We don’t need to be told that allergies are at an all time high. Sneezing, coughing, headaches, congestion, skin eruptions and emotional swings are just a few of the many symptoms that can manifest in our overburdened bodies.
Allergens are the substances that cause allergies. Some of the more common allergens are pet dander, dust, pollen, drugs, foods and environmental allergens but they can stem from almost anything. When an allergen enters our body, our bodies produce mucus, which surrounds the invader to protect us from that allergen. This mucus causes congestion and pain and we get the symptoms like headaches, watery eyes and noses, puffy eyes and all the other symptoms we see as allergies.
It is virtually impossible to escape the constant and increasing exposure to the many thousands of chemicals in our environment - chemicals in our food, water and air, industrial chemicals, car exhaust, gasoline and the list goes on and on. Then we add in our stress filled lifestyles, overuse and abuse of antibiotics and other very dangerous drugs and repeated immunizations and we can see why there are more and more people complaining of allergies.
Drugs only serve to relieve the symptoms but do not work to get to the cause of the allergies. At best, they help relieve the symptoms but they often create side effects that are worse than the problem itself.
Before we get into some of the amazing herbs the plant Queendom offers, let’s take a moment to look at the all-important diet. From a holistic standpoint we look to strengthen and support the whole body so it can do what it was designed to do and that is to keep us balanced and healthy. Diet is critical when working with allergies or any other illness for that matter. We have all heard that we should eat a whole foods diet but what does that really mean? Whole foods, simply put, are foods in their whole natural form. Foods like whole fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, excluding wheat or gluten (read the book Wheat Belly for more on the negative effects of wheat), beans, organic poultry and fish and delicious, sexy fats like olive oil, coconut oil and fish oil.
Portion size is also an important factor in a strong healthy body. Use smaller dinner plates then fill 1/4 of the plate with a fabulous quality fish or piece of poultry (about 3-4 oz), fill the remaining 3/4 of the plate with a delicious dark green vegetable with a little olive oil sprinkled on and you are on your way to radiant health. You might want to finish your meal with a beautiful bowl of fresh raspberries and your cells will be singing you a song of praise!
Keeping it green,
Kathleen Gould, Herbalist AHG
Read more about herbs and allergies in Got Allergies? Part 2
Kathleen Gould, Herbalist RH (AHG) has studied, taught and lived herbalism for 25 years. She is a professional member of the esteemed American Herbalist Guild and has studied herbalism throughout the U.S. with internationally known herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, Tieroana Lowdog MD, James Duke Ph.D., Michael Tierra, David Hoffman, Patch Adams, and Susun Weed. She is the former owner of both the Herb Corner and Learning Center and The Southeastern Center for Herbal Studies in Florida.
Kathleen is currently proprietor of the SW Herb Shop in Mesa, Arizona, where she conducts private herbal consultations and teaches an Herbal Certification Course on the selection of appropriate herbs to address conditions of the organ systems. The course includes preparation of appropriate teas, tincture, syrups and salves. She has lectured at holistic, alternative and health organizations, environmental groups, herbal symposiums including Calloway Gardens Herbs Days in Georgia and in Florida at Lew Garden's annual herbal conference.
Kathleen has been interviewed by Prevention Magazine/Rodale Press books, The Book of Healing Herbs – Secrets from 90 Top Herbal Healers by Sari Harrar & Sara Altshul.