Allergies, an Experiment

Allergies that are commonly experienced by people in Colorado in the Spring and Fall can be very disruptive to life. A common question people ask is, can acupuncture help ease or eliminate allergies? The answer is yes, however, there are a few things that we can do for ourselves at home as well.

I used to have allergic reactions all year long, and had successfully eliminated all but the month of August’s allergies. The only thing I’d found to combat the symptoms was one particular Chinese herbal formula, nothing else worked. This year I finally took my own advice, something I’ve been meaning to do for a few years. The month before allergy season I’d eliminated gluten from my diet. This was mostly as an experiment. Gluten is very sticky and I wanted to see if avoiding it altogether would help clean up my whole system and, at the very least, possibly reduce the amount of phlegm I usually have to contend with during August. Additionally, a friend of mine who practices Homeopathy advised me to take Quercetin the month prior to allergy season. I followed these directions unknowingly, discovering that it was included with the vitamin C that I’d been taking most of the year. The following information about quercetin is taken from the University of Maryland Medical Center. The entire article can be viewed at:

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/quercetin-000322.htm

Quercetin
Overview:

Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their color.

Flavonoids, such as quercetin, are antioxidants — they scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. They also help keep LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from being damaged, which scientists think may contribute to heart disease. In test tubes, quercetin has strong antioxidant properties, but researchers aren’t sure whether taking quercetin (and many other antioxidants) has the same effects inside the body.

Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and may help protect against heart disease and cancer. Quercetin can also help stabilize the cells that release histamine in the body and thereby have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Allergies, Asthma, Hay Fever and Hives

In test tubes, quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamines, chemicals that cause allergic reactions. On that basis, researchers think that quercetin may help reduce symptoms of allergies, including runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and swelling of the face and lips. However, there is no evidence yet that it works in humans.

August began and I noticed that I wasn’t sneezing like a maniac, but I carried the allergy formula around with me all the time, just in case. The Chinese herbal formula did come in handy sometimes, but it wasn’t nearly as necessary as it was in previous years. More often than not, I didn’t need to take anything. Honestly, I’m not sure what worked, eliminating gluten or taking Quercetin. Both were easy to do, and, most likely, both contributed to being 95% allergy free this August.

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One Response to Allergies, an Experiment

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