Ah-Choo! The Best Way to Manage Hay Fever This Spring
The good news is that recent studies show that with a bit of help from nature you can sail through the sneezy season with minimum stress.
Watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat… if you’re among the one in five Australians who suffers from seasonal rhinitis (commonly known as hay fever) you are probably dreading these warmer months.
Hay fever is a response generated by the immune systems of people who are sensitive to pollen from certain grasses and weeds. Most kinds of pollen that cause hay fever are produced during warmer seasons.
This pesky pollen is often airborne and can generate allergic responses in individuals living many miles away from the source.
Leah Hechtman, vice president of the National Herbalists Association of Australia explains what exactly is going on underneath all that itchiness and sneezing.
“Some people are genetically sensitive to airborne pollen allergens inhaled through the nose (and) when the body of a sensitive person recognises an allergen, it produces the antibody immunoglobulin (IgE). This attaches to mast cells in the body, which release a chemical called histamine to fight the allergen.”
Histamine is therefore the chemical responsible for the symptoms that can make life a misery during hay fever season. So what can we do to manage histamine responses and solve the problem of these seasonal allergies?
Recent studies have shown a certain Chinese herb may provide a welcome alternative for allergy sufferers.
Perilla frutescens (Perilla) leaf has been shown in animal studies to have significant anti-allergic activity. It is able to suppress antigen release from mast cells, and induce a reduction in the allergy-promoting inflammatory signals of the body.
These animal studies as well as other trials have shown that Perilla may act to inhibit IgE production, reduce histamine releasefrom mast cells and down-regulate T-helper 2 cell activity to reduce allergicactivity.
Basically if you can get your hands on a good Perilla supplement then they wont be used to scratch your face!
The Japanese recognise Perilla’s anti-allergy properties and commonly use this popular garnish as an antidote for fish and crab meat allergy.
Amazingly, Perilla extract was also effective in preventing experimental anaphylaxis in mice! This was determined to be due to Perilla’s rosmarinic acid, with a contribution from other Perilla compounds.
It is important to note however that this was at extremely high doses and patients should seek emergency attention if experiencing life threatening anaphylaxis.
Perilla is just the tip of the iceberg! Natural therapies provide great and effective options for hay fever sufferers and the research is increasing steadily to back these therapies up.
Perilla has already been shown to inhibit IgE production, reduce histamine releasefrom mast cells and down-regulate Th2 activity to reduce allergicactivity.
Other nutrients and herbs such as Quercetin, Albizia lebbeck (Albizia) and Atractylodes lancea (Atractylodes) also helpstabilise mast cells to reduce the release of histamine.
Quercetin hasalso been shown to reduce inflammation, inhibit Th2 cell activity andreduce IgE production. Quercetin specifically is proven to inhibit the release ofhistamine from nasal mucosal mast cells in patients with hay fever.
Alternatively for a high strength formula to knock those allergic symptoms right on the head, try Allergy Management formula. It combines the high dose Perilla extract that we have heard all about, with Albizia, Atractylodes, and Quercetin.
What else can I do?
Click here to learn more about hay fever.
Take preventative measures:
- Where possible, stay inside when pollen is at it’s peak, usually from 7am – 9am and 4pm – 6pm, on windy days or just after thunderstorms.
- Avoid drying clothes or sheets outside in peak hours when pollen may stick to them.
- Avoid freshly cut grass.
- Avoid inflammatory foods. Click here to find out more about Eating to Reduce Inflammation.
- Invest in an E-Consult from Emed. This in-depth consultationwill identify key areas of your health that need to be addressed, andwill provide you with the information, recommendations and productguides to achieve optimal health. Click here for more information.
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- How to Prevent the Flu with Good Nutrition
- ‘Snot Fair! Hayfever and Mucus
- Nasal Sprays: Quick Fix Or Health Risk?