Natural allergy relief is possible for those suffering from seasonal allergies. Before attempting to cure allergies naturally, one must understand why they have seasonal allergies. They also must understand that allergy relief or long-term allergy cure is not provided by taking anti-histamines. Quite the contrary.
Anti-histamines are not the answer for seasonal allergies for numerous reasons, one of which is that anti-histamine side-effects are not pleasant:
- dry eyes
- dry sinuses
- dry mouth
Anti-histamines also do not address the reason why your body is responding so severely to pollen, dander and other environmental stimuli. You ever wonder why some people react severely to pollens and some do not? There is a reason for it and it is answered with one word:
Allergies: Causes and Remedies
The exact causes of allergy symptoms are still being investigated. However, it is known that these are due to immune system pathways that lead to inflammation after an encounter with allergenic proteins in the environment. These proteins are often from plant pollens, animal dander, insect venom, or certain foods.
Biochemistry is what creates the building blocks for stable cell membranes and a balanced immune system. Individuals with unstable cell membranes are more susceptible to seasonal allergies. Why? Histamine is stored within a cell. If a cell membrane is weak or easily broken, histamine spills out into circulation causing the symptoms of seasonal allergies:
- itchy eyes, nose and throat
- watery eyes
- repetitive sneezing
- difficulty breathing or airway restriction
- clear runny discharge from the sinuses
- tickle in the throat due to mucous i.e. post-nasal drip
Cell membranes can be stabilized and strengthened by ascorbic acid and fatty acids called EPA and DHA.
With the proper amounts of ascorbic acid and anti-inflammatory phospholipids, EPA and DHA, cell membranes regain their fluid structure and increase resistance to break.
Let's focus on ascorbic acid first.
The Journal of Nutrition recently published a research article called "Effect of ascorbic acid nutriture on blood histamine and neutrophil chemotaxis in guinea pigs." The key comment in this article worth noting is: "Blood histamine was significantly depressed in the high ascorbate group compared to the adequate and low ascorbate groups." The full article is available for free online.
Summary of this research: Take increased levels of ascorbic acid to prevent histamine release. Remember that histamine release = allergy symptoms.
Now let's address the phospholipids of EPA and DHA. Cell membranes are made up of phospholipids. Some phospholipids are pro-inflammatory and these increase cell membrane destruction, leading to histamine release and allergic symptoms.
If an individual eats high amounts of arachidonic acid, an inflammatory phospholipid, they are more prone to allergies, arthritis, auto-immune conditions and so on. However, if this individual cuts down on eating corn-fed beef and begins to ingest grass-fed beef or wild salmon, their alpha-linolenic acid content in their cell membranes increases. With increased alpha-linolenic acid in cell membranes, inflammation and allergy symptoms significantly decrease.
For many, it is hard to alter dietary habits and it takes time. While it is recommended that an individual cease eating corn-fed beef and switch to grass-fed beef or wild salmon, this can be expensive and also hard to find in some areas. Taking a potent form of alpha-linolenic acid orally has been researched to stabilize cell membranes thereby reducing inflammation and allergy symptoms. Research done by the National Institute of Health in Japan proved this point. An excerpt from their study's results:
"In all cases the concentration of alpha-linolenic acid and docosahexenoic acid (DHA, 22:6 (n-3)) was increased, while linolenic acid (18:2 (n-6)) was slightly and arachidonic acid (20:4 (n-6)) was markedly decreased. Content of histamine in alpha-linolenic acid-treated cells was remarkably lower than that of untreated cells."
The researchers had cells which had high amounts of arachidonic acid in the cell membrane. Then they fed the cells high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid and DHA. They measured the amounts of each after and found that the cell membranes absorbed the alpha-linolenic acid and DHA which lowered the inflammatory arachidonic acid. This led to an overall decrease of histamine.
This means that if people suffering from seasonal allergies take a highly concentrated form of alpha-linolenic acid, histamine will further decrease. Alpha-linolenic acid has to be converted by the body into EPA and DHA. So, greater results and decreased symptoms of seasonal allergies will occur if EPA and DHA are taken directly. Combining ascorbic acid, and EPA and DHA will significantly reduce histamine release. Natural allergy relief can be achieved by many by simply taking ascorbic acid, EPA and DHA.
However, there is a catch.
It takes time for cell membranes to rebuild and stabilize.
For those individuals experiencing severe seasonal allergies, nasal irrigation is paramount. Nasal irrigation bathes the sinuses with filtered water and salt which flushes out the cause of seasonal allergies: pollen.
Neti pots are extremely effective if used morning, afternoon and night. This limits exposure of pollen to the immune system. If the immune system does not receive a trigger, it will not react. So, wash out the sinuses often with a neti pot to remove these potential triggers.
Treatment for Allergic Nasal Irrigation
Some tricks with nasal irrigation:
- Utilize a large enough neti pot. Many neti pots hold only 8 ounces of water. This is not enough to sufficiently rinse both sinuses. Also a smaller neti pot does not provide enough pressure as the water column is smaller. The higher the column of water or the greater the amount of water in a neti pot, the more effective it is in washing out the sinuses.
- Use filtered water. Chlorinated tap water is a major irritant to the nasal mucosa. Filter and slightly warm the water.
- Add about 1 teaspoon or so of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. This softens the water and also creates a similar salinity of the natural sinus mucosa.
- Do it in the shower in the morning if you have a chlorine shower filter. Simply fill the neti pot with the filtered, warm water, add the salt and baking soda and rinse your sinuses in the shower.
- You may also perform the nasal irrigation over a sink or leaning over your bathtub.
For those with severe seasonal allergies, potent plant sterols are very effective at stabilizing the immune system. If the immune system is hyperactive, the tiniest amount of pollen will send the person into a symptomatic fit of sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and misery. However, with a calm immune system, it takes a greater amount of pollen to trigger an immune response.
The best way to take plant sterols using Sterol 117 is to:
- Take a loading dose of Sterol 117 for 7 days. Take 2 capsules on waking and 2 capsules at bedtime. This loads your body of the plant sterols and quickly calms your immune system thereby stopping, or greatly reducing, your seasonal allergies.
- Once your seasonal allergies have calmed completely, reduce the dose to 1 capsules in the AM.
- If you find that you need to increase the dose back up to 2 caps a day or 2 capsules twice a day, do so. The goal, however, is to get down to the lowest dose possible.
- Over time, hopefully, the increased ascorbic acid, EPA and DHA has stabilized the cell membranes which lessens the need of the potent plant sterols.
You will to be able to say something like this: "I began taking Sterol 117 at Dr. Ben's recommendation because my spring allergies have been terrible this year plus I developed asthma symptoms. Not wanting to take drugs because they either wire or tire me, I wanted a natural solution but thus far, none have helped. I began taking two Sterol 117's a day and within a couple of days all of my symptoms were completely gone, including the asthma symptoms. Sterol 117 has been nothing short of a miracle for me!"
Drinking plenty of filtered water throughout the day is also essential. Histamine levels are more concentrated in people who drink less water. The more concentrated histamine is, the more severe the seasonal allergies will be. Carry filtered water with you all day and drink at least 10 cups a day.
Soon, you can be the person who does not suffer from seasonal allergies. You will have stabilized your cell membranes, washed out your sinuses, calmed your immune system, increased your water intake, and chucked your anti-histamines into the trash can.
So when you see your co-worker miserable with seasonal allergies scrambling through their desk looking for their anti-histamine, tell them how you conquered your seasonal allergies. They'll love you for it. Do it for your boss and who knows what may happen.