Considering an estimated 80 per cent of the immune system is located in the gut, improving the digestive system is pivotal to alleviating allergies. Removing gut irritants, healing the intestinal lining, optimising digestive organs and maximising the microbiome can aid allergies. Here are some general suggestions that have helped some people with their allergies.
Clear the colon with a weekly cleanse of vegetable juice or low-starch vegetable broth for a day. Flush out membranes with warm herbal tea and filtered water. Minimise mucousy foods including dairy, rice, wheat, sugar and bananas. Feast on vitamin C and flavonoid-rich foods which fortify tissues and allay histamines. These include apples, berries, broccoli, buckwheat, capers, capsicum, coriander, kale, kiwifruit, mango, papaya, parsley and watercress.
Garlic, onion and horseradish moderate dry secretions and increase immunity.
Beta carotene-rich foods such as apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and mango avert allergic reactions. Honey desensitises the body to pollens while optimising digestive enzymes to deal with allergens. Though honey contains pollens, a 1995 study found pollen-sensitive subjects did not react to honey pollen. Honey is best unheated, with unique manuka factor. A dash of apple-cider vinegar in warm water optimises assimilation and elimination via its antioxidant phenols. Omega-3 fatty acids can noticeably ease allergy symptoms by reducing pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and prostaglandin. Salmon, flaxseed oil and eggs have abundant omega-3s. The essential fatty acids in fish or flaxseed oil reduce allergic inflammation. Probiotic supplements or foods like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and yoghurt can lower levels of antibodies that trigger symptoms according to studies.
Healing and sealing a leaky gut decreases the allergic inflammatory response. Therapeutics such as aloe vera, glutamine, goldenseal, liquorice, marshmallow and slippery elm are soothing demulcents to soothe the intestinal mucous membrane.
Blood-purifying potions can clear skin issues. Herbal help to consider are burdock, calendula, dandelion root, echinacea, neem, red clover and yellow dock. Other herbal heroes are Ayurveda’s top anti-allergy herb Albizia lebbek, antioxidant amalaki or Indian gooseberry and Chinese or Baikal skullcap, shown to reduce the histamine and leukotriene release from mast cells. Perilla is an ancient Chinese remedy for rhinitis and an antidote for seafood allergies. Studies show it suppresses antigen-specific IgE production and histamine release. Pycnogenol is a French pine bark extract which is a natural antihistamine and antioxidant. A study showed it reduced birch pollen sensitivity by 39 per cent and decreased inflammatory leukotriene levels. Liquorice is an anti-allergy saviour as studies have shown that its glycyrrhetinic acid has anti-inflammatory properties. Liquorice also calms the adrenals and assists mucus expectoration. Try turmeric root in juices or powder with savoury dishes as an antioxidant, anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory tonic. St Mary’s thistle is a liver herb that lightens the toxin load and high histamine. Stinging nettle is a favourite herb to heal hay fever horrors. It contains formic acid which curbs hay fever flare-ups. Horseradish may be helpful for hay fever as it increases blood flow and flushes allergens away.
There are many supportive supplements for immune-influenced allergies. Vitamin C has a natural antihistamine effect that kicks in at a minimum of 1000mg/day for adults. Liposomal C absorbs directly orally, potentially relieving oral allergy symptoms. Both low and high levels of vitamin D have been associated with allergies. It has a role in regulating immune system cells and the release of chemicals that can produce allergy symptoms. A 2021 study
in International Immunopharmacology exhibited vitamin E’s ability to inhibit inflammatory mediators in allergies.
Bioflavonoids, especially quercetin, enhance vitamin C’s efficacy and help to stabilise mast cells which secrete the histamine. Quercetin is abundant in buckwheat, apples, onions, kale, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, berries, red wine and tea.
Enzymes assisting the digestion of potential allergens include amylase, protease, lipase, tilactase and cellulase. Enzymes bromelain in pineapple and papain in papaya are also natural anti-inflammatories.
Nigella sativa was effective for treating allergic rhinitis in a study published in the American Journal of Otolaryngology. I have also found the black seed oil effective topically for skin allergies in some cases.
Natural green clay packs can draw allergens from the skin in cases of itchy
skin allergies, but must be followed with a moisturising agent to counter the dehydrating effect. Eczema sufferers can use a barrier-repair emollient to minimise moisture loss, prevent dry skin, ease itching and heal cracked skin. Application of a moisturiser may be needed up to five times a day. Natural oils such as argan, emu, kanuka, sacha inchi, jojoba, pumpkin seed and vitamin E are ideal. Herbal oils infused with calendula, chickweed, liquorice, neem and white mallow can calm angry skin allergies. Moderate use of infrared saunas or low-UV sunshine along with sea swims can calm scaly skin allergies. Drying soaps or chemical make-up should be strictly avoided until the skin settles.
Homeopathics are ideally prescribed by a qualified practitioner to ensure a suitable remedy is selected. Homeopathics that have proven results with allergies include Allium