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, it 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 imbalanced 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 include 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, that lead 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 with Nettle Spring Tops tincture, Allergy Relief for general hay fever, or Sinafect, to target sinus and nasal issues 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 with 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.
Have questions? Just visit our Great Questions Answered page to learn more or to submit a question.
References available upon request.
Allergy Relief (formerly Deep Immune for Allergies)
Astragalus root is a perennial herb native to northern China and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Use it as an adaptogen for a healthier stress response and to support your immune system.
Urtica dioca - often known as common nettle, stinging nettle or nettle leaf is originally native to Europe, Asia and western North Africa and is now found worldwide. Nettle has characteristic soft green leaves which, along with the stems bear stinging hairs that when touched prick the skin injecting chemicals that cause a painful sting.
A mushroom that enjoys near mythic status in Traditional Chinese Medicine, reishi has been valued in the cultures of the East for millennia as the "king of herbs." Ming Dynasty texts describe it as a remedy that "mends the heart." Use it as an adaptogen to lower the effects of stress and to modulate immune system response.
The bright red berries of this woody climbing vine that grows in the forested regions of northeastern China, as well as Russia. Schisandra berries have a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Use it as an adaptogen and tonic to promote endurance, lower stress, and boost your immune system.