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Allergies

General characteristics

General characteristics

An allergy is defined as a hypersensitivity to the presence of a certain substance. Such substances producing an overreaction by the body are called allergens and these can include foods, plant materials, animal hairs, insect bites, dust, household cleaners etc, the list is long. An allergy can only develop after exposure to the 'allergen' at least once ie. you cannot be allergic to a substance you have encountered for the first time.
It is suggested that the body's immune system treats the allergen as if it were a pathogen (disease causing agent) and produces an exaggerated immune reaction in response to its presence within the body. This overactive immune response can result in swelling and inflammation, sneezing, runny nose and eyes, skin reactions, breathing difficulties, irritable bowel and shock.
There is also evidence of a hereditary predisposition towards immune sensitivity. Also strongly linked to stressful emotions such as fear and stress.
It can be difficult to determine whether a reaction is an allergic one as opposed to a 'sensitivity' or 'intolerance' to something. There are differences of opinion in the medical world as to the most effective and accurate testing procedures and determining which substances are causing the problems and getting a diagnosis can be difficult.
True allergies always involve an immune response and are treated with anti-histamines and steroids by conventional medicine. These treatments act to block or suppress the body's immune response.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

In the case of a true allergy, if the allergen is food based then it needs to be avoided until the immune response has been coaxed back into behaving normally.

It has been observed that peoples who eat large quantities of garlic have very few incidences of allergies. Onions and leeks are also very good so include plenty in the diet.

Probiotics have been shown to assist the guts bacterial balance in favour of a strengthened and more normal immune response.

A teaspoon daily of honey from your local area is especially useful for treating seasonal allergies caused by pollens and spores.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Marshmallow root, burdock root and astragalus in combination gradually works to soothe yet fortify the immune system, making it less trigger happy and sensitive. Use equal parts of each herb, simmer in water for 20 minutes, strain off the liquid and drink. Do this up to 3 times daily.
Other immune balancing herbs include pau d'arco, echinacea (small doses), ashwagandha, chamomile and siberian ginseng.
The mushroom Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) has been shown to reduce the immune response to allergens.
A general formula for allergies could contain tinctures of astragalus, marshmallow root, liqourice root, pau d'arco, gingko, ginger and plantain. Use 5 mls of the mix in water 3 times daily for up to 2 months.
Nettle, boneset and agrimony tea. Nettle has a pronounced anti-histamine action whilst boneset is decongestant and immune balancing.
Turmeric is known to have good anti-allergic properties. Use half a teaspoon of powder in a glass of warm milk before bed and a teaspoon in water or milk twice in the day.
Liqourice root is a potent anti-inflammatory similar to that of the steroid cortisone.
Eucalyptus and thyme essential oils will relieve congested lungs and nasal passages. Put a few drops of each in a bowl of hot water and inhale the herbs for several minutes. Place a towel over yor head to stop the oils from escaping and form a steamy environment.
Peach leaves, twigs, bark and stones.
 
Lemon balm tea has an anti-histamine effect.
 

Natural healing

Natural healing

Vitamin C has shown good results as a natural anti-histamine.
Quercitin (a bioflavanoid) helps to neutralise the effects of histamine.
The B vitamins (especially B12) acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.
Cider vinegar is virtually a health panacea, it cuts through mucous and contains many minerals and vitamins. A teaspoon in water twice daily will help control allergies.

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