Herbs / Vitamins / Drugs / Supplements

Seasonal Allergy Relief

I thought I'd share with you a natural approach to seasonal allergy control. A treatment plan that doesn't make you drowsy and doesn't have adverse side effects.

If you have seasonal allergies, it essentially means that you have been sensitized to the plants that grow in your local area. When they bloom, you react to their pollen by releasing histamine from the mast cells in your tissues. The mast cell breaks open, flooding your system with histamine which causes the typical symptoms of itchy eyes and running nose.

Each area in the US is designated as a particular "zone." Here in Southern California, we live in Zone 9. My sister, in Atlanta, Georgia, lives in Zone 2. Each Zone has its own indigenous trees, grasses and weeds that cause problems.

If you are familiar with the medical approach, you may have heard of "allergy shots." These are injections of allergens to keep you in a constant reactive state and minimize the chance that you will have a massive, life threatening reaction. The allergens in the injection react with your mast cells, triggering a "controlled" release of histamine. The theory sounds good, but oftentimes the results are not.

The shots have side effects. Often, you end up in an on-going inflammatory state, and you also become increasingly allergic to the allergens that are being injected into your blood stream. Eventually, the shots lose their effectiveness entirely, and you are left with a higher risk of an anaphylactic reaction -- particularly if you stop them. The inflammation can cause joint pain, fatigue, fibromyalgia, asthma and a myriad of symptoms not ordinarily associated with the runny nose and itchy eyes of an acute allergic response. The response is still there; just its nature has been changed. Instead of a superficial irritation, your internal organs and tissues are now involved.

There is a two-pronged natural approach to acute seasonal allergies that is very effective. The first product is Allergena, Zone 9. (If you live in Georgia, it would be Zone 2. We can special order the appropriate Zone for you.) Allergena is a homeopathic formulation of the trees, grasses and weeds indigenous to the area in which you live. You use them to desensitize yourself, just as you would with allergy shots, but with no side effects. You begin at the level of 1 to 2 drops per day, increasing your dose to 7 drops morning and evening. Ideally, you start this protocol as winter ends. The further into the season you begin Allergena, the more carefully you have to dose it to avoid triggering the very reaction you are seeking to avoid. You take Allergena from the end of winter through the summer months, when everything is blooming. If your allergies are not too severe, you may be able to stop Allergena in early summer.

The second natural line of defense is D-Hist. This is an amazing product. It deals with the histaminic reaction and the acute response triggered by pollen. It contains quercetin, bromelain (a proteolytic enzyme to break up the congestion) and nettle leaf for the runny nose.

One of my patients puts it this way, "One of the things I like about D-hist is that symptoms don't come back 4 times worse like they do when taking over the counter antihistamines - or even prescription antihistamines . It's much gentler and, to me, easier on the body, than say, Benadryl."

If you have a severe reaction, you need to take a LOT of D-Hist -- 12 to 16 in a day is not uncommon. More commonly, 2 to 3 capsules per day is sufficient. The advantage to taking Allergena early and continuing it, is that you can use less D-Hist, resorting to it only when you have an acute attack. The good news is that D-Hist causes absolutely no drowsiness. It simply relieves the irritation and allows you to continue to function normally.

A WORD OF CAUTION: If you have very severe asthma that is triggered by pollen, this simple approach is not for you. In fact, it could be life threatening if you attempted it. You need a program that supports both your lung function and your adrenal function. You should make an appointment to have your adrenal function evaluated and have a personalized protocol developed.

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