For many people with allergies, they can be a minor inconvenience causing occasional itchy eyes or runny nose. For others, allergies can be life threatening. While severe allergies need to be managed with strict avoidance and very important medication, there are natural options available for minor to moderate allergies.
As a naturopathic doctor, my goal is to treat the underlying cause of disease. Allergies are no different. There are several theories about what causes allergies, but they are the immune system’s reaction to something harmless. While I’m working with people to understand what is causing their allergies (or other health concerns), we also look at ways to control the symptoms to make them a bit more comfortable. If you have allergies, you might want to consider some of these ideas:
1) Nettle tea – Drinking one or more cups of nettle tea daily can reduce allergic symptoms. Nettle tea is also a great nourishing tea and reduces inflammation.
2) Apples and onions – Citrus fruits, apples, and onions are natural sources of a flavonoid called quercetin. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine, acting similarly to conventional allergy medicine, although not as strong. Time to increase your onion intake!
3) Avoid your food sensitivities – This can have a significant impact on environmental sensitivities. If you have food sensitivities to something like wheat or corn, by avoiding those you may notice a reduction in frequency or severity of your environmental allergy symptoms.
4) Homeopathics – There are some great homeopathic blends that work very well to reduce allergy symptoms. These are available over the counter, but I always suggest seeing a health care practitioner who can make a recommendation that fits your symptom picture.
5) NAET – One of the best tools I have to treat the underlying cause of allergies is NAET. My own allergies led me to experience and study this technique. NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique), was developed 30 years ago by Dr. Devi Nambudripad MD, DC, LAc. It uses a combination of medical theory with chiropractic and kinesiology, all with an underlying philosophy of Chinese medicine. According to NAET theory, an allergen is an unusual sensitivity to one or more substances, which blocks the smooth movement of the vital energy. You can be allergic to almost anything, including food, chemicals, things you breathe in, things you touch, and many more. These allergies can show up in MANY different symptoms, ranging from traditional allergies (itchy eyes, watery nose, and sneezing) to headaches, body aches and pain, asthma, digestive disturbances, hormonal issues, skin conditions, and many, many more. NAET treatments are non invasive, incorporating stimulation of spinal nerves and acupuncture/acupressure.
If you are looking for natural ways to reduce your allergies or manage symptoms, I encourage you to speak with a naturopathic doctor who can help you put a plan in place that works for you. If you have questions about NAET or would like to learn more about my practice, I offer free 15 minute consults at Kingston Natural Route Health (www.natural-route.com, 613-767-6982).
Dr. Elizabeth Brothers MSc, ND is one of the many wonderful speakers at Janati’s Wellness Day on August 6th, 2016. To learn more about natural approaches to allergies, or to speak with Dr. Elizabeth in person, join us at the Wellness Day event.