Spring has arrived, and seasonal allergies are here too! When your body comes across an allergy trigger your immune system launches a chain reaction to defend you. The first part of this chain is to signal your cells to release histamine. Histamines then boost blood flow to the area of your body the allergen affected causing inflammation and allergy symptoms, from here your immune system steps in to do the repair work.
Building strong resilience to allergies means caring for the body as a whole by eating healthy, exercising and managing stress. It is crucial to pay attention the immune system.
Conventional allergy medication can offer relief, but natural supplementation can both provide relief from symptoms and support the whole body without side effects. Here are our top recommendations for allergy relief this Spring:
Vitamin C works by blocking the production of histamine, which is responsible for causing allergy symptoms, while typical over-the-counter medication works by interfering with the histamine after it is produced. Vitamin C’s immune-enhancing effects also make it essential for preventing allergies. To maximize effectiveness vitamin C can be taken with bioflavonoids – the natural pigments found in fruits & vegetables.
Probiotics, the healthy bacteria in our gut, have been shown in studies to help regulate the body’s immune response to allergies. The strains that have been shown to be effective are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Not only do probiotics improve immune function, but they also manage histamine response.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and flax oil are known for their brain and heart protecting benefits. Asthma and allergies are inflammatory conditions, the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 help to reduce these symptoms. Studies show a causal relationship between a decreased intake of fish oil in modern societies with an increasing number of people with asthma and allergies.
Quercetin is one of the best natural antihistamines out there. Quercetin reduces inflammation of the airways on contact. Like Benadryl but without the drowsiness quercetin inhibits the process of histamine release reducing mucous, itchiness and swelling.
Stinging Nettle has been shown in studies to reduce inflammation and block histamine. The dried herb can be made into a tea by steeping for 5-10 minutes in hot water daily.