Seasonal Allergy Protocol
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, allergies are the result of an overreaction of the immune system. When a harmless substance such as dust, mold, or pollen is encountered by a person who is allergic to that substance, the immune system may over react by producing antibodies that "attack" the allergen.
What happens in a seasonal allergy reaction?
Seasonal allergies occur when environmental allergens trigger IgE antibody production. These molecules cause mast cells and basophils to release histamine and other allergy-mediating molecules, which lead to inflammation of the nasal airways and eyes, itching, swelling and mucus production.
Symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
- Nasal congestion
- Mucus production and post-nasal drip
- Rhinitis (runny nose)
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Ear infections, itchy or blocked ears
- Brain fog
- Mood swings, irritability
- Asthma or breathing issues
Common allergens include:
- Pollen from plants such as trees and grass
- Insect bites and stings
- Pet fur and dander
- Certain foods
- Certain medications
Risk factors for seasonal allergies:
- Unmanaged stress
- Deviated septum or nasal polyps
- Recent illness or trauma
- Weakened immune system
- Dysbiosis (bacteria/yeast overgrowth)
- Leaky gut
More of a visual learner? Watch us discuss our favorite allergy supporting formulas on YouTube!
Supplemental support for seasonal allergies is focused on reducing systemic inflammation and supporting the immune system as well as reducing histamine release.
Cellular Antiox: Both glutathione and NAC help reduce the viscosity of the mucus allowing for clearing of the airways and improved respiratory health.
Bio-C Plus: Vitamin C aids in boosting the immune system and is especially beneficial for allergies due to its ability to deactivate histamine. This formulation contains food-derived vitamin c sourced from acerola cherry as well as quercetin, shown in research to stop production and release of histamine.
Inflammazyme: This formula provides proteolytic enzymes as well as turmeric to reduce swelling in the nasal passages along with quercetin and rutin to regulate histamine release.
Adaptogen Boost: This stress supporting formula supports the adrenal glands in production of cortisol, a natural antihistamine often depleted under high stress. Cordyceps specifically has been shown to have a role in the treatment of allergic and inflammatory disease. It is able to suppress a compound called TSLP, a major contributor to mast cell activation.
GI Lining Support: L-glutamine serves as both a fuel source and a building block for gut cells aiding to ensure a healthy tissue lining. GI Lining support combines a potent dosage of L-glutamine along with aloe and DGL to aid in coating and protecting damaged tissue, reducing inflammation and ulceration as well as serving to provide a slow delivery of fuel for repair.
Restore Baseline Probiotic: probiotics support immune health and have shown to be an effective allergy treatment. Consider ou Probiotic Challenge to assess the state of the gut and determine whether dysbiosis is at the root of your allergy symptoms.
Cellular Antiox 1-2 at rise, 1-2 mid day without food
Bio-C Plus 1-2 at breakfast, 1-2 at lunch
Inflammazyme 2-3 at rise, 2-3 at bed
Adaptogen Boost 1-2 at rise, 1-2 mid day
GI Lining 1-2 scoops at bed
Restore Baseline Probiotic 1 at bed or per instructions of Probiotic Challenge
An additional note on stress: if dealing with known adrenal fatigue or if allergies flare at times of stress/burnout, consider the addition of Adrenal Support 1-2 at breakfast, 1-2 at lunch to the above protocol
Note: use the higher end of these ranges during active allergy flares and the lower end as a maintenance dose.
Food-as-medicine for seasonal allergies
Local Honey: Honey can relieve allergy symptoms and provide exposure to small amounts of local pollen, helping your immune system to learn to recognize them and be less reactive over time. One RCT showed that those who consumed honey had significantly better control of symptoms than those on conventional allergy medications. Aim for 1 Tbsp/day added to tea, Greek yogurt or a smoothie.
Spirulina, a blue-green algae, stops release of histamine ad has been shown to significantly improve symptoms of nasal discharge, sneezing, congestion and itching associated with allergies. Aim for 1 tsp daily in a green smoothie.
Bone Broth provides n-acetyl cysteine to thin mucus and act as an expectorant. Sip 1 cup bone broth daily or add to soups, stews, sauces and more.
Master Tonic is a fermented combination of onion, garlic, horseradish, spicy peppers and ginger that can be taken as a shot in times of immune distress
Tea: the polyphenols or plant-based antioxidants found in tea support healthy immune function. EGCG found in white, green and fermented pu erh tea supports both the innate and adaptive immune system. Specific to allergies, reishi mushroom can support respiratory health and has been seen in studies to aid in inflammatory and allergic response. Pique Tea (use code ALIMILLERRD at checkout) has some fantastic blends that incorporate organic tea and medicinal mushrooms.
Check out this video where we make 3 Hot Toddies to combat seasonal allergies.
Lifestyle and environmental shifts
Rinse and Repeat! Remove clothing and shoes worn outdoors immediately upon entering your home. Shower before bed or after outdoor activities. Use a Neti Pot for nasal irrigation or use XClear Nasal Spray at the beginning and end of the day to remove mucus and flush the nasal passages.
Consider household HEPA filters to keep potential allergens at bay in your home.
Ensure adequate hydration! This helps to keep mucus membranes moist and flush allergens. Drink ½ your body weight in fluid ounces daily.
Reduce Stress! Perceived stress can actually drive allergy flares. Incorporate exercise, breathing techniques, meditation and mindfulness practice and consider our Adrenal Rehab Program for more support on managing stress!
- Allergies and the Immune System Johns Hopkins Medicine 2021
- Perceived stress predicts allergy flares
- Cordycepin Suppresses Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin Expression via Blocking Caspase-1 and Receptor-Interacting Protein 2 Signaling Pathways in Mast Cells
- The use of probiotics as a supplementary therapy in the treatment of patients with asthma: a pilot study and implications
- Probiotics and allergies: myth or reality?
- Birch pollen honey for birch pollen allergy--a randomized controlled pilot study
- The effects of spirulina on allergic rhinitis
- Suppression of inflammatory and allergic responses by pharmacologically potent fungus Ganoderma lucidum