ALLERGIES 101 : Your Ultimate Guide to Allergies
Does anyone else think allergies are worse than they used to be? That’s because they are! There are several reasons for this:
In the 1940s arborists started planting mostly male trees because they were “litter free” and less messy. Then in the 1980s after Dutch Elm disease struck, many trees were replaced with just male trees. ”The males produce millions of flowers, and each flower has hundreds of anthers that produce tons of pollen. The female trees produce seeds. They produce no pollen.” While the female trees are messy because they produce fruit and seeds, they are no pollinating. Male trees are. It took years for these newly planted male trees to blossom and that has since led to worsening allergies and asthma.
The explosion of chemicals being used in our products. Tens of thousands of chemicals have been introduced since World War II. Many of them have not been reviewed for safety. Other countries are better at assuming chemicals are harmful until proven safe, but in this country we assume chemicals are safe until they are proven harmful. Seems backwards, right? “Exposure to environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals can result in dramatic changes in cytokine production, the activity of the immune system, the overall Th1 and Th2 balance, and in mediators of type 1 hypersensitivity mediators, such as IgE.” Basically, these chemicals are irritating and heighten our immune system and cause more reactivity. This causes more allergic symptoms.
Glyphosate and other pesticide use contributes to more and more allergies as well. Glyphosate has been proven to break down the gut lining. This causes there to be leakage of partially digested food particles, chemicals, toxins to leak into the gut associated lymphoid tissue (GALT). This causes immune system reactivity as well leading to overreactions and targeting of these things by our immune system that then lead to allergic symptoms. More on glyphosate HERE.
There are more factors for the worsening allergy epidemic but this lays the foundation for why we are all having more and more issues and our children are definitely seeing more allergy issues with at least 40% of children suffering from allergies.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT ALLERGIES? Long term antihistamine use isn’t a good solution either. Multiple studies have shown that long term antihistamine use can increase the risk for dementia as well as adult brain tumor risk. This increased risk is associated with over 10 years of usage. Other side effects associated with anti-histamines include dry mouth, constipation, drowsiness, and in children behavior changes and hyperactivity have been seen with these medications.
Don't fret - improvement is possible! Here are some tangible things you can do today to get relief from your seasonal allergies:
CLEAN UP INDOOR AIR ENVIORONMENT | It is so important to purify indoor air! We are in our homes 90% of the time and this is a big contributor for allergies, asthma, etc.
Candles, toxic cleaners, soaps, detergents make a huge impact on the air we breathe. When I ditched my Clorox wipe habit, my sinus headaches improved. It wasn’t overnight, but these things make a huge difference! One of the first steps I did to move towards a toxic-free home was to ditch and switch harsh chemicals to plant-based solution with Young Living's Thieves Products. Household cleaner, detergent, kitchen scrub, hand soap, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, etc. A wonderful baby step that has a huge impact! Want to learn more? Check out my previous blog post: "10 Steps To Having A Less Toxic Home" HERE.
Running an air purifier overnight is so helpful, especially if bedrooms have carpets. But having one in the main living area and bedrooms is a great idea for anyone to think about in today's world. HERE is the air purifier we use and love.
SEASONAL TRIO = LEMON + LAVENDER + PEPPERMINT | Lavender has anti-histamine properties that help to dry us up, lemon thins mucus, and peppermint opens up airways. I diffuse these three in bedrooms overnight (max 8 drops in a diffuser in the bedroom overnight). I also make a roller (for my girls I do 5 drops each of lavender, lemon, and peppermint) and roll on back and bottom of feet. For myself, I usually just use peppermint topically on my head or do the same roller but with 15 drops each of those three oils.
PLEASE NOTE: I can only recommend Young Living essential oils. You can purchase them HERE in the basic starter kit (all three are included!) and gain access to my private page.
LOCAL HONEY | A spoonful of local honey has been shown to be very helpful for seasonal sufferers. I usually just give a spoonful to my daughters to coat the throat. Or you can make this cough syrup. Remember, no honey before 1 due to the risk of botulism.
THIEVES THROAT SPRAY | Another thing you can do is make this Thieves throat spray. Many times allergies cause post nasal drip that causes a sore throat. In a small 2 oz glass spray bottle but 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of Thieves mouthwash. 5 drops of Clove Vitality. Then fill the rest with distilled water. Shake well before each use. (For this one I would try on myself first to make sure not too hot, but would be okay to use with older children, for younger use your best judgment.) Other options are using a bee propolis spray or a silver spray. (I do not recommend daily ingestion of colloidal silver, but these topical applications are helpful!)
XLEAR NASAL SPRAY | Xlear nasal spray is another option for seasonal issues. They make a kids version as well. Be sure not to get the one with oxymetazoline (Afrin) as this one cannot be used daily or it will make things worse.
QUERCETIN | Quercetin has antihistamine properties and is very helpful for seasonal issues. Fun fact, quercetin is great for the liver and guess what! A lot of seasonal issues is usually a sign of liver congestion. For children I use a combo product called D-Hist Jr that also contains stinging nettles, NAC, and bromelain. You can purchase D-Hist Jr HERE. Usually 1+ is the recommendation.
HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES | Homeopathic remedies like Boiron’s Cold Calm both for kids and adults, Rhin Allergy, or Histaminum …. or the brand Genexa Allergy are great additions as well.
ELDERBERRY SYRUP | Elderberry syrup. Here is my recipe, I would use this multiple times per day if having active symptoms. The good thing is that elderberry is also really helpful for the flu and other illnesses as well.
1 cup dried organic elderberries
4 cups filtered water
1 drop Cinnamon Bark
1 drop Nutmeg
2 drops Frankincense
3 drops Thieves
3 drops Orange
3 drops Copaiba
1 cup local honey
Side Note: Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Orange are more for flavoring while Frankincense, Thieves, and Copaiba all support the immune system. (Young Living oils can be purchased at the button at bottom of post - either in a bundler starter kit or individual oils.)
- Add water and elderberries to instant pot.
- Cook on manual for 7 minutes.
- Pour through a mesh strainer into a bowl and mash the berries to get all of the juice out.
- Let the liquid cool to lukewarm temperature then add the oils and stir.
- Add honey, stir, and then store in a glass jar with a lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Note: Alternatively you can make this on the stove and simmer for an hour, let cool, then add oils and honey.
So many things you can DO when you or your children are sick. As always when I start anything new with children, I start low and go slow and of course, this is not considered to be medical advice. Please speak with your healthcare provider before changing anything, this is meant to be educational.
As well, these recipes are ONLY intended for use with Young Living essential oils. These oils go through rigorous testing and quality control that make it okay for ingestion, and they are FDA approved to do so. Ingesting oils that are not third party tested or contain harmful ingredients is not a good thing.
OTHER HERBAL SUPPORTS | Earthley’s Sinus Saver, Cough B Gone, Feel Better Fast are amazing herbal supports that can be dosed for children and adults.
Many times, working on the gut and liver will prove to more of a root cause approach that can improve the problem so you have less symptoms in general. Identifying food intolerances (conventional dairy and gluten are two of the most common mucus producing foods), buying organic foods, produce, meats decreases pesticide exposure, and supporting the liver can be a huge help to improve allergies. My favorite way to support the liver is with castor oil packs, whole food Vitamin C, beef liver (it contains the needed nutrients for adequate liver function), and using Juvacleanse over the liver.
If allergies (especially worsening food allergies) are an issue, addressing parasites with a practitioner might be helpful. DAO enzyme is the enzyme that is needed to break down histamine. If you do not have enough or are on medication that lowers it, etc this could be a factor in worsening allergies. Eating foods that boost DAO enzyme production like olive oil, wild caught salmon, grass-fed butter, grass-fed beef and beef liver, avocado, pasture raised eggs, dark leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, etc.
Some take a DAO enzyme supplement but that does not help long term and has been shown to not actually increase the level of DAO enzyme internally, although they will help some.
If you are looking to incorporate beef liver, I only use Perfect Supplements beef liver, it is grass-fed and finished as well as tested for glyphosate residue. I get the tub of beef liver powder and add to meals, as well as give to my children. I get the capsules for myself and my oldest. My 6 year old takes 1-2 capsules per day and my youngest (4 years old) takes 1/2-1 capsule per day.
Taking this with whole food Vitamin C (Acerola powder is also from Perfect Supplements) is helpful and a nutrient dense way of supporting us and our children. Other favorites from Perfect Supplements include organic chicken bone broth powder, hydrolyzed collagen, bovine gelatin to make gummies (great for the gut and kids and adults love them), organic MCT oil to add to smoothies, organic coconut oil, Smidge magnesium, and the Bioray Kids herbal tinctures are great!
Castor oil packs (for kids and adults) are so important and are one of the things I recommend. PLEASE NOTE: People with abdominal tumors or cancer, active gallstones, and pregnant women should not use castor oil packs.
PLEASE NOTE: This is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. These things are supportive in nature. This is not meant to be medical advice, this is meant to be educational. Please speak to your healthcare provider before changing anything in your healthcare routine.
Educate yourself. Empower yourself. And equip yourself with tools in your toolkit! We've been taught to be scared of using natural ways to support our body through illness. It's time to unlearn that and feel confident in helping our families in their journey to wellness. We have to start somewhere on our journey to wellness - might as well start HERE and NOW.
If you're interested in any of the Young Living products mentioned above, learn more and shop at link below. Many products are included in the Starter Kit (including a diffuser) or in the Thieves Starter Kit, or you can purchase oils and/or products individually.
Shopping this link will not only allow you access to wholesale pricing, but also to my private wellness groups and classes. I'd love to walk this journey alongside you!
Products mentioned above are linked below along with current promo codes at date of publication:
Earthley | Use promo code Lauren10 for 10% off your order
Perfect Supplements | Use promo code Naturalnursemomma10 for 10% off your order
Queen of Thrones | Use promo code nursemomma for 10% off your order