If you regularly suffer from seasonal respiratory allergies such as hayfever when the warmer weather arrives, now is the time to take action. Spring is the peak season for airborne allergens such as pollens, dust and grasses, leading to immune activation and bouts of sneezing, runny noses, headaches and watery, itchy eyes.
Hayfever and allergies are often hereditary. Airborne allergens typically affect the nose, eyes and lungs, and hayfever can either be seasonal, as a result of respiratory allergens or perennial, through contact with a reactive substance eg: mould or the family pet. Cold air, stress, cigarette smoke and environmental pollutants can all make hayfever symptoms worse.
Your allergy response
An allergy is an abnormal immune system response to an allergen or substance that’s typically harmless to most of us. When you’re allergic to something, your immune system mistakenly believes that this substance is harmful to your body so establishes a protective defence mechanism by producing large quantities of defence molecules. This triggers the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals that create inflammation and irritation, producing your allergy symptoms.
Histamine vs anti-histamine
While histamine plays a vital role in your immune response, it’s also responsible for producing the majority of your allergy symptoms. Histamine is stored around your body, particularly the respiratory tract, so that large amounts can be released quickly upon contact with an allergen, promoting inflammation. This increases blood flow to the affected area and allows infection fighting fluids to seep out of the blood vessels into the surrounding areas.
Antihistamines are typically used to relieve allergic conditions such as hayfever. Antihistamines don’t block the production of histamine, instead they work by physically blocking histamine attaching to special receptors, preventing histamine from reaching its target. This decreases your body’s reaction to allergens so helps to reduce the symptoms associated with allergy.
Managing allergy symptoms revolves around supporting healthy immune function and decreasing the production and ill-effects of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals.
- Horseradish provides antimicrobial support and contains powerful sulphur compounds that help to decrease the thickness of mucus, making it easier to clear congestion within your respiratory tract.
- Garlic has a long traditional use for its immune enhancing activity and its direct and indirect antimicrobial effects. Garlic relieves mucus congestion of the upper respiratory tract and nasal passages.
- Vitamin C is a potent natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine that helps to reduce the symptoms of an allergic response. Vitamin C boosts immune function helping to protect your body from allergen exposure.
- Quercetin provides natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties by inhibiting the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals which dampens your allergic response, providing relief of allergic symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.
- Mushrooms (medicinal) support your immune system on many levels and help to relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract allergies. A combination of mushrooms can have a greater effect on your immune system than a single mushroom alone.
- Probiotics interact directly with your immune system. Around 80% of your immune system sits in your digestive tract, also known as gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). Probiotics are living micro-organisms that benefit your health and wellbeing by maintaining balanced, healthy intestinal flora for immune support.
- Baical skullcap provides antiallergic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity that helps relieve allergies.
- Eyebright is a mucous membrane tonic with anti-inflammatory, astringent and tonic properties that supports mucosal surfaces, especially the nasal membranes, and is traditionally used to relieve hayfever.
Mr Vitamins Recommends Herbs of Gold Products
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Histamine viewed on 28/08/2015 at http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/podcast/CIIEcompounds/transcripts/histamine.asp
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