By Jessica Budgell, BSc, RNCP
The cherry blossoms are out early this year!
That means something else has also arrived early – Spring. With it comes budding new growth, extended evenings of sunshine, a bit more rain, and… air born allergies.
For those who suffer with seasonal allergies, they know (and loathe) the discomfort of feeling like a nagging head cold is weighing them down in the spring of every year.
Watering eyes, runny nose, sneezing, sinus congestion, headaches, itchy eyes, ears and throat can easily hamper one’s excitement about winter coming to a close!
Pollens from trees, grasses, flowers and weeds cause an allergic response in 20% of people. Discomfort, sometimes severe, can last for weeks and potentially months every year – or as long as the pollens are dancing in the wind.
If you or someone you know of is having this reaction, their body’s defence mechanism views these pollens as an infectious agent – an invader – and proceeds with the protocol for protecting the body and trying to get rid of it. Although it may seem cruel, signs of seasonal hay fever are actually your body’s way of trying to protect you – chemicals such as histamines are released to make an inhospitable environment for the “invader” and push it out of the system.
Commonly, anti-histamines are taken to help with symptomatic relief. While these will help reduce the symptoms, they can also have some unfortunate side effects:
• Dry mouth
• Decreased reaction time
• Difficulty urinating
• And can interact with other prescription pharmaceuticals.
At Northshore Naturopathic Clinic, we offer an alternative to antihistamines –supplements options to help you during this time.
It is definitely recommended that you also support your immune system if you struggle with seasonal allergies. Consume a whole-food diet that is rich in a wide variety of vegetables, alkaline forming foods, and ensure that your protein requirements are being met.
If you are having digestive upset (ex: gas, bloating) or having irregular or poorly formed bowel movements, it is recommended that you address this by seeing one of our naturopathic doctors or nutritional practitioners. 70% of your immune system lives in the gut – allergies of all kinds and gut health are intimately related.
Yours in health and happiness,
Jessica Budgell, Nutritional Practitioner
Pascallerg (tablets) – this homeopathic remedy is clinically proven to be effective for not only seasonal allergies but also for the prevention and reduction of food allergies as well. It is recommended to take this remedy preventatively – before the onset of symptoms – upwards to three times a day. In situations where symptoms are acute, you can take up to 12 tablets a day and if your symptoms include sinus congestion and inflammation, you can also consider taking Sinupas to help alleviate this discomfort. (Sinupas is also available at our clinic).
Quercenase by Thorne Research and Quercetin by Organika – both of these products contain bromelain in addition to the quercetin. Quercetin is a flavonoid found in many fresh fruits and vegetables which has natural antihistamine properties. It also acts as an antioxidant and supports the immune and nervous systems. These products are not recommended for acute symptom relief but rather work best preventatively. Begin taking either Quercenase or Quercetin about 1 month before the onset of the season allergies, as directed on the bottle or up to 1 capsule, 3 times daily. This reduces the overall burden of reoccurring seasonal allergies.