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.
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.
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.
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!
By Danielle Schwaderer, ND
Steam inhalations provide therapeutic benefits to ailments of the respiratory tract. This home remedy can provide relief to irritated tissues of the upper respiratory tract, nasal and sinus cavities. When combined with herbs or essential oils, steam inhalations can deliver healing volatile oils to the targeted area for enhanced tissue healing during cold or flu, bronchitis, sinusitis or sinus infection, allergies, runny nose or cough.
1. In a large pot or pan, fill with water.
2. Add herbs or essential oils of your choice (see below for recommendations).
3. Bring water and herbs/oils to a boil.
4. Turn off burner.
5. Drape a hand towel over the back and top of the head.
6. Slowly lower the head from far away to the pot, testing the temperature of the steam.
7. Stay in position where steam is tolerable and breathe as many times as possible.
8. Alternate slow breaths: Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Inhale through the mouth and exhale through the nose. As many times as possible.
9. You can cover the pot and leave on the stove until the next inhalation. Discard ingredients after 24 hours.
Dr. Danielle's Top Herb & Essential Oil Picks:
Many fresh, dried or organic essential oils can be used to augment the therapeutic effects of steam inhalation. The top pics for therapeutic effects to the respiratory system are listed below:
Suggested Use: Perform steam inhalations multiple times per day when acutely ill. Steam inhalations are recommended for adults only.
*Caution is advised: Steam can burn the skin. Lower your head slowly towards the steam, testing the temperature. Be sure to turn off the stove prior to performing the inhalation.
risk factors for heart disease. The majority of these risk factors can be controlled with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
High blood pressure control: One of the most important things that can be done to prevent cardiovascular conditions and heart attack is to reduce high blood pressure. A healthy blood pressure reading is generally 120/80 or less. When blood pressure levels exceed 140/90, a visit to a health care professional for treatment is recommended, as high blood pressure can cause damage to the blood vessels and the heart. Pharmaceutical and herbal agents are available to help reduce blood pressure levels along with regular exercise, stress management, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol intake. For those who prefer to use food as medicine, a diet that is high in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and a wide variety of vegetables are recommended to keep blood pressure in check.
Hawthorn: Hawthorn (Crataegus sp) is known among many herbal medicine and natural health circles as being the ultimate cardiovascular tonifier. Hawthorn contains many bioflavonoids, allowing it to be a wonderful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant alternative. The actions of Hawthorn range from regulating the rhythm of the heart, stabilizing vasculature, improving blood pressure, protecting against arterial plaque formation, balancing cholesterol, improving venous stasis, and much more. Beyond addressing physical ailments, hawthorn is recognized as having positive effects on the mental and emotional sphere. Hawthorn is thought to be beneficial for individuals whom are irritable or for those suffering from heart conditions related to emotional heartache. The Hawthorn tree is admired for opening the heart to forgiveness of others or forgiveness of life events that may be keeping a person from healing. Medicinal properties of Hawthorn are present in the flowers, stems, and berries of the sacred Hawthorn tree. Hawthorn can be purchased and consumed as an herbal tincture, tea, capsule, or in combination with other botanicals and cardio protective nutrients.
Skullcap: Often overlooked, skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) can aid the cardiovascular system by addressing nervous tension, stress and anxiety. When not properly addressed, stress and tension can constrict blood vessels, contributing to high blood pressure. Considered in botanical medicine as a nervine, a compound that has a high affinity for the nervous system, skullcap may help individuals address the physiologic effects of stress that can otherwise lead to cardiovascular ailments.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Current research shows that omega-3 fatty acids may have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system by helping to lower harmful cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels and may also help boost beneficial cholesterol levels (HDL). When ignored, cholesterol imbalances can contribute to cardiovascular disease by contributing to plaque formation inside of blood vessels, increasing the likelihood of ischemic events such as stroke and heart attack. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, can be beneficial by balancing cholesterol levels and reducing inflammation inside of the arteries. Other than fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids can be found abundantly in grass-fed beef, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and cod liver oil.
*If you are pregnant or considering using herbal agents listed in this article, please consult your health professional to assess potential herb/drug interactions. These statements are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease. The FDA has not evaluated the statements used in this article.
About the Lemon:
We are what we eat. Choosing vibrant and bright colors is thought to bring about similar characteristics to the human frame. Want to feel brighter and more vibrant on an energetic level? Then trying eating foods with similar characteristics, especially in the winter months when gloom sets in.
Lemon Water as a Health Tonic:
Drinking warm water with the juice of 1/4 - 1/2 of a lemon each morning can have a positive impact on health and wellness. Partly because of the constituents of the lemon, and partly because drinking warm lemon water can replace other unhealthy beverages. Listed below, are some of the benefits that I see in my practice among those who drink warm lemon water each morning or throughout the day:
8-16 oz of warm lemon water first thing in the morning can support the bowels and stimulate a bowel movement. Let's be honest, everyone loves to poop!
The acidity of lemons stimulates bile production and release from the liver and bile ducts, which is a necessary component of optimal digestion. Lemon also causes salivation, which is one of the earliest stages of digestion.
Absorption of Nutrients:
Lemons encourage optimal stomach acid production. Acid produced in the stomach is necessary to breakdown food matter into small enough molecules to be absorbed in the digestive process. Without adequate stomach acid production, nutrients from food and supplementation will remain too large to be absorbed and utilized by the body.
Promotes an Alkaline Environment:
Sure, it's no secret that lemons are acidic in nature. However, in the body, lemons and many other fruits and vegetables are actually considered to be alkaline-forming foods due to their mineral content and the effect they have on the body. Foods that are alkaline-forming are often rich in potassium and magnesium and may balance mineral-loss through the urine. In general, alkaline-forming foods are thought to be healthier choices to preserve bone health, reduce inflammation and prevent chronic illnesses.
Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant and is found abundantly in citrus fruits, including lemons. Vitamin C is necessary for many normal cellular reactions in the body and may beneficial in the following ways:
The amount of vitamin C found in 1/4-1/2 a lemon, as used in lemon water, does not satisfy the recommended daily intake for Vitamin C, but can contribute to totals consumed throughout the day.
My Overall Opinion of Lemon Water:
Try it! Water and lemons are both healthy for our body and are definitely worth a try! Drink warm water and lemon every morning or throughout the day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, they are not intended to diagnose or treat disease.
By Dr. Danielle Schwaderer
Bone broth is a timeless nutrient-dense broth that has been used among many traditions for centuries. When prepared properly, bone broth is rich in vitamins, minerals, collagen, healthy fats and proteins. There are many health benefits to cooking and consuming bone broth, with the most notable being it's healing effects to the gut, immune system, skin and connective tissues (bone, blood, tendons, ligaments, etc). Many cultures consume bone broth as a wellness tonic or with ailments that effect the skin, gut, immune system, blood, and/or bones & joints. During the winter months (cold & flu season), having a supply of bone broth in the fridge or freezer is always a great idea.
Consuming Bone Broth:
Some sip, some use bone broth as soup stock. You can drink it as is or make a vegetable/meat soup.
Combine all ingredients in a stock pot or crockpot and heat at high heat until a low boil develops. Turn to low, cover, and slowly cook for 12-24 hours. Strain and keep the bone broth.
Blend until smooth and enjoy! My greens drinks are the perfect combo of protein, fat, fiber, and veggie-based carbohydrate. This is the one recommendation that I offer the majority of my patients who are looking to optimize their health and nutrition. Before taking away all of their favorite foods, I start by adding in more nutrition. Before no time, the standard American diet is no longer appealing. Just start with real nutritious foods people!
Cheers to health!
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