Allergies stuffing you up?

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | 24 July, 2018

When a person's immune system reacts to substances in their environment (allergens) that are harmless for most people this is an allergic response. One person’s allergen may not be another’s – everyone reacts differently. The possibility of developing allergies is increased if it is part of a person’s family history.

When a person's immune system reacts to substances in their environment (allergens) that are harmless for most people this is an allergic response. One person’s allergen may not be another’s – everyone reacts differently. The possibility of developing allergies is increased if it is part of a person’s family history.

Hay fever, usually a reaction to wind-pollinated plants such as grasses and trees, is associated with the onset of Spring, affecting the eyes and sinuses. However, this condition can occur any time of the year due to environmental allergens such as pet fur, moulds, dust and the workplace can cause “sick building syndrome” due to the recycled air which could be considered a chemical stew.

Other symptoms can be:

Herbs offer fantastic protection against allergies and have been traditionally used for thousands of years to combat allergy symptoms and modulate the body’s immune response to the allergens.
Here are four great herbs and plants for allergy management:

Using a combination of these dried herbs, with the inclusion of cinnamon bark and liquorice root as an infusion, will provide a soothing and clearing action for the upper respiratory tract, easing a sore throat caused by coughing and postnasal drainage, relieve congestion and clear a blocked nose.

Used long term this herbal infusion should not only relieve symptoms but create better immunity. With the addition of honey, this creates an extra demulcent effect and may improve the flavour for some as well.

Why not try these natural options instead? Many people turn to anti-histamines for allergy relief, but did you know that many nutrients can be used to reduce the symptoms of allergies such as congestion, itching and hives? For example:

Gut health can be implicated in an individual’s immunity and resultant allergy symptoms.

Two aspects that are significant when downregulating an overactive immune response via the gastrointestinal system are the gut microbiome and the interior structural integrity of the intestinal lining.

The microbiome generally consists of several thousand different species of beneficial bacteria. It is these bacteria that are responsible for the breakdown and assimilation of nutrients from food. If there the levels of diverse microbiome are minimal then the ability to digest and utilise all potential nutrients is reduced. And put simply decreased levels of essential nutrients results in decreased immunity.

You may have heard the term “leaky gut” which is essentially just that. The interior structural integrity of the intestinal wall is not sufficient to stop that which should be on the inside of the gut from migrating to the outside of the gut causing an over-reactive immune system.

There are numerous considerations with regard to allergies particularly the identification of what is triggering the allergic response. The food elimination diet is effective in identifying food intolerances. Other methods include blood tests, skin pricks (RAST) with of which identify environmental allergens and the 500 hair test which include food groups, bathroom, and laundry and kitchen products. The elimination diet involves the identification and exclusion of suspected/offending foods. A food/symptoms diary is filled out detailing the severity of symptoms experienced, time after ingestion the symptoms occur and how long they last after intake of food to determine an allergy or intolerance. Removing the suspected food allergen causes a reduction in inflammation and immune responses allowing the gut to heal and repair.

Lifestyle –Treatment of allergy symptoms are supported by lifestyle changes, especially the changes that reduce the impact of stress on your immune system. Removing known allergens from diet or environment is a great start.

Hay fever and allergic response is a complex condition and a holistic treatment approach is effective. A visit your nearest Wellnation Clinicsto address those individual factors that cause allergies for you. Your practitioner will be able to design a treatment specific to your condition and support you to wellness.  

 

References
• Fisher, C 2009, Materia Medica of Western Herbs 1st edn, Vitex Medica, New Zealand.
• Hammer, K, Carson, C, Riley, T 1999, Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts, Journal of applied microbiology, viewed 12 Oct 2016. 
• Maret W & Sandstead HH 2006 ’Zinc Requirements and the Risks and Benefits of Zinc Supplementation’, Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology, vol.20, no.1 pp.3-18.
• https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1774223/
 


Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees and Honours programs in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture and Myotherapy, a fully online Bachelor of Complementary Medicine and  HLT52015 Diploma of Remedial Massage.

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