Fall Allergies are in Full Force
Fall allergies are out in North America and many of us will suffer until the first frost. Luckily there are some supplements and homeopathic remedies that should reduce symptoms of allergies. Check with your doctor or homeopath if you are taking other medications when you take supplements. Homeopathic remedies don’t conflict with any medications or conditions and are safe and gentle for any age. However, homeopathics should be taken a half hour before or after food one or two times a day as needed. Here are a few helpful supplements for allergy relief this season:
- Urtica Urens MT is a tincture made from stinging nettle leaf that contains carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, and flavonoids such as quercetin and rutin. This herb has anti-inflammatory effects (Riehemann K et al 1999). Historically, nettle has been used as a diuretic and a blood purifier which clears uric acid from the blood. Nettle may be beneficial for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, possibly because of the quercetin content (Blumenthal M 1998).
- Quercitin is a flavonoid found in red wine and green tea. It has been studied for its ability to reduce the symptoms of allergies. Studies have shown that subjects with nasal allergies treated with a nasal spray that included quercetin, along with extract of Artemisia abrotanum L, experienced rapid and significant relief of nasal symptoms that was comparable to antihistamine preparations (Remberg P et al 2004). Also patients with nasal allergies found that quercetin was effective and safe without or in conjunction with conventional pharmaceuticals (Thornhill SM et al 2000).
- AllerControl by AOR has a mixture of herbal remedies that have been found to significantly reduce allergic symptoms. Here is a list of the herbs it contains and their benefit as taken from AOR (www.aor.ca):
- Perilla is a herb that contains many active ingredients, such as rosmarinic acid and luteolin. Oral supplementation with perilla leaves or extracts of rosmarinic acid has been shown to suppress allergic reactions (Takano H et al 2004). Rosmarinic acid relieves allergy symptoms by preventing the activation of immune responder cells and by inducing apoptosis, or cell death, in already activated immune responder cells (Hur YG et al 2004). Natural flavonoids like rosmarinic acid kill off excess allergy-activated immune cells while leaving the vast bulk of responder cells to fight off bacteria and other foreign invaders. Rosmarinic acid has been demonstrated to kill allergy-activated T cells and neutrophils without affecting the T cells or neutrophils in their resting state (Sanbongi C et al 2003). Perilla leaf extract and rosmarinic acid were found to be nearly equally effective at inhibiting the allergic response when given orally. A follow-up study confirmed that oral administration of perilla leaf extract inhibits production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and attenuates the allergic response and inflammation in mice (Ueda H et al 2002).
- Rosemary that contains rosmarinic acid inhibited interleukin-2 (IL-2) promoter activation of T cells (Won J et al 2003).
- Rosmarinic acid had potent immunosuppressive effects and inhibited both the activation and proliferation of T cells (Yun SY et al 2003). Researchers demonstrated that daily treatment with rosmarinic acid in perilla leaf extract given orally to mice prevented allergic asthma caused by dust mite allergen. The study concluded that oral administration of perilla-derived rosmarinic acid may treat allergic asthma effectively by limiting cytokines and allergy-specific antibodies (Sanbongi C et al 2004).
- Another study demonstrated that perilla leaf extract enriched with rosmarinic acid is effective among humans suffering from seasonal allergic symptoms (Takano H et al 2004). In this study, rosmarinic acid particularly inhibited the eye-related symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
- Like rosmarinic acid, luteolin is a natural plant flavonoid that may have potent antiallergic properties. It is found along with rosmarinic acid in various species of the perilla plant but at lower concentrations. In one study, luteolin was shown to be the most potent inhibitor of interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in certain immune cells. Okayama University researchers found that luteolin was the most potent inhibitor of histamine release from immune mast cells (Inoue T et al 2002). Oral administration of perilla leaf extract inhibited inflammation, allergic response, and tumor necrosis factor in mice (Ueda H et al 2002). Also, luteolin was documented to inhibit interleukin-5 (IL-5), which promotes the growth and survival of eosinophils, one particular type of leukocyte that is activated during allergies (Park KY et al 1999).
The following homeopathic remedies are useful for allergies. Not one size fits all in homeopathy, so if these do not suit you seek the help of a professional homeopath to find your fit. The following remedies are popular remedies for hay fever. Typical dosage is 6 to 30Ch potency, taken four pills one to three times a day as needed.
- Allium Cepa is one of the most popular homeopathic remedies for allergies. Its symptoms include burning watery eyes and nose, feeling worse in the evening and in a warm room and a forehead headache.
- Arundo is a remedy that covers the symptoms of itchy nostrils and palate. There is burning and itching seen.
- Pollens 19 is a remedy that is a mixture of common allergens in North America. It is used to decrease symptoms of these allergens. It is typically taken once a week prior to allergy season to decrease sensitivities.
- Sabadilla is a remedy that works on allergic symptoms that affect mostly the nose and tear ducts. These types are sensitive to cold, have spasmodic sneezing and runny nose. There is a pain in the nose with copious watery discharge.
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