"Hayfever" Season -Minimize Those Annoying Symptoms

Dr. Brenda Gill
By Dr. Brenda Gill
June 10th, 2015

          “Hayfever” is an allergic condition triggered by inhalant particles, usually pollens.  The common symptoms are sneezing/snuffling/stuffed or runny nose,  itchy/red or irritated eyes, sinus congestion, wheezing or shortness of breath and a scratchy/itchy throat.

          The first step is to concentrate on anti-inflammatory eating and drinking. So, to start, drink 8-10 glasses of spring or filtered water per day (or 1/2 you body weight in ounces).  Try to sip the water and drink a glass/hour.  This helps to thin the mucous and clear irritants from the system. 

Have your meals consist of 40% carbohydrates in the form of steamed veggies, so that there is maximal utilization and availability of food nutrients.  This allows the digestive system to repair itself. 

Raw veggies should be a serving of salad.  Always choose a variety, mostly from the low carbohydrate group.  These include asparagus, been sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumber, greens, beans, brussel sprouts, eggplant, garlic, onions, peppers and zucchini.  Also for carbohydrates, you may want a ½ cup of cooked grains per day unless you have blood sugar problems.  Have a variety such as amaranth, millet, barley, buckwheat, oatmeal, quinoa, basmati brown rice, rye or teff, rye crisps and wasa crackers.  Another choice could be legumes such as split peas, lentils, kidney/pinto/black/aduki/mung beans, tofu or garbanzo beans.

Proteinsshould be about 30-40%.  These could consist of fish-wild salmon is the easiest around here to buy, or others such as cod, haddock, halibut, sardines or flounder.  Chicken/turkey organically grown or free-range gives you a variety, as well as buffalo, lamb or wild meat. 

Keep fruit to 1-2/day with the best being cantaloupe, strawberries, melons, blue/black/cran/raspberries, apricots, peaches/plums.  Minimize high carbohydrate fruits such as grapes, mangoes, pineapple, pears and apples. 

Grind flax, pumpkin, sesame or sunflower seeds and add to veggies/salads/ cooked grains.  Also enjoy yummy almond/cashew/hazelnut butters.

The second step is to consider supplements that are useful.  They are similar to those for other environmental allergies. 

Consider Vitamin C because it acts as a natural anti-histamine.  Quercitin, a bioflavinoid, works well with Vitamin C to minimize inflammation and reduce the severity of hayfever symptoms.  I often have people take these throughout the season.  Other bioflavinoids that are helpful are hesperidin and rutinBeta-carotene is also a powerful anti-oxidant that decreases inflammatory responses.  Vitamin E inhibits the formation of inflammatory compounds as well.  Selenium reduces the production of leukotrienes, which create inflammation.  Magnesium relaxes smooth muscle, which, therefore decreases shortness of breath and wheezing.

          The third step to consider is herbs.  One of the first herbs I will suggest is nettles to reduce symptoms.  I have people make an herbal tea and drink 2-3 cups per day.  Chinese scullcap is anti-inflammatory and has strong flavinoids, so, this can be added to tea or used as a tincture.  It is often mixed with licorice, gum weed, euphrobia and sundew that helps thin the secretions.  Angelica is also very effective in individuals with sensitivities to pollens, dust, animal dander and moulds.  It minimizes the production of allergic antibodies.  Onions and garlic inhibit inflammatory chemicals and contain quercitin, so, should be included in the diet.

          Fourthly, you may want to try homeopathics.  Euphrasia, Allium cepa and Sabadilla may be helpful.

          This should give you some tools to minimize those symptoms, so you can get out and enjoy those summer months!

If you would like to eliminate your allergies consider an appointment with: Dr. Brenda Gill at 250-362-5035.       

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