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Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

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We know the signs, it’s spring and pollen is busting out of the trees. Or it’s fall and the same thing seems to happen.

Eyes swell and itch with seemingly no relief. Noses run and trickle. Even ears can start to itch. On top of that, it’s so uncomfortable we get irritable and irritated!

So the allergy pill gets popped and we are extremely dehydrated but at least not clawing our eyes out.

But what if that allergy pill is sneakily making things worse? And what if we could make things better?

Man about to Sneeze

What leads to seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies are a sign your immune system is out of balance. It might be overreacting to unharmful foreign substances (we call those antigens) and treating them as a threat that needs to be stabilized. This activates your immune system and gives all of those symptoms as the immune system tries to rid your body of those pesky allergens.

What parts of the immune system are involved?

There are two parts of the immune system that deal with specific antigens or foreign bodies. They are split into the part that attacks bacteria and viruses (Th1) and the part that attacks worms or allergens (Th2).

Fortunately and unfortunately for us, we don’t really have a lot of worms in our daily exposure. That means the immune system doesn’t;t have to fight worms and break them apart! But that also means those little Th2 immune first responders are patrolling the body with nothing to do and they get bored, or perhaps nervous that they aren’t doing enough. So when they don’t find worms, they go after allergens, sending the immune system off to battle against harmless pollen.

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Allergies can also be perpetuated by poor gut health

Our gut is technically outside the body. All the food we eat combines with our microbiome and lots of digestive juices we secrete to break it down, but then we somewhat selectively choose what comes INTO the body and what stays outside in the gut to be excreted.

That system breaks down with constant inflammation

Leaky gut inflames allergies

The cells of the intestinal lining are supposed to stick together in the cell wall, preventing foreign substances from free-flowing into the body. They are like security guards standing shoulder to shoulder blocking a crowd from passing through.

But when there’s inflammation, let’s say a smoke bomb in the gut, the guards get disoriented and they separate from each other, causing gaps in their physical barrier wall.

When we get inflammation in our gut, the cells separate just like the guards do. In the case of the intestine, it means foreign substances not meant to inside go inside and confront the immune system.

At that point, the immune system stages a response against them, worsening allergies, particularly food intolerances.

How can we heal our allergies with diet and lifestyle?

We start by looking at the two problems that cause increased allergies!

Increase Th1

We can increase Th1 which will turn off Th2 and therefore our allergy response. This isn’t for everyone and especially not for people with auto-immunity. You can learn more here.

Th1 can be increased with herbs

  • Garlic
  • Astragalus
  • Berberine
  • Broccoli sprout extract
  • Chinese skullcap
  • Ginger
  • Zinc

Activate Treg

Treg brings down both Th1 and Th2, reducing allergies without inherently increasing your Th1 response.

Increase Treg with:

Man sneezing with tissue

Reduce inflammation and improve gut health

Overall gut health improvement will stabilize and improve the functioning of the immune system. Some key focuses will be stabilizing the microbiome and reducing leaky gut.

Improving gut health for allergies:

  • Drink bone broth for collagen and glutamine
  • Eat healthy fats with high omega-3 content
  • Choose sprouted legumes, nuts, and seeds when possible
  • Eat a variety of plants for a healthy microbiome (>30 kinds per week)
  • Eat fruits, vegetables, and fiber every day to feed the healthy microorganisms
  • Remove harmful inflammatory additives like artificial coloring that lead to leaky gut
  • Reduce allergy pills and NSAID pain pills like ibuprofen and aspirin that are associated with leaky gut
  • Follow here for more gut health tips
  • Eat raw local honey

About Alicia

I love cooking almost as much as I love eating so I try to make sure I feel good about what I'm eating. I believe it's always a good occasion for some bubbly and I also love feeling healthy and being outdoors. I try to buy, cook and eat whole nutritious foods that promote a fun active lifestyle.

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