If you find yourself in sneezin’ season, you have plenty of company. More than 50 million Americans deal with seasonal allergies each year, many of them looking for choices besides prescription and over-the-counter medications.
India’s traditional medicine, called Ayurveda, is an alternative solution. The Ayurvedic approach focuses on bringing the immune system back into balance, which gives allergies a chance to subside.†
Allergies and the Immune Response
With bacteria and other pathogens continually on the attack, the body needs effective defenses. That’s the immune system’s job; this exquisitely coordinated collection of cells and chemical messengers identifies and neutralizes invaders.
Problems occur when the immune system overreacts and “defends” against things that don’t pose a health threat.
Over-reactive immune cells in the nose, throat and eyes, called mast cells, mistake pollen as a danger and sound the alarm. They release a flood of chemical messengers such as histamines and leukotrienes, which irritate the lining of the nasal passages in an effort to immobilize the “threat.”
Bringing the Immune System Into Balance
The Ayurvedic solution to allergies starts, naturally enough, with detoxification through the consumption of organic produce, daily exercise such as walking and getting enough sleep.
In addition, a number of herbs—traditionally used in combination—have been found to rectify what Western medicine knows as immune imbalance.†
These herbs include Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica, which is loaded with vitamin C), haritaki (Terminalia chebula, known as a powerful detox agent), bedda nut (T. bellerica), Indian walnut (Albizia lebbeck), ginger (Zingiber officinale), Indian long pepper (Piper longum, an expectorant) and black pepper (P. nigrum).
This herbal blend—available in capsule form—is designed to stabilize mast cells, clear airway passages for better breathing and inhibit the chemicals that cause allergic reactions.† Studies suggest that this combination does indeed ease discomfort.†
Other researchers have found that bioflavonoids, which are abundant in fruits and vegetables, inhibit mast cell release of histamines and leukotrienes. In fact, the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to suffer from seasonal allergies.†
Modern research shows that supplementation with standardized botanicals may offer the best option—standardization provides precisely calibrated levels of each herb’s active ingredients so that you get reliable amounts of these substances in every capsule. Look for products that contain standardized bioflavonoids, flavones, flavonols and chlorogenic acid for best results.†
If seasonal allergies make you sneeze, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Ancient Ayurvedic preparations can help give your sinuses a well-deserved spring break and give your itchy eyes the summer off.†
†The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.
The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitione
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.