Tools for Allergy Season: Tincture & Capsules

Allergy Season tincture: Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) aerial parts, Nettle (Urtica dioica) leaf, Elder (Sambucus mexicana) flower. Allergy Season Bursage Blend tincture: ingredients listed above, plus Canyon Bursage (Ambrosia ambrosioides) leaf. “Greenies”: Chlorella/Turmeric Blend capsules: Chlorella (Chlorella spp.) whole, Turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizome, Bromelain (Ananas cosmosus) extract of core, Ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome, Black Pepper (Piper nigrum).

Allergy Season Tincture in a nutshell: These tinctures offer a blend of plant extracts that contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help the body cope with allergies. Most of the plants in the formula also support liver function, helping the body's detoxification process. Eyebright works well for itchy watery eyes and is astringent to the nasal membranes. Nettles leaf offers super-green nutrition and chlorophyll helping the body to tone (modulate) the immune system and because of that, the allergic response over time. Elderflower has sulfur that helps to “build better mucus” – mucus that traps allergens. With Canyon Bursage added: Canyon Bursage contains compounds that stop inflammatory processes at a deeper level. This pollen of this plant is a common cause of seasonal allergies, however it is the leaf, collected when there is no pollen present that is used in this formula.

Turmeric/Chlorella Capsules in a nutshell: The capsules contain a concentrated source of chlorella which is a detoxifying supernutrient, a complete protein and a nonanimal source of vitamin B-12. The chlorella is paired with another supernutrient, turmeric, anti-inflammatory and with a host of health benefits. The remaining ingredients, while anti-inflammatory in their own right, are added to boost the absorption in the body. Together the ingredients help the immune system to find balance (called immunomodulating), potentially reducing the severity of allergies over time. Allergies are an inflammatory disorder. Conventional treatment includes antihistamines, decongestants, drugs to interupt cell messengers, and steroidtype drug therapy, alone or in combination. Reported adverse side effects include sedation, impaired learning/memory, and cardiac arrhythmias.

Natural therapies may be used as alone or along with conventional methods to limit side effects as well as a source of nutrition that helps the body fight allergies over time, not just mask symptoms. Allergy symptoms result from an allergen like pollen docking on a type of cell called a mast cell. When this happens, many pro-inflammatory immune cells are called into “help”. As these immune helpers travel through the tissue they damage the lining of the nose and airways. Each time this happens, the body is more sensitive to the allergens or irritants. About half the symptoms experienced are caused by histamine. It causes small blood vessels to dilate and fluid to leak out, causing swelling in the eyes and nose.

Antihistamines act by blocking the spot where the allergens would “dock”. The different drugs have different shapes, and that is why their potential side effects can also be different, one from another. While there is no known botanical substance that acts exactly like an antihistamine, there are herbs that can help. Nettles, Eyebright, Elder, Canyon Bursage, Chlorella, Turmeric, Ginger and Black Pepper each can contribute compounds that the body can use to reduce swelling and discharge, to manage irritation, and move toxins along more quickly. The plant compound may, over time, help to lessen the reaction to allergens it is confronted with every spring.

Action of Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis): Eyebright works well in allergies that involve weepy, watery, irritated eyes and has been used since the middle ages. Its use is based on tradition and folklore. Research shows it has compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and astringent.

Action of Nettles Leaf (Urtica dioica): Nettles is a super-green, super-nutritious herb. Its nutrition and chlorophyll content may be responsible for its effect on allergy. It does not stimulate or supress the immune system but instead helps it to find balance. This is called an immunomodulatory effect.

Action of Elderflower (Sambucus mexicana): Traditionally used for its anti-inflammatory effects on conditions of the upper respiratory system. Rich in bioflavonoids which are antioxidant. Sulfur content helps with planar mucus production, as opposed to globular production which is less effective as a barrier to allergens. Also, gentle tightening effect on mucus membranes.

Action of Canyon Bursage (Ambrosia ambrosioides) Contains compounds that stop the formation of the inflammatory process. Use for a limited time, not as an on-going tonic.

Action of Chlorella: Widely used in Japan for its detoxification properties. It is thought to help the body eliminate heavy metals and pesticides, lightening the body's toxic burden over time and leaving it better able to cope with seasonal allergies. As a food source it is considered a complete protein and provides a non-animal source of B-12. It is an inexpensive source of concentrated chlorophyll which is antiinflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant, anti-atherogenic, and a deodorizer. Great supplement for those who do not include enough leafy green foods in their diet.

Action of Turmeric (Curcuma longa): So many benefits of turmeric: anti-inflammatory, improves liver function (which may be another way it helps with allergies), benefits the cardiovascular system and may help prevent the plaques associated with Alzheimer's Disease (crosses blood/brain barrier). However, its benefits are hard to get when it is taken by itself. In order to improve absorption it is paired with black pepper which boosts its absorption by 200%. Black pepper does this by slowing how quickly the body gets rid of the turmeric, giving the body more time to use it.

Action of Bromelain (Ananas cosmosus):

Bromelain has been found to cut mucus in respiratory tract diseases. It reduces the swelling and inflammation associated with allergies, improving blood flow to the area. Allergic reaction may occur with individuals sensitive to pineapple.

Action of Ginger (Zingiber officinale):

Compounds found in ginger are known to suppress allergic reaction although there is limited study in this area. It is anti-inflammatory and protective to the gastrointestinal tract. Warming and stimulating to circulation, it is added to the formula to boost absorption and protect the stomach.

Action of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum): Black Pepper is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine. On it's own it offers anti-inflammatory and anti-asthma effects, but here it is used to boost the efficacy of other herbs in a formula. Used in combination with Turmeric, black pepper has been shown to boost the level of curcumin in the blood by 200%

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