For many people who suffer from Seasonal Allergies with symptoms that can include: runny nose, sneezing, itchy irritated eyes and skin, and headache, it is enough to make one wish for the cold of winter. So why as the sun begins to melt those frosty bones does our body betray us ?
As you may have noticed, your body’s immune system, as with all other systems, is constantly in search of balance. When your immune system is depleted by stress or a poor diet for example we are more vulnerable to a hearty bacteria or virus. Equal and opposite can be said about an “over-active” immune system or better an “under-suppressed” system which mounts a defense against the body’s own cells, or as in this case a harmless molecule of pollen, ragweed, or dust, etc. Also important to mention is the relationship of the other systems of the body. An over-worked digestive system can create an un-balanced immune system for example, so it is good to tone all your body systems. So what do we do?
Well winter will eventually return or we can help the body by providing the right amount of all the elements it needs to keep everything in check, you know, diet, exercise, sleep, relaxation, laughter, love, and all around happiness. Ok this may sound like a lot at once so how do you get started, lets take a closer look at one of the more complicated areas like diet.
Our digestive system has also been responding to the change of seasons as our ancestors have prepared our system for the raw fruits and vegetables that we associate with warm weather.
Eating plenty of, green, purple, orange, reds and yellows in our salads provides a different valuable nutrient that can relieve that struggling immune system as well as all other body systems. If you want to take your veggies on the go try fresh vegetable and fruit juices before reaching for the vitamin bottle. Fresh juices hold the nutrients in natures formula with plant enzymes for easy absorbsion. Ok, so what to do if you are eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and/or juicing, avoiding caffeine, refined sugars, and obeying the other commandments, and are still suffering with allergy symptoms ? There are some supplemental nutrients and herbs that can help.
- Vitamin C,
- Bioflavonoids (Quercetin, Hesperedin, Rutin, Catechin, etc.)
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin E
- Ground Flax Seeds
- Tumeric (Curcuma longa) - used commonly in Eastern Indian cooking.
- Burdock (Arcticum lappa) Roots and Leaves - mix well in a green salad.
- Horseradish (Amoracia rusticana) - You probably know how some horseradish can clear those sinuses.
- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) - A warming spice in cooking can also decrease inflammation.
- Hawthorne Berries (Crategegus oxycantha) -Delicious as a jam, they can also help your heart too.
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) - Not the twizzlers, the plant also helps a body after long term stress.
- Garlic (Allium sativa) - Well popularity isn’t everything. But how about that healthy heart.
- Onions (Allium cepa): Ditto And high in Quercetin (see above in Nutrients).
- Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica)- Watch those thornes under the leaf, hense the name. Makes a great tea.
Well how is that for a place to start. I know, I didn’t give you the dosages. There is a good reason for that. It is important to see your doctor whenever you start treating a specific illness yourself, even naturally. As with just about anything, too much of a good thing can be bad even with herbs, vitamins, exercise, (and well maybe not laughter), especially if you have another health condition or are taking medicines or other supplements. So don’t be afraid to enjoy those sunny days outdoors. With a little change here and there your body will thank you for it and you can get on with the Laughter, Love and Happiness.
Christopher Fischer is a Naturopathic Physician and is the President of Natural Health Specialist in East Northport New York. He received his Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University.
Christopher regularly collaborates with traditional healthcare providers to assure for continuity of care. He has also has worked extensively in various therapeutic capacities in traditional medical settings including; the Swedish Hospital in Ballard WA, Saint John's Hospital in Smithtown New York and South Oaks Hospital in Amityville New York.
He frequently lectures on Naturopathic Medicine and natural healing, and has been a contributing expert for American Spa Magazine, Creations Magazine, The Northport Observer as well as the Natural Health Show on METRO TV (NY). He is the proud father of two boys and resides in East Northport New York.