Dr. William Whittaker, a prominent alternative medical doctor writes:“People with airborne allergies are cursed by an over-vigilant immune system, which responds to relatively harmless substances such as pollen, mold spores, or animal dander with an all-out attack. An antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) binds to the offending allergen at one end and to mast cells that line the respiratory tract at the other end. The mast cells burst open, releasing histamine, interleukins, and other inflammatory compounds. Most of the symptoms of allergies are caused by these inflammatory chemicals, and not by the allergen itself. Histamine, the most notorious of these compounds released by mast cells, causes blood vessels to dilate and become leaky, promoting swelling and triggering asthma, runny noses, watery eyes, scratchy throats, and other annoying allergy symptoms. It also stimulates the secretion of large amounts of mucus and constricts the bronchioles, making it hard to breathe.” “Antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) improve symptoms by blocking histamine receptors on other cells. But these allergy drugs are notorious for their side effects.”
At The Whole Health Center Houston, we avoid the use of antihistamines by naturally reducing the amount of histamine in your body. Histamine comes from the amino acid histidine which is a component of all animal protein. The more histidine you eat, the more histamine you have, and the more allergic you are. Therefore, it is necessary to decrease your intake of all animal protein such as shellfish, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, beef, veal, etc. Histimine is also found in soy and oats.
It is also important to strengthen your adrenal glands. Your adrenals produce adrenaline and cortisone, both of which block the effect of histamine and eliminate allergy symptoms. Licorice root is reputed to help the adrenals. In addition, take a good B-complex vitamin with extra pantothenic acid and Vitamin C.
To strengthen adrenal glands:
- Avoid caffeine and sugar. These “burn out” your adrenals.
- Rest, relax, and sleep a lot. This helps the adrenals.
- Avoid stress. Stress damages the adrenals.
- If you have congestion, postnasal drip, or other mucus related symptoms, remove all animal protein, and particularly all dairy products from your diet. Dairy products are very rich in histamine and produce a lot of mucus.
- Increase your fiber intake. You want to have two or more firm bowel movements per day since histamine is eliminated through the bowels. Consider having colonics. This will cleanse your intestinal tract and help it eliminate mucus.
- Do not worry about your calcium intake. Now that you have stopped eating animal products, you will get plenty of calcium from all of the dark green vegetables that you are eating.
Allergy Support Nutrients
There are also natural substances that go beyond symptom relief to actually dampen the allergic response and promote overall health. The following are the best products to take if you are suffering from allergies:
According to a report in Allergy and Imm. (Feb. 1993), Vitamin C has a “special influence” on enhancing the immune response and warding off infection. Several studies of groups taking vitamin C show that it reduces the longevity and severity of colds (Brit. J. Nutr. 67:3-16). One group, taking 600 mg. supplements, had upper respiratory tract infections reduced by 50% (Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 57:170-74). Most importantly, vitamin C treated groups didn’t feel as bad while they were sick. What this means is less sick days and less interference with our daily lives.
Bioflavonoids were first discovered in the white rind of citrus fruits. Also known as “vitamin P” (for permeability factors), bioflavonoids have a beneficial effect on building capillary (a tiny blood vessel) strength. Bioflavonoids are water-soluble plant pigments that give the bright color to fruits and vegetables. Bioflavonoids include such things as flavones, flavonones, flavonols, anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins. Bioflavonoids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antiviral and anti carcinogenic (anti-cancer) properties. They are also powerful antioxidants (substances that prevent harmful chemical reactions in the body). Bioflavonoids include rutin from buckwheat, hesperidin from citrus fruits and quercetin from garlic and onions. Hesperidin has been shown to have beneficial effects on capillary permeability and blood flow. Bioflavonoids are found in nature with vitamin C, and they boost the therapeutic effect of vitamin C, helping to build strong connective tissue and create a protective barrier to infection.
Quercetin is a potent bioflavonoid – in fact, it has been named, “the most important flavonoid” by a leading peer-reviewed journal (Nutr. Cancer 1993, 20:21-9). It is a powerful antioxidant, and as a bioflavonoid, it also operates to “stabilize cell membranes, decrease the release of inflammatory substances, and decrease the contraction of smooth muscle” (Murray M. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA, 1991 p. 298). Michael Murray suggests that, “quercetin appears indicated in virtually all inflammatory and allergic conditions” (Murray, M. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, 1996, Prima Publ., Rocklin, Ca. p. 327). Quercetin increases immunity and decreases reactions to certain foods, pollens, and other allergens.
The Whole Health Center Houston carries the below mentioned products which contain all of these “Natural Support Nutrients”:
- Aller-Essentials – 2-4 capsules daily, in divided doses, with or between meals
- C-Plex – Take two or more tablets daily
- Quercetin – 250 mg, twice to four times daily