It has been shown that seasonal allergies are a result of increased inflammation in the body, stemming from a weakened immune system. Ninety percent of your immune system’s defenses originate in the intestine, so maintaining a healthy GI tract ultimately plays an important role in reducing the effects of allergens. One way to achieve this is to avoid medications such as antacids, NSAIDS and antibiotics, because they can weaken the intestinal wall’s protective barrier.
If you’re looking for holistic alternatives to a daily antihistamine, following are some tips that are commonly recommended by holistic experts:
- Eliminate dairy, gluten, baked flour products, packaged juices and sugar. Reduce your exposure to known food and environmental triggers as much as possible.
- Stinging Nettle: Take 3-6 capsules daily. This is a safe, natural antihistamine that does not make you drowsy and reduces seasonal allergies very effectively. The nettles have to be freeze-dried in capsules and can be found in local health food stores.
- Quercetin: Take 500 mg daily. Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory nutritional supplement that helps with gut repair and reduces the reactivity of mucus membranes. Do not use in pregnancy as there is conflicting safety data.
- Zinc: Take an age-appropriate dose one time daily, 5-10 mg/day for children 4-7 years, 10-20 mg/day for children age 8-12 and 25-40 mg/day for older children and adults.
- Vitamin C (in the form of buffered Ascorbic Acid, which does not irritate the stomach): Take up to 2,000 mg daily. This is an excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. During pregnancy, check your prenatal vitamin to see how much Vitamin C is included to make sure your total daily dose does not exceed 2,000 mg.
- Body work such as chiropractic care and acupuncture can help relieve pressure on sinuses and improve circulation. These modalities also reduce stress, thereby decreasing inflammation. And they make you feel good, too!
Hopefully, the above recommendations will help you enjoy yourself more during allergy season! Feel free to make an appointment with Northwell Health Physician Partners Midwifery at Harrison for expert holistic care for treating common ailments.
Additional Sources: Aviva Romm, MD, www.avivaromm.com