What is the vagus nerve?
Spanning from brain stem to gut, the vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in the human body. Its branches extend from the brain to the heart and most major organs above and below the diaphragm and its function is vital to all of these organs and much, much more.
The vagus nerve controls the parasympathetic nervous system, which oversees a vast array of crucial bodily functions, including control of mood, immune response, digestion, and heart rate. It is essentially the switch between the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system and the activation of the “fight, flight or freeze” response of the sympathetic nervous system.
Although we need the quick action of the sympathetic nervous system to protect us from danger, we are finding that when not supported properly, the vagus nerve can get inhibited, causing sympathetic nervous system overdrive, or excessive “fight or flight." When in fight or flight, the body has difficulty regulating a healthy digestive response, blood pressure and/or a calm mood.
Our brains and bodies depend on our vagus nerve to regulate things like:
While a poorly functioning vagus nerve is linked to poor health outcomes and chronic disease, research is showing a well functioning vagus nerve is essential for achieving optimal health and recovering from chronic illness.
Dysfunctions of the vagus nerve also contribute to chronic inflammation, which is implicated in many chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and dementia as well as mental health conditions like PTSD trauma, anxiety, and depression. Chronic viral, bacterial and parasitic infections and toxic exposures to mold and other environmental toxins are also linked to vagus nerve dysfunction.
Finding ways to address vagus nerve dysfunction may help to improve resilience, recovering our innate ability to bounce back after stress.
Many of the symptoms experienced by people suffering from chronic illness, infections and toxic exposure stem from too much inflammation in the body. A well functioning Vagus nerve is important because it helps to regulate inflammation in the body and restores our ability to shift back into homeostasis and healing.
So how can you help restore the function of your vagus nerve naturally?
Other supportive measures for optimum vagus nerve function:
Vagus nerve stimulation practices you can do at home:
Supplements for an Irritable Bowel
One of the most common recommendations for people dealing with gas, bloating, or other irritable bowel issues is to follow a low-FODMAP diet.
We agree that dietary changes are powerful for gut health!
While we work on sorting out food triggers and dietary changes, we can also support the gut with supplements. None of this should be taken as medical advice, and it’s always best to work with a healthcare professional. These are simply some of the supplements we’ve seen to be most helpful for gut healing.
🌱 Peppermint Oil
Enteric-coated peppermint is one of the most researched supplements for an irritable bowel. It contains essential oils that ease muscular spasms and intestinal pain.
🌱 Chamomile, Fennel, and Star anise herbal preparations
Carminative herbs are great options that may help with the gas and bloating associated with an irritable bowel and can help soothe the digestive tract. Carminative herbs include chamomile, fennel, anise, thyme, peppermint and more.
🌱 Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes can be supplemented to help process difficult to digest foods and reduce gas and bloating.
Probiotics are complicated. They can aggravate digestive issues if there is underlying SIBO, and different strains have different effects. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium may offer some benefit to those with an irritable bowel.
Aside from getting enough fiber through vegetable intake (low-FODMAP advised), there are many powdered fiber supplements that may provide relief to those with an irritable bowel. Psyllium is a source of soluble fiber that might benefit irritable bowel issues and can be a good choice for one who is starting to improve their fiber intake.
Everyone is different! Please keep in mind that a fiber supplement that helped one individual may not be the best choice for the next individual. Trying several different types of fiber supplements may be advised. As always, having a naturopathic doctor test for underlying causes and create a customized treatment plan is typically the best option for each individual.
Want to work together? Learn about becoming a patient by clicking through to our website or calling Sonoma Roots (707) 996-4656.
ReferencesBlack CJ, Yuan Y, Selinger CP et al. Efficacy of soluble fiber, antispasmodic drugs, and gut-brain neuromodulators in irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020; 5: 117-131. [link]
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose or treat disease.
Salt restriction for heart health?
Most agree that sodium restriction has some effect on lowering blood pressure, but does avoiding salt actually help to reduce the risk of heart disease?
And what about other minerals? Do they interact to affect heart health?
A study just published in the journal Nutrients asked these questions and came up with some intriguing answers.
Researchers looked at data from a large group of people participating in the Framingham Offspring Study—more than 2000 adults between the ages of 30 and 64 who did not have heart disease at baseline.
Information was collected from participants about their dietary intake and health status (including heart disease) every 4 years for about 20 years. Here’s what they found:
What can we make of all this?
It’s more important to consume a balance of essential minerals than it is to only restrict sodium
How do we do that?
Avoid processed and packaged foods (these are high in sodium and stripped of other important minerals).
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other whole foods. You’ll naturally consume more potassium, magnesium, and calcium without the added sodium.
Please remember—this study was a population study of generally healthy individuals. If you’re at a high risk for heart disease, please talk with a healthcare professional for specific nutritional advice.
We are here to help! Click through to our website to book an appointment or call!
Pickering RT, Bradlee ML, Singer MR, Moore LL. Higher Intakes of Potassium and Magnesium, but Not Lower Sodium, Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in the Framingham Offspring Study. Nutrients. 2021; 13: 269. [link]
What is Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?
🤫It’s called a silent disease because most people have NO symptoms.
😮25% of all US adults are thought to have it.
😢60% - 95% of individuals with obesity have it.
NAFLD stands for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It exists on a spectrum, beginning with simple fatty liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver or NAFL) and in some people progressing to involve inflammation (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH).
In those who develop NASH (the inflamed form), fatty liver can worsen to liver fibrosis (scar tissue) and then liver cirrhosis (end stage).
If it advances to the point of cirrhosis, the only treatment is a liver transplant.
So, the best case scenario is to recognize fatty liver early enough to reverse it (or at lease keep it from becoming worse).
How do you know if you have fatty liver? Here are the top 3 risk factors:
Plenty of people probably have fatty liver without knowing it because it’s not exactly straightforward to diagnose.
Bloodwork is the place to start:
The main conventional approach to fatty liver is weight loss, with some doctors recommending weight loss surgery. But with functional medicine approaches, we can do SO MUCH MORE.
7 Root Causes of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
“Multi-Hit” is how researchers describe the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. We know it’s strongly linked with diabetes and obesity, but functional medicine goes deeper to understand what mechanisms are involved.
Here are some of the possible “hits,” or factors that might contribute to fatty liver:
1️⃣Genetics. Some genetic variants make a person more likely to develop fatty liver, and we see a higher risk in Hispanic individuals, followed by non-Hispanic whites and then those of Asian descent.
2️⃣Obesity. With weight gain around the middle (abdominal obesity), fat cells can change and become resistant to fat storage. That means more free fatty acids in circulation, which can accumulate in the liver.
3️⃣Metabolic Syndrome. Insulin resistance is at the center of metabolic syndrome. Cells lose their ability to properly metabolize glucose and fat, again contributing to more free fatty acids being deposited in the liver.
4️⃣Microbiome Changes. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) has been found in 50% of people with the inflamed version of fatty liver (NASH). Gut dysbiosis may lead to intestinal permeability and the release of endotoxins from the gut—going to the liver where they create inflammation.
5️⃣Mitochondrial Damage. Environmental toxins (like pesticides, heavy metals, or pollutants) can create free radicals that damage liver mitochondria. This can impair fat metabolism in the liver and also lead to inflammation.
6️⃣Impaired Methylation. The cellular process of methylation is involved in exporting fats from the liver. If methylation is impaired (by genetics or exposure to toxins for example), the liver produces less of the antioxidant SAMe, increasing the risk for liver inflammation.
7️⃣Diet & Lifestyle. High intakes of fructose (like high-fructose corn syrup in soda) lead directly to increased free fatty acids that can deposit in the liver. Alcohol is also damaging to liver cells, even if consumed in amounts that are generally considered acceptable.
Conventional wisdom says that obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome are all strongly linked with fatty liver disease. The main approach is weight loss.
Nutrients to Support Liver Health
Conventional wisdom says the key to addressing fatty liver is weight loss. I absolutely agree, but there are ADDITIONAL ways we can support liver health—based on what we know about cellular mechanisms and root causes.
Let’s take a look at some key nutritional supplements to consider when it comes to liver health.
💊 S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe). SAMe is a methyl donor and antioxidant that is generally found in high amounts in the liver—but has been found in lower amounts in people with fatty liver. SAMe supplementation supports antioxidant defenses and glutathione levels in the liver.
💊 Berberine. Berberine is an active compound in several herbs and plants. It supports healthy cholesterol metabolism and blood sugar balance—both of which influence liver health.
💊 Omega-3s. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that play a role in inflammation, liver enzyme metabolism, and many other cellular processes.
💊 Silymarin & Antioxidants. Supplements with antioxidant activity support mitochondrial function and inflammatory pathways. Some top antioxidants that have been studied for liver health include silymarin, resveratrol, astaxanthin, coenzyme Q10, and curcumin.
💊 Probiotics. Not all probiotics are the same. Specific probiotic strains that have shown promise for supporting liver health include L. bulgaris, S. thermophilus, L. rhamnosus GG, and the combination of L. acidophilus and B. lactis.
The best approach is to decide on a combination of supplements that is specific to you and based on your health history, labs, and goals. If you’re interested in getting a better understanding of your underlying patterns and a personalized plan, we invite you to become a patient at our practice! All you need to do is click through to our website for details.
4 Habits for Liver Health
In all the recent info I’ve been sharing about nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about diet and lifestyle!
👉In case you missed my post about the 7 root causes of fatty liver, you may want to take a peek back at that one—because all the ideas listed here relate to at least one or more of those causes.
Here are some diet and lifestyle considerations for anybody at risk for fatty liver disease.
1️⃣ Eat for Blood Sugar Balance. Insulin resistance is central to the development of fatty liver, so avoiding a sugary diet is a top priority. Looking for a liver-friendly diet? Consider the Mediterranean Diet—high in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats.
2️⃣ Cut Alcohol. The term “nonalcoholic” fatty liver can be confusing because it implies that alcohol is not involved. But even modest amounts of alcohol can put a strain on the liver. Best case scenario is to dramatically reduce or even eliminate alcohol altogether.
3️⃣ Exercise Regularly. The main conventional approach to fatty liver is weight loss. Exercise is key to weight loss and will help support blood sugar and fatty acid metabolism.
4️⃣ Live Clean. Your liver has to process every chemical, pesticide, and environmental pollutant that enters your body. Choosing organic foods and chemical-free products can decrease the burden, support mitochondrial health, and give your liver a chance to heal.
The excellent news? Your body has an amazing capacity to heal. Fatty liver can be reversed—as long as it has not progressed too far and you TAKE ACTION.
Maurice J, Manousou P. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Clin Med (Lond). 2018; 18: 245-250. [link]
Xu Y, Guo W, Zhang C et al. Herbal Medicine in the Treatment of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Diseases-Efficacy, Action Mechanism, and Clinical Application. Front Pharmacol. 2020; 11: 601. [link]
Wigg AJ, Roberts-Thomson IC, Dymock RB, McCarthy PJ, Grose RH, Cummins AG. The role of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, intestinal permeability, endotoxaemia, and tumour necrosis factor alpha in the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Gut. 2001; 48: 206-211. [link]
Cicero AFG, Colletti A, Bellentani S. Nutraceutical Approach to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): The Available Clinical Evidence. Nutrients. 2018; 10: E1153. [link]
Noureddin M, Mato JM, Lu SC. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: update on pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and the role of S-adenosylmethionine. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2015; 240: 809-820. [link]
Why you should care about your mitochondria!
Unexplained exhaustion? Energy lulls? General fatigue?
Don’t get me wrong—there can be a lot of different underlying reasons for low energy, but one thing we always consider is mitochondrial health.
Lots of doctors only mention the mitochondria in relation to inherited mitochondrial disorders. These are rare and not what I am referring to at all. From a functional medicine perspective, we often see that suboptimal function can create issues, even in the absence of any diagnosable disease.
Your mitochondria are tiny organelles inside your cells that are responsible for producing energy. We often call them the “powerhouse” of the cell.
Some types of cells contain more mitochondria than others—like liver cells and muscle cells. Mitochondria are also highly concentrated in heart muscle because of the high demand for energy there.
The health and function of your mitochondria can influence almost everything about your health, including:
➡️ Energy levels
➡️ Heart health
➡️ Muscle recovery
➡️ Brain health
➡️ and more!
Regardless of whether you have any specific health concerns, supporting mitochondrial function gives your body the advantage of achieving optimal function, healthy aging, and more.
Threats to Mitochondrial Health
Feeling your best and optimizing your health begins at the cellular level, or even at the subcellular level—like in the mitochondria! Our mitochondria create almost all of our cellular energy, so if they are compromised then so are we.
Even though our mitochondria can work tirelessly without notice to keep us feeling energetic and healthy, it’s important to know that they are susceptible to damage. If you want to maintain healthy mitochondrial function, you’ll want to minimize your exposure to these potential threats:
➡️ Cigarette smoke
➡️ Heavy metals (like mercury)
➡️ Environmental chemicals
➡️ Some medications (like fluoroquinolones)
➡️ Some pesticides
To sum up this list, pretty much anything that creates free radicals and oxidative stress can potentially damage mitochondria. Part of the reason for that is because mitochondrial DNA is packaged differently than nuclear DNA and is therefore more fragile and less protected.
We also know there is a natural decline in mitochondrial synthesis and efficiency with age. That doesn’t mean you should stop aging! It means you should be even more proactive to support mitochondrial health as you get older.
5 Nutrients for Mitochondrial Health
Optimizing your mitochondrial function means you are giving your body the advantage of efficient energy production. That means potential benefits for your brain, heart, muscles, and more. Here are some top supplements known to support mitochondrial health.
1️⃣ Alpha lipoic acid (ALA). ALA is a powerful antioxidant and a cofactor for many enzymes that are active in the mitochondria, helping to optimize cellular energy production.
2️⃣ Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 is critical in the final step of energy production in the mitochondria. With so many mitochondria concentrated in the heart muscle, this nutrient is also extremely important for heart health.
3️⃣ Acetyl-l-carnitine. Acetyl-l-carnitine plays an important role in fatty acid metabolism inside the mitochondria. It has shown in studies to support mitochondrial synthesis and energy production.
4️⃣ NAD. NAD stands for nicotinomide adening dinucleotide. It plays a critical role in energy production in the mitochondria. Supplements that can be taken orally to support NAD+ levels include nicotinamide riboside and nicotinomide mononucleotide (NMN)
5️⃣ Resveratrol. Resveratrol is an antioxidant that is concentrated in red wine and purple grapes. By supporting antioxidant defenses, it helps to minimize the damaging effects of free radicals on the mitochondria.
5 Habits for Mitochondrial Health
Looking for simple habits you can practice every day to support mitochondrial synthesis and efficiency? Here are 5 science-backed ways.
1️⃣ Eat the Rainbow. Colorful foods are rich in plant nutrients called polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidants, combatting free radicals that could pose a threat to mitochondrial health. Great foods to try? Pomegranates, blueberries, purple cabbage, and green tea!
2️⃣ Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent fasting means eating only during restricted windows of time. Examples include fasting for at least 12 hours overnight, alternate-day fasting, or the 5-2 diet. Studies show that fasting triggers the production of various mediators that support the synthesis and function of mitochondria.
3️⃣ End Shower on Cold. Exposure to cold triggers a series of events in the body that support mitochondrial synthesis. While you can go to the extreme of cold plunges or ice baths, a simpler hack is to end your showers with 30-60 seconds of cold.
4️⃣ High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Any form of exercise is good for your mitochondria, but the best research is on HIIT. HIIT means exercising at high intensity (until out of breath) for brief bursts, alternating with lower intensity to recover. For example, you might sprint for one minute and then walk for 3 and repeat. One study found that 12 weeks of HIIT supported muscle mitochondrial number and function.
5️⃣ Prioritize Sleep. Sleep is a restful time for your body to take care of housekeeping tasks that clear toxins, recover, and rebuild. Adequate sleep is essential for healthy mitochondrial function.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways to support mitochondrial function, but it does give you some of the simplest things you can do every day at home. Remember—your mitochondria are critical for energy production in every cell of your body and can influence almost every aspect of your health.
Signs You May Have Suboptimal Thyroid Function
Thyroid hormone is one of the most misunderstood hormones. It’s so misunderstood that as many as 60% of people who have a thyroid issue don’t even know it.
Your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ at the base of your neck. It releases thyroid hormone, which regulates your metabolism, energy levels, brain function, and more.
If your thyroid is not working at optimal function, here are some possible signs:
Some people who experience these symptoms end up being diagnosed with hypothyroid. Others struggle with these issues and are told their thyroid labs look normal. That can happen because the normal lab ranges are not necessarily optimal or because not all forms of thyroid hormone have been looked at in the test.
👉 It’s possible to have suboptimal thyroid function even if your routine thyroid labs look “normal.”
Women are up to 8 times as likely to develop a thyroid condition as men. If left ignored, it could cause problems during pregnancy or increase your risk of things like heart disease as you age.
Root Causes of Suboptimal Thyroid Function
How could it be possible to experience thyroid-related problems even when routine labs show that thyroid function is “normal?” Let’s break this down.
Here’s how your thyroid works:
A hormone called TRH is released from your hypothalamus (deep inside your brain), which triggers TSH release from your pituitary gland (also in your brain). TSH travels through your blood to trigger thyroid hormone production in your thyroid gland (at the base of your neck).
Your thyroid gland produces 2 active forms of thyroid hormone that circulate through your body:
Even though your body makes much more T4 than T3, your T3 is about 4 times as powerful and considered an even more active form. Your body can also produce reverse T3 (rT3), which actually blocks thyroid function.
The most common screening test for thyroid function is TSH. Even when that falls within the lab’s normal reference range, here are some possible scenarios to explain suboptimal thyroid function:
That’s why—if you are struggling with unexplained exhaustion, brain fog, constipation, dry skin, hair loss, brittle nails, or any other signs of thyroid imbalance—it’s so important to have your doctor run a more comprehensive panel of thyroid tests.
Of course, the next question to ask is what could be causing suboptimal thyroid function? Here are just a few of the possible root causes:
In functional medicine, we always aim to understand the root cause of your health concerns. We dig deep to look for patterns and explanations. And most importantly, we want to OPTIMIZE your health—because when you are not feeling your best, it affects every area of your life.
Nutrients for Thyroid Health
Unexplained fatigue. Brain fog. Moodiness. Weight gain. Hair loss. Brittle nails….all of these can be signs of suboptimal thyroid function.
There can be many different factors that can disrupt thyroid function (I shared a post about this earlier this month), but one possibility is insufficient nutrient status.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most important nutrients for thyroid health.
1️⃣Tyrosine. L-tyrosine is an amino acid present in many protein-rich foods. Your body can also make it from other amino acids. Tyrosine is a building block required for the synthesis of thyroid hormone.
2️⃣Iodine. Iodine is a trace mineral in seaweed, seafood, and iodized salt. It binds with tyrosine as another essential building block of thyroid hormone.
3️⃣Selenium. Selenium is a trace mineral found in especially high amounts in Brazil nuts. Your thyroid gland concentrates more selenium than any other organ of the body. Selenium acts as an antioxidant and also supports thyroid hormone production.
4️⃣Zinc. Zinc is a mineral found in meats and many other foods. It supports enzymes involved in thyroid hormone production and function.
This is not an exhaustive list of nutrients needed for thyroid function. You also need B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, and more. One of the best ways to get the range of nutrients your thyroid needs is through a nutrient-dense diet.
Why Stress Disrupts Your Thyroid
Do you know what your body does when you experience stress?
It produces cortisol.
Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that is meant to help your body respond to stressful situations. But...too much and too often can have damaging effects on your thyroid. Here’s why:
➡️Cortisol increases the production of reverse T3 (rT3), which blocks thyroid function.
➡️Cortisol decreases TSH, which is needed to stimulate thyroid hormone production.
➡️Cortisol can indirectly lead to higher levels of TBG, which decreases the amount of free thyroid hormone available for cells.
There really is a quite complicated relationship between thyroid health and stress because of the hormones involved with each. But there’s a pretty simple takeaway message here:
If you want to support optimal thyroid function, you cannot ignore the effects of stress—and that means anything your body PERCEIVES as stress (including things like under-eating or overexercising!). Here are a handful of things you can do to reduce your stress:
🍏Eat in a way that supports healthy blood sugar balance (you might need to be open to including some carbs!)
👟Exercise the right amount for your body (movement is key but not in excess!)
🧘♂️Take breaks (your body needs rest as much as it needs activity!)
💤Aim for sound sleep (this might mean cutting the glass or wine or social scrolls at night!)
By Danielle Schwaderer Kettler, ND
The acacias are in full bloom in Sonoma Valley and our community members are starting to feel the effects of seasonal allergies. Allergic reactions to various grasses and tree pollen can elicit common allergy symptoms including runny nose, sore/scratchy throat, sinus pressure, itchy eyes, excessive tear formation, asthma, puffy eyes, hives, rashes and eczema.
The symptoms associated with allergies are often driven by an unbalanced immune system, in which T helper cells activate eosinophils and an IgE mediated immune response. This common immune response (Th2) is responsible for producing excess histamine and the symptoms that are common to those suffering from allergies. Shifting the immune response away from a Th2 profile and being supportive of the Th1 immune response is a therapeutic goal for seasonal allergy sufferers.
Additional therapeutic goals for allergy season include limiting exposure to allergens, reducing circulating histamine and giving special attention to the gut and adrenal glands, which can all be crucial leading up to and during allergy season.The following recommendations can be utilized by many, to limit or reduce common symptoms associated with allergies:
Pollen Exposure: Wear a mask when outdoors, plan outdoor activity after the hours of 12pm (pollen counts are typically highest early morning to 10am) and close the windows when indoors.
Pollen Hygiene: Wash clothing and hair after outdoor activity. Do not place wet clothing outdoors to dry when pollen counts are high, as pollen can stick to wet clothing.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C can help reduce circulating histamine levels and prevent its release in the body. During allergy season, adults are encouraged to supplement vitamin C at levels approximating 2g per day (2,000mg). To enhance absorption and utilization, try vitamin C in one of two forms: liposomal vitamin C or buffered combinations of vitamin C.
Quercetin: Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the symptoms of allergies in humans and prevent activation of inflammatory cytokines. Typical adult doses range from 250-500mg daily. Read more here.
Omega-3's & Fish Oil: Anti-inflammatory agents can be beneficial for reducing inflammation and improving the integrity of the skin. Fish oils and other omega-3 fatty acids can be beneficial for those whom are prone to dryness or rashes during allergy season. Typical adult dosing of omega-3's is 1000mg of combined EPA + DHA daily.
Probiotics: Probiotics found in fermented foods and supplement combinations are necessary for a healthy and balanced allergy (T-helper cell) response and overall gut immunity.
Herbs & Mushroom capsules: To balance a healthy Th1/Th2 immune response. There are a wide variety of botanical herbs and medicinal mushrooms that help the body modulate the Th1/Th2 immune response, encouraging a shift away from the Th2 (allergic) profile to a Th1(anti-viral/anti-bacterial) immune profile. The most common herb among allergy sufferers is stinging nettle, which is available as a tea, liquid tincture or in the capsule form.
Bee Products: Local honey, bee pollen and propolis are longtime naturopathic remedies during allergy season. The premise is similar to that of a vaccine: by consuming honey from bees carrying pollen in close geographic proximity to the allergy sufferer, one may be able to appropriately mount an effective response to the allergen that they are responding to.
Saline Sinus Rinse: Saline rinses are useful for thinning mucous and removing allergens and irritants in the sinus cavity. They are especially useful for those prone to sinusitis or sinus infection and can be administered daily by netti pot or as a simple lavage. Read more here.
Eye Drops: Even though excessive tearing is a symptom of allergies, the quality of the tears are typically not sufficient to keep the eye properly lubricated. Allergy sensitization drops or tear stimulation drops can be helpful during allergy season to help fight excessive tear formation.
Consider Allergy Testing: Regional blood allergy tests are available to determine allergic reactions to different pollens, grasses, pet dander, molds and more.
Anti-inflammatory Foods: Maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet during allergy season is always advised to reduce inflammation and prevent excessive mucous formation. Focus on vegetables and lean meats is and avoid foods like sugar, dairy, gluten, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers), soy and other personal food sensitivities.
As always, if you are on pharmaceutical medications, are pregnant or breast feeding, please speak to a health professional before beginning your supplement regime.
How It Works:
Along with other hydrotherapy treatments, the wet sock treatment consists of a cold water application to the feet. Such treatments can relieve congestion and support immunity by promoting blood flow and nutrients to and from local tissues to internal organs, circulating the lymph (and white blood cells) and allowing the natural course of temperature regulation. Essentially, this treatment can be utilized during times of cold & flu, sinus congestion, ear aches, fatigue and more.
The warming sock treatment is very safe and can be performed on the self or to any family member or friend of any age. The treatment is most convenient at bed time.
- Cotton socks, 1 pair
- Wool socks, 1 pair
- Ice cold water
- Basin, sink or bath tub of warm water
- Hand towel
1. Place feet in hot/warm water or bath for 5-10 minutes
2. Towel Dry feet
3. Using very cold water, wet one pair of thin cotton socks and wring out well.
4. Place cold wet socks on warmed feet.
5. Put one pair of wool socks over the wet socks and climb into bed.
6. Cover up with blankets and sleep. Remove both pairs of socks in the morning and if you (or your child can't stand it), keep them on at least until the socks are dry.
As always, drink plenty of water and fluids to help with circulation of nutrients and immune cells and elimination of toxic waste.
Avoid dairy, sugar and alcohol when ill to reduce inflammation.
Take baths often, epsom salt baths are preferred.
Cheers to health & vitality!
If you are interested in finding out more information about our top cold & flu season products, call or stop by Sonoma Roots Natural Medicine!
Please remember that these tools are not intended to take the place of medical expertise. If you have not been diagnosed with a cold or flu, or you or a loved one you are caring for have a fever exceeding 102 degrees, consult your doctor. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult a medical professional before starting a new supplement or herbal program.
Prevention of influenza episodes with colostrum compared with vaccination.
Prevention of flu episodes with colostrum and Bifivir compared with vaccination.
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