Seasonal Allergies





ARTICLE #1 Allergic Rhinitis: What Your Allergist Knows

ARTICLE #2 Integrative Medicine and Allergic Rhinitis

ARTICLE #3 Grape Seed Extract

ARTICLE #4 Bee Pollen and Hay Fever

ARTICLE #5 Homeopathy for Hay Fever

ARTICLE #6 Natural Allergy Relief

ARTICLE #7 Side Effects of Allergy Medications

ARTICLE #8 Chronic Sinusitis

ARTICLE #9 Apple Cider Vinegar

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Allergic Rhinitis: What Your Allergist Knows

CMDT

Essentials of Diagnosis

Nasal pruritus, congestion, rhinorrhea, or paroxysms of sneezing, which may be associated with lower respiratory symptoms (chronic cough, wheezing, chest tightness, or dyspnea); eye irritation and pruritus; or eczematous dermatitis.

Environmental allergen exposure.

Confirmed by evidence of specific IgE antibody to tested aeroallergens.

Clinical Findings

In addition tot he symptoms listed above, the physical examination may reveal edematous or inflamed nasal mucosa. In severe cases, the affected mucosa may be pale, boggy, or blue-tinged from vascular engorgement and venous congestion.

Treatment

The three basic principles of allergy management are: Avoidance of the allergen, symptomatic therapy, and immunotherapy.

A. Avoidance Therapy

Avoidance is the most effective treatment for any allergic condition, and it should always be considered in addition to pharmacologic and immunologic treatment. Avoidance of allergen exposure cures the clinical manifestations, but it may not reduce the underlying immunologic sensitivity to that allergen. Success requires accurate diagnosis of the causative allergens, and failure is often due to inadequate environmental control.

1. Pollens - Airborne allergens can travel significant distances, yet concentrations are highest near their source. Pollen release occurs in the early morning, but airborne levels are also dependent on temperature and wind velocity. Closing windows and remaining in air-conditioned environments can decrease exposure when pollen counts are high.

2. Animal danders - If the allergy is slight, the patient may benefit from merely keeping the animal out of the bedroom; usually, however it is necessary to remove the animal from the home altogether. Hypersensitivity to animal dander can be exquisite, and passively transferred dander can accumulate to significant levels in "off-limits" areas. Washing or otherwise treating the fur of a live animal has not been proved to reduce allergenicity.

3. House dust and dust mites - the mattress and pillows should be encased in dust-proof material, and the bedroom floor should be uncarpeted. The room should be dusted frequently. Electronic air purifiers are of unproved effectiveness. Acaricides to eliminate dust mites are under investigation.

4. Mold spores - Out of doors, mold spores are unavoidable during certain seasons. Nevertheless, activities such as gardening and farming can be associated with acute high levels of exposure and should be avoided. Indoor mold contamination can be controlled by repairing leaks and cleaning mold buildup in sinks, showers curtains, pipes, etc.

B.Drug Therapy

Three classes of pharmacotherapy are useful for IgE-mediated diseases, based on 1) inhibition of release of mediators from mast cells, 2) inhibition of the action of mediators on their target cells, and 3) reversal of the vascular and inflammatory responses in the target tissues.

1. Antihistamines - Of the numerous mediators released from mast cells by reaction of allergen with IgE antibody, histamine is the only one that can be effectively blocked by drugs. Antihistamine drugs are competitive inhibitors of the histamine receptors. Those that inhibit H1 receptors are used to treat IgE-mediated allergy. There are a number of such drugs on the market, but the use of first-generation antihistamines (chlorpheniramine, brompheniramine, diphenhydramine, clemastine, hydroxyzine) may be limited by side effects, primarily sedation and dry mucous membranes. Tolerance to soporific effects may develop with continued use. Rare complications include seizures and tachyarrhythmias. Second-generation nonsedating histamine H1 receptor-blocking drugs, loratadine and fexofenadine, appear not to be associated with arrythmias and, along with cetirizine, are now the drugs of choice. Cetitizine is mildly sedation, but the incidence of adverse side effects is markedly lower than that of its parent compound, hydroxyzine. Azelastine is a topical antihistamine preparation that is applied intranasally to decrease its systemic side effects.

Antihistamine therapy is helpful in allergic rhinitis and in urticaria but not in all patients. It rarely alleviates symptoms of asthma, though it is not contraindicated when used to treat concomitant rhinitis or pruritus. The antipruritic effect of antihistamines may be a useful adjunct in treatment of eczematous diseases. Intramuscular or intravenous antihistamines are used in systemic anaphylaxis as adjunctive treatment only. They relieve cutaneous and gastrointestinal symptoms but have no effect on vascular collapse or airway obstruction.

2. Sympathomimetic drugs - Adrenergic agonists are used for both alpha-adrenergic (vasoconstricting) and beta-adrenergic (bronchodilating) properties. Alpha-adrenergic agonists can be used orally (pseudo-ephedrine) or topically (phenylephrine, naphazoline, oxymetazoline) as nasal decongestants and (topically) as conjunctival vasoconstrictors. Daily use of topical preparations can lead to rapid development of rebound vasodilation (rhinitis medicamentosa). The main side effects of oral decongestants are insomnia, tremor, and tachycardia.

3. Glucocorticoids - These drugs have a therapeutic role in virtually all types of allergic diseases because of their anti-inflammatory action rather than by their immunosuppressive effects. They are extremely effective, but they do not modify the underlying disease. Their use in allergy requires close attention to side effects and toxicity. Corticosteroid drugs are available in oral, intramuscular, intravenous, intranasal, and bronchial inhalation forms; as eye drops; and in topical formulations for dermatologic use. Short-term systemic burst therapy is indicated for treatment of severe asthma, allergic contact dermatitis, severe allergic rhinitis, acute exacerbations of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Because of complications, including cataracts, corneal ulceration, keratitis, and glaucoma, steroid eye drops are most commonly prescribed by opthalmologists.

Topical corticosteroid nasal spray is effective and probably safe for long-term use, but epistaxis can occur and nasal septal perforation is a possible complication. Flunisolide, beclomethasone, mometasone, budesonide, and tramcinolone are similarly efficacious, often requiring only a single daily dose for 1 week. Long-term topical corticosteroid therapy for allergic rhinitis is an essential aspect of management of the inflammatory phase of the disease.

4. Cromolyn sodium and sodium nedocromil - Pretreatment with these drugs prevents the response to allergen by stabilizing the mast cell, though the specific molecular mechanisms of action are unknown. Although unrelated, they have similar effects and, because of their poor bioavailability, they are effective only when applied directly to the involved organ. Furthermore, their action is short-lived, so that they must be given three or four times a day. Cromolyn is available as a bronchial inhaler, nasal spray, and ophthalmologic preparation; nedocromil is available in metered-dose inhalers. Not all patients respond, but the drugs have very few side effects and wide margins of safety. A high-dose oral form of cromolyn has been released for use in treating systemic mastocytosis, but poor oral absorption limits its effectiveness.

5. Anticholinergic agents - Ipratropium bromide is effective as a nasal topical agent for use in rhinitis. Mucous membrane glandular secretion is under cholinergic control and can be inhibited by anticholinergic agents. First-generation antihistamines have systemic anticholinergic activity, but ipratropium is preferred as adjunctive treatment of allergic rhinitis or as primary treatment for many types of nonallergic rhinitis. Ipratropium does not alleviate sneezing, pruritus, or nasal congestion but can be useful for treatment of postnasal drip and rhinorrhea.

C. Immunotherapy

Treatment of atopy - especially allergic rhinitis - by the repeated long-term injection of allergen has been shown in many controlled clinical trials to be an effective method for reducing or eliminating symptoms and signs of the allergic disorder.

1. Indications - This treatment is recommended for patients with severe allergic rhinitis who respond poorly to drug therapy and whose allergens are not avoidable. Immunotherapy is unequivocally effective in patients with allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis. Immunotherapy in allergic asthma has also shown proof of efficacy, but smaller trials with single-antigen treatment have reported conflicting results. The lower clinical response rates observed in asthma have been attributed to the multifactorial nature of the disease. There is no current evidence for an effect in atopic dermatitis. Food or drug hypersensitivity is treated by avoidance only, since immunotherapy is not currently available.

2. Immunoligic effects - The term "allergen immunotherapy" is usually used instead of desensitization because the immunologic basis for this form of treatment is currently unknown. Nevertheless, certain immunologic changes can be induce by these injections. Circulating levels of IgE antibodies specific to the injected allergens increase slightly during the first few months, then decrease, eventually to substantially lower levels than before treatment. Seasonal rises in IgE antibodies to pollens are blunted or eliminated. IgG blocking antibody is produced. Changes in regulatory T cells favoring suppression of IgE antibody production have been reported. There is some evidence that TH2 cytokine responses are shifted toward TH1 responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Higher thresholds for release of inflammatory mediators and decreases in late phase allergic reactions may be related to the reduction in biologic sensitivity of end organ systems (eyes, nose, bronchi, skin).

3. Clinical effects - Most patients with allergic rhinitis caused by aeroallergens become more tolerant to natural pollen exposure during successive seasons while on immunotherapy. A small minority become completely asymptomatic, but most patients enjoy a significant decrease in symptoms and medication usage. Only high-dose injected immunotherapy has been demonstrated to be effective in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. A beneficial response may persist after treatment is stopped. The clinical effects and immunologic responses are antigen-specific.

4. Procedure - A sterile aqueous solution of the allergen or allergens for the patient's disease is administrated by subcutaneous injection in increasing doses once or twice a week until a maintenance dose is reached, at which time the interval is advanced to every 4 weeks. The maintenance dose is typically one to ten thousand times the starting dose. Ascending doses are used to minimize the risk of systemic allergic reactions during initial stages of immunotherapy. Three to 5 years is a typical course of therapy, but individual responses may prolong or shorten the duration of therapy.

5. Adverse effects - Reactions to treatment may be local or systemic. Localized immediate and late-phase skin reactions occur at injection sites. These are not harmful, but the dose must be adjusted to avoid excessively large or prolonged local reactions. Immediate systemic reactions or anaphylaxis are a potential problem with each injection and must be prevented by careful monitoring of dosage. The patient must remain at the treatment facility for at least 30 minutes after each injection so that drugs and equipment for treating anaphylaxis will be available if needed. No long-term adverse consequences of aqueous allergen extract immunotherapy are known to have occurred in immunocompetent individuals.



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Integrative Medicine and Allergic Rhinitis

Overview

Definition - Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is a reaction to airborne allergens. It affects between 1:6 and 1:10 Americans and is an IgE-mediated disorder of the immune system; 70% of cases occur before age 30. Symptoms resemble those of viral rhinitis but persist to show seasonal variations. This most common form of allergy involves the entire respiratory system - nasal cavity, mouth, throat, bronchi, lungs and diaphragm. There is an inherited tendency, with a child having a 50% chance of developing such allergy if one parent is allergic and a 75% chance if both parents are allergic.

Etiology - The cause is an interaction of IgE on mast cells and basophils in the nasal mucosa with allergic substances, especially pollens, grasses, or ragweed, which produce a seasonal variation; animal fur, dust, insect debris, household mites; inhaled irritants, changes in temperature or humidity.

Risk Factors - The following conditions can lead to allergic rhinitis

1. Tendencies to produce large quantities of IgE

2. Repeat exposure to allergen (s), which can be almost anything inhaled, eaten, touched, or injected into the body

3. Sufficient potency and duration of exposure

4. Other allergies

5. Familial predisposition

6. Smoking or prolonged exposure to second hand smoke

Signs and Symptoms -

1. Nasal congestion, increased secretions, sneezing

2. Itching of mucosal membranes of nose, eyes, posterior pharynx, conjunctivae

3. Sinus symptoms: headaches, pressure behind eyes, pain in the frontal area of face, tenderness over cheekbones, aching teeth

4. Ear infections

5. Stomach cramps

6. Skin rashes and hives

7. Urinary frequency or diarrhea

Differential Diagnosis -

1. viral, bacterial, fungal infection

2. sinusitis

3. rhinitis medicamentosa

4. vasomotor rhinitis

5. obstruction of the septum

6. bronchitis

7. nasal polyps

8. swollen adenoids

9. systemic diseases (Wegener's granulomatosis, hypothyroidism)

10. chronic rhinitis

Daignosis -

Physical Examination - Turbinate mucosa is usually pale or blue and swollen, with nasal obstruction and copious secretions, sneezing, and itching of the eyes, nose, and throat. Nasal polyps are uncommon, but serous otitis media occurs often, especially in young children. Cervical lymphadenopathy is seen.

Laboratory Tests - Microscopic examination of nasal smears shows high numbers of eosinophils, increased levels of IgE.

Pathological Findings - Submucosal edema, congested mucous glands

Other Diagnostic Procedures - On referral to an allergist the following tests may be done:

Skin Testing - Diluted extracts of allergens are injected under the skin or applied to scratches on the back or upper arm. Postitive results are indicated by raised welts surrounded by redness and high levels of serum IgE antibodies.

Radioallergosorbent test (RAST) - Blood test to determine IgE levels.

ELISA allergy test to determine IgE and IgG levels

Treatment Options

Treatment Strategy - Eliminate rhinitis by maintaining an allergen-free environment

Cover pillows and mattresses with a plastic cover

Use synthetic materials (foam mattresses, acrylics) instead of animal products (wool, horsehair).

Minimize dust collecting household items (drapes, carpets)

Use an air purifier or dust filter. When the allergen is known, desensitization therapy can be done, which involves gradually increasing subdermal exposure to identified allergens.

Drug Therapy - Since I do not recommend drug therapy you can read the drugs used in the first article. I will however list the side effects and complication of drug therapy use. 1) development of nonallergenic rhinitis medicamentosa from use of nasal sprays more than twice daily for three consecutive days, 2) with use of cortisone - cataracts, glaucoma, high blood pressure, ulcers, diabetes, edema, loss of bone density, avascular necrosis of bone, and suppression of adrenal gland function, 3) use of antihistamines or oral steroids may actually increase sensitivity, 4) cause of secondary infections, 5) compromised pulmonary function.

Complimentary and Alternative Therapies

Nutrition -

Eliminate all known food allergens

Minimize pro-inflammatory and highly allergenic foods such as saturated fats (meat and dairy products), refined food, eggs, citrus, bananas, chocolate, peanuts, wheat, shellfish, food coloring, preservatives, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and sugar.

Increase intake of whole foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds

Drink plenty of water (distilled) and include fresh juices, especially carrot, celery, parsley, and pineapple

Vitamin A (10,000 - 15,000 IU/day), zinc (20-30 mg / day), vitamin B6 (50-100mg/day), and vitamin B5 (50-75mg/day) for immune support. If you are pregnant do not use vitamin A!

Vitamin C (1,000mg three to four times per day) to reduce inflammation, and to stabilize mast cells to reduce histamine release

Vitamin E (400 IU/day) for proper immune function

N-acetylcysteine (200mg three times per day) to reduce mucous formation



Herbs -

Plants high in bioflavonoids (quercitin, curcuma, rose hips, bilberry) are especially useful as they reduce histamine release and stabilize connective tissue. Two cups per day of Nettles has been used traditionally for hay fever.

Quercetin 250mg two to three times per day to reduce inflammation

Homeopathy -

An experienced homeopath should assess individual constitutional types and severity of disease to select the correct remedy and potency. For acute prescribing use 3 to 5 pellets of a 12X to 30X remedy every one to four hours until acute symptoms resolve

Allium Cepa - for copious, acrid nasal discharge with bland eye lacrimation that feels better when you are outdoors.

Eupbrasia - for bland nasal discharge with acrid lacrimation that is relieved by lying down at night.

Sabadilla - for sneezing with watery discharge from nose and eyes.

Wyethia - for marked itching of the nose, throat, and soft palate.



Physical Medicine

Contrast Hydrotherapy - Alternating hot and cold applications brings nutrients to the site and diffuses metabolic waste from inflammation. The overall effect is decreased inflammation, pain relief, and enhanced healing. Repeat three times. This is one set. Do two to three sets per day.

Nasal Lavage - Mix sea salt and water to taste like tears. Rinse nostrils by holding head over sink and letting water run from upper nostril to lower nostril. Keep nostril lower than troat to prevent salt water form draining into back of throat. This shrinks membranes and increases drainage.

Acupucture - Treatment with acupuncture can help promote both immunity and lymphatic drainage while minimizing the effects of allergic rhinitis.

Massage - Therapeutic massage is an excellent way to assist local lymphatic drainage.



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Grape Seed Extract

What Is It?

As its name implies, grape seed extract is derived from the small seeds (and occasionally the skins) of red grapes--the same kind that are pressed to make wine. Used extensively in Europe, grape seed extract is rich in flavonoids, phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties some consider even greater than the old standbys vitamin C and vitamin E. Antioxidants are believed to prevent and control numerous ailments by safeguarding cells against the ravages of unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals.

The most valuable flavonoids in grape seed extract are procyanidolic oligomers (also known as proanthocyanidins), commonly called PCOs. Beyond their antioxidant powers, PCOs are thought to improve blood circulation and help strengthen blood vessels. These actions benefit people with heart disease and cancer.

An alternative source for PCOs is Pycnogenol (pik-NODGE-en-all), the brand name for a PCO derived from the bark of the maritime pine. Experts compare its health benefits to those of grape seed extract, and in fact many research studies examining the therapeutic effects of PCOs have relied on the use of Pycnogenol. It's more expensive than grape seed extract, however.

Health Benefits

European doctors prescribe PCO-containing drugs for various vascular (vessel) disorders that are likely to benefit from increased blood flow, such as diabetes, leg cramps, varicose veins, arm and leg numbness or tingling and even impotence. Macular degeneration and cataracts--vision-robbers of the elderly--may also improve by means of the extract's effects on circulation.

Disorders such as endometriosis, which are affected by the release of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, may benefit from the extract's ability to block the release of this pain- and inflammation-causing chemical. Grape seed extract effectively penetrates cell membranes throughout the body with its antioxidant properties. It can even cross into the brain (traversing the blood-brain barrier) to protect brain cells from free-radical damage.

As an ingredient in facial creams, the extract may help maintain skin elasticity; many European skin creams feature grape seed extract for this purpose.

Specifically, grape seed extract may help to:

• Prevent heart disease. The risk for heart attack and stroke may be reduced with this potent antioxidant, which is believed to prevent the plaque development that can clog arteries. A recent study of 38 smokers indicates that PCOs may function as effectively as aspirin in keeping blood cells from sticking together and forming blood clots (called an anticoagulant effect). And the PCOs posed no risk of the gastrointestinal irritation or bleeding generally associated with aspirin. Interestingly, another preliminary study using grape seed oil (which is related to grape seed extract) indicates that using 2 tablespoons a day to replace other oils in cooking could increase HDL ("good") cholesterol by 14% and reduce triglycerides by 15% in just four weeks.

• Minimize fibromylagia damage. Fibromyalgia is an elusive disorder associated with chronic muscle pain and stiffness. The antioxidant power of grape seed extract can help by protecting besieged muscle cells from damage.

• Deter cancer. The antioxidants in grape seed extract work hard at helping to control cellular damage, routinely hunting down and neutralizing mutations within the genetic material of cells that could lead to tumor formation. The development and progression of cancers of the lung, breast, stomach, prostate, colon, skin and other body parts may be stalled as a result.

• Fight skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Certain components within the skin--collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid--participate in keeping it healthy. PCOs help keep these substances in good shape by blocking enzymes that might disrupt their chemical structure. In this way, grape seed extract may be useful in treating inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis. Its flavonoids also inhibit allergic reactions that can generate such skin problems as eczema.

• Slow progression of macular degeneration and cataracts. Grape seed extract improves blood flow in the eye's tiny vessels, where certain eye diseases can cause blockages and impairments that result in vision damage. Cataracts are an example. The extract's antioxidant powers are of particular value in warding off the free-radical damage so frequently cited as the leading cause of macular degeneration.

Lessen allergy symptoms. As a natural antihistamine, grape seed extract may help to control the sneezing, congestion and other hallmarks of an allergic reaction. The extract also inhibits the release of chemicals called prostaglandins that can generate inflammation during an allergic response. Working in concert, the nutrient's antihistamine and anti-inflammatory actions can help to keep at bay such allergic responses as hives, hay fever and eczema.

• Ease eye strain. People who stare at computer monitors for extended periods may benefit from taking grape seed extract. The findings of one recent study indicate that 300 mg, taken daily, will ease eyestrain and enhance perception of contrast after just 60 days.

Note: Grape seed extract has also been found to be useful for a number of other disorders. For information on these additional ailments, see our Dosage Recommendations Chart for Grape Seed Extract.


Forms

tablet

liquid

capsule

Dosage Information

Special tip:

--Always use a grape seed extract preparation that's standardized to contain 92% to 95% PCOs.

• For general antioxidant and cancer-prevention use: Take 100 mg each morning. Smokers should take 100 mg three times a day.

• For the majority of other ailments: Take 100 mg three times a day.

Be sure to check out our Dosage Recommendations Chart for Grape Seed Extract, which lists therapeutic dosages for specific ailments at a glance.

Guidelines for Use

• Take grape seed extract at any time of day, but be consistent about when you take it, especially if you are using it to fight a particular condition.

• To realize a consistent benefit from grape seed extract, you need to take it regularly. Only about 30% of its PCOs remain in your body 24 hours after taking the supplement.


General Interaction

• There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with the use of grape seed extract.

Possible Side Effects

• No adverse effects or toxic reactions have been reported.


Cautions

• Based on the limited research that has been done on grape seed extract so far, it appears to be very safe.

Ailments Dosage
Aging 100 mg once a day
Cancer Prevention 100 mg each morning; may be partially covered by daily antioxidant complex
Cataracts 100 mg once a day
Eczema 100 mg twice a day; may be partially covered by your daily antioxidant complex
Hair Problems 100 mg twice a day; may be partially covered by antioxidant complex
Heart Disease Prevention 100 mg twice a day; may be partially covered by your daily antioxidant complex
Lupus 100 mg twice a day
Macular Degeneration 100 mg twice a day
Psoriasis 100 mg twice a day



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Bee Pollen and Hayfever


hayfever and asthma can be helped naturally by using bee pollen, aloe vera gel and ginko biloba


Hayfever season will soon be in full swing and millions of sufferers will be looking for this year's product of the moment to help them cope. This page looks at a natural way to help combat this seasonal problem.

What is hayfever?

The classic form of hayfever is a hypersensitive response to grass pollen in the atmosphere resulting in sneezing and watery eyes. In some cases people begin to wheeze and in a few cases hayfever can bring on a serious asthma attack.

As the pollen count rises, hayfever sufferers react with inflamed membranes due to the release of histamine and other mediators. Conventional treatment acts to supress this inflammation with anti-histamine tablets or steroidal nasal sprays or even steroid tablets when it looks as though an asthma attack may follow.

These forms of treatment are generally effective, but like all powerful drugs, come with their side effects which may be of concern to some people. Another consideration is that hayfever sufferers may also have eczema and asthma at other times of the year. We are talking here of the stereotypical 'atopic' person with the fair skin and the red or auburn hair.

Bee Pollen

Bee Pollen is one of natures most complete foods. It is full of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It therefore gives a huge booste of energy if taken orally in any quantity. To help with hayfever Bee Pollen is most effective if started on a regular basis several weeks before the nasty oil seed rape and willow pollen gets into the atmosphere. Doing this helps to reduce any reaction to inhaled pollen when the season fully kicks in.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera is a natural anit-histamine. Histamine is produced from the amino acid histidine and needs an enzyme for this change to take place. Aloe Vera contains a substance that blocks this change. I have found that many asthma sufferers (see my family testimony page) can reduce their inhaler use when taking gel regularly, and people with itchy skin also benefit.

Ginkgo Biloba

If you suffer from asthma then you should also consider Ginkgo Biloba, which in clinical trials has been shown to reieve the bronchial spasm causing the attack.

Ginkgo is one of the most researched herbs in the world but take care where you purchase it. Most research, carried out in Europe, has been with a well established standard for ginkgo preparations containing 24 percent falavone glycosides and 6 percent terpene lactones (including ginkgolide A, B and C). While ANY products containing ginkgo may offer benefits, it is the standardised products that have been shown to give benefits. To assusme that a ginkgo product with levels below these will offer the same or similar benefits is just that: an assumption. Caveat emptor.

Our own Ginkgo Plus contains this standardised Ginkgo giloba leaf as well as three rare chinese herbs: Reishi mushroom, Schisandra berries and Cured fo-ti.

These three products; Bee Pollen, Aloe Vera Gel and Ginkgo Biloba, may control your hayfever on their own or combinded, may reduce the amount of regular medication needed and so reduce the risk of unwanted side effects.



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Homeopathy for Hay Fever

Homeopathic remedies can alleviate hay fever episodes and turn the allergy seasons into joyful days you can look forward to rather than consternation. Instead of waking up to the morning news announcing that the pollen count is higher this year than any previous year and wondering how long the runny nose, watery eyes, fatigue, or even restlessness, caused by the high level of histamine in your body are going to last, you will be able to step out of your house and be part of the world.

You will confidently venture outside with your friends during lunch break rather than eat by yourself at your desk and fill the trash bin with tissues.

Allergies are thought to be an overreaction by the body to substances in the environment.

Most of us know about seasonal allergies such as hay fever, but there are people who suffer from allergies so severe, they have to live in conditions which preclude them from even reading a daily printed newspaper, the fumes being too powerful for them. These people get little sympathy from the outside world which believes their condition is more psychosomatic than anything else.

As always, the homeopathic point of view is to honor the whole state of the person rather than address only the allergies. Professional homeopaths call this the constitution of the person, which can be corrected with the proper constitutional remedy. Taking care of the person rather than the disease is the beauty of homeopathy. Whether constitutional treatment is sought or not, you can still use remedies to relieve yourself of these debilitating symptoms.

Here is a list of the most common remedies for allergy episodes.


As mentioned in the previous articles homeopathy is very precise. As you read the symptoms of the following remedies you may think some of the characteristic as quite odd. Indeed the homeopath always looks for what we call the strange rare and peculiar symptoms. The reason for this is that they define the person rather than the illness. Since homeopathy is a science of individuality the SRP’s become extremely important.

Allium cepa 9C:

This remedy is for those who suffer from watery eyes and runny nose. Both discharges are abundant. The nose runs “like a faucet”. The differentiating factor to look for in this remedy is that only the nasal discharge is corrosive, and irritates the skin on upper lip and the nose within a day or two after the start of the allergies. Cold water on the face brings immediate although short relief.

Euphrasia 9C:

This remedy has an affinity for the eyes. The nose may run but, contrary to Allium cepa, the discharge does not inflame. Instead, the tears are corrosive, the eyes are much inflamed with burning and swelling. There may be much sticky mucus, as well as a sand like sensation in the eyes.

Badiaga 9C:

Has profuse, watery, nasal discharge with sneezing. The nasal discharge is irritating. This person is better with warmth as opposed to Allium cepa who feels better with cold.

Ambrosia 30C:

Common hay fever symptoms. Tears and intolerable itching of the eyelids. Burning of the eyes. Watery nasal discharge; sneezing. Wonderful for spring and summer allergies if other remedies do not fit.

Naphtalinum 6C:

This remedy has irritating discharge from the nose and the eyes. Long bouts of coughing.

Sabadilla 9C:

Copious, watery discharge from the nose and the eyes as in the remedies above. Spasmodic sneezing with itching of the roof of the mouth, which compels the person to scratch it with her tongue. Over sensitive to odors.

Wyethia 9C:

Hay-fever symptoms with intense Itching in the back of the nose and the roof of the mouth. Possible tickling in the throat, causing a dry cough.

Arundo 9C:

Similar to Wyethia. The hay fever starts with burning and itching of the palate and eyes. Annoying itching of the roof of the mouth and in the nostrils causing sneezing.

Nux vomica 30C:

The person is highly irritable. Everything upsets him. The discharge is dry during the day and watery at night but not irritating to the skin. Very sensitive to odors.

As homeopathy concerns itself with personal symptomatology, I have had people say that the simple act of paying attention to their symptoms in detail has brought them closer to their bodies, a feeling of fostering an understanding and recognition of the wisdom and intelligence within. Whether you take a homeopathic remedy or not, observe and listen to your symptoms carefully, this alone may help you grasp what the body is trying to achieve.


To find out your exact homeopathic remedy go to this link and work your way through the questions. It will give you the correct remedy to use.


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Natural Allergy Relief

Allergies

Imagine a car alarm that’s a tad too sensitive, letting out a piercing shriek at the slightest provocation. If you’re one of the 50 million Americans with respiratory allergies, you have a similar problem with your immune system: It treats harmless dust, pollen and pet hair as if they were the enemy.

If you’re allergic, it takes just a tiny particle of the right allergen to put your panicky immune system on the defensive. Your body strikes back by releasing a rush of histamine, the chemical that causes that familiar swelling and running in your nose, eyes and sinuses. Allergy shots and antihistamines can control your symptoms, but there are other things you can do as well. The natural remedies in this chapter—in conjunction with medical care and used with your doctor’s approval—may help prevent or relieve allergic problems, according to some health professionals.

Acupressure

To relieve hay fever and allergic sneezing and itching, press point LI 4, situated in the webbing between your thumb and index finger, close to the bone at the base of the index finger, says Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D., director of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, California, and author of Acupressure’s Potent Points. Hold this point with your thumb on top of the webbing and your index finger underneath, then squeeze into the webbing, angling the pressure toward the bone that connects the index finger to the hand. Work on one hand, then on the other. Hold firmly for about one minute per hand while breathing slowly and deeply.

This is not recommended for pregnant women, because pressing this point can cause contractions of the uterus, says Dr. Gach.

Aromatherapy

For quick relief of the watery eyes and runny nose of hay fever, Victoria Edwards, an aromatherapist in Fair Oaks, California, suggests mixing one drop each of cypress and hyssop essential oils in the palm of your hand. Apply the mixture to the back of your tongue with your fingertip. Edwards says to use the remedy every few hours whenever hay fever symptoms are bothering you. “It doesn’t taste very good, but it helps clear your head immediately, and the effects last from one to two hours,” she says.

Ayurveda

Kapha types are most apt to suffer seasonal allergies such as hay fever, with symptoms that include nasal congestion, coughing and sneezing, says Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc., director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. To prevent attacks, Dr. Lad recommends lubricating the nasal passages with warm ghee, or clarified butter. Using an eyedropper or the tip of your little finger, put about three drops in each nostril three times a day, morning, midday and evening. This will make it hard for allergens to penetrate the nasal passages, Dr. Lad says.

You can also try taking ½ teaspoon of the Indian herbal formula sitopaladi after lunch and dinner with a little honey, he says. Sitopaladi is available from some Indian grocers.

Food Therapy

Some allergies may be caused by congestion from eating the wrong foods, says Elson Haas, M.D., director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California, and author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition. He suggests his three-week detoxification diet.

Homeopathy

“Acute hay fever is commonly treated with homeopathy,” according to Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, N.D., a naturopathic physician in Edmonds, Washington, and co-author of The Patient’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine. If you are sneezing a lot and have itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose, Dr. Reichenberg-Ullman suggests trying Allium cepa 30C once or twice daily until you begin to feel better. The same dose of Sabadilla can help people who have violent sneezing attacks in addition to other hay fever symptoms, she says.

For people whose prime symptom is watery, burning eyes, take Euphrasia 30C once or twice a day, advises Dr. Reichenberg-Ullman. If one of these remedies doesn’t seem to help within seven days, she says to consult your homeopath.

All of these remedies are available in many health food stores.

Hydrotherapy

A vitamin C bath can be effective for easing the symptoms of an allergy attack, suggests Agatha Thrash, M.D., a medical pathologist and co-founder and co-director of Uchee Pines Institute, a natural healing center in Seale, Alabama. Add three tablespoons of ascorbic acid powder (available in most health food stores) to a warm bath. You can stay in the bath for up to two hours.

Vitamin and Mineral Therapy

Some people with allergies might get relief by taking 5,000 international units of vitamin A daily, suggests Richard Gerson, Ph.D., author of The Right Vitamins. He also advises getting more essential fatty acids, such as those found in flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is available in both liquid and capsule form in most health food stores; Dr. Gerson suggests that you follow the dosage recommendations on the labels of flaxseed oil products.

Yoga

Daily yoga practice can help bring allergies under control, according to Alice Christensen, founder and executive director of the American Yoga Association. She says allergies are caused by both physical and psychological problems, which is why they tend to emerge after illness or periods of extreme stress.

As part of your daily routine, she says, be sure to include these poses: standing sun, knee squeeze, seated sun, boat and cobra. She also recommends that you include the complete breath exercise to strengthen the muscles that help you breathe and meditation to help relieve allergy-related problems such as poor sleep.

In addition to the exercises above, you can try a neti, or daily nasal wash, says Stephen A. Nezezon, M.D., yoga teacher and staff physician at the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The wash will remove pollen from your sinuses and toughen your mucosal membranes, he says. Here are Dr. Nezezon’s instructions: Fill a four-ounce paper cup halfway with warm water, and then add ½ teaspoon of salt. Put a crease in the lip of the cup so that it forms a spout. Slightly tilt your head back and to the left. Then slowly pour the water into your right nostril. The water will flow out of your left nostril or down the back of your throat if your left nostril is clogged. Spit out the water if it goes down your throat, or wipe the water from your face if it flows out of your left nostril. Fill the cup again, then repeat the procedure on the other side, pouring the water into your left nostril and tilting your head back and to the right so that the water flows out of your right nostril.



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Side Effects of Allergy Medications

Symptoms That Are Not Allergic Reactions

Every medication has the potential of causing side effects. Side effects are undesirable health problems that occur as a result of taking a particular medication.

Studies are done to track the side effects of every medication. Listed here are the most common side effects associated with the three most popular prescription allergy medications -- Allegra, Clarinex, and Zyrtec. Keep in mind, these side effects only occur in a small percentage of those taking them. There are other side effects not listed here, that are less common.

Allegra

In adults ages 12 and older with seasonal allergic rhinitis taking 180 mg fexofenadine once daily:


Headache

Upper respiratory tract infection

Back Pain

In adults with seasonal allergic rhinitis taking 60 mg fexofenadine twice daily:


Viral infection

Nausea

Dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cramps)

Drowsiness

Dyspepsia (indigestion)

Fatigue

In children ages 6-12 with seasonal allergic rhinitis taking 40 mg fexofenadine twice daily:


Headache

Accidental injury

Coughing

Fever

Pain

Otitis media

Upper respiratory tract infection

In adults ages 12 and older with chronic idiopathic urticaria taking 60 mg fexofenadine twice daily:


Back pain

Sinusitis

Drowsiness



Allegra-D

In adults ages 12 and older taking the 60 mg fexofenadine hydrochloride/120 mg pseudoephedrine twice daily:


Headache

Insomnia

Nausea

Dry mouth

Dyspepsia (indigestion)

Throat irritation

Dizziness

Agitation

Back pain

Palpitation

Nervousness

Anxiety

Upper respiratory tract infection

Abdominal pain



Clarinex

In patients with allergic rhinitis:


Pharyngitis (sore throat)

Dry mouth

Myalgia (muscular pain or tenderness)

Fatigue

Somnolence (drowsiness)

Dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cramps)


In patients with chronic idiopathic urticaria:

Headache

Nausea

Fatigue

Dizziness

Pharyngitis (sore throat)

Dyspepsia (indigestion)

Myalgia (muscular pain or tenderness)


Zyrtec

In adults ages 12 and older taking 10 mg cetirizine:


Somnolence (drowsiness)

Fatigue

Dry mouth

Pharyngitis (sore throat)

Dizziness

Headache

Nausea


In children ages 6-12 taking 5 or 10 mg cetirizine:


Headache

Pharyngitis (sore throat)

Abdominal pain

Coughing

Somnolence (drowsiness)

Diarrhea

Epistaxis (nose bleed)

Bronchospasm

Nausea

Vomiting




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You Can Help With a Study

I would like people to try the following therapy and report their outcome for results of a study. I am attempting to find an extremely easy treatment that patients can follow. The first experiment involves homeopathy and nasal washing. You will need to buy a saline nasal spray and the correct homeopathic remedy for your symptoms. The homeopathic remedy can be found in the "Homeopathy for Hay Fever" article or by follow the questionaire on the ABC Homeopathy site. The saline nasal spray can be found at any health food store. You can also mix your own saline nasal spray. Find out how.

What To Do!

When allergy time comes around use the homeopathic remedy as instructed. Don't forget to pay attention to the Do's and Don'ts of Homeopathy.

Spray the nasal mist in your nose and them blow your nose. Do this every hour.

Results

Report the results to Dr. Jeff at any of the contact links.

Thanks for your help!





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CHRONIC SINUSITIS

Chronic Sinusitis Linked to Fungal Infection

From Cathy Wong, N.D.,

Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered that people with chronic sinus inflammation have an exaggerated immune response to common airborne fungi. The results of their study appear in "The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology."

"This study is the first to show a possible immunologic basis for chronic sinusitis, an important starting point to better understand the cause of the illness," says Marshall Plaut, M.D., chief of NIAID's allergic mechanisms section. Despite the enormous health impact of chronic sinusitis -- nearly 30 million people were diagnosed with sinusitis in 2002, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and direct costs of the illness exceed $5.6 billion per year -- the condition is very poorly understood, he says.

The researchers, led by Hirohito Kita, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, compared blood samples taken from 18 people diagnosed with chronic sinusitis with blood samples from 15 healthy volunteers.

Nasal secretions from the two groups were also examined for the presence of fungal proteins and inflammation- causing immune system molecules.

Airborne microscopic fungi spores abound indoors and out. People may inhale a million or more fungal spores each day, notes Dr. Kita. The mere presence of such fungi in the airways, however, is not enough to cause sinusitis because these spores can be found in the upper respiratory tracts of both sinusitis sufferers and non-sufferers. Indeed, in this study, levels of fungal proteins in nasal secretions were similar in both groups.

The Mayo Clinic scientists looked for evidence that people with sinusitis respond abnormally to these harmless fungi. The investigators exposed immune cells derived from the blood samples to extracts of four common airborne fungi: "Alternaria," "Aspergillus," "Penicillium" and "Cladosporium." The cells of chronic sinusitis sufferers released significant amounts of three immune-modulating chemicals, called cytokines, specifically interferon-gamma, interleukin-5 (IL-5) and IL-13. In contrast, cells from healthy volunteers released very little interferon-gamma and no IL-5 or IL-13. The most dramatic responses occurred after exposure to "Alternaria."

Importantly, says Dr. Kita, the released cytokines represent both major classes of cytokines -- interferon-gamma is in the Th1 group and IL-5 and IL-13 are in the Th2 class. This is notable because scientists have thought that allergic reactions involve only Th2 cytokines, Dr. Kita explains. (While chronic sinusitis is not considered to be an allergic disease, people with the condition also often have asthma and allergic rhinitis, giving scientists reason to suspect a link.) The current findings add to an evolving understanding of allergic diseases that suggests symptoms may stem from a combination of Th1 and Th2 cytokines.

The combined effect of excess Th2 and Th1 cytokines released in the presence of fungi may explain a number of chronic sinusitis symptoms, including persistent inflammation of sinus and nasal mucous passages, say the scientists.

Previously, Mayo clinic scientists used intranasal antifungal agents to successfully treat patients with chronic sinusitis. While those studies generated controversy, in part because other researchers were unable to replicate the findings, Dr. Kita says today's report supports the rationale of treating chronic sinusitis with antifungals. Clinical trials to further test antifungal therapy for chronic sinusitis are being planned, adds Dr. Kita.

Reference: S-H Shin et al. Chronic rhinosinusitis: An enhanced immune response to ubiquitous airborne fungi. "The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology." Published online Oct. 8, 2004. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2004.06.012.

Source: NIAID, http://www.niaid.nih.gov

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.




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Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw and Organic)

Apple Cider Vinegar is an excellent remedy for stopping most allergies like pollen, dander, dust, animals food, etc.

When apple cider vinegar is either taken daily or at the first sign of an allergy (sinus headache, stuffy nose, watery/itchy eyes), you can completely stop the histamine response as well as allergic reactions.

Dosage

2 Tbsp of organic Apple Cider Vinegar in 8 oz of H2O, up to 3x/day (always rinse your mouth with clean water after drinking the vinegar). Increase amount as necessary being careful to note if heartburn caused. If heartburn, drink milk and lots of water.

You will be amazed.



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