Hello Spring! Bringing longer, warmer days, flowers… and hay fever.
While trees, grasses, and flowers are beautiful as they burst with life – they also trigger pollen-induced allergies. We’re all familiar with the symptoms of respiratory allergies and rhinitis that affect between 20-25% of Canadians: runny nose, redness, itching, coughing, sneezing (oh – the sneezing!) and swelling.
What is an allergic reaction?
When the body encounters certain substances in the environment, it might perceive these otherwise harmless particles as a threat, and the immune system produces antibodies. The next time you encounter the substances, these antibodies signal the immune system to produce defensive chemicals like histamine that cause inflammation, excessive mucus production and other uncomfortable reactions.
Spring allergies, or hay fever, don’t just make you temporarily miserable, they can affect sleep, worsen respiratory conditions like asthma or trigger ear infections, especially in children.
Sure – there’s antihistamines, but they come with side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth and headache that slow you down when the weather is warming up and there is fun to be had!
Fortunately, traditional plant ingredients, including herbs, mushrooms, and seeds can help, both by reducing uncomfortable symptoms and supporting the body’s natural mechanisms to cope with seasonal allergies – even before they begin.
Adaptogens for Immune Support
Like many health issues, compromised immunity is a contributing factor. Allergies are more likely to occur when immunity is compromised, or out of balance. An example of this is the under-activity of immune cells known as T-regulatory (aka Treg) cells, which usually help to mediate immune reactions to the environment.
As Hippocrates said: “Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease”. Allergy Relief effectively addresses the underlying symptoms of annoying allergy symptoms, by re-establishing the equilibrium of your immune system with adaptogens.
Stress, pollution, and certain health conditions can result in umbalanced immune function, but adaptogens can help to reduce the effects of these stressors, supporting the body’s resiliency and innate healing abilities. Allergy Relief offers a combination of immune modulating and restorative herbal ingredients featuring traditional adaptogens like astragalus, reishi, and Schisandra, also found in the original Deep Immune formula.
Complementary anti-allergy ingredients including stinging nettle, prickly ash, and homeopathics help to reduce symptoms for a holistic, natural allergy treatment.
As a preventative protocol, it is recommended to take Allergy Relief daily 4-6 weeks in advance, and continue through the seasons that trigger allergies.
Nettle and Black Seed Oil for Treatment of Symptoms
Nettles are also known as stinging nettle, as the undersides of their leaves are covered in tiny hairs containing compounds such as formic acid and histamine that “sting” when handled in their raw state. This quality makes them an unlikely candidate for relieving the inflammatory symptoms of allergy – but they do!
In Ancient Egypt, nettles were used topically for their analgesic effects to relieve back pain and arthritis, and they are rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients like chlorophyll, minerals and vitamins A, C and K. Nettle can inhibit histamine production, the compound responsible for local immune responses like redness, itching and hives that appear in allergic reactions, leading people to reach for over-the-counter antihistamines. Nettles have also been found to reduce the production of allergy specific prostaglandins.
Nettles can be taken as soon as symptoms appear for effective relief by way of Nettle Spring Tops tincture or Allergy Relief for general hay fever, or Sinafect, to target sinus and nasal issues that come with seasonal allergies.
Black seed oil is another beneficial natural remedy for allergy symptoms associated with the upper respiratory tract and sinuses. This can be attributed to a combination of nigellone and thymoquinone, compounds that have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects. One recent study noted the efficacy of black seed oil to “inhibit the inflammation of sinuses and respiratory airways” (Mahboubi, 2018).
Oreganum Plus GelCaps contain black seed oil and essential oil of oregano, which have powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, that can help alleviate mucus congestion and relieve inflammation of sinus conditions and hay fever allergies.
So, you don’t need to keep the windows shut or push through drowsy side effects to avoid the symptoms of allergy and hay fever – greet the warm weather with a spring in your step with a little help from your herbal friends.
References available upon request.