Into Well Being, PC

Noel John M. Carrasco, M.D., FAAP

Pat Murphy Carrasco, BSN, MFA, CMHT

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Spring Need Not Be The Season For Sneezin'

05 April 2007

by Noel John M. Carrasco, MD

Seasonal allergies can be a cause of runny noses and watery eyes. As the immune system mistakes relatively harmless irritants, such as pollen, for germs, it creates an unnecessary but intense assault.

Other discomforts can occur with allergies and sensitivities aside from inflammation of mucous membranes such as fatigue, confusion, anxiety, dizziness, muscle tension, including digestive problems.

Allergy symptoms are not caused by the irritant allergen (or allergy trigger) but rather by the response of the body's immune system unleashed, notably histamine (from mast cell release) and IgE (immunoglobulin E).

Common well known allergens include animal dander, dust and dust mites, molds, and pollens. Decongestant nasal sprays can trigger a rebound reaction that makes congestion even worse. A saline (isotonic salt water) spray or rinse can alleviate stuffiness for hours.

To reduce:


1. Consider outdoor activities later in the afternoon or  early evening since pollen counts from trees, grasses  and yes, weeds  peak between 5 am to 10 am. Bathing or showering before bedtime eliminates irritating allergens  (pollen) on your skin and hair.

2. Portable HEPA (high efficiency particulate filters) are particularly helpful for indoor room use as they take out most pollen and other air born irritants. Static household air filters should be cleaned or changed regularly. Consider cleaning the air ducts as part of spring cleaning.


1. Chlorine bleach wipes, tree tea oil effectively eliminate visible mold anywhere where there’s diminished light, damp and poor ventilation i.e. bathroom areas, around or under sinks, garage or where plant trays have had standing water.

Dust Mites:

Keeping your home relatively dry, or by using a dehumidifier effectively reduces dust mites. Favorite places include carpets, upholstered furniture, pillow cases (change them regularly) as well as washing bed sheets, blankets in hot water.

Botanicals and Supplements allies which can be helpful

{European & American Studies}

Butterbur[Petasites hybridus]

*Taking 4.5 to 7 grams of butterbur root daily has been found to be as helpful as some prescription antihistamines.

Eyebright[Euphrasia officinals] After making a tea 1 Tsp. To 1 cup

boiling water strained after steeping for ~10 minutes, let it cool and use as a compress for itchy, irritated watering eyes.

Sting nettle [Utica diocia]* I found freeze- dried nettle (600 mg.) better than air-dried with fewer or milder ‘hay fever’ symptoms . It offers anti-inflammatory properties. It contains many vitamins and minerals that help our body cope with allergens.                           

 Quercetin Bio-flavonols reduce the release of histamine, thus reducing allergy symptoms (a natural antihistamine like effect). Sources include fruits (apples, cherries), vegetables (onion),nuts and seeds, black teas, whole  grains, and red wine.Available in capsules 400 mg twice a day 5 to 10 minutes before meals and even more helpful if started a few weeks ahead of the pollen season. Taking Bromalein (an enzyme substance from pineapples) may boost quercetins’ histamine blocking effects .Caution : Pregnant women should not take Quercetin.

Omega- –rich Fatty acids As dietary intake increases risk of ‘hay fever’ decreases.  3.5 grams of omega-3-rich wild salmon fish oil daily up to eight weeks. If you are bruising easily or are on anticoagulant actions and you may need to reduce your ingested amount.

Vitamin E High dietary intake or  800 mg a day was found to reduce allergy-related runny nose. Again as with Fish oil, since vitamin E has anticoagulant action if you are bruising more easily reduce your intake.

Vitamin C Acts as another natural antihistamine by blocking histamine release and enhancing its elimination. 500mg to 1 gm per day. I prefer good food sources such as kiwi, mandarins, and if not sensitized to oranges and strawberries, they are good as well.

Other considerations: There is a very high correlation between wheat and allergies. Cow Milk is also highly allergenic. A 7-10 day absence from either or both may reduce their contribution to ongoing allergy symptoms. Eliminating sugar can reduce flare-ups and lessen symptoms. Higher dietary intake of onions and garlic can ease allergies and asthma. Drink lots of water. There are nutrient formulations that are supportive and help the body to mitigate the allergic response.

Homeopathy is beneficial. There are numerous remedies to consider; in a way treatment is similar to allergic desensitization in conventional medicine. Personally I have found both formulations A. Vogel Allergy Relief, and Sinus Relief to be useful at times.

Wishing you the best in health and wellness,


If you have found this information helpful, email me at I offer individual consultations providing the opportunity to be more specific and give you greater detail.

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