August 5, 2017

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal Allergies

Allergeeeez lousie, nothing’s worse than the warmer weather finally arriving, and being stuck at home with a box of tissues and benedryl as your sidekick. While some people tend to get rocked every year, I’ve noticed my symptoms wax and wane – sometimes I don’t have them at all, and sometimes I’m Rudolph with sneezing being the soundtrack to my summer.

This could be due largely in part to the gut brain axis, as sometimes I feel a surge in allergy symptoms when I’m particularly stressed out. The brain modulates gastrointestinal function and vice versa, and much of the immune system is located in the gut (around 70%). So a stressed out mind means a stressed out gut, which has negative effects on the immune system, leaving you more susceptible to environmental allergies.

Researchers are discovering a causal relationship between an imbalanced gut microbiome (called dysbiosis) and a growing number of conditions and diseases – for example, acne, allergies, asthma, celiac disease, chronic Lyme disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, Graves disease, gum and tooth disease, irritable bowel, lichen planus, lupus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, UTIs, all the other 80-100 autoimmune diseases, and some cancers.

But there is hope! Along with healing the gut, there are many herbs, essential oils, and lifestyle changes you can make to help attenuate the chorus of sniffles when tornados of pollen are swirling all around you.


American adults with allergies, especially to nuts and seasonal pollen, have low diversity of good bacteria and higher bad bacteria their gut microbiota. This dysbiosis might be targeted to improve treatment or prevention of allergy. ( 5 ) Both asthma and allergies are are affected by the communities of microbes that colonize the gut and respiratory tracts, and these communities are influenced by environmental influences from diet and antimicrobial administration to early-life local microbial exposures. ( 6 )

  • heal the gut:
    • EAT omega-3: salmon, flax seed, chia seeds, sardines, cod liver, walnuts, bone broth, fatty fish, grass fed meats / eggs
    • AVOID omega-6: vegetable oils, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, margarine, shortening
    • AVOID refined polyunsaturated oils, fake fats, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, refined carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, food toxins and genetically engineered foods
    • Try a comprehensive elimination diet to recognize offenders
    • Diet high in antioxidants and foods to support detox pathways (cruciferous vegetables, allium vegetables) – diet rich in choline (eggs, fish, chicken, beef), B vitamins, essential fat, sulphur containing foods (garlic, onions), and brassicas (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower) to support methylation and enhance excretion
    • diet high in polyphenols
    • lots of prebiotics
    • lots of probiotics (through food and supplementation)
    • eating enough dietary fiber (30-40g/day) through whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds
    • organic (when possible)
    • whole foods
    • rich in variety of fruits and vegetables
    • lean animal protein
    • monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids or take an omega-3 supplement
    • minimal: processed foods, sugar, omega-6 fatty acids, high fructose corn syrup, trans-fatty acids, caffeine, alcohol
  • take a probiotic – I use Silver Fern brand (code lemon10 for 10% off)
  • use spices like turmeric to decrease inflammation and antihistamine herbs like thyme and holy basil in cooking ( 14 )
  • If the above isn’t working, try a low histamine diet: A low-histamine diet can often reduce the severity of allergy symptoms. Foods high in histamine include fermented foods, aged cheese, citrus fruits, fish, shellfish, avocados, spinach, cocoa, and leftover meat, to name a few. ( 14 )

pre and probiotic foods (3) (click here for a link to a printable PDF)


  • get your vitamin D levels tested: vitamin D deficiency was significantly higher in patients with allergic rhinitis than the normal population, and in one study women with allergic rhinitis had lower vitamin D levels ( 1 )
  • look out for low vitamin C: In one study, a group of children with increased vitamin C consumption had fewer allergy symptoms ( 2 )
  • magnesium: Magnesium intake seems to have a protective effect on childhood allergies and asthma. In one study, there was an inverse association between magnesium intake and asthma / allergies. ( 3 )


  • quercetin:  In one study, oral administration of quercetin for 5 and 7 days (at 25mg/kg), could inhibit sneezing and nasal rubbing movements ( 7 ). Quercetin also helps breakdown histamines, which could play a role in exacerbation of allergy symptoms.
  • nettles: In one study, there were positive effects of Urtica dioica root extract (nettles) in the management of allergic rhinitis ( 8 )
  • galphimia glauca: One study showed that nasal symptoms were improved in 60 percent of Galphimia, and therapeutic success was reported in 83% taking Galphimia. ( 9 )
  • essential oils:  inhalation of certain aromatherapy oil helps relieve allergy symptoms, improve rhinitis-specific quality of life, and reduce fatigue in patients with allergies. One study showed a combination of sandalwood, frankincense, and almond oil for 5 minutes twice daily for 7 days was effective ( 12 )
  • honey:  In one study the group that ingested high doses of honey (1g/kg body weight per day) showed a significant improvement in individual allergy symptoms. The improvement persisted for a month, even after the cessation of the treatment ( 10 ). In another study, thyme honey nasal spray was a good and safe remedy to reduce inflammation and foster mucosal healing for patients suffering from chronic rhinosinusitis. ( 11 ) This could be because consuming raw, local honey helps “educate” your immune system to tolerate these local pollens. A randomized controlled pilot trial published in 2011 showed that allergic patients who consumed birch pollen honey had 60 percent reduced allergy symptoms and twice as many asymptomatic days during birch pollen season. ( 14 )


  • acupuncture:  acupuncture may exert anti-inflammatory effects through a complex neuro-endocrino-immunological network of actions. Many of these generic anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture are of direct relevance to allergic rhinitis ( 4 ). In one study, 81 patients were evaluated for allergies with either acupuncture or a combination of pharmaceuticals (loratadine and azelastine). The patients in the acupuncture group reported 95 % effectiveness and improvement, compared to 83% in the medication group [P<0.05]. Scores improved in both congestion (nasal obstruction) and total symptom scores. ( 13 )
  • minimize stress: this is where the gut-brain axis comes into play. Stress can really damage your gut and worsen seasonal allergies – daily yoga or meditation can help.
  • get adequate sleep. optimal sleep is crucial for gut / overall health. Inadequate sleep shortens lifespan and increases inflammation, which can lead to gut permeability chronic disease. Try to get eight hours of uninterrupted, deep sleep every night. For more about sleep, check out this post.
  • minimize: food additives, pesticides, chemicals and pollution in your environment – also gut damagers

Recommendations from you guys!!

  • along with diet changes and good supplementation (remove dairy), lemon, lavender and peppermint oil and/or doTERRA TriEase is so incredibly helpful for so many 
  • lemon, lavender and peppermint oil (different person recommended the same oil mixture)
  • essential oils blend of peppermint, lavender, and lemon and rub on hands with coconut oil and inhale 
  • peppermint, lavender and lemon essential oils. Together they work perfectly! Put in a roller bottle with carrier oil. I rub it on the back of my neck and behind my ears! 
  • Diffuse two drops of each: lemon, lavender, and peppermint in your diffuser
  • I use Young Living’s essential oils for my allergies. I diffuse the blend or put it in a roller bottle diluted with fractionated coconut oil and roll it down the sides of my nose and behind my ears. My dad and I use this every day and it helped immensely. The blend is lemon, lavender, and peppermint. When using it in a 10mL glass roller bottle,  I use 10-15 drops of each and fill the rest with coconut oil. Highly recommend!
  • I have horrible horrible allergies but I don’t like to take a pill for it because they often dry up my sinus cavity and give me sinus infections so I use an essential oil blend (two drops lavender, two drops lemon, two drops peppermint, combined in a capsule) and an omega-3 every morning and was symptom free for the first time  in my life (except for the eyes, I still had itchy eyes). 
  • Religious use of neti pot so my allergy woes don’t turn into sinus infections. Diffusing eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint essential oils makes them manageable@
  • neti pot! Also a dime sized amount of coconut oil with lavender, peppermint, lemon essential oils applied to the back of the neck. IT HELPS! And quitting dairy.
  • neti pot with sea salt and xylitol. And NAC 600mg twice a day. If congestion is really bad, take this 3x a day.
  • lavender under the tongue
  • oregano pills and goldenseal root every night before bed
  • nettle tea all the way!
  • nettle is my fave! Ta, capsules, whatever. There is also this spray by Dr. Kings that you buy based on the region you live in that works pretty well.
  • Local honey! Also nettle leaf pills and a dehumidifier with peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus oils.
  • Chamomile tea helps me a lot with my allergies. Chamomile is a natural anti-histamine and 3 cups can help boost your immune system and build up your resistance against allergies. 
  • Use a few drops of eucalyptus oil on the floor in the shower.
  • castor oil packs
  • okay this is definitely not for everybody and it came as a surprise to me, but I had rhinoplasty in April and my allergies are all but gone. I live in the South so we have some type of allergen all year round and I’ve been able to stop my daily medication. Definitely not a suggestion for people to rid themselves of allergies by having a nose job, but a happy side effect!
  • acupuncture for allergies! worked wonders for me!
  • garden of life sinus support helped me so much with my horrible seasonal allergies. I loved it. It has some probiotics in it too to really help keep your immune system in check
  • I take bee pollen and I find that it really helps.
  • Have a tablespoon of raw, local honey each night.
  • My mom and sister have really bad allergies and they take a spoonful of Manuka honey everyday and said it works!
  • local honey and local pollen
  • I started drinking hot lemon water with local honey and it straight up cured my allergies
  • Try respir-all from Whole Foods!
  • Rootology Breathe Free is legit! Game changer here in FL where sinuses are assaulted daily all year long.
  • I use Natural D-Hist by Ortho Moleular products – it contains vitamin C, quercetin dihydrate, stinging nettle leaf, bromeliad, and n-acetyl-cysteine.
  • Juice plus is a whole food nutrition product that has 37 medical research studies that are double blind placebo group. I used to have strep throat and a sinus infection like around the clock before I was introduced to the product. My dad and I had seasonal allergies so bad we thought abut moving and since we started taking Juice plus we have not been sick once in the past two years.
  • Local honey and local bee pollen. Start taking before allergy season is in full force. Helps me and my boyfriend so much! I just add it to smoothies and what not, the boyfriend has more serious allergies so he takes a tbsp a day.
  • If you suffer from allergies in spring time, start eating one teaspoon of honey a day in autumn and continue until allergy season is over. It helped me so much@ No need for pills or anything else. Of course there are still some sneezes here and there but not much more.
  • Edible flowers! Gem marigolds, nasturtiums, squash flowers, borage, gohnny jump ups, and so many more! This is a good vegan alternative to honey to aid allergies!
  • I use Gaia turmeric allergy supreme and it works so well. I also try to drink kombucha and do deep cleansing breathes to get that stagnant allergy crap out of my lungs.
  • Spirulina helps me with allergies.
  • For whatever reason, my sinuses always drain after I remember to oil pull!
  • I never sit on my bed with clothes I’ve been outside with, because I don’t want to place all the pollen I’m carrying onto where I sleep! Sometimes an air purifier helps, and drink lots and lots of water because the body is overproducing mucus.
  • Sprouted green peas! Done at home in the dark because they have a higher DAO! Also vacuuming regularly, washing sheets weekly on high heat in the washer and dryer because bed bugs feed on dead skin found in the sheets and most people are allergic.
  • For my allergies, I’ve really found that getting adjusted once every two weeks by the chiropractor on a consistent basis helps so so much. I also eat super local, raw honey. Lastly, for symptoms relief I highly recommend diffusing lavender, lemon, and peppermint oils together. They actually create a natural anti-histamine which is so wonderful.


( 1 ) Arshi, S., Ghalehbaghi, B., Kamrava, S-K, & Aminlou, M. (2012). Vitamin D serum levels in allergic mnjhgfcx vnrhinitis: any difference from normal population. Asia Pacific Allergy, 2(1), 45-48. doi:10.5415/apallergy.2012.2.1.45

( 2 ) Sea, J-H., Kwon, S-O., Lee, S-Y., Kim, H.Y., Kwon, J-W., Kim, B-J., … & Hong, S-J. (2013). Association of anxioxidants with allergic rhinitis in children from seoul. Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Research, 5(2), 81-87. doi: 10.4168/aair.2013.5.2.81

( 3 ) Rosenlund, H., Magnusson, J., Kull, I., Hakansson, N., Wol, A., Pershagen, G., Wickman, M., & Bergstrom, A. (2012). Antioxidant intake and allergic disease in children. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 42(10), 1491-1500. doi:  10.1111/j.1365-2222.2012.04053.x

( 4 ) McDonald, J.L., Cripps, A.W., Smith, P.K., Smith, C.A., Xue, C.C., & Golianu, B. (2013). The anti-inflammatory effects of acupuncture and their relevance to allergic rhinitis: A narrative review and proposed model. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Mdicine, 591796. doi: 10.1155/2013/591796

( 5 ) Hua, X., Goedert, J.J., Pu, A., Yu, G., & Shi, J. (2016). Allergy associations with the adult fecal microbiota: Analysis of the american gut project. EBioMedicine, 3, 172-179. doi: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.11.038

( 6 ) Fujimura, K.E. & Lynch, S.V. (2015). Microbiota in allergy and asthma and the emerging relationship with the gut microbiome. Cell Host & Microbe, 17(5), 592-602. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.04.007

( 7 ) Kashiwabara, M., Asano, K., Mizuyoshi, T., & Kobayashi, H. (2015). Suppression of neuropeptdie production by quercetin in allergic rhinitis model rats. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 16(132). doi: 10.1186/s12906-016-1123-z

( 8 ) Bakhshaee, M., MOhammad pour, A.H., Esmaeili, M., Azad, F.J., Talesh, G.A., Salehi, M., & Mohajer, M.N. (2017). Efficacy of supportive therapy of allergic rhinits by stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) root extract: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Iranial JOurnal of Pharmaceutical Research, 16, 112-118.

( 9 ) Ullman, D. & Frass, M. (2010). A review of homeopathic research in the treatment of respiratory allergies. Alternative Medicine Review, 15(1), 48-58.

( 10 ) Asha’ari, Z.A., Ahmad, M.Z., Din, W.S.J.W., Hussin, C.M.C., & Leman, I. (2013). INgestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: Evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the east coast of peninsular malaysia. Annals in Saudi Medicine, 469-475. doi: 10.5144/0256-4947.2013.469

( 11 ) Hashemian, F., Baghbanian, N., Majd, Z., Rouini, M-R., Jahanshahi, J., & Hashemian, F. (2015). The effect of thyme honey nasal spray on chronic rhinosinusitis: A double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 272(6), 1429-1435.

( 12 ) Choi, S.Y. & Park, K. (2016). Effect of inhalation of aromatherapy pol on patients with perennial allergic rhinitis: A randomized controlled trila. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 1-7. doi: /10.1155/2016/7896081

( 13 ) Kern, J. & Bielory, L. (2014). Complementary and alternative therapy (CAM) in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, 14(479), 1-6.

( 14 ) Kresser, C. (2016). Got allergies? Your microbes could be responsible. Retrieved from:

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