Herbal medicine for the relief of seasonal allergies.
While its seems odd to be writing about springtime, when outside my home right now it is overcast, rainy, and cold (a typical west-coast winter day), I know that soon enough spring will once again sprout up, bringing warmth, blossoming flowers, greener horizons and, unfortunately for some, many airborne allergens. For many people springtime sees the return of seasonal allergies, or hay-fever.
From the end of February until the killing frosts in November, pollens blown around by the wind will trigger off multiple sneezing attacks, seemingly endless rivers of nasal mucus, and unrelenting itching of the eyes, ears, nose and palate (the roof of the mouth) for upwards of six million Canadians. Some of them will even develop asthma, hives and eczema as a consequence of seasonal allergens. Hard to enjoy a walk in the park, amongst the beautiful Cherry blossoms, knowing such an experience may trigger off so much misery.
The symptoms of hay-fever occur as a result of our immune system thinking pollen is an enemy invader, producing chemicals called histamines to try and eradicate them. Unfortunately, these histamines can irritate our mucus membranes and lead to the classic symptoms of a scratchy throat, sneezing, itching and watery eyes. Rather than hiding in the closet all spring and summer, so as to avoid contact with the outside world, most people will rely on big doses of over-the-counter antihistamine drugs, such as claritin or benadryl. These drugs block the action of histamine, but offer only temporary relief – at best – and do have side effects, with drowsiness a major one.
The better way to treat seasonal allergies is to use medicines that stop histamines from being produced in the first place. Such medicines, known as anti-allergy, offer both short and long term relief, even after the medicines are stopped. Thankfully many herbal medicines offer this anti-allergy ability, doing so without many side effects.
Actually, the first person I saw benefit from using herbal medicines to treat seasonal allergies was my wife, Gillian. When we first started our relationship together, the morning ritual was to clean up the box of tissue papers used through the previous nights battle with her constantly leaky nose! After taking herbal medicines for an entire season, Gillian’s reaction to airborne allergens had stopped, so much so that, 10 years after stopping the herbal medicines themselves, Gillian still continues to breathe easily and no longer suffers. The herbal medicines seemed to have changed her body from the inside out, stopping the reactions that plagued Gillian for so many years. As a thankful consequence, we have been able to enjoy many spring walks through the beautiful gardens of Canada’s West Coast without worrying that Gillian will suddenly break down in a sneezing fit!
Dr. Erikson uses Chinese herbal medicines to treat a variety of skin conditions, as well as seasonal allergies and asthma. He can be reached by phone at 778.886.1180 or through his website at www.drerikson.com.