Today is a special day as it marks the Equinox which means no matter where you are on the planet, daytime and night-time will be approximately of equal length. In Australia, Spring officially started on September 1st, but astronomically speaking, the equinox marks the start of Spring.
Whilst Spring brings hope and renewal as we see gardens explode with blossom and new growth, it also brings the equinox winds, which we are definitely experiencing today.
Unfortunately for some, the culmination of these is the trigger for debilitating hay fever symptoms.
Hay fever and allergy symptoms are a typical response to harmless substances such as pollens from trees, grasses and weeds that makes the immune system believe it is a harmful invader. The allergens trigger production of the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE). This immune reaction stimulates release of histamine, causing inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages along with excessive mucus production and other symptoms such as sneezing, itching nose and throat, watery eyes and a clear, runny nose.
Did you know the state of your Gut will impact Hay Fever and Allergy Symptoms
Your gut and your immune system are interrelated. Your intestinal wall is lined with a protective mucosal layer that acts as an immune barrier and up to 80% of your immune cells reside in your gut.
The mucosal lining of your gut is also home to your ‘good’ bacteria which help to regulate your immune system and protect your body from ingested harmful substances.
When you gut environment is out of balance, an allergic reaction can occur to substances inhaled or ingested. There are 2 main conditions to consider when addressing allergy symptoms: dysbiosis and leaky gut.
There are thousands of bacteria species found in your gut which play a crucial role in your immune function. Dysbiosis occurs when there is an imbalance of this bacteria where the ‘bad’ bacteria outweighs the ‘good’ bacteria.
Dysbiosis irritates and damages your gut wall. This leads to inflammation and a loss of integrity of the cells of the gut lining.
2. Leaky Gut
Your gut lining consists of a single layer of cells which acts as an immune barrier, selectively allowing small nutrients digested from your food to pass directly into the blood stream to nourish your cells.
Once inflamed however, cracks appear and your gut lining becomes porous resulting in partially digested food stuffs, fragments of bacteria and other waste from the gut ‘leak’ through into the lymph and eventually the blood stream and trigger a massive inflammatory response.
These toxins place an extra load on the liver which can ultimately become overwhelmed and unable to function effectively. So to protect your vital organs from damage this toxic burden is quickly stored in the body’s fat stores, tissues and bone and there it can stay for many years.
Much of the body’s immune system spends a great deal of time patrolling this important border and if anything foreign penetrates the gut wall through a leaky gut, the immune system immediately identifies it as invasive and potentially pathogenic and will also launch an inflammatory response.
This immune cell overreaction can lead to your seasonal allergy symptoms and is the reason why repair and recolonization of the gut is so important in any allergy or hayfever treatment protocol.
Herbal Medicine and Nutrients to the rescue
There are a number of foods, nutrients and herbs that are extremely beneficial for alleviating both acute hay fever and allergy symptoms as well as addressing potential underlying gut health issues.Step 1: Relieve allergy and hay fever symptoms
Quercetin reduces inflammation and inhibits the release of histamine to down-regulate an allergic response thus providing symptomatic relief of respiratory symptoms
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids (quercetin, rutin, hesperidin) are a potent natural antihistamine that help reduce the allergenic response by strengthening the mast cells responsible for triggering the hay fever response. Vitamin C also boosts the immune system, an additional bonus in combating hay fever.
Bromelain is a powerful digestive enzyme with strong systemic anti-inflammatory effects, which helps decrease mucosal inflammation and nasal congestion. Pineapples are a rich source of bromelain.
Horseradish and garlic are traditionally used as mucolytics and decongestants, helping clear nasal catarrah
Eyebright assists in reducing allergy symptoms, particularly those associated with pollen exposure.
- Baical skullcap provides anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity to help relieve allergy symptoms.
Probiotics help to recolonise the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut to maintain a normal healthy immune response to allergens.
Choose a probiotic which includes the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus which is an important strain shown to be effective in rebalancing the immune response in allergy by suppressing the IgE response.
- L-Glutamine assists with tissue repair of the mucosal lining of the gut. Choose a formula that includes Aloe vera and Curcumin.
If you need some Practitioner help with debilitating Hayfever, allergies and skin conditions, it is time to book a Professional Consultation with the Mammoth Health Naturopaths. By working on your individual health needs, our Practitioner team experience great success in addressing underlying causes and achieving optimal health and vitality for our patients.
Consultations are available daily either via Telehealth for your flexibility and convenience or face-to-face at our In-store Clinics. Book your Consultation Now
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