If you are one of the estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies, then you are probably already aware of the misery that allergies can cause. Itching, sneezing, runny nose, difficulty breathing, etc. are just a few of the symptoms of an allergic reaction. And, as often is the case, the pharmaceutical industry has provided a host of cures that mask the symptoms, do nothing to address the cause, and come with side-effects that are sometimes worse than the allergy symptom itself!
But don’t despair… integrative medicine has once again demonstrated that nature heals better than synthetic drugs and that there’s a healthier and more appropriate way to deal with allergies.
Supplements containing healthy phytochemicals and botanical extracts have been proven to alleviate symptoms without negative side effects, and balance the immune system so it doesn’t over-react to allergens.
Botanical Extracts Can Control The Symptoms & The Cause Of Allergic Reactions
When properly harvested and processed, the following botanical extracts provide a synergistic effect to help control the common symptoms and causes of allergies by inhibiting histamine release and, more importantly, correcting immune system dysfunction:
Persimmon Leaf Extract
Pine Bark Extract
Rhus Punjabensis Extract
Let’s look at each individually and see how together they provide short term relief of symptoms and long term allergy control by supporting healthy immune function.
Persimmon Leaf Extract Stops The Itching Associated With Atopic Dermatitis
Persimmon has been cultivated in Japan for at least 1,000 years, where it is considered the national fruit. So it only seems natural that Japanese researchers discovered that the main flavonoid in persimmon–astragalin–inhibits the release of histamine in mice suffering from atopic dermatitis. When the mice were given persimmon extract, they exhibited fewer behavioral symptoms, such as scratching and biting their skin. There was also a reduction of serum IgE, the antibodies produced in response to an allergen. Additionally, tissue samples showed there was less inflammation and thickening of the skin. The scientists concluded that persimmon leaf extract may be an alternative remedy for managing atopic dermatitis.
Hesperidin Can Stop The Sneezing From Hay Fever
Hesperidin is the predominant flavonoid in lemons and oranges. Sweet oranges and tangelos are the richest dietary source of hesperidin, which is purported to relieve allergy and hay fever symptoms. Hesperidin is also found in rosemary leaves.
Apple Extract Regulates Allergic Reactions
Apples contain many kinds of polyphenols, and the main components are oligomeric procyanidins. Apple polyphenol extract, produced from unripe apples, has been shown to be especially beneficial in helping regulate allergic reactions. In double-blind clinical trials apple polyphenol extract ameliorated symptoms in children with atopic dermatitis, and also produced positive results in tests using allergic laboratory animals.
Pine Bark Extract Quells Inflammation & Asthma Symptoms
Pine bark extract contains a unique combination of procyanidins, bioflavonoids, and organic acids. Pine bark extract is considered a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and is revered for its numerous health benefits, including relief from inflammatory skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.
Pine bark also inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells, and may prove to be a key player in the relief of asthma symptoms.
A double blind and placebo-controlled study found children who took pine bark were able to reduce their need for rescue inhaler use and in some cases stop inhaler use altogether more often than the placebo group. Previous studies have shown pine bark to be effective in decreasing asthma symptoms among adults, without any adverse effects.
Rhus Punjabensis Extract Works To Balance Immune Function
Here’s how this rare plant that grows only in Southeast Asia works to control your allergies long term. Rhus punjabensis extract is a source of anti-allergic flavonoids, including the flavonoid fisetin. While fairly common in small amounts in a variety of fruits and vegetables, fisetin can be found in abundance in the Rhus punjabenisis plant. Studies have shown that fisetin and other flavonoids suppress the release of chemicals that cause you to have an allergic reaction! Studies have shown that fisetin suppresses excess levels of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, and interleukin-5, which play a major role in allergic diseases.
Rosemary Extract Aids Breathing
Several new studies have indicated that rosmarinic acid—an antioxidant found in rosemary—is antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Another recent study also showed that rosmarinic acid exerts a calming effect on the mind while supporting short and long term memory.
Rosmarinic acid has also been shown to prevent inflammation of air passages, leading researchers to suggest that it might be helpful to asthmatic patients.
Luteolin Is The Secret Active Ingredient In Chinese Herbal Asthma Medicines
Luteolin is commonly found in Chinese herbal asthma medicines. A study at the College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan found that luteolin inhibited the release of histamine in laboratory animals, and relaxed the animals’ tracheas. Two other studies on laboratory animals found that luteolin was an effective asthma and allergy preventative.
Let’s face it, allergies make you miserable. This time around, instead of relying on pharmaceuticals that provide temporary relief and add different symptoms to the mix, why not try these proven extracts? They have impressive studies to back them up, and because atopic dermatitis, asthma and hay fever all result from an excess of inflammatory mediators, you can take any or all of them to relieve your hay fever, dermatitis and/or asthma.
1. Kotani M, Matsumoto M, Fujita A, et al. Persimmon leaf extract and astragalin inhibit development of dermatitis and IgE elevation in NC/Nga mice. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2000 Jul;106(1 Pt 1):159-66.
2. Akazome Y Characteristics and physiological functions of polyphenols from apples. Biofactors. 2004;22(1-4):311-4.
3. Rihn B, Saliou C, Bottin MC, Keith G, Packer L. From ancient remedies to modern therapeutics: pine bark uses in skin disorders revisited. Phytother Res. 2001 Feb;15(1):76-8.
4. Hirano T, Higa S, Arimitsu J, et al. Flavonoids such as luteolin, fisetin and apigenin are inhibitors of interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 production by activated human basophils. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2004 Jun;134(2):135-40. Epub 2004 May 17.
5. Inoue K, Takano H, Shiga A, et al. Effects of volatile constituents of a rosemary extract on allergic airway inflammation related to house dust mite allergen in mice. Int J Mol Med. 2005 Aug;16(2):315-9.
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