Sneezy, Itchy and Drippy
Thanks to the seasonal change, we are once again in the middle of another allergy season. Like many, you may suffer from seasonal sneezing, nasal congestion, sinus headache, itchy eyes, or post nasal drip.
Our immune system can react with alarm to the protein in a particular type of pollen and develop antibodies to these “foreign invaders”. Think of antibodies as your body’s “Most Wanted” criminal list. Exposure to them then causes your mast cells to release histamine, triggering swelling of mucus membranes and the flow of mucus. Despite your discomfort, your immune system really does have your best interest at heart. Mucus can flush unwanted substances out of the body and protects delicate tissue. The problem is that your immune system can get overwhelmed, especially if we are chronically stressed and/or not well-rested.
For relief from seasonal allergies, you might reach for an over-the-counter anti-histamine and/or decongestant formula. But for many, these medications leave you feeling drugged, sleepy, or foggy-brained, or maybe you feel no relief at all? They also can have other potent (but not often publicized) side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, or making an enlarged prostate or a yeast infection worse.
Yes, there’s a natural solution that works! Give quercetin a try (pronounced kwehr’-suh-tin). A natural extract from plant foods like onions, apples, berries, buckwheat, and citrus fruit, quercetin is technically a flavonol. These polyphenols help to determine a plant’s color – in this case, a bright yellow. Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine without the side effects of many medications! Quercetin actually calms the immune system to reduce or prevent histamine release. Clients with chronic seasonal allergies or asthma often find great relief. Ideally (for best results) you begin using quercetin a month or so before seasonal allergies typically tend to start flaring up, but can be started anytime, it's never too late.
In a supplement, quercetin is sometimes combined with bromelain, an extract from pineapples that is a potent anti-inflammatory that also calms the immune system and increases the effectiveness of quercetin. If you have seasonal allergies, I recommend you start using it right away to build up levels in your body and continue throughout the full allergy season. Consider starting with 1000 mg, taken twice daily on an empty stomach. Allergic reactions to quercetin are extremely uncommon; I believe this is a safe supplement to explore. If you are allergic to pineapple, you'd want to look for the ones without the bromelain. There are other combination supplements as well that mix other polyphenols.
Quercetin is also being researched for circulation and cardiovascular health too, as it’s been shown to increase blood flow via artery dilation, promoting the release of nitric oxide. This action creates greater tissue oxygenation, nutrient flow, and waste removal. For this reason, it may also improve symptoms of fatigue and malaise due to poor circulation. Maybe it's a double duty supplement to add to your mix?