Looking for natural allergy remedies to help you get through allergy season? Here’s your fast-track to put the Benadryl away and 10 natural allergy remedies your doctor probably never told you about…
Allergies affect 1 in 5 people in the U.S.
They are the 6th most common “disease” amongst adults and #1 most common disease among kids according to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation (1)–including all seasonal, food and skin allergies.
Defined as an “immune response,” “histamine response,” or “inflammatory reaction” of the immune system to a foreign substance, or “allergen”—allergies happen when you eat foods your body can’t digest, or come into contact with environmental allergens (mold, pollen, pesticides, vaccines/medications, etc.) that your personal body chemistry is sensitive to (i.e. inhaling them into your lungs, injecting them into your body or touching them).
Allergic reactions manifest in a variety side effects like coughing, sneezing, hives, itchy eyes, a runny nose, skin breakouts, rashes, hotness of breath, asthma, and a soar or hoarse throat, and are uncomfortable for allergy sufferers to say the least.
WHAT CAUSES ALLERGIES?
What causes these allergic reactions to happen in the first place?
Why do some people get runny noses and blood shot eyes when “pollen” or “cedar” season happens—and others don’t? Why do some people have a “histamine” response, whereas others do not?
Unfortunately, according to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation and other sources, there isn’t currently an explanation.
“The exact causes of allergy symptoms are still being investigated.” (2).
HOW DO YOU CURE ALLERGIES?
In addition, Asthma & Allergy Foundation also states there is NOT currently a solution, “There is no cure for allergies. You can (only) manage allergies…”
After visiting their doctor and finding out they have allergies, or facing countless allergy attacks every change of season, many Americans with no other options than to turn to Benadryl, Flonase, allergy shots and Tylenol for short-term relief.
Apparently, they never read this article about the REAL (underlying) cause of allergies, plus 7 natural allergy remedies (most doctors or Google searches won’t tell you about).
THE REAL CAUSE OF ALLERGIES
The gut is the gateway to your health—including your immune system.
In facts, 80% of all your immune cells are produced in your gut.
Hence, when you experience allergies, chances are your gut is unhealthy (Hirata & Kunisawa, 2017)
“Leaky gut” or “intestinal permeability” is a common phenomenon driving allergies. Leaky gut happens in your gut when the intestinal wall becomes irritated and inflamed due to “gut irritating foods,” environmental toxins, low stomach acid, medications and more. Over time, with more irritation, the gut becomes leaky, and begins leaking undigested food particles and other unfiltered toxins into the bloodstream.
In turn, the body signals an “immune” or “autoimmune” response to attack the foreign invader—resulting in inflammation for the host (you), like autoimmune disease, skin breakouts, horrible IBS or bloating, OR allergies.
Allergies & Gut Bacteria Link
In addition to “leaky gut,” your gut bacteria health also are key players in the allergic response.
In fact, research is now showing that the composition of gut bacteria in early life as a kid can also set the stage for your allergies and asthma for the rest of your life (Lynch & Boushey, 2016 ). Were you a Pop-Tart or Cheetohs kid, or did you ever take antibiotics? These are just a couple that threaten gut health early on.
Gut imbalance even dates back to the first month of life.
Research in Nature Medicine, shows that certain (unhealthy) gut bacteria present in some one-month-old infants predict a three-fold higher risk of developing allergic reactions by age two and asthma by age four, concluding that microbial imbalance also reduces the number of a key immune cells necessary to help prevent allergy.
Were you a C-section baby? Formula or processed baby food fed? Did your mom eat processed foods, lead a sedentary lifestyle or have an unhealthy gut herself during her pregnancy? All of these also contribute to bacteria insufficiency (and low immunity). (Fujimura et al, 2016).
In short: Allergies—and your tendency to get them—stem back to the health and balance of your gut health.
“But I Eat Healthy!”…
Even if you eat the healthiest foods in the world OR take a probiotic from Whole Foods, if your body is under (other) stress your gut bacteria can be thrown “off” and suppress your immune system. Common stressors that wreak havoc on your gut health (and immune system) just as much as eating a non-nutrient dense diet include lifestyle factors like:
- Burning a candle at both ends
- Overtraining or sedentary lifestyle
- Eating “healthy” diet foods (like bars, shakes, packaged foods) with additives, soy protein
- Low vegetable intake
- NSAID use
- Birth control and other prescription medications
- Sleeping less than 6-7 hours regularly
- Low water intake (less than half your bodyweight in ounces)
- High coffee consumption (more than 1 cup per day)
- A weekend spent eating out at restaurants where the food is cooked in hydrogenated oil
- Not chewing your food well, eating on the go or distracted
- High screen and blue light exposure
An accumulation of a lot of stressors at once disrupt your gut microbiome (gut bacteria), in turn, disrupting your immune system—especially if you are genetically predisposed to “get allergies.”
“I’ve Always Had Allergies. It’s Genetic.”
Genetics only make up 10% of our health conditions, genetics “load the gun.” Then our environment, lifestyle and food “pull the trigger.”
Repeat: Genes load the gun. Environment, lifestyle and food pull the trigger.
You have the perfect storm for allergies if your body is under stress and your environment, lifestyle OR food pull the trigger.
The #1 Allergy Cure
So what can I do to cure my allergies?
Although the Allergy & Asthma Foundation states there is “currently no cure” for allergies, if and when you love your gut and seek to eliminate as many stressors in your lifestyle, you may very well find your allergies become a thing of the past. (Good-bye Claritin)!
Before we get into your natural allergy remedies to hack at home, it’s important to recognize none of these will work unless a foundation of a real food diet is built.
You can take all the essential oils in the world and use a Neti Pot every night, but unless you have a strong (gut) base foundation, none of these other things will “stick.”
Pop Question: What is Real Food?
- Unprocessed foods (on the outer edge of the grocery store)
- Sustainable meats and proteins (wild-caught, grass fed, pastured)
- Fresh fruits and veggies
- Little starchy tubers (potatoes and sweet potatoes, carrots, winter aquash)
- Plant & Animal Fats (coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, pastured bacon grease)
Pop Question #2: Are You Eating Real Food?
Think back to your last allergy “attack” or flare—what was your diet like at the time? Had you recently been on vacation? Had a few happy hours too many that week? Eaten out more than in?
Food matters—and what we put into the pipeline can either support immunity or inflame it.
Couple this with the other BIG inflammatory factor: your stress levels—(especially lifestyle stress like undersleeping, spending hours on screens and inactive, high alcohol or coffee consumption, overtraining, people pleasing, and FOMO—fear of missing out—socialization), and you have the “perfect storm” for an immune or allergy attack.
What Should I Eat Today for a Natural Allergy Remedy?
Ideally a “day in the life” of an allergy sufferer’s diet would look something like this:
Breakfast: Chicken Apple Sausage Patties with Mushrooms & Zucchini stir fried in Coconut Oil
Lunch: Tuna “Salad” with Avocado Mayo stuffed in Collard Green Wrap, Side Plantain Chips & Cucumbers
Dinner: Herb Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potato & Sautéed Chard in Ghee
Snack: 1/2 Apple with 1-2 spoonfuls Sunflower Seed Butter
Real food, prepared in a variety of ways with seasonings and herbs to “spice it up.”
Once you have a strong foundation, you’re able to move to step 2: natural allergy remedies (your doc probably won’t tell you about)….9 more to be exact.
9 MORE NATURAL ALLERGY REMEDIES
- Remove The Top Inflammatory Foods
If you really want to take your allergy hacking to the next level, consider experimenting with the removal of these top inflammatory foods:
- Gluten-free Products (except coconut flour, arrowroot, cassava, tiger nut)
- Sweeteners (natural and fake)
- Coffee (1 cup organic, fresh ground only) https://drlauryn.com/natural-energy-boosters/
Try it. For 7 days. See if it helps.
- Probiotic & Prebiotic Power
Get your (good) gut bugs on. Probiotics add a punch of essential healthy gut bacteria to the gut that may have some gut imbalances. Reach for a soil based formula, and don’t forget to take your pre-biotic fiber (essential for making sure your probiotics stick around in your gut). Compliment your daily probiotics and pre-biotics with fermented and prebiotic foods.
- Oregano Oil
A powerful “antimicrobial” and “antibacterial” (i.e. kills gut bugs). Dilute 2-3 drops with a spoonful of coconut oil or water, and consume orally 2-3 times per day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Love your gut (and boost your stomach acid to aid in digestion) with apple cider vinegar. The result? Less mucous, undigested food and enhanced digestive flow to support healthy immune function. Add 1 tbsp. to 2-4 oz. of water several times per day.
- Essential Oil “Humidifier”
Forget the Vix Vapor Rub, reach for one of these these essential aromatherapy oils instead. Add 4-5 drops of your oil of choice to a diffuser http://amzn.to/2Ebf2wC, and turn it up:
Allergy Combo: Make a mix with peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender oil.
If you like Thai food, then this one’s got your name on it. Turmeric is the spice with the active ingredient “curcumin” that contains potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin in turmeric blocks mast cells from releasing histamine. It has the ability to remove excess mucous and reduce inflammation in the sinuses and respiratory tract.
How to consume it? You can take liposomal curcumin as a supplement, or use turmeric as a spice in soups, meats, veggies or my favorite “golden milk” (Heat 1 cup coconut milk in a saucepan on medium-low heat, add 3/4-1 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. raw honey, cinnamon, and a slice of fresh ginger. Heat and stir, then sip).
- Drink Bone Broth & Collagen
Bone broth has been touted in recent years as a “gut healing agent,” but it is really nothing new. Both bone broth and collagen (powder) contain amino acids, like glycine, proline and hydroxyproline that help “rebuild” the gut lining.
Sip your broth by the cup, add to veggies or soups, and use collagen powder as your protein in smoothies.
- Herbal Antihistamine
Natural herbal antihistamines contain a powerhouse of herbal extracts that boost immune health and decrease inflammation.
These formulas include ingredients like:
Osha-A root that has been used as medicine by Native American and Hispanic cultures for years, specifically to support the respiratory system.
Hesperidin—an anti-inflammatory extract found in fruits like oranges, grapefruits and plums, used specifically to enhance circulation and blood flow.
Dimethylglycine (DMG)- an amino acid that aids in boosting metabolic health and detoxification. It improves circulation, decreases cholesterol and inflammation, enhances oxygenation, acts as an antioxidant against free radicals and acts as an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal agent
- Test, Don’t Guess
Last, but certainly not least, if you have been an allergy sufferer for years, like clockwork, get this: You don’t have to struggle.
Instead of continuing to manage your symptoms or hoping and praying this year won’t be “so bad,” consider getting to the “root” of you shaky immune system and taking a peek at what’s going on with your gut.
Beyond a “leaky gut,” conditions like SIBO , fungal overgrowth, parasites, dysbiosis and may be present.
Working with a functional medicine doctor or nutritionist aware of what to look for (in the gut) can be game-changing, providing you with insights on what may be driving your allergies and allowing you to then follow the proper protocol to rid of the imbalance.
Connect with me today for a 1:1 Initial Assessment if you want to do some digging into your own gut and immune health.
THE BOTTOM LINE
You’re not “stuck” with allergies forever.
Love your gut, boost your immune system, and tell allergy season to see you later.