Dear Dr. Foster,
Allergy season is here and I'm miserable: my eyes itch, my nose runs, and I keep getting sinus infections. The doctors keep giving me antibiotics and steroid shots and antihistamines, but the problem keeps coming back. I hate taking so many medicines. Is there anything natural I can do to get relief?
Allergic and miserable
Allergic and Miserable,
I hear your story frequently, and have been through this problem myself. I took allergy shots for 16 years, steroid shots, steroid inhalers, steroid pills, steroid nose sprays, antihistamines, decongestants, and plenty of antibiotics for sinusitis. Using natural healing techniques and products, I rid myself of every allergy medication, antibiotic and steroid, and have not needed any for years since. Although medicines will offer temporary symptom relief, the root cause of the allergic condition remains untouched. This is why you continue to suffer from allergies for years, and no doctor offers a "cure." Until you get to the root cause for a condition, there can be no healing. So, let's look into the causes of allergies and what can be done for them.
1) Allergies are associated with weak adrenal function,
and a weak endocrine system in general. Licorice root is a great herb to take on a regular basis to strengthen the adrenals as well as ginseng (all types), sarsaparilla (also called smilax) and mullein leaf. To strengthen the endocrine system, I use a very strong tincture containing dong quai, chaste tree berry (also called vitex), and wild yam root with other supportive herbs. (Female Harmony Formula) This is a daily use formula that gradually rebuilds the endocrine system. It does not necessarily relieve acute symptoms, but over the long term, strengthens the endocrine function so that allergic reactions do not happen. An alternative to this formula is the Adrenal Support Formula. For severe acute symptoms (such as acute sinus infection) nothing beats the Breathe Again Formula. Not only does the ma huang dry up nasal and bronchial secretions, but it also acts as a bronchial dilator, opening up the breathing passages and allowing for easier breathing. Other herbs in the formula such as horseradish root help to clear out mucous-filled sinuses.
2) The second cause is an overload of toxins in the body.
There may be so many unnatural chemicals accumulated (especially in the liver and/or kidneys) that the body violently protests to the slightest chemical. In this case, we have the beginnings of multiple chemical sensitivities. The solution here is to eliminate as many unnatural chemicals as possible from the environment, and clean out the ones that are lodged in the body tissues. To learn more about eliminating household chemicals from your environment, please read the Safe Shopper's Bible for easy solutions to frequently used chemicals in your environment. Some culprits may be commercial hairsprays, detergents, cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, air fresheners, flea powders, hair dyes, etc. Look into natural solutions from your health food store such as shampoos, soaps, bath and shower gels. To cleanse the toxins out of the body, it is best to start with the liver, and this can make the biggest difference.
3) Sluggish and toxic liver
This condition does NOT show up on conventional blood tests. Conventional blood tests for liver function are actually a misnomer. They should be called liver damage tests because they do not actually check liver function - they check for liver damage. SGOT, SGPT, and GGT are all indicators that damage is ocurring in the liver. But they in no way, reflect the actual functioning of the liver. Cleansing toxins out of the liver may be accomplished through a liver flush routine that incorporates an olive oil and citrus drink along with liver detoxifying herbs such as found in the formula I use (L/GB Formula) containing Milk Thistle seed, Dandelion root and leaf, Oregon grape root, Gentian root, and other liver cleansing and tonifying herbs. Essential oils may be used instead or added to this routine for specifically clearing out liver toxins: Roman chamomile, Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, or Idaho tansy. Cleansing the colon must be done before cleansing the liver in order to avoid unpleasant detoxification reactions. The biggest reason why the liver gets toxic is because the colon is toxic. Whatever toxins lie in the intestines are automatically carried through the portal vein directly to the liver.
4) Dairy products and other food allergies
Pasteurized cow's milk is the one consumable item that can cause the most health problems. Lactose intolerance is a common occurrence, one of the main reasons being that mammals never feed their their young milk after the weaning period. We were not meant to consume milk after infancy. Drinking the milk of a cow makes just about as sense as drinking the milk from a monkey (and in the case of monkey milk, due to genetic similarities between monkeys and humans, drinking monkey milk would probably cause less problems!) In nature, we never see lion cubs trying to nurse from a giraffe. These interpecies variations in milk (the milk of each species of animal) contains different RNA particles than our own. For this reason, when the milk of another species is consumed, the body automatically recognizes it as a foreign substance and consequently tries to rid itself of this substance by causing numerous symptoms.
Excess mucous is created in an attempt to flush out the foreign RNA and proteins contained in milk. This mucous results in runny noses, ear infections, asthma, bronchitis. Sometimes the skin will try to eliminate the toxins by purging them out through the skin. In this case, we have ezcema and psoriasis. In other cases, there is diarrhea and colitis as the colon tries unsuccesfully to rid itself of these foreign proteins. Interestingly enough, one of the easiest ways to determine an allergy to milk is if the person craves milk. The drinking of milk has also been associated with acnes - both the teenage and the adult variety. An immediate cessation of the drinking of milk frequently results in a dramatic improvement in allergic conditions.
5) Dietary deficiencies:
A. A deficiency of vitamin C and bioflavonoids in the diet. To remedy this, make sure to eat fresh produce every day. This should be evident, however, most Americans spend several days eating processed and prepared foods from cans and boxes and never consume any fresh fruits and vegetables such as citrus fruits and peppers of all kinds (paprika, green bell peppers, chili peppers, etc.). Fresh food is crucial to our well-being in ways that are too numerous to enumerate here. The highest source of vitamin C is contained in the hot chili pepper (also known as cayenne pepper). The most effective Cayenne contains the most Heat Units (also called H.U. or British Thermal Units). The next highest source is found in rosehips. Make sure that you take pure rosehips, and not a vitamin supplement that claims it contains rosehips. Many of these brands have been tested and have been found to contain only traces of rosehips, and the rest was synthetically produced vitamin C. Anyone with allergies may benefit from taking cayenne and/or rosehip tea every day.
B. Depleted minerals - may be remedied by taking mineral -rich foods such as chlorella and spirulina, alfalfa grass, wheat grass, barley grass. The taking of algae alone has been known to relieve allergic symptoms. Sometimes when sneezing due to dust, I have taken a Green food formula called Essential Nutrients containing these ingredients, and the sneezing stopped in about 15 minutes.
C. A deficiency of sulfur compounds: may be remedied by taking MSM, fresh garlic and/or liquid Kyolic every day. This frequently results in an improvement in allergic symptoms. Sulfur used to be used successfully by medics on battlefields when antibiotics were not available to disinfect soldiers' wounds, and it worked very well.
6) Weak and/or overactive immune system.
A one week course of a strong Echinacea Formula once a month is a good way to strengthen and balance with an under or overactive or otherwise malfunctioning immune system. Contrary to popular belief, echinacea is not harmful for those with overactive systems or autoimmune disorders. In these cases, I have used echinacea clinically with excellent results since not only does it help balance the immune system, but it is also a strong blood purifier. A filthy bloodstream full of impurities, chemical toxins and synthetic drug residues contributes to the condition of allergies and immune system disorders.
7) To obtain herbal and essential oil relief:
The herbs eyebright, bayberry root and other astringent (drying) herbs will dry up allergic secretions. Many report success with the regular consumption of nettle leaf which has a natural antihistamine action and which, according to the clinical research done, relieves symptoms in about 40% of those who take it. Nettle is found in the Iron From Herbs Formula and the Healthy Skin Formula. A strong Eyebright Formula frequently brings relief from congestion and runny nose. Many people are finding relief with the Allergy Relief essential oil blend. It contains essential oils that have a natural antihistamine action that does not cause drowsiness or anxiety. For more severe symptoms, the Breathe Again Formula can be taken, but make sure not to exceed the suggested dose since the ma huang is a stimulant. The essential oil of tansy I have found to be indispensible in relieving allergic reactions and asthma attacks in as little as 15 minutes. The single oils Lavender, Eucalyptus and Peppermint may all be used directly on the sinuses and reflexology points on the feet, especially the bottoms of the toes. For really stuffed up sinuses, I have found the very best thing is to use the Germ Shield Formula once or twice daily with a steam inhaler. The steam helps to penetrate and loose up the mucous, kill infection, shrink inflamed tissues, and take the antiseptic essential oils deep into the sinuses where they can work at a profound level.
"If You Do What You've Always Done, You'll Get What What You've Always Gotten" - Anonymous