- Vitamin A deficiency contributes to poor digestion. Because Vitamin A is fat-soluble and therefore can be stored in the body, supplement carefully to avoid overdose and toxicity.
- Pantothenic acid, a B vitamin, boosts adrenal function, which in turn strengthens the immune system.
- High doses of vitamin C can alleviate the inflammation associated with allergy symptoms, as well as strengthening the immune system in general. Side effects of excess vitamin C dosage, however, can occur when this water-soluble vitamin is excreted, leading to irritation of the urinary tract. Try to achieve a balanced dose.
- The mineral zinc is involved in the production of stomach acid, critical to proper digestion of your food and correction or avoidance of leaky gut syndrome.
Bioflavinoids are a group of super-antioxidants found naturally in many of the same fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C. Sometimes known as ‘vitamin P’, bioflavinoids are a relatively recent discovery in nutritional science, and have come to be recognized as some of the most powerful substances for nutritional health and anti-allergy found in nature. Of particular importance is quercetin. The best fruit sources of quercetin, as well as other flavinoids, are the deep, dark red and purple fruits. Red grapes, blueberries, red apples, red cherries and blackberries are all great sources. Even a glass of red wine will provide the body with a dose of protective antioxidants. Vegetable sources include broccoli, onion and green leafy vegetables all contain quercetin, as does red tea.
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, is both a synergistic booster for quercetin, helping with absorption, and on its own breaks up mucous and relieves inflammation.
Stinging nettle in capsule or tincture form is one of the most-recommended anti-allergy substances for its property of reducing allergic response. Other herbal remedies mentioned for various types of allergy are anticatarrhals like goldenseal, red sage, and goldenrod, which help eliminate mucus. In addition, astringents such as yarrow and myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) help contract inflamed tissues and reduce secretions and discharges. To strengthen immune response, Echinacea, astragalus root, goldenseal root, and Pfciffia paniculata (suma or Brazilian ginseng), a Brazilian herb that numerous studies have shown to be effective and safe for treating weakened immune systems. Use and dosage of these herbal substances as well as others too numerous to mention should be supervised by a naturopath or nutritionist well acquainted with their properties.
Treatments not associated with medicines or vitamin or herbal therapy include alternative practices designed to increase or un-block energy flow, such as massage and acupuncture, and detoxification practices such as hydrotherapy and fasting, as well as some that are unproven at best. If you are suffering from allergies, have not been able to find relief with more conventional therapies and are considering some alternative method, be sure to research carefully to avoid practices that are ineffective and a waste of money at best and dangerous at worst.
Allergy Friendly Foods
With the exception, again, of foods that are cross-reactive with other allergens to which you have a known sensitivity, include the following foods in an allergy-friendly diet.