25 Jul SOME HOLISTIC METHODS OF TREATING ALLERGIC RHINITIS
Because of the way holistic treatments work, it is recommended that these prospective therapies be started at least 6 weeks before the start of the offending season and continued throughout. However, even if one is currently in the midst of a season, some benefit will still be achieved.
· Diet – Because there is much overlap in symptoms between environmental allergens and food allergens and sensitivities, it is recommended that common foods that may elicit allergic symptoms be avoided or limited during the season. These include dairy products, wheat/flour, sugar/sweets, peanuts along with highly processed foods that have a lot of additives.
· Vitamins/Supplements – Fish Oil or omega 3 supplementation provides many anti-inflammatory compounds which also are thought to help temper one’s immune response. Some evidence also suggests that Magnesium and Vitamin C supplementation also have anti-allergic effects.
· Herbals – Traditional herbalists believe that healthy mucous membranes act as a natural shield preventing inhaled allergens from reaching mast cells deep within the nasal capillaries. Along these lines herbs that promote healthy mucous membranes (anticatarrhals) such as Eyebright (Euphrasia) can be very effective. The Nettle leaf (Stinging Nettle) reduces the inflammatory effects of allergic reactions, such as congestions and mucus production, while herbs that promote a robust immune system such as Echinacea root and Astragalus are also good adjuncts.
· Lifestyle – Stress reduction and achieving restful sleep are also significant contributors to reduction in allergic symptoms.
You may also look at the list above and say, “What about local honey?” While it has been offered, in theory, as a way to give your body micro-doses of pollen to help desensitize one’s allergic response, there has been no evidence that this is the case in real life. The reason for this may be that the type of pollen that gets to our noses are the more efficient wind-borne type and not the type that requires pollinators such as bees to transport it.