Guest Blog: Seasonal Allergies by Terry Vanderheyden, ND
When we speak of allergies, we typically mean symptoms arising from sensitivity to airborne allergens like grass, pollen, dust and dander. Manifestations are known as rhinitis, and include sneezing, itchy and runny nose and irritated eyes and throat.
Allergies are an Immune Problem
Immune function is a delicate balance between competing subsets of immune cells. Re-balancing these immune issues is at the heart of allergy remedies, and there are no better herbs for this than the traditional Chinese herbs, Astragalus and Reishi. Both are revered in Traditional Chinese Medicine for rebalancing immune function. Both have demonstrated effectiveness in clinical trials for allergies. The remaining herbal ingredients, nettles, schisandra, and prickly ash, all have their merits as allergy herbs, being especially good at restoring the health and integrity of the mucous membranes (especially for the nasal and sinus linings).
Homeopathic medicines are ideally suited for acute allergy symptoms. Notable ingredients like the well-studied Galphimia glauca are comparable in effectiveness to conventional antihistamines, based on a number of clinical trials.
St. Francis Herb Farm has created their Deep Immune for Allergies (DIFA) formula containing these herbs as well as Homeopathic Ingredients. This makes for an ideal double-edged formula that on the one hand treats the underlying immune imbalance that causes allergy, while at the same time relieving acute allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, and watering eyes. I recommend that allergy sufferers begin a program of DIFA use 4-6 weeks before their expected onset of symptoms and to do so consistently in the seasons that follow. Best of seasonal health!
Terry Vanderheyden, ND
Terry Vanderheyden, ND is a 1994 graduate of the CCNM and has a practice in Barry’s Bay, ON. He also acts as a consultant to the botanical manufacturing industry, working in product development, regulatory affairs, and general medical consulting. He is a board licensed ND with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. His is a general family practice with a minor emphasis on cancer treatments. As well, Terry is a contributor to the Integrated Healthcare Practitioner magazine and is a peer review board member of that same publication.