Written by Dr. Laura Jones
It’s that time again! The grass is getting green, the leaves are starting to appear, and allergy season is here. We are already hearing patients report sniffle-y noses, sore throats, watery eyes and tickling coughs. A Naturopathic approach to allergies is multi-faceted and uses many tools from our holistic tool box.
One thing that must be considered for allergy sufferers is the role that nutrition plays in triggering the inflammation associated with troublesome allergy symptoms. In particular, sugar, dairy and gluten can be trigger foods, causing the immune system to be chronically on high alert. An immune system that is on high alert often is more likely to be over reactive to our environment and mount inflammatory responses to pollens, dusts, molds and dander which can result in allergy symptoms. Cleaning up the diet and reducing inflammatory foods can result in some improvement in allergy symptoms. In addition, replacing some of these inflammatory foods with anti-inflammatory foods can provide even further benefit for allergy sufferers. Anti-inflammatory foods like fish, rich in omega-3s are a powerful addition to the diet of hay fever victims. Dishes made with turmeric, ginger, onions and garlic can be particularly anti-inflammatory as well. Berries and dark leafy greens, rich in anti-oxidants, can also increase the value of nutrition when it comes to symptom relief by giving the body more of the phytonutrients required for good health.
In addition to nutritional changes, a Naturopathic plan for allergy sufferers often includes a supplement or two. EPA, an omega-3 found in fish oil, is known for decreasing allergy symptoms. A probiotic, supportive to gut health and the immune system may also provide benefit. And lastly, anti-histamine supplements or herbs can be combined in a natural allergy formulation. Nettles, bromelain and quercetin are commonly used together for their anti-histamine action. And essential oil of lavender, peppermint and lemon combined has proven to be helpful both when combined and diffused or taken orally (only clean and pure, third-party tested oils, of course!).
When added to a solid foundation of clean eating, plenty of rest and balanced stressors, our favorite natural supplements for allergies include D-Hist (caps as well as chewables for kids), and Tri-ease caps. Both are available at Whole Health Concord.