In Texas, and many other states, a lot of allergies result from pollen released by cedar trees. Is there a more specific natural allergy relief solution for this?
Dr. Tsui: Cedar allergies are primarily spurred by the body’s over-reaction to juniper pollen (from cedar trees). So common sense tells us to wash off of these pollens as often as possible by showering and changing clothing frequently. Since the nostrils are irritated the most by pollen exposure, I recommend a frequent nasal rinse using either a simple neti-pot saline rinse, or a liquid ionic silver spray. This will clear out the nasal passages.
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We also use homeopathic eyewash products that help to reduce itchiness and discomfort in the eyes. Besides dietary changes, I would specifically add homeopathic products for reducing the allergic reactions to cedar. It would be best to get homeopathic products (in oral spray or drop forms) made from your local cedar species for optimal effect. For the Central Texas region, there is a product called Texas Allergy Relief that contains local cedar, oak, mold, and ragweed. The good thing about homeopathic remedies is that there are no known side effects or drug interactions for the past 200 years of use. Lastly, there are excellent herbal-based formulas that provide a more nutritive and long-term solution to allergies and asthma with equal safety and effectiveness.
What about asthma? Is it a deficiency syndrome that can also be helped by natural supplements?
Dr. Tsui: You know, some would hardly think that asthma might be a deficiency syndrome, but allow me to make a case for it. Simply put, asthma is characterized by the swelling or constriction of the airways in the lungs. The swelling, and thus the constriction, are of an inflammatory nature. Eggs, shrimps, and red meat are known to contain an inflammatory molecule called arachidonic acid. Italian researchers once examined data from 524 children and found that asthma was more prevalent in children with high levels of arachidonic acid.  One might presume that if we ate more of anti-inflammatory foods and/or supplements, such as omega-3 EPA or DHA from fish sources, we could find relief of the asthmatic symptoms. Lo and behold, a more recent independent study found that children who eat fish more than once per week have one-third the risk of developing asthma than those who don’t eat fish regularly.[2,3] With these two studies, I will have to say that there is a correlation between a deficiency in omega-3 and asthma. Of course, omega-3 is not the only nutrient that may be good for asthma. There are too many other essential nutrients to talk about them here.
Finally, how important is it to use a high quality natural supplement for allergies and asthma? Can you suggest any brands, or how to find them?
Dr. Tsui: Most people don’t know this, but over 85% of the supplement brands on the market today do NOT manufacture their own products. That is, they use a third-party manufacturer. Of those who manufacture their own products, a high percentage of them are not GMP or FDA certified. As a result, there are too many supplement brands out there with minimum nutrient value and do not guarantee their label claims. Being a naturopath, I cannot afford to take these chances. Therefore, I go with product brands that meet both of the above conditions at the therapeutic dosage level. We carry multiple brands, but our core product line is called Nature’s Sunshine Products.
To learn more about the methods we’ve discussed, be sure to visit Dr. Tsui’s website at www.healthyindeed.com.
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