THINKING OUTSIDE THE (MEDICATION) BOX
This spring, just ask around (or simply pause to listen for the din of coughing, sniffling and sneezing), and you’ll discover that environmental allergies seem to be a common nemesis—especially in deciduous tree–dominated central Virginia. By taking a walk down any typical drugstore aisle, you can see just how prevalent the issue is by the number of “allergy relief” medications that stock the shelves. There are pink pills and green ones, nose sprays and eye drops. Look more closely at those labels, however, and you’ll see the unnerving plethora of potential side effects that result from continued use.
What if there was a more natural way to calm—or even eliminate—those bothersome allergy symptoms?
“I like to tell people that homeopathy* is a similar concept to that of vaccination,” explains Steffi Wells, a manager at Health Nut Nutrition in Wyndhurst. “Homeopathic supplements introduce your body to specific allergy triggers in order to gradually build up your immunity to those allergens.”
Wells recommends that those who suffer from seasonal allergies get a jump on natural treatments before symptoms begin. “It’s most effective to begin taking homeopathic supplements ahead of the season, starting with a higher dose and reducing the dose as the seasons continues,” she says. “Everyone responds differently, but many of our customers report a reduction in symptom severity—and some even eliminate symptoms altogether.”
So, how do you know which supplement is right for you? Many people have had testing done and know the specific culprits responsible for their sneezing and coughing. If this is you, you’ll be able to choose the perfect single-ingredient tincture from the shelf. And it’s perfectly fine to combine multiple supplements to create an individualized immune-boosting cocktail. “For people who don’t know what their specific trigger is,” says Wells, “the ideal is to take a supplement that has a combination of the most common allergens.” Again, as the body adjusts over time, the dose gradually decreases, with some people able to stop dosing by season’s end.
In addition to the vaccine approach, Wells recommends that allergy sufferers try a natural alternative to prevalent over-the-counter antihistamines: Nettle and Quercetin (both histamine regulators). “This supplement, that combines both, is ideal for immediate relief from sneezing and coughing,” she says. “And it works very well in conjunction with lower-dose homeopathy later in the allergy season.”
Moreover, this approach eliminates the grogginess and dryness often associated with antihistamine use. Although Nettle and Quercetin can be taken daily or as needed, there isn’t the same tolerance buildup like with antihistamines, which can require higher and higher doses for the same level of effectiveness.
According to Wells, the most precise natural tactic to defend against spring allergies is to savor a few spoonsful of gooey golden goodness every day. “We sell a ton of locally sourced honey,” she says. “The bees have been spreading pollen specific to our region and to this particular year, so they’ve done all the work in identifying exactly the right ingredient.”
Much like the homeopathic supplements, ingesting the honey daily helps your body build resistance. Wells adds, “Taking just a tablespoon in the morning, one midday, and one in the evening can significantly impact allergy symptoms.” Health Nut Nutrition customers report that this sweet treatment is extremely effective—some families purchase a gallon of honey at a time. Bonus: Honey supplies antimicrobial qualities as well, delivering year-round benefits such as potential cold and flu prevention and faster recovery.
Turning to natural remedies isn’t new. In fact, many of the homeopathic ingredients have been used for millennia. And although their initial uses clearly predated laboratory studies, today’s science is demonstrating the hows and whys of these traditional treatments. So, if you’re one of those people who can sense the season’s transition not by the longer days but the number of sneezes, maybe it’s time to consider an alternative to those little pink pills.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
To learn more about natural remedies for allergies or discover the many benefits of natural holistic health, visit the Health Nut Nutrition website at healthnutnutrition.com. Or check out their store located at 1701 Enterprise Drive, and take a tour of all their organic groceries, supplements, and beauty products.