Hayfever season is upon us, yay! Spring is finally hear, and I am guessing that with all rain we have had locally of late, we will be in for a cracker of a pollen count!
So I guess a lot of you are starting with the antihistamines, and pretty much just bunkering down in dread? The good news is that yes, Naturopathy is amazing for Hayfever… and we can even work to get rid of those ‘allergies’ permanently, if you’re willing to put some work in!
Firstly I should start but explaining that Hayfever is usually an immune-mediated condition, primarily driven by the IgE antibodies. This means that it is a near-instant reaction; once the trigger hits your bloodstream (which is where these IgE antibodies are), you will begin to feel symptoms of an acute allergic reaction- watery eyes, runny nose, hives, etc.
The part I want you to re-read and understand, is that this reaction occurs inside the bloodstream. Even though you react on the outside, the reaction is instigated in the bloodstream.. so what does this really mean?
In easy terms, it means that the pollens or airborne triggers have made it to the bloodstream. How on Earth does this happen you ask?? Well, it means the mucosal barriers inside your nose, sinuses and possibly digestive tract, have been compromised!
There is a lot of information out there these days, explaining all the possible reasons for this, but to cap them quickly, we could be dealing with stress or lack of sleep, toxins, pathogens or a nutritional deficiency.
So step 1- when treating Hayfever and allergies.. we always need to identify what might be compromising these mucosals!
Next its about the rebuild, and quite possibly calming the immune response down in the meantime (to help relieve your symptoms).
The ‘rebuild’ will be based on a deconstruction and reconstruction of your diet. There are a lot of pracs who don’t address the dietary component of hayfever, but unless you want to be taking hundreds of dollars worth of supplements for months every year, I strongly suggest that you make some changes to what you eat!
This is super important, because the food you eat quite literally gives you the best opportunity to detoxify congested lymphatics and organs, which in turn can cause irritation to the mucosals- if you are not eliminating toxins properly, they will build up in the system and cause the immune system to kick into overdrive.
On that note as well, some of the heaviest, lifelong cases of Hayfever I have ever treated, were predominantly treated by working on the gut and diet… the body literally did the rest itself! (and it will, almost every time).
There are some amazingly powerful herbs which can help mediate the immune system and provide symptomatic relief. Some of my favourites are Perilla, Albizia, Ginger, and the Medicinal Mushrooms. The detoxifying and cleansing herbs should also take a central role in any lifestyle regime, because this cleansing of the tissues is ultimately what reduces the toxic load and therefore irritation. My go-to’s here are Dandelion, Cleavers, Chlorella, and Plaintains..
So you see, whilst Naturopathic treatment of Hayfever is far my complex than just taking an antihistamine and hoping for the best, it can also provide you with far more long-term relief and benefits, and quite often permanent results. All protocols are tailored to the individual, so please remember that the above is a generalization and starting point. For more detailed help, don’t hesitate to come see me.. there is always relief around the corner.