Seasonal challenges may make some patients uncomfortable.
When symptoms of watery, itchy eyes, congestion and sneezing aren't helped with traditional OTC medications, these patients are often receptive to trying natural approaches. These symptoms are all the result of an over-release of histamine from the body, causing a cascade of inflammatory signals to be activated.
There are two natural ingredients commonly used to support patients during seasonal challenges: stinging nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) and quercetin.
Nettles have been used historically to support health on many levels. When it comes to seasonal challenges, it balances the inflammatory response within the respiratory system.
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in many foods, such as onions, broccoli, apples and grapes. Quercetin has a strong antioxidant activity and diminishes the release of histamine during exposure to allergens. It also supports healthy IgE levels and Th1/Th2 balance.
A foundational ingredient often added to supplements designed to support patients with seasonal challenges is vitamin C. This makes sense because vitamin C is involved in the metabolism of histamine, prostaglandins and leukotrienes. As an important antioxidant, vitamin C can also support a healthy inflammatory response. Vitamin C has been shown to work synergistically with ingredients like quercetin and nettles.
Seasonal challenges are common in clinical practice, but dietary supplements that contain these natural ingredients—nettles, quercetin, vitamin C—can help provide patients with additional support this time of year.
A pharmacy favorite often recommended for both adults and children is D-Hist™, made by OrthoMolecular Products. Many patients have stated it has been a lifesaver this time of the year.
Ask for more information on this or other alternatives for seasonal allergies at Keystone Pharmacy or call 616.974.9792.
Written by Brandi Grimmer, LPhT, CNC, Keystone Pharmacy Nutrition Consultant.
Photo courtesy of Keystone Pharmacy.