Allergies can affect and disturb the entire body but often localize and then spread through the mucosal tissue since most commonly allergens, usually protein-based substances like dander, pollen and foods enter through mucosal portals such as the eyes, nose, mouth and skin. A complex cascade of reactions occur, some more effective at ejecting or disabling the offending substance (i.e. sneezing, coughing and discharge) more immediately than others, after such barriers were less protective and the allergen has progressed further, such as the body producing its own antihistamines and inflammation designed to mount a more severe and concerted response to the allergen. Deterring these appropriate responses through poor diet, inadequate rest and a hostile environment are crucial items to be rectified when dealing with allergies.
Beginning from the top of mucous membranes to bottom including nose, lungs Liver stomach, intestines, colon and adrenals we’ll address each region of the mucous membranes with appropriate supplements. One’s nose is the port of entry for many allergens: therefore literally keeping your nose clean through a neti pot or readily usable saline inhalers are a good idea and the salt in these is not only bacteriostatic, but thins and promotes the flow of mucous and moisture levels in the nose. Some nasal sprays have homeopathic ingredients such as Euphrasia or eyebright that help tonify the nasal passages making them more responsive to rejecting allergens. A unique intranasal is the Ion sinus supplement which is an aqueous solution of ancient soil that helps the microbiome from the nose down to the gut that maintains the health of the associated tissue and addresses gut and mucosal integrity (how hardy the tissue is and how well they work).
The mouth: Oral (sublingual) Homeopathies such as Source Naturals’ Allercetin and BioAllers’ allergy formulas, like inoculations but gentler and more dilute, provide minute amounts of the allergens such as ragweed and histamine to promote a counter response from the body as well as their antidotes such as quercetin and Euphrasia. Additionally Pine and eucalyptus essential oils which act as lung cleaners and non-stimulant based bronchodilators can be inhaled through the nose and mouth.
Lungs: Eucalyptus as previously mentioned, Ivy and mullein - traditional herbal lung strengtheners, NAC which thins mucous and supports lung health as an antioxidant, and quercetin, which acts as a respiratory anti-inflammatory and with which I have personally arrested allergic asthma symptoms caused by dust, pets and food.
Liver: detox for optimal functioning with glutathione and NAC, consume good cold pressed fats and oils such as olive oil, flax, and grape seed oils for lubricating all tissue.
Adrenals: send out cortisone like substances such as epinephrine to bronchodilate and to send cells like mast cells to surround and disable offending substances which in turn need to be regulated otherwise the uncomfortable to painful symptoms escalate. Cordyceps and pantothenic acid sources (such as royal jelly - provided you are not allergic to B products) support and even restore adrenal function overworked by stress, allergies, and pharmaceuticals.
Colon: Fish and other healthy oils help produce lubrication body wide and lymph along with well-established anti-inflammatory attributes. These along with copper sources, assist the body in producing the substance diamine oxidase, a respiratory anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine supplements are also available. Here oral enzymes such as bromelain, protease and mucolase can break down incompletely digested foods and substances that may be burdening the optimal functioning of body systems and those substances systemically that cause excessive allergic reactions. Some of these enzymes can be found together in Enzymedica Enzyme Defense and Allerease, while some are combined with quercetin and vitamin C to support immunity and combat allergies. Remember the digestive system is the factory of immunity and neurology. The brain-body connection established in the gut can enlist your mind to help manage allergic reactions as well.
Hydration - does all good things but especially circulation of lymph and other fluids that thin and disperse mucous.
Fortunately there are naturopathic products that incorporate nearly all of these nutrients and remedies: some are Natural Factors Lung, Bronchial & Sinus Health; Country Life Aller-Max: Bluebonnet’s Just Breath; and Gaia Herbs’ Sinus Support. For those who have elevated and/or unabated histamine reactions that can lead to systemic inflammation which in turn may negatively impact all the body systems can also benefit from the AID diet which initially excludes food groups with inflammatory potential such as nightshades (coffee, peppers, tomatoes, etc.) and highly acidic meats like pork or fried chicken..
For those who decide to apply these self-care strategies to manage allergies especially during this allergy season ... here’s looking Achoo!!