Beating the Pollen Blues

There are strategies to reduce or eliminate allergic symptoms. This is the conclusion of Raffaele Filice, M.D. Dr Filice discusses a number of strategies in the Spring 2005 edition of Canadian Health and Lifestyle Magazine.

Dr. Filice contrasts the conventional approach to allergy treatment with a different perspective. Allergies and asthma appear to be on the rise. It could be that part of the reason is that our bodies are exposed to and expected to process an ever-increasing number of "foreign" substances.

Conventional treatments start with pharmaceutical agents that directly affect the histamine pathway. Thus, anti-histamines are designed to stop histamine reactions by mediating the reaction. However, whether conventional treatment or alternative treatment, it is important to start the treatment early, before the reaction is full blown.
Dr. Filice suggests a number of strategies to manage and reduce allergic reactions:
  1. Reduce exposure to "foreign" substances. This includes toxic elements as well as allergic substances. The less impact of environmental toxins on your body, the less likely that allergic reaction will develop. Use filtration devices for water and air in your home. Use of a HEPA air filtration device in a bedroom can reduce allergy symptoms by as much as 50%. Switch to environmentally friendly household cleansing products. Eat organic.
  2. Eliminate toxins in your body. Dr. Filice suggests gentle approaches to internal cleansing, including juice fasts or herbal teas to help improve elimination. The liver does most of the work of getting rid of toxins in the body. Milk thistle is an herb that enhances liver function.
  3. Use a sauna. A sauna induces the body to seat and is a good support for eliminating chemicals that can build up in the body.
  4. Take nutritional supplements. Of all supplements, anti-oxidants are helpful in reducing allergy symptoms. Common anti-oxidants are vitamin C, E and the mineral selenium. Particularly recommended for allergies is the anti-oxidant quercitin. Another potent support is Grape seed oil.
  5. Take herbal supplements. Chamomile, peppermint, ginger and anise are natural antihistamines! (Be careful with chamomile if you have some types of allergy.) Stinging nettle is used specifically for hay fever.
  6. Enhance your mind-body connection. Stress can affect allergy, and aggravate symptoms. The sensitivity that the immune system is demonstrating may include sensitivity to emotional state.
  7. Try homeopathics and NAET. This is the least "mainstream" approach. Homeopathics work in an entirely different way than conventional medicines. If you choose this route, consider a "prescription" from a trained homeopath to improve your chance of success with this therapy. NAET is another alternative therapy which is non-invasive, drug-free and is reported to eliminate allergies. It uses a combination of testing and treatment procedures from acupressure, chiropractic, nutritional and kinesiologic disciplines, and has reported good success. You can find a practitioner at
Finally, Dr. Filice says that we should not be afraid to combine alternative and mainstream therapies. Most natural therapies will work synergistically with conventional ones, without negative interaction. Remember to consult a health practitioner with your questions.

Spring 2005 Canadian Health and Lifestyle Magazine

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