So spring has sprung and summer is upon us. In the Northeast, spring arrived with a week of 80 degree weather where we normally would have 50s & 60s. As the trees and flowers were budded in anticipation of the seasonal change, when the temps hit 80 everything took off seemingly overnight. Suddenly spring, with pollen so thick that it coated cars and water bodies with a film of yellow dust. It also awoke the histamine reactions of allergy sufferers.
Allergies are physically perceived threats from internal or external sources that cause the body to release histamines; the substances that cause production of mucous that will envelop the "alien" substance and render it unable to attack tissue linings of lungs, digestive tract, joints and other organ systems. In an allergy scenario these produce an over-reaction which produces too much mucous which in turn inhibits the normal function of these organs. Pollen is certainly one cause of an over production of mucous in some people, as well as ineffective digestion resulting in inflamed and arthritic joints, COPD, asthma, and liver disruption. Today we will look at the function of seasonal allergies and a strategy for herbal and nutritional support to bring them under control.
Respiratory issues are a twofold problem. The first is the obvious imbalance and malfunction of the lining of the respiratory track and lungs. The other is the interactive role that digestive malfunction plays. Your upper respiratory track and your entire digestive track are open to exposure to external bacteria and toxins in air, water and food. There are certain bacterial flora in the physical makeup of the linings of both of these systems that, when healthy, create an environment where these foreign invaders are killed or neutralized from causing damage and disease.
When the nose, throat or bronchial tubes are continually bombarded by external viral or bacterial assault, we have all experienced the congestion and pain of sinusitus, sore throat, and bronchitus that can develop into chest congestion, pneumonia, or asthma at it's worst, interfering with our ability to breathe.
In the digestive track imbalanced or wrong flora can inhibit absorption of nutrients or cause a breakdown in the environment that can result in "tearing" or separation of the single cell wall structure that protects the blood (on the other side of this single cell wall) from absorbing only good nutrients and allowing toxins and bacteria to get in as well. If the nutrients that our bodies need are not received into our circulation and then on to the parts of our bodies that need specific nutrients, our immune system begins to slowly fail. If the "tearing" of the cell layer (called Leaky Gut) begins to allow bacteria or toxins into our circulation, it begins to infect or disable other organ systems in our body.
Being prepared for seasonal allergies ahead of the game and continually working to build the immune system against this histamine reaction requires a twofold approach. Not only do we want to understand what to take when symptoms strike; but we want to understand how to build our immune system so that the body's response changes for the better to these external influences.
For Immediate Relief:
. Cream of Tarter - 1/2 tsp in small amount water and drink. When you are congested and having a histamine reaction, you also have an acidic pH. Drinking Cream of tarter will create an almost immediate temporary alkaline response and help clear congestion within 20 minutes for relief. It WILL NOT cure the problem but will help give temporary relief so you can breathe.
. Vitamin C 2,000 mg per day (spread out over the day), Echinacea 1/2 dropper, N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) - 4x a day - this will give relief from congestion while giving you fairly normal energy and alleviating brain fog while your body recovers
. Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics - 4x a day and before bed (this works well with the step above every 2 hours alternating back and forth) These will support proper digestion during the healing process and support bacterial and viral health during elimination and toxic overload
. Zinc - supplement to support immune function. Zinc losenges will also help alleviate sore throat and get zinc into back of the throat and top of the bronchial tubes to bind with viral proteins and neutralize them
. Geranium aromatherapy oil - great for sore throats - one drop externally over location of soreness will alleviate pain in about 20 minutes
. Four Herb Tea - see recipe below. As therapeutic to drink for flavor and aroma as it is to sooth irritated respiratory tract and help with congestion.
. Epsom salt baths w/ or w/out aromatherapy oils - epsom mineral salts will pull toxins out through the skin. Add any of the following and breathe while you bathe: eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary,
. Sinus rinse - for some this takes a little getting used to (make sure you use salt packets and not straight water) and a neti pot or sinus rinse bottle you can obtain at any local pharmacy. Do NOT force water into congested passages but squeeze or rinse gently to break up congestion and sooth sinuses. Good to do when environment is dry to continually moisten nasal lining so that proper bacterial flora can thrive there and do their work of keeping bad bacteria at bay.
For Long Term Prevention:
The following recommendations need to be done systematically and slowly over time so as not to stress the body any more than it already is. The concept is to feed the body and clean the body, a little at a time, so that the immune system gradually gets stronger and can finally stand on its own. Consistency over time is important and it is important that you begin a protocol with commitment in mind. It may take 6 months to a year to get your immune system back into balance and thus your allergies alleviated. It can be done. I am living proof.
. Support your liver and kidneys with N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) which is a specific enzyme for the liver to function efficiently. Your liver and kidneys are the organs responsible to filter toxins out of your blood stream and into the waste stream for removal. Tincture of Milk Thistle can regenerate damaged liver cells. Bitter teas and nutritive tonics - see recipes below.
. Support the digestive tract and promote good flora by eating an alkaline diet high in low glycemic fruits and veggies and staying away from mucous forming foods like dairy, alcohol, sugars, caffeine and white flour as well as processed foods, food additives like MSG and artificial sweeteners. Promote good enzyme activity by eating raw foods daily, eating fermented foods like organic vinegars, saurkraut, kimchi, fermented vegetables, pickles; or take digestive enzymes with meals (whole food enzymes with protease, lipase, amylase and cellulase) We have had many conversations on alkaline diets, for more information on Alkaline Diets contact Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
. Reduce inflammation with Omega 3 fish oils or cold pressed flaxseed oils, mullein tincture and Tonic tea - see recipe below.
. Support your adrenal system with Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C w/ bioflavinoids at 2000 mg/day (distributed equally across your day) or rose hips tea 3x/day, Vitamin D 2000 mg/day and zinc
. Mild exercise - walking or rebounding
(For all these recipes a part depends on how large a quantity you want to make. If you want to make a small batch, a part can be a tablespoon or an eighth of a cup. When you determine what your part will be, just increase or decrease parts according to their relationship to 1 pt.) Put any leftover in a dry class jar with a lid, label and keep in a dark closet.
Cleaning Formula: 1/2 part Echinacea, 2 pt burdock, 3 pt dandelion, 2 pt cinnamon, 1 pt grated ginger root. 1 tsp steeped 5 min in hot water 1-2 times a day
Nutritive Tonic: 2 pt red clover, 2 pt nettle, 1 pt alfalfa, 3 pt peppermint, 2 pt lemon balm, 1/2 pt parsley. 1 tsp steeped 5 min in hot water 1-2 times a day
Tonic Tea: 2 pt red clover, 1 pt mullein, 2 pt comfrey, 1 pt milky oats, 1 pt peppermint or rose hips for flavor. 1 tsp steeped for 5 min in hot water per day.
Four Flower Tea: Equal parts calendula blossoms, lavender blossoms, chamomile blossoms, elderberry blossoms. 1 tsp steeped for 5 min in hot water as often as you like.
Over 40 years of Herbal and nutritional experience.