Grab a notepad and pen and get ready to take some notes. Today we are stocking our allergy medicine cabinet! This will wrap up our current allergy series.
While a healthy diet and lifestyle are central to overcoming allergies, including supplements can provide faster relief as well as accelerate long-term healing. During the interim, medication can help to further alleviate symptoms.
Here is a list of my favorite anti-allergy products.
1. Natural D-Hist and D-Hist Jr. (for kids)*
This potent therapy combines several powerful ingredients that are clinically proven to calm the allergic response, including:
- Quercetin – Quercetin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It opens the airways by significantly dilating the bronchial tubes.1 Quercetin’s absorbability is enhanced when taken with bromelain.
- Bromelain – Bromelain is a proteolytic (i.e., protein-digesting) enzyme derived from the stems of pineapples that is commanding the attention of the medical community, with over 1,600 peer-reviewed articles to date. Known to reduce swelling in the airways, bromelain has long been used as an antihistamine in Europe and is gaining popularity on this side of the pond.
- Stinging Nettle – This nutrient-dense weed is prickly to the touch but very therapeutic when consumed. It targets and inhibits several specific pro-inflammatory pathways known to trigger the allergic response.2
2. Magnolia Clear*
Magnolia clear combines Magnoliae Flos (the magnolia flower bud) with other therapeutic herbs to relieve allergy symptoms. Magnolia has been shown to benefit those with mild to moderate asthma.3
According to traditional Chinese medicine, magnolia is slightly warming and astringent, dispersing “wind and cold” and promoting drainage and opening of the sinus cavity.
Your immune system’s reaction to allergens is often a reflection of your digestive health. Build up your digestion with probiotics (live, beneficial bacteria found in cultured foods and in capsule form).
These healthy microorganisms improve the balance of gut flora, boosting the gut’s mucosal immune system. Probiotics also work to physically repair a compromised intestinal wall, thereby protecting the integrity of the systemic immune system.
*These first three supplements are part of my center’s allergy bundle.
4. Black seed Oil
Black seed oil is receiving more and more attention from the medical community. Its active constituents have been shown to modulate (i.e., restore the “intelligence”) of an out-of-balance immune system.4
In clinical studies:
- Black seed oil exhibited a significant reduction in all the markers of allergic inflammation.5
- Administration of BSO significantly reduced the level of allergen induced lung remodelling.6 (Lung remodeling refers to the gradual and permanent structural change in the airways if asthmatic inflammation is left unresolved.)
Claritin is an over-the-counter antihistamine that can provide relief from allergy symptoms, particularly if it is taken at the start of the season. The body’s histamine response is cumulative and can be harder to manage the longer it goes untreated.
Side effects are generally mild, but some report irritability and/or anxiety when taking Claritin. If I recommend Claritin to a patient I consider it a temporary overlap with long-term diet and lifestyle changes.
Important Note: Natural remedies are medicine too, and have a powerful effect on the body. Check with your doctor before taking any of these supplements, particularly if you are pregnant, taking other medications or have any medical conditions.
1. Joskova M, Franova S, Sadlonova V. Acute bronchodilator effect of quercetin in experimental allergic asthma. 2011;112(1):9-12.
2. Roschek B Jr1, Fink RC, McMichael M, Alberte RS. Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis. 2009 Jul;23(7):920-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2763.
3. Park CS1, Kim TB, Lee JY, Park JY, Lee YC, Jeong SS, Lee YD, Cho YS, Moon HB. Effects of add-on therapy with NDC-052, an extract from Magnoliae Flos, in adult asthmatic patients receiving inhaled corticosteroids. 2012 Mar;27(1):84-90. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2012.27.1.84. Epub 2012 Feb 28.
4. Salem ML. Immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of the Nigella sativa L. seed. 2005 Dec;5(13-14):1749-70. Epub 2005 Jul 1.
5. Shahzad M1, Yang X, Raza Asim MB, Sun Q, Han Y, Zhang F, Cao Y, Lu S. Black seed oil ameliorates allergic airway inflammation by inhibiting T-cell proliferation in rats. 2009 Feb;22(1):37-43. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2008.11.006. Epub 2008 Nov 27.
6. Raza Asim MB1, Shahzad M, Yang X, Sun Q, Zhang F, Han Y, Lu S. Suppressive effects of black seed oil on ovalbumin induced acute lung remodeling in E3 rats. 2010 Dec 7;140:w13128. doi: 10.4414/smw.2010.13128.