| By Mike Rogers and Bill Cheek of Nature’s Vitamins & Herbs |
We have talked to many people who have moved to our beautiful mountains looking for that healthy “X” factor including clean air! Many soon realize after moving here that our air contains (among other things) year-round airborne pollens. Because our elevation ranges between 2,000 and 6,000 feet plants and trees are always in varying degrees of growth cycles up and down the mountains. Add in the prevalence of mold, animal dander, and our taste for wheat and dairy products! This adds up to lots of challenges for our immune systems that work 24/7 to keep our bodies clear of invasive substances.More specifically, our immune systems see these and many others as foreign substances (allergens). Once allergens enter the body our complex immune system “attacks” and seeks to neutralize or destroy them by creating specialized protein called “antibodies”. These antibodies causes the release of various chemicals whose job is to rid of these invasive allergens. Included in these in our old friend “histamine”. For simplicity sake we will discuss this one chemical and the various drugs and supplements known to counteract histamine.
Histamine is the culprit in causing a host of miserable symptoms such as runny nose (you ever wonder how so much mucous can come our of your body….Yikes!), red itchy eyes, sneezing, sinus headaches, low energy, etc. Some people are affected by low exposure to allergens while others only feel it after an overload of exposure. Obviously, the best plan of action is to avoid your enemy completely! Usually, this is impossible so the market offers an abundance of treatments.
Many drug choices are available by prescription or OTC. Benadryl, Claritin and Zyrtec are market standards for allergies. They work by dampening or blocking the affects of histamine or other released chemicals by the body. These typically work well for most, even though drowsiness and dry mouth may be a side effect issue for some. The Natural Product industry also offers a host of choices. Most major herbal companies has their version of a allergy blocker. Some products that our store has had success with and offers will be discussed here.
Several natural products seem to have antihistamine-like effects. Stinging Nettles, Quercetin, Vitamin C, Bromelain, are common ingredients used in a variety of combinations. Some companies will add in natural decongestants used to open airways for ease for breathing and sinus drainage. Fenugreek and Horseradish are examples of this. Of course, good old Eucalyptus essential oil can help with this. A drop or two under the nostrils or dispersed in your environment is usually very effective to open your breathing passages. Some brands we carry and recommend are Ortho Molecular’s D-Hist, Nature Sunshine’s ALJ, and Ecclectic Institute’s freeze-dried Stinging Nettles. These typically can help minimize your response to whatever you are reacting to. Good advice is to begin taking one of these a couple of weeks in anticipation of a seasonal allergy situation. Spring and Fall are high allergy seasons, so begin before the season starts.
Other great options are homeopathic remedies. These can be specific or general. Call us for advice.
To summarize, allergies make us feel awful, zaps energy, and how much kleenex can we really go through? However, there may be a remedy out there for you! Call us or come by for a recommendation. Eat healthy, stay hydrated, hang with friends and family, get some exercise, laugh a LOT more! Be well!
Call the guys at Nature’s Vitamins & Herbs for more information or with your questions: 828-251-0094. Mike Rogers (Doctor of Pharmacy) and Bill Cheek (B.S. Pharmacy)