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.
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. Store your fire cider in the refrigerator for up to a year. 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 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!
Immune Booster Benefits:
How to Get An Immune Booster Shot:
The Immune Booster injection, available at Sonoma Roots Natural Medicine is available by appointment. Dr. Danielle would be happy to discuss with you individualized protocols that may be of benefit to you during the cold & flu season or during acute illness.
Immune Booster: (Engystol) $35
Super Immune Booster (B-12 + Engystol + vitamin D): $55
Engystol Product Literature
Study: Antiviral activity of Engystol® and Gripp-Heel®: an in-vitro assessment
Antiviral Activity of Engystol®: an in vitro analysis
Effects of the Homeopathic Preparation Engystol on Interferon-γ Production by Human T-Lymphocytes
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Please consult your physician or Dr. Danielle for proper diagnosis and to see which of these treatments may be relevant to you.
3. B-6: Active B-6 (P-5-P) should be included as a form of B-6 on the label.
4. Absolutely avoid artificial dyes, titanium dioxide, magnesium stearate, corn starch, gluten and soy derivatives.
The tips listed above indicate active (bioavailable) forms of b-vitamins and are free of common fillers. These are general guidelines for the majority of the population.
Those with prominent genetic methyl defects should consult directly with a medical practitioner to determine which forms of B-12 and folate are right for them.
If you are interested in learning more, stop by our shop on Wellness Wednesday and Dr. Danielle would be happy to assist you! Let's get healthy together, Sonoma!
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.
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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