I really hope you are enjoying the Spring weather – so nice to feel and see some sunshine!
But this Spring I have suffered quite a lot with Hayfever!! I used to have it as a child and when I changed my diet and did some cleansing protocols – it had disappeared! But not this year…..
Some of the symptoms can really affect my day and I am not one for anti-histamines – unless they are really needed. But daily suffering with itchy eyes, mouth, ears and sneezing can make me quite miserable, so I thought it might be helpful to put together some details that could help you as well.
Please share with friends and family to combat your hayfever or other allergy-linked problems such as eczema, asthma, dermatitis, itchy eyes, chronic nasal congestion or catarrh.
But there is always good news – as there are a number of substances that can reduce your allergic potential which you can either eat or supplement!
All that sniffling and snuffling, itchy eyes and blocked nose symptoms is medically called ‘rhinoconjunctivitis’. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition gave 173 sufferers, during hayfever season, either 2 capsules of probiotics providing 3 billion units of bacteria or identical placebos in this randomised controlled placebo trial. At the end of 8 weeks those taking the probiotics had improved (less symptoms) by 68%, compared to the placebo group who reported 19% improvement. So, those on probiotics had improved by 49% compared to placebo.
Please consider taking a probiotic during hayfever season and if you do already – maybe look at increasing the dose. The study used a combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Vitamin C is the most important anti-allergy vitamin. It is a powerful for a strong immune system and can immediately calms down allergic reactions as it is also anti-inflammatory.
Blood levels of vitamin C have been shown to be low both in people with treated and untreated asthma. I often recommend that people take a minimum of 1,000mg a day, but 2,000mg or more is optimum for most people, whether or not you have allergies.
If you are suffering from allergic symptoms, you might want to take twice this amount on a regular basis. Vitamin C is water soluble and moves in and out of the body quite quickly. For this reason it’s best taken in spilt doses morning and evening, or if you’re taking larger amounts, 1g four times a day.
You can also increase your vitamin C intake through food by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, although you would have to eat an enormous amount to get up to 2g. But you can try peppers, broccoli, strawberries as these all have higher quantities. Or you can try our Vitamin C Boost powder which is a blend of high vitamin C berries Camu Camu, Acerola Cherry, Goji and Acai powders. Available here: https://www.inspiredwellbeing.org/product/vitamin-c-booster-powder/
Foods that contain vitamin C typically also contain antioxidant bioflavonoids such as hesperidin, rutin and quercetin, and these bioflavonoids may actually help the body absorb vitamin C – another good reason to eat vitamin-C-rich foods.
Quercetin is another bioflavonoid and is a potent antioxidant that promotes a healthy inflammatory response. Animal studies also show that quercetin regulates histamine production. One study found that of all the flavonoids, quercetin was the most effective at inhibiting histamine. Another study last year showed a reduction in inflammatory markers and improvement in airway inflammation.
The best food sources of quercetin are red onions, apples and berries, but you’ll be hard pushed to eat more than 20mg a day. I have also had quite good success by using Bee Pollen – this has a higher volume of quercetin and also contains many other antioxidants an bioflavoniods. We have just received our new season of bee pollen from our local keeper and it is available here too: https://www.inspiredwellbeing.org/product/buy-bee-pollen/
For some supplementing therapeutic amounts is necessary if you’re suffering with strong allergies. Take 500mg three times a day if your symptoms are severe, then drop down to 500mg once a day once your reaction is under control. This maintenance dose is also effective for reducing allergic potential. The best results are achieved by supplementing 250mg twice a day, with some bromelain (a digestive enzyme from pineapple) and vitamin C.
Glutamine is an essential part of any regime designed to quickly restore healthy mucous membranes and reduce allergic potential. It is also a powerful nutrient for supporting proper immune function and protecting the liver. For this reason, I might use it as part of healing a leaky gut – thereby reducing your allergic potential – but also for anyone experiencing allergy symptoms.
As part of a daily anti-allergy regime take 500mg. Or if you suspect you have a leaky gut (which usually goes hand in hand with allergies), increase this dose to 8g a day for three weeks. If you use glutamine powder, stir it into cold water – a heaped teaspoon is about 4g. For best results, drink this solution on an empty stomach first or last thing.
Glutamine is also found in many foods, so you can increase the amounts available to your body by using any of the following: All animal products, especially high in bone broth or meat stock, raw spinach, asparagus, red cabbage, cottage cheese, wild caught fish, beans and spirulina. will give you a good supply.
Bromelain is a collection of proteolytic (literally meaning protein breakdown) enzymes found in pineapple stems that have considerable anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling properties. In a double-blind clinical trial, participants given 160mg of Bromelain daily experienced significant improvements in nasal drainage, swelling and restored free breathing, compared to those on dummy treatment. Take up to 300mg daily if you are having an allergic reaction or 100mg daily to reduce your allergic potential.
Curcumin is the natural anti-inflammatory agent found in the spice Turmeric.
A placebo controlled trial gave 241 patients who suffered from allergic rhinitis either placebo or curcumin for 2 months. “Curcumin alleviated nasal symptoms (sneezing and rhinorrhea) and nasal congestion through reduction of nasal airflow resistance.”. Also measures of inflammatory markers (TNFalpha and IL4,6 and 10) reduced significantly. The problem with curcumin is its not very absorbable into the bloodstream so its best to choose supplements that have a proven high bioavailability.
If using turmeric powder or fresh root, it is a fat soluble food, so add some coconut oil or milk along with some black pepper. The pepperines in the black pepper help with assimilation.
I hope this helps to give you some ideas and relief through the spring and summer – allowing you to enjoy nature and see the benefits more of being outside!
- Avoid mucus-forming, pro-inflammatory foods such as commercial dairy and meat – source grass fed or organic meats and dairy where possible.
- Further reduce your allergic potential by avoiding highly allergenic foods such as wheat, gluten (rich in wheat, rye and barley) and yeast. Kamut wheat products, however, tend not to produce ‘intolerant’ reaction seen with modern wheat.
- Get tested for food intolerances so that you know if there are any other foods you need to avoid. And sort out any digestive problems. Disruption in the gut enhances allergic potential. Read my book Hidden Food Allergies to get to the bottom of your food allergies and improve gut health.
- Up your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Have at least 3 servings of fruit, a large mixed salad and 3 portions of vegetables daily. Choose local, organic produce. Local because there will be less depletion of antioxidant nutrients and organic to avoid pesticide residue which itself is an allergen. Eat plenty of these foods raw.
- Increase omega-3 fats by eating plenty of unfried, unbreaded oily fish such as anchovies, mackerel, sardines, wild or organic salmon, kippers and fresh, not tinned, tuna. Also add plenty of freshly ground linseeds and pumpkin seeds to cereals, salads and soups every day.
- Avoid alcohol – it’s a major gut disruptor which increases your allergic potential
- Drink 2 litres of pure, filtered water a day.
- Use herbal tea such as dandelion and nettle or chamomile.
A probiotic supplement providing both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria
A combination supplement providing Quercitin, Bromelain, MSM, Vitamin C and Glutamine