Be it dietary, seasonal or hypersensitivity, allergies have always had one particular theme in common, they are all a right headache to manage. However, research is now showing another common theme. This is that allergies and other chronic illnesses stem from having an unhealthy gut.
This all begins with the gut biome. The gut biome is the community of flora and fauna within your gut. Poor gut health and all the problems that come along with it begin when your microbiomes get out of balance. This can show itself not only as an allergy, but poor gut health has also been linked to many chronic illnesses including obesity, eczema, asthma and fibromyalgia.
Studies show a difference in the microbiomes of people with allergies and those without. Those without tend to have microbiomes that have higher levels of clostridia and lower levels of bifidobacteria and lactobacteria. This poses the question, can we reduce or eliminate allergies by correcting these microbiomes? Yes, and it can be a great idea to use M&R Gut Biome 1 Probiotic daily to help balance our gut bacteria.
In my experience, there is a three-pronged approach to tackling and unbalanced gut to aid against allergy symptoms. The first of these is to restart your gut and care for your body. This involves the following:
An elimination diet. This means eating a high fibre diet of whole foods free from wheat, dairy, corn, soy and alcohol. During this time you should eat no processed foods and focus on eating lots of fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts and healthy fats. While this can be quite a challenge, especially at the beginning, it is worth it. Eating this way will eliminate the bad bacteria and leave a clean palate to be restored with healthy bacteria.
Now that you have rid your body of all the toxins, it is time to replace it with good bacteria. During this time you want to be filling your meals with probiotics. This is very easy to achieve by incorporating certain products into your meals. Kefir goes great in place of yoghurt with muesli or blended into a smoothie for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, miso paste adds a nice salty flavour to many meals, especially a stir-fry. When on-the-go, kombucha makes a refreshing beverage to quench that thirst.
The third step to restarting your gut and caring for your body is to regulate your stress levels and make sure you are getting enough sleep every night. By being over-stressed and under-rested you are putting unnecessary pressure on your body and hindering its ability to care for itself. If you struggle with either of these I would recommend looking into relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation, both of which can also help in establishing a regular sleeping routine.
A great product to improve your sleep is our M&R Sleep Tight Tonic which is a synergistic blend of traditional homeopathic remedies infused with flower essences to calm the mind and body to provide a deep restful sleep. We also have a new product called Pure Tranquility, a calming capsule designed to encourage healthy sleeping patterns, balanced moods and daytime relaxation. It contains a range of herbs that support your nervous system, which creates a wealth of benefits for your body including supporting your digestive system, helping manage food cravings and stress.
The next prong to managing your microbiomes to relieve your allergies is to take certain measures and add particular foods to your diet, specific to what type of allergy you suffer from:
While Spring brings the relief of knowing that winter is over, for many of us with seasonal allergies, it also brings with it the itches, the congestion, the nasty rashes and all the other symptoms that burden our daily lives. Thankfully, there are a few things that those of us with these allergies can do to relieve these persistent symptoms and enjoy the true beauty of Spring.
Apple cider vinegar is well known for its variety of health benefits, so it is no surprise that it appears on this list. A bit of apple cider vinegar in the morning is a great way to wake up, especially because it works very well at clearing those congested sinuses which will bring a clear and happy start to your day. I would recommend having a small amount diluted in water. This makes it easier on the palate but is also important to protect your teeth. Acetic acid, the active ingredient can cause damage to your teeth if consumed in a strong concentration. I like to mix 1 and a half teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, either hot or cold depending on the morning. If you find this a bit tart, adding a little honey to the mix always helps.
Another commonly preached health food, one of the tastier ones I’ll admit, is honey. While pollen is a common trigger for seasonal allergies, raw honey or bee pollen consumed correctly can, in fact, help combat the itchy eyes and runny noses we all dread. This is because consuming raw honey helps your body to build up a tolerance to local pollen that it faces every day which sees a reduction in these nasty symptoms. I would recommend having 1 tablespoon of raw honey each day, not a hard task given its delicious taste and versatile use in my opinion. However, if honey is not for you, an alternative is to have bee pollen. Bee pollen can be bought from most health stores and blends easily into your favourite smoothie with an unnoticeable taste.
Food allergies are an utter nuisance that have to be dealt with day-in-day-out by those who suffer from them. After your gut-cleansing elimination diet, there are a few more measures that can be taken to improve your standard of living. Adding quercetin to your diet is an easy way to naturally control your allergy symptoms. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that works to stabilise the release of histamine into the body. It’s technically considered a “plant pigment,” which is exactly why it’s found in deeply coloured, nutrient-packed fruits and veggies. A recent study has shown that quercetin has an astounding effect on both allergic asthma reactions and peanut allergic reaction, one of the most commonly fatal allergies. It does this by calming hyperactivity in the airways during an asthma attack and taken regularly can control peanut allergies. One of the biggest benefits of quercetin is that it is very easy to incorporate into your regular diet.
I am a strong believer that vitamin B5 is an essential part of the diet of any allergy sufferer. The explanation behind this is a little long-winded but if you bear with me, we’ll get there. Basically, vitamin B5, alternatively referred to as pantothenic acid, is essential to the production of red blood cells and coenzyme-A. This enzyme is essential to the health of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands, located just above the kidneys, are essential for the control and release of hormones, such as cortisone, during the response to an allergic reaction. So ultimately a lack of vitamin B5 means that your adrenal glands will not be performing optimally which leaves you more vulnerable during an allergic reaction. Vitamin B5 also helps with general digestive health, which your gut will thank you for. Vitamin B5 can be taken as a supplement but is also found in a range of food including chicken liver, salmon and most vegetables.
The final part of this three-pronged approach is more about external treatment. There are a few products out there, often enhanced with essential oils, that are designed to work in harmony with the types of methods mentioned previously to address any remaining physical symptoms by tending to the external body. Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies should certainly consider our M&R Essentials Allergy Clear Tonic. It helps to relieve red itchy eyes and sneezing, soothes itchy throats and palates, and also supports the body to manage histamine release.
Those who suffer from contact allergies and eczema could benefit greatly from our Certified Organic M&R Essentials Tamanu Oil which penetrates all three layers of the skin to moisturise to heal rashes and eczema. We also offer a Certified Organic Skin Balance Balm. This works wonders to moisturise dry and damaged skin and is also excellent for skin conditions like dermatitis. Our M&R Essentials Skin Balance Balm is fantastic for soothing plus healing inflamed skin conditions and skin irritations of all manners and is appropriate for more frequent use.
OK, so there is your three-pronged approach to overcoming allergies but I can stress enough that gut health is a major key and will not only change the way your body interacts with allergens, but it will improve your quality of life as a whole! Also, I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather a eat a tablespoon of honey than taking an antihistamine. Eat well, enjoy, and take care!