The first week of May is Naturopathic Awareness Week. It’s also the National Allergy Awareness Week and a perfect occasion to talk about natural ways you can reduce your seasonal allergy symptoms and eventually eliminate them altogether. Yes, it IS possible!
Many of you noticed the return of your allergy symptoms (argh!) with the first window of warm weather during the Olympics in February and flowers burst out in bloom. Your body creates these allergy symptoms in response to its environment. When mast cells in your nose, mouth, eyes and throat come in contact with allergens they release histamine. This chemical creates the annoying symptoms you generally experience such as itchy eyes and throat, runny nose and sneezing.
Most over the counter medications act by stopping the release of histamine from mast cells – in other words, suppressing your body’s natural immune response to it’s environment. Anti-histamines might get you through the current season, but doesn’t solve the problem long term.
To find a long-term solution, we need to dig deeper and ask the question: why? Why is the body reacting to the allergens in the first place? Usually it’s because the body is out of balance in two areas: immune and detoxification. By addressing these areas, plus other individualized barriers to health, you can create long-term resolution of symptoms.
A Naturopathic approach to resolving allergy symptoms includes nutrition, lifestyle counselling, botanical medicine, homeopathy and targeted nutrients to support your immune system function and help your body lighten its load by detox
Here are 5 things you can start doing today that will help you to begin saying goodbye to your seasonal allergies:
- Eat foods high in vitamin C – they help stabilize your mast cells and reduce the release of histamines: Raspberries, papaya, cantaloupe, kiwi, strawberries, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and broccoli
- Eat liver friendly foods – it’s one of the organs responsible for eliminating toxins: Onions, garlic, and lightly steamed broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and Brussels sprouts
- Food Allergy Assessment – Talk to your ND about this –food allergies can be at the root of immune system imbalance and over activation.
- Drink lots of fluid –
divide your body weight (lbs) in half. This is how many ounces of water or decaffeinated herbal teas you should be trying to drink in a day – this will help your body eliminate waste.
- Do a Seasonal Detox – doing a 10-21 day detoxification protocol each fall and spring gives a break to your immune system and all organs involved in metabolizing and getting rid of toxins.
These five simple steps are an excellent start to bringing your body back to its natural balance. Every step you take will help you on your journey back up the River of Health.
By: Dr. Vivian Lord, Naturopathic Physician at Port Moody Integrated Health