Natural Support for Allergies and Hay Fever
If you have allergies, you are not alone. An estimated 50 million Americans have allergies to airborne triggers that cause symptoms of hay fever and another 17 million have asthma. Airborne allergies occur when exposure to a particular antigen (allergen) such as pollen, mold, or animal dander triggers the immune system to respond in an uncharacteristic manner to produce antibodies that trigger the release of histamine and other inflammatory compounds from mast cells – specialized cells that line the air passages. Exposure to the allergen causes common allergic symptoms such as nasal blockage, itching of the nose, sneezing and a runny nose.The initial stages of respiratory allergies (“hay fever”) are seasonal in nature, but later often become perennial (year-round).
Asthma is a little different hay fever. It can have the same triggers and also involves release of inflammatory mediators from mast cells, but the symptoms can be much more severe and potentially life threatening. Asthma is characterized by recurrent attacks of shortness of breath, wheezing and abnormal breath sounds, cough, and expectoration of tenacious, thick sputum.
Can natural medicine help deal with airborne allergies?
Absolutely. In fact, natural medicine offers significant advantages over approaches to respiratory allergies. Keep in mind that popular antihistamine drugs whether they are prescription or over-thecounter offer only symptomatic relief – they do not solve the problem. The drug companies love these antihistamine drugs because they only suppress symptoms, they do not affect a cure, they create dependence, and, most importantly to the drug companies, they are expensive so they offer tremendous profits.
My recommendation is to work to get off of these drugs. The first step is to reduce the exposure to airborne allergens, such as pollen, dander, and dust mites. These common allergens are often difficult to avoid entirely, but measures can be taken to reduce exposure. Removing dogs, cats, carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, and other surfaces where allergens can collect is a great first step. If this can’t be done entirely, make sure that there is at least one room in the house, preferably the bedroom, that is as allergy-proof as possible. Encase the mattress in an allergen-proof plastic; wash sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and mattress pads every week in hot water with additive- and fragrance-free detergent; consider using bedding material made from Ventflex, a special hypoallergenic synthetic material; and install an air purifier. The best mechanical air purifiers are HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filters, which can be attached to central heating and air-conditioning systems. These units are available from suppliers of heating and air-conditioning units.
The next step is to reduce the “allergic threshold” by eliminating any foods that may be contributing to the allergic aspect. Many studies have indicated that food allergies play an important role in asthma. An adverse reaction to a food may be immediate or delayed. Double-blind food challenges have shown that immediate-onset sensitivities are usually due to (in order of frequency) eggs, fish, shellfish, nuts, and peanuts. Foods most commonly associated with delayed-onset sensitivities include (in order of frequency) milk, chocolate, wheat, citrus, and food colorings. My recommendation is to avoid all of these common allergens for a minimum of ten days to judge if an underlying food allergy is contributing to the respiratory allergy. If symptoms improve, foods can be reintroduced at the rate of one food every three days to identify which food(s) is the culprit. These sorts of elimination diets have been successful in identifying allergens and treating respiratory allergies.
During the elimination phase, I encourage you to use RevitalX™ – a delicious and satisfying smoothie mix providing nutritional support for the intestinal tract by Michael Lyon, MD. RevitalX™ is specifically designed to soothe the stomach, intestines and colon, and help to heal a “leaky gut.” The low allergy potential formula is designed specifically for people with food allergies, but is suitable for everyone. It provides balanced levels of vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals, and probiotics to support the body while healing the gastrointestinal track. The RevitalX™ formula base is GoldPeptides™, a non-GMO protein source from golden peas. It is a superior source of protein to rice or soy because of its high protein, low sugar, and low glycemic profile.
The final step in approaching respiratory allergies with natural medicine involves using specialized natural products that address specific aspects of the allergic response. The first product to take a look at is Aller-7™.
What is Aller-7™?
Aller-7™ is a patent-pending unique blend of seven standardized herbal extracts clinically tested to promote a healthy immune system and normal breathing. Aller-7™ is the result of more than 10 years of research and is the most extensively researched all-natural product that can minimize the body’s response to seasonal as well as perennial airborne allergies.
The development of Aller-7™ started with screening more than 50 plants possessing the most promising immune-enhancing properties and applying modern techniques of investigational science. Numerous combinations of extracts were prepared and tested. In the end, one formula stood out above all others, a unique combination of seven standardized herbal extracts that ultimately was called Aller-7™. Although the 7 herbal components of Aller-7™ have long been used to promote health, detailed safety and pharmacological studies were conducted prior to clinically testing the formula in humans.1-3
In clinical studies, Aller-7™ has been shown to minimize the body’s response to seasonal as well as perennial airborne allergies. For example, an evaluation on the effects of Aller-7™ was carried out in 14 test centers involving 545 patients with allergic rhinitis. An overall improvement in hay fever symptoms was seen in 78% of the subjects after 6 weeks and an incredible 94% after 12 weeks of use. The study also included a double-blind portion.
In another study, 48 patients with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) were randomly assigned to receive either Aller-7™ or a placebo for 3 months.4 Results clearly demonstrated that Aller-7™ from the study not only improved all of the major symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis, it also produced improvements in scores of general well-being including improvements in sleep quality and mood. Results also showed like many other natural the longer that Aller-7™ is used, the more apparent the benefits. In other words, while some people taking Aller-7™ may experience rapid relief of symptoms, most will have to take it for at least one month to see meaningful benefit.
How does Aller-7™ work?
Allergies are the result of a cascade of events that trigger an allergic response by the body’s immune system. Aller-7™ works by modifying the allergic response. For example, one of the first steps in the allergic response is an allergen, such as pollen, coming into contact with a specific cell in the body’s immune system called an “antigen presenting cell.” This contact in turn triggers the release of compounds known as interleukins. These interleukins then send a message that activates other white blood cells to release allergic antibodies that bind to the allergen and then attaches themselves to mast cells causing the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine. Aller-7™ appears to work at every step of the process to block the allergic response. Specifically, Aller-7™ and its components have shown the following effects:
- Promotes activities by white blood cells that leads to more efficient handling of allergens
- Stabilizes mast cells, thereby preventing the release of histamine
- Inhibits the activity of inflammatory enzymes such as trypsin and hyaluronidase that lead to tissue irritation
- Exerts effective antioxidant activity thereby arresting the allergic response
What is the dosage recommendation for Aller-7™?
The recommended adult daily dosage is 660 mg twice daily with meals. For maintenance, 330 mg can be taken twice daily with meals. Again, due to the natural properties of Aller-7™, results may not appear for 2-4 weeks.
Where can I buy Aller-7™?
Aller-7™ is available in over-thecounter dietary supplements at your local health food store.
What other recommendations to you have for dealing with respiratory allergies?
Our health is the sum of the functioning of each of the trillion of cells in our body. For each individual cell to function properly, there are certain basic needs that need to be addressed. To address these needs, I recommend three key dietary supplements:
- A high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula (MultiStart™).
- A “greens” drink product (Enriching Greens®).
- A pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement (RxOmega™-3 Factors).
Beyond this basic foundation, I often recommend that people with respiratory ailments use the Lung, Bronchial & Sinus Health formula from Natural Factors. One of most important features of healthy airways is the elasticity and fluidity of the respiratory tract secretions. If the mucus is too thick and viscous, it creates a scenario that fosters blocked airways and difficulty in breathing. Fortunately the components contained in the Lung, Bronchial & Sinus Health formula can improve these secretions and support the health of the respiratory passages.
- Saxena VS, Pratibha N, Amit A, et al. Safety of a novel botanical extract formula for ameliorating allergic rhinitis. Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods (In Press).
- Bagchi D, Saxena VS, Pratibha N, Amit A, Bagchi M. Safety of a novel botanical formulation for ameliorating allergic rhinitis. Society of Toxicology 2003;72(S.1):255.
- Bagchi D, Bagchi M, Saxena VS, Pratibha N, Amit A. Anti-allergenic potential of a novel botanical extract formula. FASEB Journal 2003;17(5):A1061.
- Vyjayanthi G, Subhashchandra S, Saxena VS, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Aller-7 in patients with allergic rhinitis. Research Communications in Pharmacology and Toxicology (In Press).
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.