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INVIGORATE - A Woodland Health Report

A WOODLAND HEALTH REPORT

INvigorATE

ALLERGIES: SOMETHING’S IN THE AIR by C. M. Roesch, MPH

Ah-ah-ah-CHOOO! Allergies are nothing to sneeze at. That first sneeze could be a symptom that something in your environment doesn’t agree with your nose! It could be spring or fall pollen wafting through the air, dust mites, environmental pollutants or pet dander (tiny particles of skin from your dog or cat).

And it only gets worse! The sneeze could lead to inflammation of the mucous membranes in the sinuses, resulting in a stuffy or runny nose, watery, itchy eyes and more sneezing as your immune system tries to expel the offending irritant from your nasal passages.

Allergic reactions can be alleviated with certain conventional treatments, both allopathic and natural. Allopathic medicines generally include antihistamines, which block the actions of the histamine that causes the allergy, or corticosteroid nasal sprays, which help reduce inflammation. For a more natural approach, try avoiding the allergen, taking bee pollen and honey, bioflavonoids, nettle and other herbs as well as homeopathic remedies that are popular and time-honored throughout the world.

Here are some of the most common environmental allergies and a variety of natural treatments that may help:

Dander

If pet dander is a problem, isolate the pet from the sensitized individual (although it may cause emotional side-effects). Avoidance helps reduce symptoms but it doesn’t directly address the allergen’s cause. Homeopathic nasal sprays are available to help with dander allergies.

Dust Mites and Dust

Avoidance is the common path to reduce irritating dust mites and dust. Consider replacing any carpeting in your residence with tile or hardwood flooring. Hypoallergenic pillows, bedding and mattress covers will also help reduce the potential nasal irritations, as will regular washing of linens in hot water.

Hay Fever

Some people treat pollen allergies (also called seasonal or hay fever allergies) with honey or bee pollen. Honey (which contains bee pollen) and bee pollen can both help hay fever allergies. Look for any truly raw honey (which contains pollen) and clean bee pollen from any locale. The mechanism of action is not clearly understood, but bee pollen and honey are believed to help strengthen the immune system. For best results, a teaspoon of bee pollen granules or raw unfiltered honey taken daily beginning a few months prior to the onset of the seasonal allergy season will be most effective.

Bioflavonoids supplements, including quercetin and rutin, have also been used effectively to combat hay fever symptoms. Bioflavonoids are more bioavailable when taken with vitamin C and bromelain ( a pineapple extract). Freeze-dried nettle leaf has also been used to help treat hay fever. Studies suggest that nettle may have an antihistaminic effect. Experts recommend taking a freeze-dried supplement regularly prior to the beginning of hay fever season for best results.

Homeopathic Remedies

Allopathic prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines don’t “cure” an allergy, they help relieve immediate symptoms of allergies through aggressive suppression of the immune response. Homeopathy takes a different approach to relieving allergies, by stimulating the body’s  own immune system to help heal itself using minute does of substances that can cause allergic reactions. This is using “like to cure like,” the basic premise of all homeopathic medicines. Within the body are three different immune systems – the physical barriers, consisting of the skin and mucous membranes; the innate immune system, which is short term and activates your immune cells to remove offending organisms and pollutants; and the adaptive immune system, which responds to recognizable organisms and substances it has encountered in the past. Homeopathy helps the adaptive immune system better respond to allergens to help relieve allergic reactions and allergy symptoms.

 

Battle Allergies NATURALLY

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American estimates that one in five Americans suffer from some type of allergy. Here are some natural ways you can fight allergies.

  • Carpet is an allergen magnet, retaining pet hair, pet dander, dust mites and other irritants. Vacuum often and use a vacuum cleaner with a filter system. Switching from carpets to hard floors is another solution.
  • Use high quality air filters in your home. Without efficient air filters, the air inside your home could be more toxic than the air outside.
  • Use a neti pot. Nasal flushing removes pollens and other allergens and can help relive nasal congestion. Clean water is critical when using a neti pot. Use filtered or distilled water – never water straight from the tap.
  • Take your supplements. Quercetin, stinging nettle, bee pollen, alfalfa and vitamin C are just a few of the many natural supplements that help relieve allergy symptoms. Start six weeks before allergy season to fortify the immune system.
  • Add foods that fight allergies to your diet. Red bell peppers, broccoli, mango, cauliflower, red cabbage and strawberries are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Citrus fruits, apples, tomatoes, berries and onions are rich sources of quercetin, a flavonoid that helps stabilize mast cells and prevents the release of histamine.
 

 

BEST APPLE SALAD

Ingredients

2 medium sweet apples, cored and cubed

1 green bell pepper, diced

¼ cup chopped red onion

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the apples, bell pepper, red onion and kidney beans. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard and pepper. Pour over the salad, and stir gently to coat.

Recipe provided by www.Allrecipes.com (submitted by: GYMNAST9888)