If you are one of the lucky few that doesn’t suffer from seasonal allergies, consider yourself, well lucky!! I myself have had allergy problems since before I can remember, and trust me I have gone through just about everything there is to treat them. Personally, the only relief I’ve found and felt good about using is in Complementary Medicine, be it, herbs, diet, or acupuncture. My allergies, unfortunately are not only seasonal but a vague anomaly that continues year round for a laundry list of reasons of which I am never sure of. Fortunately, dealing with your personal health and testing new ideas on yourself is a great learning tool, and one day hopefully I will have squashed all my allergy problems and live an itch free life.
I recently came across an article published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reviewing CAM’s history in treating various ailments of the immune system, including asthma, allergic rhinitis and dermatitis through the use of Vitamins, Herbs and Phytochemicals. If you are looking for some hope in a prescription drug free world of allergy treatment, check out the research. Some highlights of the research include:
Vitamin D: It has long been said that Vitamin D plays a vital role in your overall health, this article just reinforces the importance that Vitamin D plays in our immune system and how it can be a crucial part of dealing with allergies of any kind.
Vitamin E: Has been shown to decrease mast cell production, thereby relieving an allergic response.
Vitamin A: Has been shown to increase antibody production.
Vitamin C: Is an important mediator in the immune response.
Magnolol: As far as phytochemicals go, Magnolol is polyphenol found in plants that plays a part in the immune reaction, lending an inhibitory effect that reduces the allergic reaction.
Quercetin: Found in cherries, Quercetin plays the same sort of inhibitory role in the cascade of events causing an allergic reaction and effects the production of mast cells.
Resveratrol: Found in grape skins, it’s a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to have anti-cancer effects, it plays a role in alleviating the stress response that can be an instigator in the allergy response.
Ma Huang (or Ephedra): Which has recently been taken off the market is a great herb in the treatment of asthma and has unfortunately been misused as a diet drug and energy enhancer due to its amphetime-like effects.
As far as using these substances clinically in the treatment of allergies, there is SO much information in the article that I could hardly paraphrase any one part of it in one page, but if you are looking for specific info regarding Atopic Dermatitis, Allergic Rhinitis or Asthma, please read the article, there is quite a bit of good information in there and natural substances that are worth taking a look at. For example, some of the remedies they review are as follows:
In treating Atopic Dermatitis, Evening Primrose, Essential Fatty Acids, Rumex japonicus Houtt & Actinidia arguta are a few of the herbal remedies found to have positive effects.
For Allergic Rhinitis, Butterbur is worth mentioning as finding similar test results as the use of Fexafenadine a prescription medicine commonly prescribed for allergies. Citrus unshiu also showed positive results in treating seasonal allergies. Likewise, dietary products like grape seed extract, tomato extract, dietary spirulina, and cellulose powder have been suggested for the treatment of allergic rhinitis.
As far as Chinese Herbal Formulas are concerned Bhu-zong-yi-qi-tang is shown to have efficacious results when treating both allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis as well as Shi-Bi-Lin, another formula.
Also worth mentioning are a couple of other homeopathic remedies, including Apis Mel, which is helpful in acute cases for hives, bee stings and other insect bites and Histaminum which is helpful in the case of nasal congestion, hay fever, insect bites, eczema, and even food allergies. One that has been super useful for me when I’m having an acute reaction is Quantum AllerCleanse a Botanical Supplement produced by Premier Research Labs.
So, take control of your health this allergy season and look into these great natural remedies! I know some of these have done wonders for me in helping to relieve my allergy symptoms throughout the years and I hope you too can benefit as well!
Source: Mainardi, Timothy, MD, MS, Kapoor, Simi, MD, Bielory, Leonard, MD, ( Feb. 2009) Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Herbs, Phytochemicals and Vitamins and Their Immunologic Effects. The Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 123 (2), 283-294