‘Tis the Season…

Trees blooming, grass growing, the wind blowing: welcome signs of spring, but for many, also the dreaded warning that allergy symptoms will soon begin.  The familiar symptoms of allergic reaction, stuffy or dripping nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and more, occur as a result of the body’s response to histamine. Histamine is released by specialized immune cells called mast cells. The mast cells play a role in fighting bacteria and other pathogens, but in some people, they react to environmental “allergens” such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.

Managing allergy symptoms can be accomplished through several means, encouraging the reduction of inflammation and histamine production, and inhibiting mast cell reaction. Nature has provided molecules from food and plants that can support these processes.

NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) is a powerful antioxidant which reduces inflammation and helps thin mucus.

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in several foods such as red wine, onions, and tea. Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine in that it inhibits the release of histamine from the mast cells.

Bromelain comes from the stem of the pineapple. It has been shown to fight inflammation in the sinuses. Those with an allergy to pineapple should avoid it.

Luteolin, a yellow flavonoid in many fruits, vegetables and dandelion leaves, blocks the ability of mast cells to release histamine thereby stopping symptoms before they begin.

Stinging nettle may help to reduce histamine induced inflammation and therefore reduce allergy symptoms.

*These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.