Managing allergies without drugs
Although it is now officially Summer, many of us are still suffering from allergies. With the VERY rainy Spring this year, all the plants are growing extremely well and giving off a lot of pollen. It can be incredibly uncomfortable when suffering from allergies symptoms such as stuffy, runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, coughing, headache, etc.
There are several easy things you can do to decrease your allergies.
- Increase your water intake. Aim for at least eight glasses a day.
- Decrease or fully cut out your sugar intake. Sugar increases inflammation. I think decreasing sugar is difficult for most people to do, but if you can go a couple weeks without junk food and simple sugars you will find that your craving for it decreases greatly.
- Decrease your stress. Allergies are a result of the immune system being overactive. This can occur for many reasons, including stress! Finding ways to express anger and anxiety can help to decrease overall stress. Regular exercise, meditation and listening to relaxing music are only some of the many ways of de-stressing.
There are also a number of vitamins and supplements that help to decrease the histamine and allergic response. The one I have found to be most effective is Quercetin. Quercetin is a plant bioflavinoid and is a natural antihistamine. It has none of the undesirable side effects that the over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications have.
Quercetin works best if you take it three times a day before meals. It can take a several days to notice the difference. Once your allergies have subsided you can cut back to taking it just one time a day.
In addition to Quercetin, vitamin C, black tea, green tea and local honey all help to decrease the histamine response. It's those overactive histamines that give us allergy symptoms.
- Quercetin - 500 to 2000 mg per day
- Vitamin C - in high doses (2000-8000 mg per day) can block the histamine response. You should taper up to the higher doses. So slowly increase the amount of vitamin C over a few days to a week. It you get diarrhea you have hit the limit that your body can absorb at that time.
- Black tea and green tea can block the histamine release and even prevent allergic reaction.
- Local honey, which can be found in several local markets, helps by giving our bodies small amounts of the local pollen, so that we get adapted to it and do not get an allergic response from it.
- Fish oil and omega 3 oils help to decrease inflammation over the body as a whole.
When using any of these supplements, remember that the above suggestions of increasing water, decreasing sugar and decreasing stress, all play a big part in your overall symptoms. Quercetin, alone, won't provide a noticeable decrease in symptoms if you are still eating a ton of sugar or drinking very little water!
Good luck and may this Summer be one of health for you and your family.