, and may help overcome frequent or chronic infections. It can help to keep up the white blood cell count during chemotherapy and it is also useful for the liver, acting as a liver restorative and protective.
5. Homeopathic Desensitization
Homeopathic medicine involves treating symptoms with a dilution of an irritant which, when undiluted, causes the very symptoms present in the patient. In the case of seasonal allergies, the appropriate remedy consists of the actual allergenic plants combined with other plants that cause hay fever-like symptoms, such as allium cepa (onion) - which causes burning, watery eyes. Most homeopathic hay fever and pollen formulas also contain histamine, which is the substance our bodies release in response to an allergen. It is the histamine that causes most symptoms of hay fever.
Homeopathic support for allergies is best begun well before exposure. Taking the homeopathic remedy for about two weeks before the pollens will be in the air can reduce our response to the pollens by preparing our body with a "teaching exposure." When we are exposed, our body has already either become desensitized to it, or prepared the necessary immune defenses to cope with it.
Homeopathic medicine is very safe. It is produced using a process called "dilution and succussion." All of the original material is eventually diluted until what remains is merely an imprint of the magnetic vibration of the substance. In fact, homeopathic remedies do not contain any of the original substance they are sourced from. For this reason, no overdose, contraindications or allergic reactions are possible. The remedies come in liquid or in pellets.
The pellets are typically made from sugar, which could be a concern for some. However, they are tiny and the dosage only requires the consumption of one to three pellets for full benefit. For those with candida, the benefit in this case, most likely outweighs the challenge of the sugar. The intensity of homeopathic treatment is increased by taking more doses not by taking more pellets or drops.
Each remedy is made to a particular potency. The higher the number, the stronger the effect. Self prescribed remedies that are bought "over the counter" at a pharmacy or a health food store are typically low to moderate doses of 12ch to 30ch. Homeopathic doctors work with these as well as higher doses.
Look for a formula containing local pollens, and histamine and possibly thymus. If symptoms cannot be controlled by all six methods included here, a couple of complementary supports include the Thorne homeopathic (quercetin) nasal spray and the Similsan homeopathic allergy eye drops.
During healing or detoxification (such as the need to detoxify histamine), adequate water is essential for health. Immune function will also be much more efficient if body fluids are optimum. A general rule is to drink an amount of water (in ounces), equal to half of our weight (in pounds) each day. If you consume any diuretic teas or coffee or sodas, be sure to replace with an equal amount of water.
For Improved Health -
If your hay fever worsens along with your candida issues and/or worsens as you start to experience die off, try not to panic. As explained above, candida overgrowth significantly worsens our sensitivity to hay fever.
As you progress through recovery from candida-related illness, your overall health will improve. You will likely find your seasonal allergies greatly reduced. They may even disappear! If you have a severe propensity, you might need some support in subsequent seasons. As you get stronger and more experienced with the applications of these strategies, you will likely feel better with less than you've needed this season.
Understanding the relationship between candida, the consumption of certain foods and seasonal allergies is an important step on the path to feeling better. Learning to utilize some of the above tools and strategies at the right time of the year can help minimize our suffering. If we build on these skills and habits, we strengthen the "terrain" of our bodies and thus decrease our vulnerability to allergens. Along with an understanding of the underlying characteristics and a careful process of self-observation food therapy, anti-allergy supplements and homeopathy can all combine to help us look forward to the joy of the changing seasons!