Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies & Asthma

 

Brandon Store Co-Manager/HBA & Supplement Buyer

Brandon, D.
Store Co-Manager/HBA & Supplement Buyer

 

Working the aisles of Rebecca’s Natural Food for the past 19 years I experience and watch the havoc wreaked by seasonal allergies every spring through fall. Watching our customers & myself morph into spring time itchy eyed, drippy nosed, tired, headachy, grumpy people seeking relief.  I wasn’t surprised to learn the latest stats on allergy sufferers. 60 million Americans, which equates approximately to 1 in 5 people, suffer from seasonal allergies. Roughly half that number suffer from asthma, according to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). These are some scary numbers.

 

Allergy Remedies:

My current favorite is Aller-Aid with Quercetin by Oregon’s Wild Harvest because it works quickly for me and incorporates four of my favorite supplements for allergies in one supplement: Quercetin, Vitamin C, Freeze-Dried Nettles and NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine).

Aller-Aid

QUERCETIN is a bioflavonoid that gives many fruits and veggies their color, such as broccoli, red apples, berries and onions. Research suggests that Quercetin inhibits the production of histamines in the body without making you jumpy or sleepy. It attaches to the mast cells in the body and inhibits inflammatory enzymes. Vitamin C, which also modulates histamine levels, helps improve the effectiveness of Quercetin.

N-ACETYL CYSTEINE (NAC) is a natural amino acid derivative of L-Cysteine and helps break down mucous. It also boosts the levels of the antioxidant glutathione to help stabilize cell and liver function and help with the detoxification that often occurs in an auto-immune response (like allergies). (N-acetyl cysteine increases the effects of the nitroglycerin, so don’t use if on this medication.).

Freeze-Dried Nettle Herb is the 4th ingredient and has been used for centuries for sinus conditions. Freeze-dried Nettle is the form used in a well-respected study conducted by the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Freeze-Drying herbs helps keep the active potency in an herb when done soon after the time of harvesting and seems to be particularly important for maintaining the healing properties of nettles. Nettles absorb minerals and metals easily while growing and since the earth is full of lead, certified Organic is insurance against nettles full of heavy metals. I always prefer a whole herb supplement because of all the properties a plant has in its complete form that we just haven’t thought to study. (Added standardized herb to a whole herb is nice too if research indicates benefit.) Oregon’s Wild Harvest is a company who cares. They are Non-GMO, Herb Identity Guaranteed, 100% Vegetarian, FREE of excipients, dairy, wheat, gluten, peanuts, & soy, USA made and in a BPA-FREE, PET plastic bottle.

I also recommend the herb Butterbur for hay fever especially if suffering from allergy related or migraine headaches. NYU cites a double-blind study where 330 people were given either butterbur extract (one tablet three times daily), the antihistamine fexofenadine (Allegra), or placebo. The results showed that butterbur and fexofenadine were equally effective. Make sure to use a PA free Butterbur like Petadolex or one that lists it is PA free on the label.

Turmeric is a great anti-inflamatory herb and supports the respiratory system and helps keep the sinuses, eyes and lungs moist. I take this daily for anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant support and increase it during allergy season. I up my Fish oil supplement too when my allergies are at their worst for the anti-inflammatory benefits it provides. Remember allergies are an inflammatory response!

 

Similasan Allergy Eye Relief Drops help the itchy, weepy, un-sexy allergy eyes within moments. The following foods are all high in histamine: canned items, fermented foods, nuts and (gasp) chocolate so you may choose to reduce your intake of these if experiencing particularly troublesome allergy symptoms. Also, it’s not all in your allergy fogged brain, increased histamine increase gastric juices, which increases appetite and fatigue. No wonder we feel tired and hungry!

 

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I often will start with Source Naturals Activated Quercetin in early March to prevent my allergies from blooming into their worst. It has Quercetin, Vitamin C, Magnesium and Bromelain, from pineapple, to help the body absorb the Quercetin. Highland Labs’ Liquid Quercetin Nettle + C is a great option for children or those who have trouble swallowing pills. Source Naturals also makes homeopathic Allercetin chewable tablets, which helps to block histamines and relieve allergy symptoms quickly. BioAllers Pollen Hayfever or KingBio Southern US Allergy Spray are liquid homeopathics with no known side effects or drug interactions so can be used by most people safely, even in addition to other allergy remedies.

 

 

sourcenaturals

 

Asthma:

 

Although I only experience asthma from cat dander, I remember clearly many childhood ER visits for my younger brother’s asthma and the extreme discomfort my grandmother experienced from asthma and COPD in the last few decades of her 97 year old life. An asthmatic can include Quercetin and Vitamin C into their daily regimen. A new study published in Panminerva Medica, showed that 100mg of Pycnogenol over 6 months helped allergic asthma sufferers to lower their daily use of inhalation corticosteroids by 55% & reduce their asthmatic night awakenings by half! Cordyceps mushrooms have been studied for its ability to reduces inflammation in the smooth muscle cells that contract in asthma attacks and how it supports the body’s oxygen uptake.

 

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Ridgecrest’s AsthmaClear combines homeopathics and Traditional Chinese herbs along with perilla fruit in a capsule. It can be used for shortness of breath, tightness of chest and bronchial wheezing. It is safe for daily use. Homeopathy is thought to work by challenging the body to provoke a natural healing response and this remedy contains several highly diluted potential allergens to help the body better respond to dry, wheezy respiratory asthmatic conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses the underlying problem rather than just the symptoms. In this formula, Cinnamon, Ginger and Perilla are included to support respiratory function. Another Ridgecrest formula, ClearLungs helps with wet congestion and phlegm.

Hope these suggestions help you to breathe easier and see the Spring time beauty rather than dread the outdoors!