There are many modalities to treat the patient, including acupuncture, supplements, herbs, movement, cupping, and nutrition. For treating allergies, there are some wonderful herbs and supplements that can be implemented.
It’s that time of year again!…Allergy Season
How do allergies start and what to do about them?
An allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. This could be anything from something you inhale to something you touch to something you eat. An allergic reaction may cause sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, a running nose, a sore throat and rashes. Most common are seasonal allergies from pollen, grasses, and native shrubs. But you can also have allergic reactions to molds, foods, and chemicals.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nearly 50 million Americans are affected by nasal allergies. These numbers are increasing too. To date, allergies are the sixth-leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. Anaphylactic reactions are typically triggered by medications, food and insect stings, with pharmaceuticals causing the most allergy-related deaths. The cost of allergies exceeds $18 billion per year!
There are ways to deal with allergies though. Obviously with life-threatening allergies, a person needs to know what they are allergic to and be very adamant about avoiding those substances. Usually a person with IgE or anaphylactic reaction knows exactly what the trigger is and carries an Epipen or has Benadryl handy, just in case. For others who deal with seasonal allergies, things aren’t as dire and the inconvenience of allergies can be navigated using many natural remedies, including acupuncture
Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine which has been around for thousands of years. The general theory behind acupuncture is to treat the patient holistically, taking into account all aspects of the patient’s illness. There are many modalities to treat the patient, including acupuncture, supplements, herbs, movement, cupping, and nutrition. For treating allergies, there are some wonderful herbs and supplements that can be implemented.
Here’s a short list of herbal tonics for allergies:
1. Reishi or Medicinal Mushrooms: Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries to help with everything from balancing blood sugar to decreasing inflammation. But they are also well-known for their immune-boosting properties. Reishi mushrooms are adaptogenic and they help regulate stress in the body. This is great for allergy sufferers because allergies can be exacerbated by stress.
2. Good ol’ Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a power house anti-oxidant as well as an immune booster. This can help build up defenses during the allergy and/or cold and flu season.
3. Nettle tea: Urtica dioica has been used worldwide for centuries for its role in providing natural anti-histamine properties as well as supporting urinary function. Drinking 1-2 cups of steeped freeze dried Nettle leaves a day during allergy season can help combat those seasonal allergies! Read more on Nettles by checking out our previous post on “Stop sneezing, remedies for seasonal allergies.”
4. Daily steam inhalations with Eucalyptus: Steam inhalations work to clear the sinuses as well as provide moisture. Adding in 1-2 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to the steam can provide an anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefit to keep those sinuses clear and healthy!
Herbs can be very beneficial and help keep the body free from illness. The herbs and supplements mentioned above are just a few examples that would be good to have around if you suffer from allergies. Ask us to find out more about these supplements, we can help you navigate the world of medicinal herbs and find the exact combination right for you.
Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist, and author with a private practice in Bothell, WA. She specializes in pain management, migraine prevention, and digestive health. She is also the founder of the Pain Relief Project, a nonprofit acupuncture clinic serving low-income individuals. She is the creator of The Food Allergy Formula, an online course, as well as the author of “A Starting Point Guide to Gluten-Free Living and Healthy Digestion” on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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