Understanding & Treating Allergies
Regarding allergy and its causes, there are two theories that deserve special mention.
(1) When the body is in a low state of vitality, it loses its natural ability to recognize “foods” from “foes” and, in a sense of confusion, fear and/or panic, the body can set up a reaction (rejection) to a common food.
(2) When we overindulge in a certain food type, eg wheat or dairy, the body will sense an imbalance developing and cause an allergic reaction to prevent further advance of this imbalance. This reaction is intended to serve as a warning that we should cut back on or curtail the consumption of that food.
Whatever the cause of a particular allergy may be, treatment must include a comprehensive program to boost vitality and to boost immunity. See the Nature’s Choice Immune Boosting Program at this link, or else see the Recovery Support Program that is included in all Nature’s Choice Herbal Teas. In all cases of allergy, and wherever possible, hiking will do wonders to relieve the symptoms of allergy and to boost vitality. Do not overdo it and make sure you take your medication (if any) on the hike with you.
The following information on allergies is taken from the Natural Remedies Encyclopedia. This is the kind of easy-to-read, yet incredibly detailed treatment information that is included in this amazing book. The Encyclopedia consists of over 840 pages and offers treatment guidelines for more than 730 diseases and disorders. Ordering instructions are given at the bottom of this page.
Symptoms of Allergy
Digestive (after eating) Symptoms: Dry mouth, food intolerance, stomach ulcers, canker sores, excessive tiredness, palpitations, swelled stomach, sweating, mental fuzziness, stinging tongue, metallic taste, heartburn, indigestion, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, food cravings, pains, intestinal gas, gallbladder trouble.
Muscular and skeletal symptoms: Arthritis. Aches in neck, back or shoulders. Fatigue: spasms: joint pain.
Respiratory and throat symptoms: Cough, asthma, frequent colds, postnasal drip, wheezing, hay fever, nosebleeds, chest tightness, hoarseness, shortness of breath, dry or sore throat.
Nervous symptoms: Tachycardia (fast heart rate), palpitations, depression, anger, anxiety, confusion, irritability, hyperactivity, restlessness, learning and memory problems. After repeated contact with the allergen, a laryngeal (throat) spasm may occur and emergency intubation (a tube) is required to save the life. If the condition gets that bad, epinephrine may be necessary.
Skin symptoms: Blotches, acne, flushing, hives, dark circles under eyes, itching, eczema, psoriasis. The skin rash is the special identifying symptom.
An allergy is a sensitivity to some particular substance, known as an allergen. It may be harmless to some while causing problems to others. The allergen will not be a virus or bacteria; but it may be a food, inhalant, or chemical. It may be smoke, molds, pollen, perfume, formalin, hair spray, fumes from gas stoves, paint fumes, or tobacco smoke, etc. Hay fever, one of the most common allergies, is triggered by pollens from flowers. A common cause is chocolate, milk, pork, and other meat products.
Causes vary widely: There can be urticaria (skin rash with itching) from fish or strawberries, paranoia from sugar, headaches from perfume, or asthma-like symptoms from sulfite (a preservative in sulphured raisins and apricots). The list goes on and on.
Mold is a special problem to many. It can be in the house, in the food, in drugs (that is what the penicillin-type drugs are: mold!). Avoid dampness in, or around, your home.
Unfortunately, we live in the chemical age. The body cannot handle all the problem substances entering it; and it rebels. Allergies generally are not life-threatening. But some are, and we call that anaphylaxis.
- Begin with a short 3 day cleansing fast on fruit and vegetable juices. This will eliminate excess mucus buildup, release allergens from your body, and pave the way for improved diet changes. If you are not thin, repeat this 3 day fast every month.
- Here is a good liver flush to take during the fast: 1 tsp. of olive oil, one-half tsp. of fresh ginger, 1 tsp. of fenugreek, 1 tsp of ground dandelion, the juice of 1 fresh lemon, and a pinch of cayenne. Mix it in juice and drink every morning during the fast.
- Take vitamin C to bowel tolerance (the amount you can take before diarrhea results from the acidity in the C). Take 1000 mg with bioflavonoids, 3 times a day.
- Take vitamin A and zinc, and be sure to get enough essential fatty acids and vitamin B complex.
- Take pantothenic acid (50-100mg, 3 times daily) for a few days, to stimulate the production of your own allergy- fighting cortisone. B complex and B12 may also help. Pantothenic acid (200-500mg daily) boosts adrenal function. Vitamin E (400-600IU) has allergenic properties, when taken for several days before exposure to allergens.
- Eat a balanced , moderate, nutritious diet. Drink more water, making sure it is pure, and you will find that many things in your life will improve.
- Avoid canned, refined, preserved, sugary, fatty foods. Avoid meat, caffeine, dairy and alcoholic products.
- Try eating 1-2 tsp. bee pollen granules each day. This helps solve allergic reactions for some people. Two acidophilus capsules daily help others.
- Building up the body and avoiding the offensive substances is what you want. But how can you learn what you should avoid. The simplest solution is to do a pulse test. Include one test item in each meal, take your pulse after each meal and see if that item raised your pulse a little. Some people are disturbed each time they ride in a car. Perhaps it is something where you work. Keep searching for causes.
- If you suspect a certain food to be the problem, avoid it for a week or two; then try it again and see it the symptoms reappear. If no particular food is suspected, test favourite foods first. This is because some allergic foods give “a lift” before giving you a let down allergic reaction, so you tend to crave them. Sometimes a certain combination of foods at a meal is the problem. Write down what you are eating in a “food diary”, so you will not forget. Always use a high-quality sample of the food you are testing, so you will be certain whether or not it is that food itself which is bothering you.
- Suspect foods most likely to cause problems: dairy foods, eggs, grains (especially wheat, rye, barley, oats, white rice, and corn), soybeans in any form (tofu, soy milk), citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, bananas, peanuts, chocolates, meat products, caffeine, oysters, salmon, processed and refined foods, white sugar foods, fried foods, salt, tobacco.
- Garlic contains quercetin, which slows inflammatory reactions. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid. Bromelain (in pineapple) makes quercetin more effective.
- Stinging nettle roots and leaves have been used for centuries to treat allergic nasal and respiratory symptoms (runny nose, coughs, chest congestion, asthma, etc.)
- In Europe, chamomile is used to treat skin allergies and hives.
- Wild yam stimulates the production of hormones which reduce inflammation caused by allergies.
- Nettles (stinging nettles) are widely used for their antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects. Take 2 teaspoon tincture or 1-2 capsules (preferably freeze-dried) every 2-4 hours.
- Ginkgo contains ginkgolides, which reduce allergies, asthma and inflammation. Do not use more than 60-240mg of the standardized extract per day.
- Horseradish clears the sinuses, Feverfew treats migraines and is useful for allergies. Pregnant or nursing mothers should not take feverfew.
- The following herbs have antihistamine properties: dandelion, eyebright, burdock, comfrey, goldenseal (unless you are allergic to ragweed or pregnant), fenugreek and lobelia.
- For excess mucus sip eyebright tea.
- For irritated mucous membranes, drink 1 cup of any of these herb teas: thyme, hyssop, marjoram or lavender.
- For itching eyes, apply cold compresses of witch hazel diluted in 4 parts boiled water.
- Echinacea (2 -1 tsp. tincture, 3-4 times daily for 1 week) will help stimulate the immune system.
- For eye redness, drink hot mullein flower tea.
- The adrenal gland is weaker during the hay fever season; so drink licorice root tea, but not if you have high blood pressure and tend to retain water.
- Hot fluids open nasal passages. Drink hot red clover or nettles tea.
- In contrast, cold applications to the forehead and face greatly help ease very severe hay fever. Wring the compress out of ice water and replace them when they begin warming up. You will begin feeling better in an hour; but keep it up for 3-4 hours and see how much help it brings you.
- Vacuum the house and car more often. Air-condition the house and car. Install an air cleaner in your bedroom or get one which connects to your central air conditioner. Buy a dehumidifier.
- Make sure the bedroom is as dust free as possible. Wrap your mattress in plastic. Use a synthetic pillow (polyester fiberfill) or none at all (not feather and kapok pillows). Wash mattress pads more often. Avoid fuzzy blankets. Wash bed clothing frequently. Wipe bed frames with a damp cloth. Use cotton sheets and blankets of synthetic fibres. Avoid comforters and quilts. Keep pets out of the bedroom.
- Get rid of the old carpets and clean the floors. You may need to install new carpets or stop using carpets; use throw rugs instead. Eliminate “dust catcher” areas.
- Clean damp areas in your home, such as under the sink and around the bathtub. Wear a mask when you clean your house. Use dust- removing polish. When done, go outside for 30 minutes so the dust can settle.
- Use mold-proof paint on the house.
- If you have animals in the house, keep them clean, well-groomed, and healthy. Frequently change cages or wash their bedding. Animals are not involved in allergy as frequently as people think. But if you have unmistakable evidence that a pet is the source of an allergy, try bathing it and keeping it well groomed. If this fails, be sure to find a good home for the pet. It is a living thing also and its needs should be respected.
- Set aside one room which you keep air-filtered.
- Avoid mold, fresh paint, insect sprays, tobacco smoke and fresh tar.
- Avoid outdoor activities too early in the day when pollen and mold counts are very high. Late afternoon or early evenings are better.
- Remain indoors if it is windy and dry outside.
- Allergic dust collects in your nose. Rinse your nose with saltwater – 1/4 tsp in 1 cup warm water.
- Eat lightly and maintain a regular exercise program. (But do not exercise next to busy, air-polluting roads and freeways.) Exercise improves air flow through the nasal passages. Three minutes of vigorous exercise has been shown to reverse nasal congestion.
- A hot footbath is often effective in relieving nasal congestion.
- Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Do not live near smoke-producing factories.
- Avoid pesticides, fungicides, phosphorus fertilizers, fluorescent lights, aluminum cookware, mercury tooth fillings, deodorants, microwave ovens, and non-filtered computer screens.
- Do not swim in a lake heavily infested with algae, or in pools which are heavily chlorinated.
- In extreme situations of severe symptoms and high pollen counts, shower when you come indoors or do it that night. Avoid contact with pets which have been outside. Do not permit them in the house.
- Here is Gaonkar’s maneuver : Take a large swallow of salty water into your mouth. Tip your head back as if to swallow it; then try to gargle it up through your nose. While doing this , have your fingers in your ears to close them (to protect the eustachian tubes); the mouth is also closed. Then, as you bring your face downward, try to cough. This forces water into the nasal passageway, and nicely cleans out the nose and nasal cavities. Do this 3-4 times a day.
- Make sure an effective pollen filter is installed in your car.
Some allergy-provoking substances, such as dust and pollen, have a positive electrical charge. Negative ions appear to counteract the allergenic effects of these positively charged ions on respiratory tissues. Purchasing a negative ion generator (often included in air filter machines) often helps reduce allergenic problems.
There really are dust mites! They are microscopic creatures with eight legs, called house-dust mites. It eats flakes of dead skin and excretes tiny pellets which cause you to sneeze when you breathe them. They live in every type of natural or synthetic fibre in your home. They multiply fastest when temperatures are above 70°F and the relative humidity is above 50%. They die when the humidity drops below 40%-50%, so purchase a dehumidifier- especially for your bedroom. Before every dust mite dies about 4 months after birth, it leaves 200 times its own weight in waste matter behind – for you to inhale and sneeze over.
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The Natural Remedies Encyclopedia was authored by Dr Edgar E. Archbold, Dr Harold M. Cherne, and Vance Ferrell