Allergies… Sneezing, Runny Nose, Itchy Eyes?
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on July 30, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
They’re not just an inconvenience; allergies have been shown to cause headaches, loss of sleep, fatigue, difficulty learning and concentrating, and significantly reduced productivity. Allergies are a modern day affliction, with an estimated 30-50% of people in the U.S. suffering from them. Their onset is occurring at a younger and younger age, and their incidence is on the rise.
Allergic rhinitis is an umbrella term for allergic reactions to environmental irritants such as pollution, dust, pollens, and molds. While ‘hay fever’ is usually caused by seasonal grass or pollens (so named because it was discovered during haying season), allergic rhinitis may occur throughout the entire year.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis and hay fever include sneezing, copious nasal discharge, sinus congestion, watery, irritated eyes, scratchy throat, and even asthma-like wheezing.
The cause of these symptoms is due to histamine. Histamine is a chemical which gets released from specialized cells of our immune system (mast cells, basophils, eosinophils). It plays an important role in protecting us by helping our body to eliminate unwanted and foreign substances before they have a chance to take hold. Unfortunately, its release upon exposure to harmless environmental allergens can wreak havoc upon the sufferer!
One of the easiest, and most effective, approaches to allergic rhinitis is to decrease histamine release. How can we do this, naturally?
Two natural antihistamine-type herbs are Eyebright and Stinging Nettles (leaf). Both of these herbs help to decrease the release of histamine from the specialized immune cells that it is found in, thereby decreasing those uncomfortable and debilitating allergy symptoms.
Aller Gold provides powerful, natural antihistamine action with a combination of Eyebright, Stinging Nettles, Ambrosia, Yerba Santa and other supportive herbs.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan