Allergies and Asthma

allergies and asthma

Allergies and Asthma

What are Allergies?

Allergies are an immune system hyper-reactivity to specific substances that trigger an allergic response. Allergies can be caused by anything you come in contact with either in the environment, food or in your home.

What are the symptoms of allergies?

An allergic person can experience a variety of symptoms including itchy, watery eyes, hives or other skin rashes, sneezing, headaches, stuffy sinuses or digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation. You may be surprised by the way your allergies affect you.

Allergy Symptoms:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Chronic cough
  • Tiredness
  • Hives
  • Headaches
  • Sinus problems
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Sore throat, recurring strep
  • Sinus infections
  • Eczema
  • Bed-wetting and Incontinence
  • Migraines
  • Bowel problems – constipation, diarrhea, loose stools, bloating, gas
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood disorders
  • Low blood sugar
  • Chronic or recurring ear infections
  • Grinding teeth
    With seasonal or environmental allergies we generally recommend testing for IgG only or IgG and IgA food allergies by blood testing.  This testing is not offered by medical doctors as IgG and IgA antibodies are not immediately life threatening.  Allergists screen for a different antibody known as IgE through a skin scratch test. Here is more information about the food allergy blood testing we offer.


Asthma is one of the major illnesses that may be caused by allergies. Asthma is divided into two types:

* Intrinsic asthma which is characterized by spasms of the air passages in the lungs that occur in response to a physical irritant i.e.: exercise, environment, chemicals, cold, air, emotional issues just to name a few.
* Extrinsic asthma is an allergic disorder and is associated with the immune system response to an allergy.

Both types are characterized by a difficulty in breathing, cough, wheeze, and thick mucous in the lung passageways. Asthma can be life threatening and during an acute attack, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Benefits of Our Naturopathic Treatment of Allergies and Asthma

  • Addresses the root cause of your allergies/asthma rather than just suppressing the symptoms via anti-histamines and corticosteroids
  • Strengthens, balances and supports your immune system
  • Strengthens your entire body so that it responds more appropriately to its environment
  • Ensures proper digestion which enhances healthy immune system function
  • Herbs, vitamins and homeopathic medicines help heal and strengthen your lungs
  • Reduces the tendency toward inflammation in your body that can cause or contribute to many other conditions including arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease

Asthma, Allergy and Dermatitis Natural Medicine Research

Sugar: Bedard A, Northstone K, Henderson AJ, Shaheen SO. Maternal intake of sugar during pregnancy and
childhood respiratory and atopic outcomes. Eur Respir J . 2017; 358:1700073.
● Longitudinal study conducted in UK finds that pregnant women who consume high levels of free
sugars during their pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a child with allergy or allergic

Fish Oil: Bisgaard H, Stokholm J, Chawes BL, Vissing NH, Bjarnadottir E, Schoos AM, Wolsk HM, Pedersen TM,
Vinding RK, Throsteinsdottir S, Folsgaard NV, Fink NR, Thorsen J, Pedersen AG, Waage J,
3 Rasmussen MA, Stark KD, Olsen SF, Bonnelykke K. Fish oil-derived fatty acids in pregnancy and
wheeze and asthma in offspring. N Engl J Med . 2016; 375(26):2530-9.
● Supplementation with omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids derived from fish oil in
the third trimester of pregnancy reduced absolute risk of persistent wheeze or asthma and
infections of the lower respiratory tract in their children by 30%

Synbiotics: Chang YS, Trivedi MK, Jha A, Lin YF, Dimaano L, Garcia-Romero MT. Synbiotics for prevention and
treatment of atopic dermatitis: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. JAMA Pediatr . 2016;
170(3): 236-42.
● Taking synbiotics, a combination of probiotics (mixed strains) and prebiotics, was beneficial in
treating eczema in children after 8 weeks.

Coconut oil: Evangelista MT, Abad-Casintahan F, Lopez-Villafuerte L. The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on
SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric
atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Int J Dermatol . 2014; 53(1):100-8.
● Application of topical coconut oil was superior to mineral oil in decreasing SCORAD scores,
decreasing transepidermal water loss and increasing skin capacitance post-treatment – and 46%
of patients showed an excellent response to treatment.

Fruits and Vegetables: Hosseini B, Berthon BS, Wark P, Wood LG. Effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on risk of asthma,
wheezing and immune responses: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrients . 2017; 9(4):
● Majority of studies (n=30) reported beneficial associations of fruit and vegetable consumption
with risk of asthma and/or respiratory function; 8 studies did not
● Inverse associations between fruit intake and risk of prevalent wheeze and asthma severity in
adults and children
● Protective effect against systemic inflammation or airway inflammation in relation to fruit and
vegetable intake

Probiotics and Prebiotics: Kukkonen K, Savilahti E, Haahtela T, Juntunen-Backman K, Korpela R, Poussa T, Tuure T, Kuitunen M.
Probiotics and prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides in the prevention of allergic diseases: a
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol . 2007; 119(1):192-8.
● Probiotic treatment (4 bacterial strains) + prebiotic (galacto-oligosaccharides) significantly
prevented eczema/atopic dermatitis in children at two years of age when given to pregnant
mothers 2-4 weeks prior to delivery and when infants were 6 months old

Urbanization: Pollard SL, Lima JJ, Romero K, Tarazona-Meza C, Mougey E, Tomaino K, Malpartida-Guzman G, Hansel
NN, Checkley W, GASP Study Investigators. Associations between serum 25(OH)D
concentrations and prevalent asthma among children living in communities with differing levels
of urbanization: a cross-sectional study. Asthma Res Pract . 2017; 3:5.
● Mean 25(OH)D levels in children with asthma = 25.2 ng/mL and in children without asthma =
26.1 ng/mL
● A 10 mg/mL decrease in serum 25(OH)D concentrations was not significantly associated with
odds of asthma; however, vitamin D deficiency was associated with a 1.6-fold increase in odds
of asthma in the overall cohort
● Combined data for populations suggests a threshold for the relationship of 25(OH)D levels and
asthma at 27.5 ng/mL

Licorice gel: Saeedi M, Morteza-Semnani K, Ghoreishi MR. The treatment of atopic dermatitis with licorice gel. J
Dermatolog Treat . 2003; 14(3):153-7.
● Topically applied licorice gel formulation (1% or 2% licorice root extract) reduced erythema,
edema, and itching.

Probiotics: Tang ML, Ponsonby AL, Orsini F, Tey D, Robinson M, Su EL, Licciardi P, Burks W, Donath S. Administration
of a probiotic with peanut oral immunotherapy: a randomized trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol . 2015;
● Probiotic and peanut oral immunotherapy combination was effective in inducing possible
sustained unresponsiveness and immune changes, suggesting modulation of the peanut-specific
immune response. Possible sustained unresponsiveness was achieved in 82.1% receiving the
combination therapy, and 3.6% receiving placebo. PPOIT was associated with reduced peanut
skin prick test responses and peanut-specific IgE levels and increased peanut-specific IgG4 levels.

Topical Herbal Treatment: Thandar Y, Gray A, Botha J, Mosam A. Topical herbal medicines for atopic eczema: a systematic review
of randomized controlled trials. Br J Dermatol . 2017; 176(2):330-343.
● Licorice gel and Hypericum perforatum were both found to be superior to placebo with low risk
of harm, in management of atopic eczema

Caffeine: Welsh EJ, Bara A, Barley E, Cates CJ. Caffeine for asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2010;
(1):CD001112. Doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD001112.pub2.
● Caffeine modestly improves airway function for up to 4 hours in people with asthma.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D supplementation may reduce allergic respiratory reactions from exposure to the mold Aspergillus.

Source: J Clin Invest. 2010 Aug 16. Published Online Ahead of Print.

5-HTP : 5-HTP was found to reduce allergic inflammation in the lungs by 70-90% and reduced antigen-induced airway responsiveness.

Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.27, Issue 3, Feb 2013.

Probiotics: Very high doses of probiotics was found to ameliorate food allergy inflammation in peanut-sensitized mice.

Source: Barletta B, Rossi G, et al, Mol Nutr Food Res, 2013 Aug 14; [Epub ahead of print].

Wheat: Wheat and other glutenous grains will strain the digestive system. If you are sensitive to gluten, it can increase your sensitivity to other allergens like pollen.

Source: Huffington Post, May 9, 2013.

Sabalia: Sabalia is a homeopathic medicine that helps fight seasonal and environmental allergies.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Astragalus: Astragalus is an herb that is known to boost the immune system.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Dairy: Dairy consumption can lead to extra mucous production, adding to congestion brought on by allergies.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Echinacea: Echinacea, in addition to other health benefits, helps boost the immune system.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Sugar: Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine, and glucose competes with it for uptake in the body. So, the more glucose that is consumed the less vitamin C is absorbed.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Vitamin B5: Vitamin B5 supports adrenal function, which in turn aids immune response.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and also boosts the immune system.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Quercetin: Quercetin is one of the best natural antihistamines and works by stabilizing the membrane of histamine-releasing cells. Quercetin also possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Nettles: Nettles, or stinging nettle, is an herb that has proven to alleviate allergic rhinitis.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Ginger: Ginger is not only an anti-inflammatory it also promotes better digestion and stimulates the part of the immune system responsible for antibody production.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Steam inhalation: Boiling water with a few drops of food-grade essential oils, such as eucalyptus, peppermint or myrtle can drain the sinuses and relax the lungs.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Irish Moss : Irish Moss contains a potent mucilaginous property. The slimy consistency helps clear excess mucous from the lungs while supporting healthy intestinal tract lining – this is important for reducing environmental and food sensitivities.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Chia Seed: Chia seeds contain a potent mucilaginous property. The slimy consistency helps clear excess mucous from the lungs while supporting healthy intestinal tract lining – this is important for reducing environmental and food sensitivities.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Raw Honey: Raw honey is a powerful antioxidant that possesses antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Consuming 1 teaspoon a day of raw honey from your area can help reduce pollen allergies.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Lemon: A source of vitamin C and antioxidants, lemons work as natural antihistamine.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Neti Pot & Allergies: Warm salt water in a neti pot will flush the nasal passage and clear the sinuses. This method can also prevent sinus infections.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Cayenne: Cayenne increases blood circulation and boosts the immune system. Cayenne can also reduce intestinal inflammation, which is common in people with food sensitivities.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Air purifier: Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter is a great way to remove spores and pollen from the air.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Aloe vera: Aloe vera contains a potent mucilaginous property. The slimy consistency helps clear excess mucous from the lungs while supporting healthy intestinal tract lining – this is important for reducing environmental and food sensitivities.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Egg: Introduction of egg at 11 months of age or less is inversely associated with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic sensitization.

Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jan;131(1):78-86.

Fish: Introduction of fish at 9 months or less is inversely associated with allergic rhinitis and atopic sensitization.

Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jan;131(1):78-86.

Grains: Introduction of wheat, rye, oats, or barley at 5-5.5 months is inversely associated with asthma and allergic rhinitis, whereas introduction of other cereals at less than 4.5 months increases the risk of atopic eczema.

Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jan;131(1):78-86.

Turmeric: Turmeric helps relieve inflammation in the body, including the lungs and gut which are vital in preventing allergies.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Yoga: Inverted poses, such as a shoulder or head stand, help drain the nasal passages and cleanse the lungs.

Source: Alberni Valley News, May 8, 2013.

Probiotics: Lactobacillus reuteri supplementation from week 36 and during the first year of lie was found to significantly reduce IgE-associated eczema and lower allergen and mitogen responsiveness.

Source: Clin Exp Allergy, 2013 April; 43(4): 434-42.

Folate: Fetal folate levels between 50 and 75 nmol/l were found to be optimal for diminishing allergies in early childhood.

Source: Allergy, 2012 Jan; 67(1):50-7.

Vitamin K & Celiac Disease: Optimizing vitamin K and D intake as well as a gluten-free diet was found to improve bone mineral density in children with celiac disease.

Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2011 Oct 5.

Vitamin D & Celiac Disease: Optimizing vitamin D intake as well as a gluten-free diet was found to improve bone mineral density in children with celiac disease.

Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2011 Oct 5.

Probiotics & Rhinitis: Treatment with probiotics can reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms and drug use in children.

Source: Indian Pediatr, 2012 Jun 10.

Acupuncture & Atopic Dermatitis: Acupressure at a particular acupuncture point performed 3 times per week for a period of 4 weeks was found to decrease the severity of itching associated with atopic dermatitis.

Source: Acupunct Med, 2011 Dec 28.

Jewelweed & Poison Ivy: Jewelweed mash was found to be effective at reducing poison ivy dermatitis, however jewelweed extract was not effective.

Source: J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Aug 30;143(1):314-8.

Nutritional Supplements & Atopic Dermatitis: Administration of nutritional supplements was found to be effective at preventing atopic dermatitis in 11 of 17 studies, and at decreasing severity of atopic dermatitis in 5 of 6 studies.

Source: JAMA Dermatol, 2013 March; 149(3): 350-5.

Black currant seed oil & Atopic Dermatitis: Supplementation with black currant seed oil (alpha-linolenic and omega-3 combination) and prebiotics

Source: JAMA Dermatol, 2013 March; 149(3): 350-5.

Vitamin D & Atopic Dermatitis: Vitamin D supplementation in patients with atopic dermatitis was found to help ameliorate clinical signs of the disease.

Source: J Am Acad Dermatol, 2013 May 2

Nutritional supplementation & Atopic dermatitis: Nutritional supplementation was shown to be an effective method in preventing atopic dermatitis or decreasing its severity in infants and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

Source: JAMA Dermatol. 2013 Mar;149(3):350-5.

Calendula & Dermatitis: Treatment of diaper dermatitis with topical calendula cream containing extract from C. officials flowers led to fewer rash sites.

Source: Scientific World Journal. 2012; 2012:810234.

Lactobacillus Plantarum: Atopic dermatitis patients given Lactobacillus plantarum CJLP133 saw a lower total eosinophil count compared to baseline.

Source: Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2012 Nov;23(7):667-73. Epub 2012 Oct 11.

Silymarin: Treatment with silymarin was found to significantly reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis when in conjunction with routine antihistamine treatment.

Source: Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011 Dec; 145(6):904-9. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Pycnogenol: Supplementation with Pycnogenol 5-8 weeks prior to birch allergy season was found to reduce eyes symptoms of allergic rhinitis by 35% and nasal symptoms by 20.5%, compared to placebo.

Source: Phytother Res, 2010 June 14; [Epub ahead of print].

Pycnogenol & Allergic Rhinitis: Pycnogenol was found to improve allergic rhinitis symptoms when supplementation started at least 5 weeks before allergy season.

Source: Phytother Res, 2010 June 14; [Epub ahead of print].

Probiotics: Children with allergic rhinitis taking Lactobacillus salivarius found a reduction in rhinitis symptoms and allergy medication use.

Source: Indian Pediatr. 2012 Jun 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Vitamin D & Rhinosinusitis: Vitamin D deficiency was found to be prevalent in children with allergic fungal rhinosinusitis or chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis.

Source: Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 2012 May 24

Probiotics: Treatment with probiotic Lactobacillus salivarius LS01 in atopic dermatitis patients was found to improve symptoms and life quality.

Source: Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2011 Oct-Dec; 24(4):1037-48.


MBSR: Adults with mild, moderate or severe asthma utilized mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and saw significant improvements in asthma-related quality of life and stress.

Source: Thorax. 2012 Sep;67(9):769-76. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Antioxidants: Increased dietary intake of fruits and vegetables in asthmatic adults led to improvements suggesting that whole-food interventions are effective.

Source: Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Sep;96(3):534-43.

Pycnogenol: Supplementation with Pycnogenol® reduced night-awakenings and days with asthma in patients with allergic (dust mite) asthma.

Source: Panminerva Med. 2011 Sep;53(3 Suppl 1):57-64.

Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids have potent anti-inflammatory effects and were found to be beneficial in preventing exercise-induced asthma.

Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

Breast-feeding & Childhood Asthma: Longer duration of total breast-feeding was found to be protective against the development of nonatopic but not atopic asthma.

Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jan;131(1):78-86.

Breast-feeding & Childhood Asthma: Breast feeding for 9.5 months or less is associated with an increased risk of nonatopic asthma.

Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jan;131(1):78-86.

Supplements: Asthmatic children supplemented with fruit plus vegetable concentrate, fish oil and probiotics saw an improvement in forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume and reduced use of short-acting inhaled bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids.

Source: Br J Nutr. 2012 Dec 5:1-11.

Omega-3s: Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation was shown to be inversely associated with incidences of asthma.

Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2013 Jan; 97(1): 173-8.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D insufficiency was found to be associated with a higher risk of severe asthma.

Source: Allergy Asthma Immunol Res, 2013 Sept; 5(5): 283-8.

Vitamin D: In children with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma, insufficient vitamin D status was associated with higher odds of any hospitalization or emergency department visits.

Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2010 June 8; [Epub ahead of print].

Vitamin D: In a study of children with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma, 35% of subjects were found to be vitamin D insufficient.

Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2010 June 8; [Epub ahead of print].

Vitamin C: An Italian study found that ingestion of fruit high in vitamin C may reduce wheezing symptoms in children.

Source: Thorax. 2000 April; 55(4): 283–288.

Marine lipids: Supplementation with PCSO-524™ (Lyprinol®/Omega XL®) had beneficial effects in hyperpnea-induced bronchoconstriction and asthma.

Source: Respir Med, 2013 May 6; [Epub ahead of print].

Marine Lipids: Asthmatics supplemented with New Zealand green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) PCSO-524 for 3 weeks saw a significant improvement in exhaled breath condensate pH and asthma symptom scores over placebo.

Source: Respir Med. 2013 Aug;107(8):1152-63

Bone Minerals: In children with asthma, oral corticosteroids were found to decrease bone mineral accretion.

Source: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Jul; 130(1):53-60.e4. Epub 2012 May 16.

Antioxidants: A low-antioxidant diet was found to reduce lung function in asthma patients.

Source: Am J Clin Nutr 2012; 96(3): 534-543.

Pelargonium sidoides: Supplementation with Pelargonium sidoides in asthmatic children with upper respiratory tract infections decreased nasal symptoms, cough frequency and asthma attack frequency.

Source: Phytomedicine. 2012 Nov 8 [Epub ahead of print]

Vitamin D: Higher vitamin D levels correspond with reduced airway inflammation and improved airway structure and lung function in children with asthma.

Source: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Sep 8.

Linoleic Acid: Conjugated linoleic acid was found to improve airway hyper-responsiveness and body mass index in overweight mild asthma patients.

Source: Clinical & Experimental Allergy, Volume 40, Issue 7, pages 1071-1078, July 2010.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture treatment was found to exert a regulatory effect on mucosal and cellular immunity in patients with allergic asthma.

Source: Clin Rev Allergy Immunol, 2012 Jun 3

Magnesium: In patients age 7-19, oral magnesium supplementation was found to provide better symptom control for moderate persistent asthma.

Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2007 Jan; 61(1):54-60.

Diet: Treatment with pterostilbene, a component of grapes and berries, was found to help prevent asthma.

Source: J Agric Food Chem, 2011 June 21.

L-carnitine: Supplementation with L-carnitine was found to significantly improve asthma management in children with moderate persistent asthma.

Source: J Allergy (Cairo). 2012; 2012:509730. Epub 2011 Nov 23.