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.
Ingredients of Traditional Fire Cider:
Apple cider vinegar: raw & unfiltered
Ginger: 1/2 cup fresh, peeled & grated
Turmeric: 1/2 cup fresh, peeled & grated or 1 tbsp powdered
Horseradish root: 1/2 cup fresh, peeled & grated
Onion: 1 medium brown, chopped
Garlic: 10 cloves, chopped
Peppers: 2 Jalapeno or cayenne peppers, diced. *Or 1/4 tsp dried cayenne powder
Optional Immune Enhancing Ingredients:
Astragalus root, echinacea root, wild cherry bark, rosemary, thyme can be considered to enhance the flavor or immune modulating benefits.
Adult Usage Recommendations:
1 tablespoon daily: For warming the body and optimizing digestion.
3 tablespoons daily: For boosting immunity during cold & flu season.
Fire cider can be added to water as a stand-alone treatment or can be combined with olive oil as a salad dressing or drizzled on vegetables.
Fire cider can be spicy and is often not appealing to children. Enjoy your cider!
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and do not intend to diagnose or treat illness. Please consult your physician prior to use.
We're happy that you all have made it safely through the tragic wildfires that ripped through our beloved hometown. Please know that you all have the support of your community and neighbors while homes and lives are rebuilt in Sonoma and our surrounding areas.
We were hoping to have a more detailed blog post prepared giving our checklist and the health benefits of each recommendation, yet have come to realize that our time and energy is needed directly assisting patients and customers in our shop. Please look over the checklist below that was made with the intention of helping the body process toxic wildfire smoke and heal on a mental, physical and emotional level.
Each bolded category are simply recommendations of areas to focus, with specific formulas or suggestions listed below. The list is not intended to be completed in entirety. If you have questions or would like further guidance, please stop by Sonoma Roots during our normal business hours (M-F 10-5:30pm).
Our hearts are with all of those affected by or have lost loved ones and personal property in the fires. Be well, Sonoma.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, nor are they intended to diagnose or treat disease.
Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration:
Potential Causes of Dehydration:
Recipe for Natural Electrolyte Drink:
Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar and stir or shake (with lid secured) until honey and salt are dissolved. Another option to speed up the dissolving process is to use warm water. Let cool and drink 1-4 servings per day depending on amount of heat exposure and physical activity. Store the remainder in the refrigerator. Drink up and stay healthy!
When not addressed properly, dehydration can accompany heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If one is showing signs of heat stroke, seek immediate medical attention, as heat stroke is a life-threatening condition.
Join our week of discounts and deals for customers of Sonoma Roots. Stop by our shop all week long and take advantage of the following deals:
20% off of Sonoma Roots branded products (supplements, teas, tinctures, body oils, & more)
20% off of facials by Bloom Skin Care & Waxing (use by 9.15.17)
$20 B-12 shots (scheduling required)
$20 off 12-pack of 15 minute Infrared sauna sessions
10% off of health related books
Free hearing screenings (7.19.17 10-12pm - call to schedule)
Thank you for helping us make it through another successful year in business in Sonoma Valley!
Hours: M-F 10am - 5:30pm
ph: (707) 996.4656
It's fig season in wine country! If you are like me, and don't want your delectable homegrown goodies to go bad, preserves are the perfect solution. My first attempt at fig preserves turned out pretty well for being sugar-free and pectin-free. If you desire a thicker preserve, the addition of pectin or gelatin may be considered.
Fig Honey Preserves:
Makes about 3-4 cups of preserves.
Place the figs in a large saucepan with water and coconut sugar. Stir and let sit unheated for 20-30 minutes. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over med-high heat for 2 minutes, then turn down the heat to bring to a simmer. Simmer for an hour, stirring often.
As the cooking process progresses, the figs will start to break down. If you desire more mashed preserves, mash the mixture up with a potato masher towards the end of the cooking process.
Once the hour of cook time is complete, add the honey, lemon juice and lemon zest, stir and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Adding honey at this stage will allow for it to retain some of its healing properties. Turn off heat and allow the preserves to cool for a little bit. After cooling for 10-15 minutes, ladle out the mixture into clean jars. Place the lids on and allow to cool before placing in the jars.
The preserves should last in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks. If you desire a longer preservation, process the jarred preserves in a hot bath for proper canning methods.
I was able to make this recipe using homegrown figs and meyer lemons accompanied by local Sonoma honey. The fig preserves pair perfectly with goat cheese or chèvre. Cheers to health and sustainable living!
We couldn’t be more excited to announce the arrival of our essential oil line, Veriditas!
Veriditas Botanicals is the only 100% certified organic essential oil company on the U.S. retail market. These essential oils are pharmaceutical-grade and are of the highest quality around.
Like wines, the quality of essential oils can vary greatly. There are exceptional fine wines and there are high volume, mass produced wines in which the integrity of the wine has been compromised. Just as there are commodity wines filled with additives and preservatives, there are commodity essential oils, which often contain synthetics or other additives to "extend" the oils. If you care about the quality of your wine, you should care about the quality of the products you put in and on your body.
Stop by our shop during business hours and sniff our testers for yourself! Let’s get healthy together, Sonoma!
About Our Blog: