Do you have a love-hate relationship with spring?
If you’re searching for how to prevent allergies right now, I know you know what I mean…
Don’t get me wrong… the flowers are lovely — and the way the Earth seems to come alive again with lush green everything? The beauty of it can’t be beat.
But something else is inevitably along for the seasonal ride, too.
I’m talking about your not-so-best friend, pollen.
Cue the constant sneezing. Watery eyes. Stuffed-up nose. Foggy head. It’s pure misery, right?
If you’re dreading the upcoming allergy season and wondering how to prevent allergies naturally — don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I’m sharing some helpful tips to better understand and prevent your symptoms this spring!
Wind: A Pathogenic Factor in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a system of healing that has been used for thousands of years. TCM views the body as a whole and considers the interplay of internal and external factors on health. In TCM, each season is associated with a particular organ system, and spring is the season of the liver. The liver is responsible for detoxification and regulating the flow of qi, or energy, throughout the body.
Wind is seen as a pathogenic factor that can disrupt the flow of qi and lead to illness. Allergies are believed to be caused by the invasion of wind into the body. When wind enters the body, it can cause symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and a runny nose. This is why wind is associated with the worsening of allergy symptoms.
To prevent allergies, TCM practitioners use a formula called Jade Windscreen, also known as Yu Ping Feng San. This formula contains a combination of herbs, including the magical herb astragalus. Astragalus is known to strengthen the immune system and protect against the invasion of wind.
By taking Jade Windscreen before allergy season begins, you can reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions. Astragalus has been shown to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, making it a powerful tool for preventing allergies.
If there’s something natural I can do to keep allergies at bay, I’m totally on board. Aren’t you?
Prevention: Allergies Stay Away With These Powerful Herbs
Functional immunology takes a different approach to allergies than Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but both recognize the importance of strengthening the immune system to prevent allergies.
Instead of TCM’s concept of “invasion of wind,” functional immunology looks at the role of Th2 immune cells in allergies. The problem with Th2 cells is that the cytokines produced, such as interleukin 41, will signal more Th2 cells. So the response can be a never-ending cycle.
Fun fact: This is why I call the Th2 response the “Over Protector.” She gets a little carried away and just doesn’t know when to quit!
To address this, functional immunology stresses the importance of using ingredients that can stop the Th2 response from becoming chronic. One of the most effective ingredients is the herb astragalus, which is also used in TCM.
It’s exciting to see the intersection of Traditional Chinese Medicine and functional medicine, as both offer valuable tools for understanding and preventing the allergies that plague so many of us. And both methodologies agree: by incorporating astragalus (and other herbs, like perilla) into your daily routine, you can prevent allergies and keep your autoimmunity symptoms in check.
But listen, sister…
Astragalus and perilla can only work their magic before allergies kick in. For these powerful herbs, it’s all about prevention. Don’t worry — we’ll cover natural remedies for treating allergies in a future post!
Allergies and Autoimmune Disease: How Are They Connected?
When the Th2 immune cells are overactive and produce an excess of cytokines, it can cause inflammation in the body. This is because the body’s immune system is essentially attacking its own healthy tissues and cells, mistaking them for foreign invaders.
Chronic allergies, which are often associated with an overactive Th2 response, can worsen your autoimmune symptoms and make it harder for your body to stay in remission.
During allergy season, the immune system is already working hard to fight off allergens and prevent an allergic response. This can divert resources away from regulating your plain ol’ autoimmune inflammation!
Let’s face it — your immune system isn’t the best at multi-tasking…
This is why it’s important to manage your allergy symptoms and address the underlying immune dysfunction that may be contributing to them. By balancing the immune system and reducing chronic inflammation, you can improve your overall health and prevent autoimmunity flares or new onsets.
And that’s the dream, isn’t it?
Your autoimmune condition doesn’t have to take over your life. With the right support, guidance, and lifestyle — you’ll be on the path to wellness in no time.
Looking For Expert Help With Your Autoimmunity?
I’m Dr. Laura Paris, an autoimmune specialist for women just like you. Women often come to me feeling frustrated and discouraged by the limitations of conventional medicine. They know they can do more to manage their condition.
Can you relate? If you’re ready to explore a holistic approach to your autoimmune healing journey, I have the perfect solution for you.
In my program, Road to Remission, I’ll help you reverse your autoimmune condition and take charge of your health — with highly personalized, 360° care.
In four months together, we’ll work on establishing an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, healing your gut, clearing your triggers, and regulating your immune system with supplements — so you can start to feel better much sooner.
There is no blanket approach to holistic care. And because everyone’s journey is different, your Roadmap to Remission will be custom-tailored for YOU.
You don’t have to feel isolated anymore. Relief and support are here, sister.
1 Gurram RK, Zhu J. Orchestration between ILC2s and Th2 cells in shaping type 2 immune responses. Cell Mol Immunol. 2019 Mar;16(3):225-235. doi: 10.1038/s41423-019-0210-8. Epub 2019 Feb 21. PMID: 30792500; PMCID: PMC6460501.