allergic rhinitis - allergies

Allergic rhinitis is a reaction of the immune systems when it overreacts to substances that have been inhaled. The substances can range from tree pollen and pet dander,to mold and mildew, to weeds and grasses. There are two types of allergic rhinitis; seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever and caused by outdoor allergens; and perennial allergic rhinitis, which happens year round and is mainly due to indoor allergens such as dust mites, mildew, and pet dander. When one has either of these conditions and breaths in an allergen, the immune system springs into action focusing it’s energy on the allergen and causing the body to be in a constant state of fight (attacking the allergen). The immune system releases IgE antibodies and histamine into the nasal passageways during this state of fight, causing one to feel lethargic, stuffed up, and  like they are coming down with a cold. 

If you are an allergy sufferer, you are NOT alone...more than 35 million Americans suffer from some form of allergic rhinitis. Many sufferers go through their day timing out their medicine, blowing through boxes of tissues, and making appointments with the allergy shot doctor...all of which is REALLY not fun and all of which has to be continued year after year with no REAL relief.

I will let you in on a few ideas to ease your allergy pains and to help you cut back on the medications, the allergy shots, and all of those tissues. I will help you get outside in the spring and live a restful life within your home...little changes here and there can produce BIG results. Consider all that goes on in your day; products used, food consumed, pets cared for, children driven to and from practice, stores entered, clothes worn, and work that is done. Each area of life provides potential for improvement in order to prevent and ease symptoms of both seasonal and year-round allergies.

So lets get started!

QUERCETIN is in a group of plant pigments called flavanoids (bioflavanoids) that give many vegetables, fruits, and flowers their vibrant color.  Flavanoids (and quercitin) are antioxidants that scavenge damaging free radicals in the body. Quercitin has shown potential in easing symptoms of allergies and asthma, as well as chronic bronchitis. Studies have found that quercitin prevents the immune cells from releasing histamines, as it acts as an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory rolled into one, reducing a runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and swelling of the face and lips during allergic reactions. Quercitin is found in many of the REAL foods we eat; apples, onions, citrus, parsley, tomatoes, broccoli, and lettuce. Though foods are a good source of this flavanoid, supplementation in tablet form is recommended at 100-500 mg, 2-4 times per day depending on symptoms. Beginning treatment 7-14 days prior to your usual allergy season is recommended for the best results.

ESSENTIAL FATS (particularly omega 3, EPA and DHA), are responsible for lowering inflammation. There is a correlation between essential fat intake and a lower bodily response to allergens during allergy season due to the decrease in overall inflammation in the body and in particular, the gut. REAL foods that are rich in essential fats are; cold water and oily fish, nuts, seeds, grass finished meats, and pastured eggs. Including these foods is a great addition to any REAL health lifestyle, though still recommend daily supplementation in the form of fermented cod liver oil. I enjoy Green Pastures products and will add, that this is the only supplement that I am faithful in taking daily. The mint flavored gel is palatable and they carry a capsule, though dosage is 1/2-2 teaspoons per day and with capsules you will need to take a lot to get to that the gel or liquid form is more cost effective. (Roots Underwood and Roots Underwood Wellness are not affiliated with nor sponsored by Green Pastures).

NETTLES, yes, the stinging herb. This herb is know for it’s outstanding performance acting as a natural antihistamine. It can be helpful for the runny nose and congestion. This herb is often seen in freeze-dried capsules and/or tablets, but one can also enjoy it in tea form and make tea infusions to incorporate a more medicinal beverage. Often one will see nettles and quercitin in a supplement together, making a near perfect natural remedy for allergy symptoms. The recommended daily dose is 250-300 mg 1-2 times per day. The effects last for up to a few hours and can keep symptoms at bay, working almost immediately. Nettle tea and tincture are both special to my heart (and always close by) during allergy season. See the end of the blog for a recipe using nettles!

LOCAL HONEY has been shown to reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms if taken a few months prior to allergy season symptoms. The honeybees collect pollen from plants in your area, and so the pollen is found in small amounts within their honey, and when you eat the honey you are able to get an immune boost (like a booster shot) against that plant pollen. When you first encounter those plant pollens, your immune system is already familiar with it from eating honey, that your body is able to keep the symptoms and stressors from that pollen at bay. This method works best if the honey is from a local source and harvested nearby or at least in your region of the world. I recommend a couple of teaspoons per day, taken alone, but it can also be added to nettle tea.

TURMERIC, the culinary herb is a known natural anti-inflammatory. It has been effective against inflamed airways that can occur during allergy season and due to allergic rhinitis (both seasonal and perennial). This can be a great spice to mix in with a favorite dish to enhance flavor and enjoy the medicinal properties of the herb. It is recommended in supplement form (capsule or pressed tablet, one can also drink a tea infusion), at a dose of 250-500 mg per day.  Again, turmeric might be of better help if you begin treatment a few weeks before allergy season to prevent symptoms.

NETI POT RINSE is a saline (saltwater) rinse that one can perform 1-3 times daily or when needed during allergy season.  This wash is done with a neti pot or a squeeze bottle, warm fresh water (spring or distilled is best), and sea salt or a salt solution. This helps to clear the nasal passageways from any pollen that may have gotten stuck from the day’s activities. It can also be of help to unclog sinuses and dislodge congestion, making you more comfortable and able to get rid of a headache or stuffy nose. 

LIFESTYLE CHANGES can be a great and simple way to reduce your symptoms of allergic rhinitis. From changing bed linens more often, to vacuuming, using a dehumidifier, buying an air filter, and not opening the windows during allergy season.  Each step taken to reduce the mold, pollen, dander, and mildew in a home, is a step closer to relief. It is also best not to venture outside for a walk between 5 and 10 a.m., when pollen is at it’s peak, stay indoors when the weather forecast calls for dry, warm, and windy weather as that can be a recipe for disaster for anyone trying to cure their allergies.

For more tips, tricks, and information on allergies...please give me a call or shoot me an email, I'd be glad to help you get on your right path.

Happy spring!



*Symptom Free Smoothie*

packed full of quercitin, vitamin C, and essential fats

 -juice from 1 orange                       -1/4 c. fresh parsley

-1/2 c. strawberries                        -1/4 c. pureed nettles 

-1/2 c.blueberries                           -2 Tbs. flax seeds 

-1/2 avocado                                   -1 tsp. turmeric 

-1 Tbs. hemp seed oil                      -1 tsp. cinnamon

-1 c. nut milk or water                     -1 Tbsp. local raw honey

~Puree the nettles in a food processor to de-sting.  Add all ingredients into a blender and blend till smooth.  Add more local raw honey if needed for desired taste.  Toast to symptoms being put at ease.

Disclaimer : The information on this website is not intended take the place of seeking medical attention. We are not doctors and do not claim to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent disease or illness. We encourage strong relationships with your trusted healthcare provider and would like to be a part of that conversation. The information on this website and blog are Hillary and Matt Sargent's personal opinions and experiences only. Shared information from this site must be linked back to this site appropriately to avoid any legal actions