With spring comes the buds of new flowers, the green tips of grass protruding ever so promisingly through the earth and of course for many unfortunate people, the sneezing, itching, watery eyes and runny nose that signifies allergy season.
Allergies are a result of your body’s immune system inability to be balanced appropriately. It could be in response to an allergen that your body does not recognize or is harmful for you, or it could be something a little more serious, like allergies to gluten for Celiac Disease sufferers. In any case, the central theme is your immune system.
Natural remedies for allergies are not a miracle cure – they do not necessarily address symptoms like antihistamines do for the general discomfort of sneezing and sniffling. None of the recommendations mentioned in this post are meant to be a treatment or a cure-all for allergies. These are merely recommendations to take into consideration when addressing an immunity imbalance that could then in the long-term lead to less reactivity to external allergens.
A lot of research is coming out showing the importance of vitamin D3 and immune system function. In fact, it has been shown that there is a huge correlation between Vitamin D3 deficiency and occurrence of atopic allergies (asthma, eczema) in the USA (Frieri M., Valluri A. 2011). Vitamin D3 deficiency has also been linked to food allergies, which left untended, can lead to other chronic illnesses. (Murdock’s Children’s Research Institute, N.D.)
Did you know that 75% of your immune system is contained in your gastrointestinal tract? Yes – millions of different colonies of bacteria, both good and bad, multiply and live in your gut and they, in turn, maintain and moderate your immune system. If your gut flora is out of whack from a bad diet, stress, smoking, drinking, high sugar, high fat, illness or foreign parasites, there is an impact on your immune system. So, allergies are not just the pollen you breathe in. It can (and often does) starts right in your gut.
Probiotics are natural supplements (in capsule or powder) that contain the friendly microflora that live inside your gut. Protect your gut by taking probiotics, and you protect your immune system as well.
Research shows that quercetin, a substance found in the skin of onions, is an extremely potent antioxidant that also helps to reduce inflammation. It does not work for everyone, but it may work for you by reducing the swelling and redness and mucous in the nasal passages, thereby giving relief from the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Allergies can be very irritating in terms of their symptoms. However, it is important to note that often it is just your body’s way of trying to protect you from inhaling or ingesting something that is potentially harmful. It is also your body’s way of saying that something may not be totally in balance, such as your immune system. Natural remedies for allergies can address that imbalance and hopefully send you on a road to health and wellness.
Frieri M., Valluri A. Vitamin D Deficiency as a Risk Factor for Allergic Disorders and Immune Mechanisms. (2011). Allergy Asthma Proc. Nov-Dec 32(6):438-44. Doi: 10.2500/aap.2011.32.3495
Murdock’s Children’s Research Institute. (Mar 4 2013). Low Vitamin D3 Linked to Food Allergies. [Web Log Post]. Retrieved May 25 2013, from http://www.mcri.edu.au/news/2013/march/low-vitamin-d-linked-to-food-allergies/