Natural Remedies for Allergies and Sinus Symptoms
By Amy Gamerdinger Jeffers, DC, CACCP
This time of the year grass and tree pollen are everywhere! Allergy symptoms can include itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching in the ears and throat irritation. Some people can also have asthma be triggered by allergens. Sinus symptoms can also lead to sinus pain and pressure, causing headaches, facial and jaw pain. Here are some natural ways to help manage allergy and sinus symptoms:
Chiropractic adjustments may help reduce symptoms related to allergies and asthma. Cervical adjustments have been shown to decrease headache frequency and severity that can occur with sinusitis. Many patients report reduction in congestion related to allergies and sinus pain following cervical adjustments, likely due to it improving sinus drainage and taking pressure off of the cranial nerves and nerves supplying the sinuses. More research is needed on chiropractic care and reduction in allergy and asthma symptoms, but several case studies have shown favorable results.
The leaf part of the stinging nettle plant can be used as a natural anti-histamine. It can inhibit Co1 and Cox2, and prostaglandins that can cause inflammation.
Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory found in the skin of pineapple. It can help reduce inflammation in the joints, but can also help reduce inflammation in the respiratory system including the sinuses. According to Mount Sinai, "bromelain may help reduce cough and nasal mucus associated with sinusitis."
Quercetin has been shown to help inhibit the release of histamine. Histamine can cause the itchiness and sneezing related to allergies. Quercetin can also help to reduce proinflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are small proteins that are responsible for cell to cell signaling and in the case of allergies, they can increase inflammation. Quercetin also has an immune benefit. It can help to balance the Th1 and Th2 in the immune response to pathogens. Many supplements include bromelain in with the quercetin because it helps increase the bioavailability of quercetin.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
Is a amino acid, which are the building blocks of proteins. NAC acts as a precursor to glutathione, which is a powerful anti-oxidant in the body. With allergies, asthma, and COPD, NAC acts as an expectorant and helps clear mucus from the lungs. Replenishing glutathione levels in the lungs, helps to reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes and lung tissue.
Studies show that oxidative stress increases inflammation in allergies and asthma and people with these symptoms can have low serum levels of ascorbate. "Ascorbate presents excessive inflammation without reducing the defensive capacity of the immune system." Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation in allergies and asthma