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Allergies - Hay Fever
As food allergies become more common, so do pollen and chemical allergies. This may be an adaptive reaction to a world intensely saturated with chemicals in the air, water supply, foods and buildings. Allergies indicate that a person's immune system is overreacting to stimuli. Pollen allergy or hay fever is the most common allergy. It has a long season from the release of early pollens in spring up to ragweed allergy in late autumn. It can make life a misery for sufferers sensitive to multiple pollens. Hay fever is marked by changes to the upper air passages and familiar symptoms include coughing and sneezing, sniffling, a runny nose, irritated watery eyes and tiredness from lack of sleep. Unlike with colds and flu that frequently occur in autumn, there is never a fever, malaise, joint pain or chest discomfort with hay fever. This hypersensitive allergic reaction is caused by a release of histamine by the immune system in reaction to the stimulus. There is no conventional treatment for hay fever but symptoms are often managed with topical nasal steroids and antihistamines. To avoid prolonged use of these drugs, it is always desirable to seek additional ways to manage this condition especially in children. In natural healing there is an additional focus on improving digestion as well as acting early in the year to gently build up resistance to local pollen.
Foods & herbs for the home
- Start early in the season to build up resistance to pollens that you will be exposed to. Trace a local honey farm and purchase local honey and local bee pollen, and consume both of these daily (1-2g a day of the bee pollen).
- Organic Nettle Herbal Tea is a well-established tonic for tackling allergic reactions; drink 3 cups daily.
- Dr Richard Schulze’s organic Superfood Plus is an excellent food tonic that is highly absorbable and easy to digest; ask us for a sample.
- Fresh and dried herbs added to foods can give a subtle boost to the immune system. Be free with fresh herbs from your garden and window boxes.
- Breathe & Clear Herbal Tea is a highly refreshing tonic blend that can help to open up the respiratory system.
- In order to avoid stimulation of the allergic pathway, and to help support digestive system health, it may be wise to avoid foods that commonly produce an allergic or intolerance reaction. Wheat is the number one offender with dairy products a close second. While true allergy to a food is rare (nuts and nut products are an exception) there is a high level of food intolerance/sensitivity in general populations. See the page on Allergies – Food for more information.
- Strengthening the digestive system with fresh juice made from seasonal fruits and vegetables can be highly beneficial.
- IntestAble Capsules may be helpful; ask us for a sample.
- Sour and bitter tasting foods in small quantities can also be helpful: apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, plums, rocket and wild berries are examples.
- A surge of histamine can prompt the body to increase stomach acid production. Counter this by taking 1-2 teaspoons of arrowroot or slippery elm powder in a little water several times a day before food.
- Milk thistle has been shown to help seasonal allergies and this popular herb is easy to purchase as a herbal tincture. Try Milk Thistle Seeds as a daily condiment added to your food as well.
- Minimise your exposure to household and bathroom chemicals.
- Take a long term view and accept that allergy control may take a few years to achieve. Support your immune system, particularly the allergic pathway. Read Jill Davies’ book Ginseng and study local herbs on her video herb blog on facebook.
Additional help is available by phoning the free product advice line at Herbs Hands Healing between the hours of 9.00am to 1.00pm. Tel: 01379 608201.
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Learn more about Dr. Richard Schulze’s Superfood Plus and why we believe this is such a wonderful food by following this link on our website, where extensive information is available. Also please visit our Superfood Plus facebook page for articles and current news.
To learn more about natural healing for this and other ailments, visit Dr Schulze's blog.
If you would like to see videos of Jill Davies showing you plants growing in their natural settings and discussing their medicinal attributes then visit us on facebook. You can also explore additional herbs and their traditional uses by linking to Herbs Info & Photo Gallery and Herb Profiles. Useful additional information can also be found at the Herbs Hands Healing information pages on Detox & Cleansing and Natural Healing.