Whole Foods and Allergies

Whole Foods ran an April promo about how to treat allergies naturally. They have a podcast about allergies on their site and an allergy pamphlet in their stores. Brent, working with WF, kindly contacted me to let me know about it. It's interesting enough information to pass along and it might be useful to some of you out there. Allergies have been particularly bad this early in the season; friends who don't normally complain are suffering.

However, I’m not a natural girl when it comes to "meds". I’m a little afraid I’ll be allergic to the herbs/flowers used to cure the issue, much to the dismay of my excellent acupuncturist who really wants me to try Chinese herbs. I just won’t do it, too potentially tricky for this Allergic Girl. But I know herbs, Chinese and otherwise, have helped many, many people over thousands of years. [On the funny tip, remember “Alice”? ]

Butterbur, one of their recommendations was also recommended by Dr. Clifford Basset on the Revolution Health podcast I was involved in with last month. Which means, to me at least, herbs are becoming part of the western mainstream medical language. Many of these natural remedies I’ve never heard of [except probotics-even Dannon yogurt is embracing this one]: have you?

From WF's press release: “Whole Foods Market has compiled a list of TOP 10 NATURAL OPTIONS that may assist in alleviating common allergy symptoms.

1. Butterbur – studies show this herb is effective in providing relief from seasonal allergies with fewer side effects when compared with common conventional choices.
2. Stinging Nettle or “Nettles” – considered by some experts to be one of the best herbal options for relief of allergy symptoms.
3. Quercetin – a bioflavonoid that research shows may support a healthy inflammation response.
4. Bromelain – an enzyme that supports a healthy immune response to allergens and works synergistically with quercetin; derived from pineapple.
5. Probiotics – support healthy digestion and immune function; studies show a link between unhealthy gut flora and allergies.
6. Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3’s) – found in fish, flaxseed oil, dark leafy greens, and/or fish oil or flaxseed supplements; help to keep the immune system strong and play a role in regulating its allergy responses
7. Echinacea, astragalus, garlic, chamomile, turmeric, eyebright, licorice – herbs that support respiratory and immune health for allergy relief.
8. Allium Cepa – a homeopathic remedy for nasal congestion.
9. Sabadilla – a homeopathic remedy for sneezing, runny nose and an itching, sore throat.
10. Homeopathic nose sprays – for sinus pressure relief.”

*Please talk to your doctor before taking any new medication. Yes, herbs/bark/flowers/etc are medicinal and can have potent effects when taken alone or combined with prescription meds.


Heather said…
Interesting post. Here's a somewhat related story--my sister was hospitalized last year with what doctors thought was either E.coli or salmonella. She had stomach problems afterward, so she started eating Activia for a while but didn't get any better, and the doctors thought that they'd have to do an endoscopy. It turned out that the Activia was the cause of the continuing stomach problems. As soon as she stopped eating it, she felt better.

This is not to say that it won't work for everyone; it's just one person's experience.
Allergic Girl® said…
thx ms scones! sorry to hear about your sis but glad they figured it out and that she's better.

my probiotic experience was better that your sister's but only slightly.

my acu suggested a brand of probiotics that she trusted early on in our treatment for tummy issues. within three days i was having serious pain in my lower abdomen. my acu kept saying "i doubt it's the probiotic, they are so well tolerated." but i ditched them and the pain went away.

so probiotics not for everyone. and there are so many different kinds, different strengths, different manufacturers in different countries, it can be a crap shoot...kinda.
Allergic Girl® said…
Hello... Allergic Girl's acupuncturist here.
Interesting article- however I am by no means a fan of any person self medicating- even when it comes to herbs. Just because they are natural substances does not mean that they can be self regulated or dosed. Please, before taking any such recommendations, seek the advice of a certified herbalist. Acupuncturists with an Herbology degree- have several years of education in the field and must pass a national exam to practice herbology. Herbs, although extremely
effective (when properly dosed and prescribed) are not as innocent as they appear. Play it safe- talk to an expert.

RE probiotics.. I have, and continue to have much
success with recommending food based probiotic
supplements- in my 4 years of practice, my dear
Allergic Girl is the only patient who has had a
strange reaction to the supplement. A lot of times,
the initial 'stomach upset' is due to what is called
the 'killing off' of the yucky yeasty overgrowth
inside your intestines... disgusting! This will cause
weird bowel movements, of strange colors and gassy, uncomfortableness... but it passes, once the evil lurking has been sussed up a bit. On the other hand- not all of us are created equal and some may have unforseen sensitivties to both supplements and herbs.

so please speak to an expert before running out and trying anything and everything listed as a 'natural cure'. And your best bet is to introduce one new thing at a time- so that you can see what is working and what isnt.

Bottom line- be wise with your body. Treat it right, feed it good, healthy, alive foods and always be an educated consumer!

-Aimee E. Raupp
Allergic Girl® said…
This comment has been removed by the author.

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