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Severe Seasonal Allergies

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Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone had any bright ideas on things i haven't tried yet.

Whether some of you epic level permaculture geniuses and clever people might have ideas. I suffer yearly from hay fever, from spring right through to the last two weeks of autumn. I have tried many times to stop taking the dreaded pharmaceutical drugs but have failed miserably. Even when i do take those, i end up on either a severely heavy dose or become a hermit. I take about 40mg of Zetop 10mg Tablets [Cetirizine Hydrochloride 10mg] and doses (as needed) of Becloclear 12 Hour Nasal Spray [Beclometasone dipropionate 50 ug/dose]

First i'd like to point out that during the summer i AVOID like the plague any of the pollen dependent fruits like tomato etc., and almost all of the berry and melon families. With the exception being heat treated canned fruits.

I live in that upside down place called the Southern Hemisphere so keep in mind that while you are going into Summer, we already left it.

Whenever i go outside i use a respirator mask with HEPA filters while on these remedies :
PERMAGANIC Ginger, garlic, turmeric (25g each a day / one bulb a day, 10g a day respectively) - As pointed out by my naturopath the turmeric and ginger levels were way too high to maintain long term and i discontinued this except for maybe a dose a week
Full body clothing and a cloth face mask while indoors
I discovered the end of last year that running a essential oils mister with just water in it was helping a lot (someone here suggested that) while indoors but as soon as i went outdoors and came in with any trace of pollen on me it was all over.
Washing myself 3 - 4 times daily; changing clothes each time (which obviously being between off-grid and on-grid is excessively wasteful)
I have also tried eating honey comb in the down season to build up my immunity (someone suggested maybe the shock of going from allowing the pollen to leave my system completely was triggering it and i never recovered from that initial blast but this just seemed to make no difference this year gone)

FYI in case you're wondering yes i do get some weird looks; i obviously don't goto the store anymore during pollen season, and the neighbours at first thought i was some sort of premature SHTF dooms day nut job until one week i broke my mask and spent days sneezing my head of and running back and forth with blood noses.

This hasn't stopped my determination to keep my garden going though; and I'm still heavily involved in keeping up gardening. My naturopath has also referred me to a doctor a number of times and i have diminished lung capacity in one lung.

Now before you say it, i am not stupidly putting the mask on weeks before the pollen season even starts and not giving my immune system a chance to work, what i've been doing is waiting until i start getting raw nasal canals and then starting it once the risk of blood noses ensues.

Thanks in advance, and sorry for being a difficult case (and hopefully not the first one of these threads you review)

Hugs and PIE to all,
author & pollinator
Posts: 182
Location: Roseburg, Oregon
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Oh my, that just makes me so sad to hear what a terrible time you are having. You are doing all the right things to prevent pollen contact, but there might be some additional things on my blog you have not thought of. I also have a lot of ideas about histamine sensitivity regarding foods, nutritional advice etc. Please go to http://dreamingabeautifulworld.blogspot.com/2018/03/hay-fever-what-how-and-why-part-i.html which is the first part of 4 blogs written this last month for people with hay fever. I would write more here, but I have been answering permies.com questions all day and along with my regular work, I am too worn out to write much more tonight. So, I hope you don't mind me sending you over to my blog. The information is extensive and will take time to read, but perhaps there is some pearl in there that you have not yet considered.

One thing I might add here, that is not on my blog, and you may not have heard of is the use of red light.
Shining a red light up your nose can increase blood flow circulation, reduce histamine production and calm inflammation. Lloyds pharmacy has created a phototherapy probe that’s found to alleviate sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes and an itchy mouth. They can be purchased at http://www.lloydspharmacy.com/en/lloydspharmacy-allergy-reliever    This is also an interesting light therapy place to check out but very spendy: https://vielight.com/devices/

Immunotherapy is also used and not listed on my blog. You work with a specialist to slowly introduce small amounts of pollen to your system to build up resistance. The treatment can be given as an injection or a tablet that dissolves under your tongue, but is reserved for severe cases and can take months to have any effect. However, for some people this is magical.

Most everything else is on the blog. I have not added the 4 part yet, which is about herbs and is only half finished. I am trying to get it done and will post it on the blog very soon.

After you read the blog, if you have additional questions, please feel free to recontact me.
Posts: 5376
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Allergies seem additive to me... No big deal if I get exposed to cottonwood dander. But if I get exposed to cottonwood dander, and have a bit of an allergy to wheat, soy, dairy, etc and I'm eating those foods, or exposing myself to common allergens like soaps, fragrances, cosmetics, pets,  then they all add up, and the cottonwood dander is what pushes me over the edge...

I concur with many of the excellent suggestions in Sharol's blog.

I have a family member that is severely troubled by allergies. Our mitigation strategy consists of the following:

  • Eat only organic foods, and pay close attention to identifying and avoiding allergy-inducing foods. Common allergenic foods include: milk, soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish. Keeping a food/symptoms journal can help in identifying problematic foods.
  • Live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
  • Prepare meals from actual fruits, vegetables, and meats. No mystery pastes, chips, sauces, breads, cakes, candies, etc. Avoid foods pre-packaged into boxes or plastic bags.
  • Use only water for cleaning, no soaps, detergents, fragrances, drier sheets, shampoos, etc
  • Cook only in stainless steel, glass/ceramic, or cast iron.
  • Treat the house as a quarantine location. Removing street clothing at the door and putting on clean clothing, or living nude inside. No shoes inside. Guests are not allowed inside if contaminated. A lot of potential guests arrive highly contaminated with perfumes and laundry chemicals, even though we warn them ahead of time that we don't allow those inside.
  • Removing carpeting, and living on wood flooring.
  • Eliminating oils from diet that are high in Omega-6 (soy, canola, corn, peanut, cottonseed). Our allowed oils are butter, lard, coconut, flax, olive.
  • Drink plenty of water, electrolytes, and herbal infusions.
  • No pets allowed.
  • Wear masks as needed. Particularly when outside, or visiting commercial buildings. Our masks are knit fabric. They also seem helpful at night as a method of increasing humidity.

  • Marshall: We found that higher humidity is helpful. Seems like that works for you also. You might consider a more effective humidifier.

    If there are certain garden tasks that put you over the edge (perhaps threshing the wheat), you might consider hiring someone to do that task for you.

    Posts: 27
    Location: SW Alabama zone 8a & 8b
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    Stinging nettle tea or tincture works wonders for me, YMMV.
    master steward & author
    Posts: 20974
    Location: Left Coast Canada
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    I wish stinging nettles work for me.  I get wicked allergies.  

    Problem is, nettle and other mint family plants really upset my stomach and gut.   Something in them triggers a Crohn's attack.  
    master steward
    Posts: 14545
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
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    R, have you tried stinging yourself with them? My husband used to sting himself on purpose and it would really clear up his allergies. The tea didn't do much of anything for him. I know that consuming nettle isn't allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I can't remember the exact reason, but I'd looked it up after feeding it to my husband, and then realizing it was not something he was supposed to be eating. ACK!

    Ah, here's the source (http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/legal/detail/nettles/) and quote:

    Adverse effects from consuming nettle tea can range from upset stomach to burning sensations in the skin, difficulty in urination and bloating.

    That's fascinating that mint messes with your Crohn's but helps my husband's Crohn's. This stupid disease--what works for one person doesn't work for another and it's maddening!
    Sharol Tilgner
    author & pollinator
    Posts: 182
    Location: Roseburg, Oregon
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    Hi Marshall,  I promised you I would post the data on herbs for hay fever on my blog soon. It is now available. It is very lengthy, so I divided it into two different sections. The first section gives details on how and why herbs are used ahead of hay fever season to prevent hay fever symptoms. You can find it here: http://dreamingabeautifulworld.blogspot.com/2018/05/herbs-to-prevent-hay-fever-part-4-of.html   The second  section goes over the herbs used during hay fever season and why and how they are used. You can find it here: http://dreamingabeautifulworld.blogspot.com/2018/06/herbs-used-for-hay-fever-acute-situation.html Even after writing 5 lengthy sections on hay fever, I still feel like there is so much more that can be said. If you have questions about anything I said, list it hear and I should get an email to inform me.
    Posts: 154
    Location: Saskatchewan
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    Try eating some dirt.

    Allergies are caused by a particular part of the immune system which is supposed to deal with internal parasites. In our modern developed world where things are constantly sanitized we don't have very little exposure to internal parasites. The section of the immune system that is now underused attacks things which it is irregularly exposed to, such as pollens.

    I am sort of joking about the eating dirt, I doubt it would help an adult with severe well established allergies. It definitely does help prevent allergies in kids though.

    I don't have allergies so I cannot give advise about living with them. I do remember eating sand by the handful as a kid though.

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