How To Combat Seasonal Allergies Naturally
Spring is a time of growth, movement, and change. It is also the first chance for many to get outside after winter (and COVID) has kept them indoors. The change in weather provides more opportunity for outdoor activities but also means seasonal allergies for a lot of people. The itching, sniffling, and sneezing that many individuals experience occurs predictably and is often treated with over the counter or prescription medications. The good news is that all natural and effective products are available to help significantly reduce allergy symptoms.
Allergy symptoms are a result of the immune system responding to an allergen with something called IgE or immunoglobulin. This causes the immediate reaction we associate with allergies; itching, swelling, mucous, and so on. The immunoglobulins cause mast cells to release histamine, which triggers an increase in blood flow to the affected area. This causes symptoms such as a stuffy nose. Typical over the counter medications are antihistamines and are meant to block this reaction. However, many still experience symptoms and/or the side effects of the medications. To avoid being stuck inside for another season, let us explore how you can combat seasonal allergies before the symptoms get out of hand.
Various plants and nutrients are known to help reduce the allergy response. One of the best known and commonly used is the antioxidant Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. This is a water-soluble vitamin and antioxidant found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs with bright coloration. Many people are surprised to find out that broccoli and parsley are excellent sources of this nutrient. The antioxidant properties are the key to allergy relief. In theory antioxidants donate an electron to unstable molecules called free radicals or oxidants. The donation of the electron makes the free radical stable and thus less harmful to cells and helps support healthy inflammation levels. When inflammation levels increase in response to an allergen, so does histamine release, and then allergy symptoms arise or are exacerbated. In one study using intravenous Vitamin C, subjects saw a reduction in allergy symptoms after treatment. Some of the advantages to using this for allergies is that Vitamin C is safe for most individuals when taken as directed by their healthcare provider. Additionally, it supports healthy aging, prevents scurvy, and increases dietary iron absorption.
Some botanicals and herbs may not sound as familiar as Vitamin C, but also have research and anecdotal evidence to support the usage for seasonal allergies. A popular and easy to find herb is the stinging nettle, found as a tisane (tea), tincture, or capsule. The plant gets its name from the tiny hairlike projections found on the stem and leaf that cause skin irritation. When consumed properly, in a prepared supplement, it can be safe for most people to use. The sting is eliminated by cooking and supplement preparation so there is no risk of harm when consuming in these forms. Packaged tea bags are often found in markets that stock herbal teas and can be consumed daily to help ward off allergy symptoms. One study examined the results of oral nettle administration to allergy sufferers and found that it could work to decrease the allergic response, decrease inflammation, and act as a decongestant.
Another effective allergy relief compound from plants and herbs is quercetin. This flavonoid is what gives many fruits and vegetables their bright colors. If you have ever heard “eat the rainbow” then you may know that naturally colorful foods contain antioxidants also known as polyphenols and flavonoids. These antioxidants help reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Quercetin has been shown in research to prevent histamine release, reducing the allergic response. Along with reduced histamine, the flavonoid also decreases inflammatory compounds and can help balance the immune system. This means an overactive immune system can be calmed down (think auto-immune diseases).
Vitamin c, nettles, and quercetin are just some of the natural solutions for seasonal allergies. They are easy to source, natural, and safe for most individuals. These and other allergy support products can be found in our online store, https://livinghealthmarket.com/. Additionally, we also offer vitamin IV treatments in office including The Meyer’s Cocktail and high dose vitamin C, which both have been shown to be helpful seasonal allergy treatments. If you have questions about allergies or other health issues you are experiencing, call our office at 410-216-9180 to find out what diagnostic testing or treatment would be appropriate for you.
Call the office to schedule for your consultation for these IV therapies:
- Meyer’s Cocktail IV
- High Dose Vitamin C IV
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Quercetin. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2021, from https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/quercetin
Marglin, E. (2019, July 09). This is your body on seasonal allergies: A look at what happens when pollen invades. Retrieved March 30, 2021, from https://www.jnj.com/health-and-wellness/this-is-your-body-on-seasonal-allergies#:~:text=During%20a%20seasonal%20allergic%20reaction,itchy%2C%20watery%20eyes%20and%20sneezing.
Schapowal, A., & Petasites Study Group (2002). Randomised controlled trial of butterbur and cetirizine for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 324(7330), 144–146. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7330.144
Bakhshaee, M., Mohammad Pour, A. H., Esmaeili, M., Jabbari Azad, F., Alipour Talesh, G., Salehi, M., & Noorollahian Mohajer, M. (2017). Efficacy of Supportive Therapy of Allergic Rhinitis by Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) root extract: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo- Controlled, Clinical Trial. Iranian journal of pharmaceutical research : IJPR, 16(Suppl), 112–118.
Gaby, A. R., MD. (2002). Intravenous Nutrient Therapy: The "Meyer's Cocktail." Alternative Medicine Review, 7(5), 389-403.