Sneeze Free Spring
Spring is a time when we think of gentle rain showers followed by a burst of colors in the gardens and fields. Many of us are reminded to stock up on tissues to get ready for allergy season. While most people deal with the effects of allergies, such as sneezing and congestion, the causes of allergies are often overlooked. So while you are deciding which colored box of tissues will match your décor you could actually be doing something about your allergies before they start!
There are other kinds of allergies from food and we are reminded of a friend who can’t eat peanuts or strawberries, which is not a seasonal issue. Food allergies are a growing concern for people who wish to maintain optimal health. For most of us, allergies affect our lives with sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes or avoidance of certain foods.
Allergies and the Immune System
Allergies are a result of our immune system doing what it is meant to do, only in a misdirected way. It is a result of the immune system being hypersensitive and over-reactive to harmless proteins it misidentifies as a harmful intruder. The reaction is out of proportion to the danger thus resulting in an immune reaction of releasing histamines and other protective bio-chemicals being released. This is when we reach for a tissue.
Our bodies have individual cells that protect us by eradicating intruders. This function includes identifying the intruder, producing a marker, called immunoglobulins or IgE that indicate to other cells, including mast cells, to attack the intruder. The mast cell releases protective compounds such as histamines to attack the intruder. This works well for protecting against parasites and fungi, yet when it is misdirected it will attack other multicellular organisms like pollens, dust, molds, etc. Once a marker for a particular organism is established, our immune system releases these protective compounds and we sneeze, have itchy eyes, congestion, skin rashes and indigestion.
Visitors and Allergies
There has been a relationship between outside intruders, like parasites and candida albicans yeast, and allergies that may hold some clues on how to stay sneeze free.
Researchers feel that when parasites and candida are present in the body, the immune system kicks into high alert for multi-celled intruders, as it is supposed to do. However, if the system becomes hypersensitive it will also start attacking other harmless multi-celled visitors, including pollens and dust. Even food, if it is not broken down enough by the time it gets into the blood stream will be attacked.
While most people associate the human parasite with developing nations, everyone has a certain amount parasites. Some people have more parasites than others. We are constantly exposed to parasites from our food, water, pets and our environment. Usually our immune system keeps most of them from inhabiting our bodies, yet a few get through and set up house. We usually do not notice them since we can share a few nutrients and eliminate their wastes. As their populations grow we start to notice their effects on us, such as poor digestion and elimination, sleeplessness, restlessness, grinding teeth, and allergies. These happen slowly so we do not think anything is wrong. When people do a parasite or candida cleanse, their allergies often diminish.
Candida and Food Allergies
Candida is present in everyone. It is kept under control by the friendly bacteria in the intestines. When the friendly bacteria populations diminish, the candida grows out of control, giving off toxins and affecting our health. Candida overgrowth can also kick our immune system into protection mode as with parasites.
Candida can be a factor in food allergies in that it can weaken the intestinal wall, which is also known as leaky gut syndrome. The toxins from candida can inflame the intestinal walls making them super reactive to antagonistic foods. It can also damage the intestinal wall, causing a leakage of food substance into the blood stream before it is properly broken down. This is viewed as a foreign substance, which the immune system attacks as if it were a dangerous parasite. This can develop into a food allergy.
Many natural health practitioners prepare for allergy season by cleansing the body of parasites, fungus and candida to minimize the immune system's overreaction to these intruders. This can also keep the intestinal tract clear and efficient in eliminating toxins and other accumulations after an inactive winter. While this approach does not directly address the effects of allergies, it may be very helpful in managing the cause.
Master herbalist Hanna Kroeger used her traditional herbal knowledge and decades of working with herbs and people’s health needs to formulate these following products:
Wormwood Combination™ is a great herbal combination for checking parasite populations and their reproductive cycles, particularly roundworms. In traditional herbalism, bitter, digestive tonic herbs are used to paralyze and kill parasites in the digestive tract as well as controlling their eggs and improving digestive secretions, a natural protection against parasite overgrowth. At the same time, the bitter principles help to increase elimination, so that the parasites’ toxins may be excreted at a faster rate. Wormwood Combination employs some favorite herbs from this category that herbalists and naturopaths alike have relied on for centuries: Black Walnut, Quassia and Male Fern. Wormwood Combination is further balanced for gentle yet thorough action with the addition of spicy Cloves, which helps to reduce the gassiness and cramping that many other de-worming formulas can cause, only exacerbating the digestive distress many people experience with parasite conditions. Traditional herbalists use Male Fern to paralyze parasites so that they may be more easily passed out of the system. Just a touch of this herb is used here, to ensure effective but safe cleansing. Black Walnut adds laxative effects to ensure elimination, while Quassia soothes and protects the stomach. All five herbs in this blend also control secondary fungal infections and excess mucus that can be both a contributing factor to and a by-product of parasite infections.
It is best to do the Wormwood Combination for one month, 2 bottles, since most parasites have a one month reproductive cycle. This way you get the adult parasites and all phases including the eggs. Many people start the Wormwood Combination one week before the full moon, which is when parasites are most active.
Rascal® is an energetically balanced herbal blend designed to control and eliminate tapeworms. According to traditional herbalism, once established in the system, tapeworms can cause a variety of health complaints ranging from poor blood sugar balance to digestive complaints, dizziness and allergies. Rascal combines some favorite herbs for fighting tapeworms and other parasites: Pumpkin Seeds, Garlic and Thyme. Thyme also teams up with Cayenne or Capsicum in this blend to warm and support digestion and elimination, while Cramp Bark is added to prevent cramping that many other de-worming products can cause. This gentle yet effective formula also controls the mucus accumulations and secondary fungal infections that often accompany parasite complaints.
It is best to reduce or eliminate sweets, fermented foods, alcohol and carbohydrates when doing a parasite cleanse. Parasites love these foods and you do not want to "feed" them unnecessarily.
Candida Formula #1™ is an herbal combination that prevents and gently but thoroughly eliminates Candida from the system. Holistic healing systems suggest that controlling mucus accumulation and improving digestion are key elements in preventing and controlling Candida along with direct anti-fungal actions. Candida Formula #1™ is composed of Condurango Bark, Yellow Dock and Red Clover. Condurango is an often forgotten herb today, but its bitter principles and tannins combined with its ability to increase the secretion of saliva and other digestive enzymes create an inhospitable chemical environment for Candida growth while reducing mucus accumulations where it resides and reproduces. Red Clover and Yellow Dock are powerful cleansers that eliminate toxins created by Candida that can cause liver, blood and lymph toxicity as well as oxidation at the cellular level and the arthritis-like issues many people notice with Candida symptoms.
Candida Formula #2™ is an herbal blend designed for use in Candida conditions in conjunction with Candida Formula #1™. This gentle yet effective formula fights fungus while promoting digestion, assimilation, detoxification, immunity, and thorough but comfortable elimination. Additionally, this formula purifies the blood, liver, gall bladder, and intestinal tract, all of which may be suffering from Candida overgrowth and toxicity. Tansy contains thujone, a compound with antifungal activities as well as bitter principles and tannins to strengthen digestion. Clay binds mucus and toxins while countering mineral deficiencies. Milkweed is a favorite in Native American herbalism for parasites, digestive complaints, cleansing, and mucus accumulations. Cramp Bark is added to control intestinal spasms that may arise during Candida die-off as well as contributing to the formula’s astringent actions on mucus. Traditional herbalists often use Goldenseal leaf to provide many of the properties found in the root but with a gentler action. Blessed Thistle is a prized European digestive herb with strong bitter and astringent properties that create an inhospitable environment for Candida while toning the stomach, spleen and liver.
Taurin Dophilus is a combination of acidophilus and the amino acid taurine used to rebuild the friendly bacteria after cleansing with Candida Formula #1™ and Candida Formula #2™. It supplies acidophilus to re-establish flora that keeps the candida population under control.
It is best to use Candida Formula #1™ and Candida Formula #2™ for one month, 2 bottles of each (unless you need to cleanse for more than a month, see article Candida & Fungus) and followed up immediately with Taurin Dophilus. This is available as the Candida Kit. During the cleanse reduce intake of sweets, simple carbohydrates, fermented foods, fruit, mushrooms and alcohol.
These programs, while not directly designed to prevent allergies, often help the body’s ability to minimize the effects of allergies by taking the stress off the immune system and reducing the over sensitized reactions. It is also a good practice to do these cleanses once a year for maintenance.
Other things to consider when getting ready for allergies include: avoiding known allergens, eating a clean diet free of mucous forming foods like dairy and wheat, drinking lots of water to flush out the system of impurities.
A little preparation can go a long way in feeling good throughout the spring and year round. You might not need the tissues!