New York, NY, April 04, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- For allergy sufferers, this is usually a time for stocking up on Kleenex and Claritin. But for those who’d prefer a more natural approach to battling the blossom-induced blues, leading New York City-based complementary medical practitioner, Dr. Ronald Hoffman (http://www.drhoffman.com), nationally syndicated radio host and head of the Hoffman Center, has provided a list of tips and products to help bolster you through allergy season.
Runny noses, itchy eyes, those inconvenient sneezing bouts – for the more than 17 million Americans[i] who suffer seasonal allergy woes, this may turn out to be one of the worst seasons in memory. With this year’s polar vortices, it seemed like spring would never arrive, but the pollen is here and already wreaking havoc.
Dr. Hoffman’s 14 natural essentials are:
1) Quercetin: Known to inhibit mast cells from releasing pro-inflammatory compounds that cause allergy symptoms. Dosage: 500 mg 3 times daily.
2) Bromelain: A proteolytic enzyme extracted from pineapple, it stops the allergic cascade and reduces swelling and edema of tissue. Dosage: 500 mg 3 times daily.
3) Urtica Dioica (Stinging Nettle): Randomized, double-blind studies have shown it to be as effective as standard allergy medications. Dosage: 200 mg 3 times daily.
4) NAC (N-acetyl cysteine): In Europe, it’s a prescription medicine, used for reducing congestion and for thinning tenacious mucus. Dosage: 200 mg 3 times daily. (NOTE: A supplement called D-HIST, available in the Hoffman Center store, conveniently combines all four of the previous ingredients, plus vitamin C)
5) Omega-3 Fish Oil: EPA offers anti-inflammatory protection. Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times daily.
6) Vitamin C: Nature’s own antihistamine. Dosage: 500 mg 3 times daily.
7) Butterbur (Petadolex): Also a popular migraine remedy, good research supports its anti-leukotriene effects. European studies have shown it to be as effective as the popular allergy drug Zyrtec. Dosage: 50 mg 3 times daily.
8) Probiotics: A recent study shows that a probiotic drink (Yakult) containing Lactobacillus casei relieves allergic symptoms. Restoring proper balance of bacteria in the GI tract helps to rein in over-exuberant immune responses.
9) Pycnogenol: One of the more well-studied of the natural bioflavonoids, this extract of French maritime pine bark was found to relieve allergic rhinitis symptoms. Dosage: 50-100 mg twice daily.
10) MSM (methylsulfonylmethane): May block allergic reactions at the tissue level. Dosage: 1 gram 3 times daily
11) Adrenal Support: Since the adrenals mediate the body’s resistance to allergic challenge, supporting cortisol production with licorice, pantothenic acid, adrenal cortical extract, ashwagandha and other adaptogens can relieve symptoms. Popular adrenal support supplements contain various proportions of these and other ingredients.
12) Transfer Factor: Allergies exemplify imbalanced immune responses; Transfer Factor from colostrum restores normal TH1/TH2 ratios which enables the body to better distinguish between “friend” and “foe.” Dosage: 250-500 mg twice daily
13) Xlear: Bacteria and fungi that colonize the nasal passage and hide in biofilms are recognized as foreign invaders; their presence triggers chronic hyper-activation of the cells lining the respiratory tract. Xylitol in Xlear nasal spray inhibits microbes and dissolves biofilms, resulting in clearance of mucus.
14) Similisan eye drops: A gentle homeopathic formula for itchy red eyes. “[ii]
In addition to the supplements above, Hoffman recommends that allergy sufferers keep an eye on their diet, avoiding common food allergens that might exacerbate their symptoms: “When pollen comes on like gangbusters, your allergy ‘cup’ runneth over, so to speak,” Hoffman explains. “Low-grade chronic allergies to dairy and gluten, often quiescent during the deep-freeze may contribute to overload when seasonal allergens make their appearance[iii]. Many of my patients report their allergy symptoms are better when they eliminate potential food allergens, and I find the same is true for me”
And as much as seasonal allergies may make you want to drown your misery, you should probably abstain – or at least change your drink choices. “Beer, wine and liquor contain histamine, produced by yeast and bacteria during the fermentation process. If you’re going to imbibe, clear distilled alcohols such as vodka and gin seem better-tolerated, but only in moderation.” So feel free to drown your seasonal sorrows in a post-work gin-and-tonic or vodka martini – but perhaps avoid the beer specials. And be smart – don’t try to combat your allergies with an anti-histamine/gimlet combo; allergy meds and alcohol should never mix.
For more tips about health and wellness from Dr. Hoffman and his complementary contemporaries, visit his newly relaunched website at www.DrHoffman.com. For more comprehensive services, you can also make an appointment at the Hoffman Center (212-779-1744), or visit the Hoffman Center Store online.