Filed Under: Immune Health
Spring is in full swing and, for many people, so is allergy season. And for those who have asthma, this time of year can be particularly challenging. That’s why I want to tell you about some ways to naturally alleviate allergies and also support your entire respiratory system.
- Take targeted supplements. There are several nutritional supplements that I’ve been recommending for years to help ease allergies—and, in some cases, asthma—such as N-acetyl cysteine (400 mg daily), which supports lung function, and bromelain (200 mg), an enzyme that reduces inflammation. But there are a few relatively new ones that I also suggest adding to your arsenal: Tinospora cordifolia (as Tinofend®) and a blend of boswellia and quince fruit extracts called Alviolife™.
Tinofend® is a standardized extract of Tinospora cordifolia, a climbing shrub found in India. In an eight-week, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 900 mg of Tinofend® per day markedly reduced congestion, sneezing, itchy nose, and other allergy symptoms—and, in most cases, improvements were noted within 15 days.
Alviolife™ helps maintain clear nasal and bronchial passages, thereby enhancing air flow. Also clinically studied, 200 mg of Alviolife™ daily for eight weeks resulted in significant improvements in several markers of respiratory health and function including the Exposure to Environment Stimuli Score (191%), which measures the effects of allergens, and Peak Expiratory Flow (105%), an indicator of the severity of asthma.
- Try nasal irrigation. This procedure gently flushes irritating substances out of the sinuses. The most basic nasal irrigation involves a mixture of salt and lukewarm water (¼ teaspoon of salt per eight ounces of water), held in the cupped palm of your hand and “snorted” up into one nostril while blocking off the other.
Tip your head back slightly and allow the solution to flow through the nasal cavity, then out of the other nostril. This may also be done with a bulb syringe, squeeze bottle, or neti pot (a small, teapot-like device). Repeat a few times in both nostrils over the sink or in the shower, as it can get messy.
- Asthmatics should also address vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Antioxidants, including vitamin C, selenium, and zinc, are often depleted in people with asthma. And because inflammation is a primary underlying mechanism, I recommend taking fish oil (6–8 g daily) in addition to supplementing with these vitamins and minerals (30 mg of zinc, 200 mcg of selenium, and 2–5 g of vitamin C).
Furthermore, magnesium deficiencies are extremely common in asthmatics, and studies suggest that the lower the level, the greater the risk of exacerbations. Magnesium helps keep the airways open by decreasing bronchial reactivity and relaxing the smooth muscles of the bronchioles. I recommend taking 500–1,000 mg of magnesium per day.