We live in North Carolina and every year about this time all everybody's talking about is the pollen and how it’s affecting their allergies. It pretty bad this year - there's
a thin coating of yellow pollen everywhere you look.
It is especially bad for people who are here for the first time, their sinuses just aren't used to the assault that’s coming.
Medical statistics tell us that 1 in 3 people suffer from some form of allergies!
So what’s one do if you’re like us - and don’t want to pollute our bodies with drugs?
First, lets talk about what exactly is an allergy. Medical science labels it as an abnormal reaction to a substance that’s usually considered harmless. This reaction causes your immune system to respond. There lies the problem - your body can’t tell the difference between harmful invading pathogens and something harmless like pollens and dust.
Our body’s confuse these harmless invaders with something that's really bad - and it starts producing histamines, whick causes inflammation.
You know what comes next, watery eyes, runny noses, sneezing, itching, skin reactions, fatigue, hives and even mood changes . . .
This is where if you watch TV, you’re supposed to run to the store and load you body up with some OTC drug of your own choosing or with some wonder drug your doctor prescribes.
All this does is mask the symptoms (with another foreign substance, a drug that your body has to eventually get rid of).
Often we’re told we should just avoid the things that cause us to have allergic reactions:
flowers – grass – mold – dust mites – pollen – pet hair
Then we're told to remove or minimize rugs and carpets in our homes, to dust and vacuum often. We're told to bath our pets often and to keep them off our furniture and beds.
Then there’s the foods to avoid:
animal fat – milk and milk products – eggs – wheat – coffee and worst of all – chocolate!
Then don’t forget there’s those additives in the food we eat and all the environmental chemicals found in and around our homes -
cleaning products – soap powders – air fresheners.
There are other factors that may have an impact on your allergies:
• Eating habits during the first year of life, like not being breast feed, eating solid foods too soon, like gluten, corn, wheat and oats.
• Poor eating habits. Not properly chewing our food, having an imbalance in our stomach acids, having low digestive enzymes and even drinking too much before, during and after meals.
• There is also the presence of parasites, worms and other bad bacteria in the body.
• Stress. When we experience emotional or mental stress this affects our hormones and this can make us more susceptible to having allergic reactions.
• The food we are eating. Today foods have additives, colorings, sulfates, MSG and who knows what else that is contributing to more problems with allergies.
• Lack of proper nutrition. Let’s face it, we don’t eat a balanced diet and most don’t bother taking good supplements either.
• Eating or craving the same food. Sometimes the food we crave the most may actually be the ones that are making our allergies worse.
So where does that leave us? Do we all rip out our carpets, ditch our pets and live in a bubble?
There are things you can do that aren't quite so drastic.
Choose products that are free of harsh chemicals. Many of the products you see advertised on TV have toxic ingredients and they’ve been known to aggravate allergies. We’ve found that buying products off the web or in natural and/or holistic stores might be a little more expensive up front, but you'll use less and they'll last longer, so it works out in the end.
Eating spicy foods is really good for you! Remember the last time you bit into a hot pepper or ate at that Indian restaurant? Those hot peppers are great at opening up your sinuses! I'm firmly believe that the more you eat hot spicy food, the more you'll like it...
One thing Debbie & I do on a regular basis is to flush out our sinuses with a saline solution. We make our own, but you can buy a spray bottle of saline in the store. We use a home remedy we got off a friend years back, and have been using it with great success since then.
Start with a bottle of regular saline, dump it into a pan and then warm it on the stove (if you already have a bottle, just add a pinch of sea salt to the water). Then add 12 drops of Grapefruit seed extract and one teaspoon of Xylotil. Stir until mixed completely. Let this cool down and put back into the spray bottle. You can spray this as often as needed to alleviate your allergy symptoms. This has been a real blessing for us and we hope it’ll be one for you too.
My good friend Dr. James Winer also told us to use a hydrogen peroxide mix. Fair warning though, while this works great, it hurts like the “you know what” when you do it, especially if you have a sinus infection. Simply mix a solution of 50% water and hydrogen peroxide and snort this up your nose (then hold on to the sink ;-). This really cleans out your sinuses and kills off the infection - but don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Other natural remedies you should consider are to start a regular exercise program. Adding lots of green leafy vegetables and fruit to your daily diet. Add natural organic food and supplements to your daily diet. Anything you can do that will strengthen you immune system would benefit you greatly.
If you have been doing anything that works and is natural, we’d love to hear about what you’ve done yourself to beat the allergy blues.
All the best,
Lou & Debbie