The "Tea" on Allergies

Spring is approaching...are you prepared for what this allergy season may bring???

No one enjoys what seems to be ceaseless sneezing, struggling to breathe through your nose, or the drowsiness accompanying allergy meds. So what can you do the avoid the sniffles of this spring without being put out like a light for hours after?? Stay tuned for this, because we've got some TEA for you...

What are Allergies?

Allergies occur when you come into contact with certain substances in the environment, like pollen or grass, and your immune system registers the substance as a foreign invader, signaling your body to defend itself. The body's defense mechanism consists of the release of a compound called histamine, which causes the contraction of smooth muscles and the dilation (opening, widening) of your capillaries (very fine/thin blood vessels). 

Seasonal allergies, also known as spring allergies or hay fever, are typically triggered in the spring as everything in nature begins to shift from an inactive, dormant state to an active one. Tree leaves return, animals come back out, and flowers and perceived "weeds" like dandelion begin to regrow and explore the world as the wind carries them directly in your path.

What Causes Allergies?

Seasonal allergies are typically caused by everyday objects like grass, pollen, dust, tree nuts (peanuts, almonds, coconuts), etc. while allergies in general can be caused by pharmaceutical drugs, mold, insect stings and bites, and much more. 

Although most substances that cause allergies are actually harmless, the release of histamine can cause a wide range of reactions, mild to severe, from inflammation of the nasal passages to the constriction of the throat preventing breathing. Seasonal allergy symptoms typically consist of sneezing; congestion; coughing; itchy eyes and throat; and a runny, itchy, or stuffy nose. 

So what do allergy sufferers do when they come into contact with a substance their immune system registers as an invader and triggers the release of histamine?

They take antihistamines, of course.


What are Antihistamines?

As their name suggests, antihistamines combat the behavior of histamines in the body. If the histamine causes inflammation, the antihistamine will calm/counter the inflammation. Antihistamines are the active ingredient in allergy medications like Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, and many other big medicine brands, so allergy sufferers tend to pop these types of pills like its nothing when having an allergic reaction, especially to spring allergies.

But what most people don't know is that these allergy medications are slowly destroying their brains, greatly increasing the risk of conditions like dementia and the development of brain tumors. 

Scary right? Why don't they put this information on the product box or in the clever TV commercials they have?

Questions that need answers...

Side Effects of Allergy Medicine

The number one side effect of allergy medicine is DROWSINESS. 

This is because 1st generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine (main ingredient in medicines like Benadryl, Nytol, and Sominex) can cross your blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is responsible for shielding the brain from toxic substances that may be in the bloodstream. One function of histamines is to help keep your brain awake, so naturally, an antihistamine will put you to sleep. Sacrificing your awake-ness for the ability to breathe freely doesn't sound like that much of a trade off. Imagine being at your favorite family member's graduation this spring, unable to stay awake to see them cross the stage...more than one heart would be broken that day.

In addition to drowsiness, allergy medications don't last very long in the system and therefore require more frequent doses. The more you take these medications, the more damage you're unknowingly causing yourself.

A study from Harvard Medical School found that regular use of Benadryl increased the risk of dementia by 54%. Another study found that consistent use of first generation antihistamines in general (Benadryl, Unisom Sleep Gels, Sudafed FE Day/Night Sinus Congestion, and many more) greatly increased the risk for both dementia and Alzheimer's over the course of 10 years. Regular, long term use of 1st generation antihistamines also increase the risk of developing brain tumors (gliomas) by 3.5x

What About 2nd Generation Antihistamines?

2nd generation antihistamines include loratadine (used in Claritin), cetirizine (used in Zyrtec), and fexofenadine (used in Allegra) to name a few. They penetrate the blood-brain barrier much slower and in lower quantities than 1st generation antihistamines, but they still aren't the be-all cure-all. Drowsiness and slowed cognitive function are still present with higher dosages of 2nd generation antihistamines, and as stated before these antihistamines don't stay in the system long and require frequent doses. Those with seasonal allergies tend to use higher doses for this very reason and therefore still experience the effects associated with 1st generation antihistamines.

So What Can You Do?

Turn to nature of course. There's an herb for...literally everything.

Nettle Leaf exhibits antihistamine properties by inhibiting the inflammation responsible for various symptoms of seasonal allergies, like a stuffy or stopped up nose. It can also help keep the blood clear of compounds that irritate the immune system*, which is essentially what causes allergies. 

Goldenrod works to relieve respiratory congestion stemming from allergies. sinusitis, flu, and the common cold. An expectorant herb, it helps rid the body of excess mucus* and contains high levels of a compound called quercetin which stabilizes the cells that release histamine in the body. It therefore has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effects. 

These herbs have been paired with other respiratory and immune-supporting herbs in the BREATHE Herbal Tea blend from BENE Beauty by Bri

The BREATHE Herbal Tea is an amazing alternative to over-the-counter antihistamines and all their side effects.  It consists of herbs with their own antihistamine effects to combat the symptoms of seasonal allergies AND herbs with blood and lung cleansing effects to address the root cause as well. MINUS the long term brain damage.

Click HERE to get your BREATHE Herbal Tea today!

A question I want to leave you with; if so many harmless, natural substances, like flowers and tree nuts, cause allergic reactions in the body, is it the substance itself causing the allergy or what's being applied to those substances? Are you actually allergic to peanuts or are you allergic to the pesticides and herbicides being sprayed on those peanuts??? Think about it... :)

*References also include Body Into Balance by Maria Noel Groves and African Holistic Health by Dr. Llaila Afrika

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