Spring is here. “All nature seems at work,” as the English poet Coleridge so aptly puts it. Everything is coming to life once more in nature’s gloriously recurring cycle. Unfortunately, for many of us this is a mixed blessing. Putting a damper on our enjoyment of the season and the advent of summer’s warm days is the dread spectre of allergies, which can rob us even of our sense of joyful anticipation. We know the misery and the symptoms: runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and even headaches, not to mention that general rundown feeling.

Allergies are an exaggerated reaction of the immune system to substances that would normally be tolerated. These are called antigens and include things like dust, pollen, moulds, animal hair and other substances that the body regards as invaders foreign to its wellbeing. Lifestyle factors like nutrition, diet, stress, lack of rest, environmental surroundings and others can exacerbate this exaggerated response.

The immune system is exceedingly complex and dynamic. It’s always striving for balance. This is particularly true of its T helper cells, which are key regulators of the immune system and fall into either of two categories, namely Th1 or Th2 cells, both of which fill uniquely different but complementary roles. Th1 cells defend against intracellular pathogens like viruses and bacteria, while Th2 cells defend against pathogens that come from the outside. A healthy immune system switches between these two as needed, but can become distorted by genetic and environmental factors. When this happens, very often the result is an immune related disorder of one kind or another. Allergies, for example, are typically associated with a Th2-dominant immune response.

There are ways, however, to restore this critical Th1/Th2 balance through nutrition and natural supplements. These include an adequate intake of vitamin E and vitamin C, as well as foods rich in flavonoids and omega-3 fatty acids (good sources of the latter include flax seeds, walnuts, sardines, and salmon, not to mention supplements like cod liver oil and fish oils). Probiotics (i.e. beneficial microorganisms) and prebiotics (i.e. foods that promote the beneficial microorganisms) help to feed and promote a healthy biological terrain or backdrop in the body, which in turn aids in balancing this delicate TH1/2 high wire act … In addition, we can turn to herbs like astragalus, nettles, reishi, turmeric, ginger, boswellia, ligustrum, and licorice, as well as adaptogens, including ashwagandha, eleuthero, schisandra, codonopsis, white atractylodes, and rhodiola.

Enter also Deep Immune® for Allergies, the newest member of our best-selling Deep Immune family of St. Francis Herb Farm products. In its classic original version, Deep Immune® has long been used as an effective allergy remedy, mitigating the oversensitivity of the immune system to harmless substances that cause allergic reactions. For its part, Deep Immune® for Allergies goes one better and combines the best of two therapeutic worlds. In addition to being proactive and favourably modulating (i.e. balancing) the immune system, it is supercharged with special allergy-relieving herbs and gentle homeopathic ingredients to provide non-drowsy natural relief for itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion and all the other discomforts that accompany allergies.

There is wisdom and method in the design of this superbly effective formula. Its homeopathic ingredients address the acute symptoms of allergy, while its herbal components, including nettle (a classic anti-allergy herb), astragalus, reishi, schisandra, and southern prickly ash, tackle the underlying, chronic mechanisms by which such symptoms arise.

It’s a good idea to get the jump on allergies and begin treatment 4-6 weeks ahead of the season. The best chances of a cure occur from seasons of cumulative therapy of this kind. On the other hand, even if you haven’t initiated therapy in advance, you can still expect quick relief of symptoms.

Rest assured that you can finally look forward to shedding the shackles of allergy season. Remember that this is a condition that is indeed manageable.