It is officially Spring!

And we are well into Spring allergy season. That runny nose and nasal congestion may not be a cold, it could be allergies. Itchy eyes, nose or skin are telltale signs it’s probably allergies. You also might notice your symptoms are worse after you’ve been outside, or better on snowy days, when the moisture tamps down the pollen.

Tree pollen is the main allergen right now, with some trees starting to release pollen as early as February in Denver, and lasting through April or May. It always takes us by surprise, since we are also getting the most snow this time of year!

What is histamine load?

Histamine is the chemical in our body that causes an allergic reaction. It’s there to protect you, but with allergies, it’s gone rogue and overreacts to harmless things from pollen to peanuts. It can get so out of control it can even cause Histamine Intolerance or Mast-Cell Activation, which are systemic allergic responses that affect your whole body. With seasonal allergies, it’s likely causing your annoying post-nasal drip, itchy eyes and making you tired.

So what can we do to minimize our overactive histamine and get some allergy relief?

Luckily, there are lots of safe and effective natural remedies for allergies and minimizing your histamine response. They’re safe to use with conventional allergy meds if needed. If your allergies get really bad, it’s a good idea to take over-the-counter antihistamines as directed by your MD.

But there’s a lot you can do to reduce the histamine load in your body, and to manage and minimize your allergy symptoms, naturally.


1. Rinse out the offending allergens

Every day after you’ve been exposed to allergens like pollen or pet dander, take time to rinse them off! 

Start by doing a neti pot/nasal rinse with warm salt water to rinse the offenders out of your nose. Use a half cup of warm distilled water with ¼ teaspoon salt. It can feel a bit tender the first time, but once you start doing it regularly, it will feel so much better. You can do this in the morning, too, if you feel really congested. 

Also, take a shower before going to bed, to wash all the pollen/allergens out of your hair and off your body/ Also, wear clean PJs to bed. You don’t want to take those allergens to bed with you!


2. Cut out High-Histamine Foods

Did you know some foods actually contain high amounts of histamine, or can trigger the release of histamine in your body? These add more histamine to your body and make your histamine response, and thus your allergies, worse. It’s helpful to avoid these high-histamine foods when you’re having a lot of allergy issues.

High-histamine foods to avoid:
  • alcohol and fermented beverages, like kombucha
  • fermented foods, like pickles, sauerkraut and yogurt
  • dairy, especially aged cheeses
  • processed or smoked meats
  • shellfish
Histamine-triggering foods to avoid:
  • alcohol (double whammy with this one)
  • bananas
  • tomatoes
  • chocolate
  • citrus
  • nuts
  • food dyes and additives

3. Help your Gut

Gut health is super important for immune health in general, and for allergies, too. We’ve already mentioned that foods can affect histamine levels, but your gut microbiome has a big impact on allergies, too. 

Eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies (that aren’t histamine producing), lean meats, whole grains, and minimizing sugar is the best bet for a healthy gut. Plus, a good probiotic can do wonders not only for your digestion, but in reducing allergies. 

I like to start my patients on MegaSporeBiotic  – one pill a day with meals to start, and up to twice a day. Since fermented foods, which happen to be a great source of probiotics, are high-histamine foods, supplementing with pills is much more effective for allergy sufferers.


4. Supplements and Herbs

There are several helpful supplements for treating allergies…

D-Hist: This all-in-one supplement contains Quercetin and Stinging Nettle, along with small doses of NAC, bromelain to add digestion, and Vitamin C, all proven to give allergy relief.

Zinc is important for all immune health, and is anti-allergic. It also helps improve the sense of smell.

NAC is effective at thinning mucus, supporting lung function, and is a powerful antioxidant

Vtamin D important for immune health, reducing and preventing allergies

Chinese herbal formulas are also extremely helpful in treating both allergy symptoms and reducing allergies. These need to be specially prescribed by a qualified herbalist to match your specific body and symptoms at your next acupuncture appointment.

5. Get regular acupuncture during your allergy season

Acupuncture has been proven effective at relieving allergic rhinitis[1], as well as reducing other allergy symptoms from eczema to asthma. For best results, get weekly acupuncture during your severe allergy seasons, and even better, start getting it a few weeks before your regular allergy season. Book your next visit now.

You can directly order all these helpful supplements for allergy relief here:

Or book an appointment for acupuncture and herbal medicine tailored to you at

There is a lot you can do to get relief from your allergies! If you need help, just let us know!

Dr. Jennie Luther, DACM, L.Ac
Acupuncturist Centennial
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness

Why you have it, how to get rid of it!

Green, White, Red, Yellow……such festive colors! But not for phlegm. Eww.

We’re back in the peak of cold and flu season here in Colorado, and our office has had A LOT of patients coming in with lingering sinus infections, cough and phlegm problems after getting sick.

The ongoing drainage, headaches and general misery are sticking around like that relative that just won’t leave after the holidays. After the holidays, most of us have had a few solid weeks of rich food and alcohol, an overstuffed schedule, and not nearly enough downtime. All of which weaken your immune system and make your body ripe to get sick.

So, the bad news is that your lifestyle is partly to blame.

The good news is that means there’s a lot you can do to help yourself feel better!

The same things that make us more susceptible to getting sick also keep us from getting better as fast as we’d like.

To stay healthy, and to get healthy again after we’ve been sick, here’s what you need to do. It’s basic and kind of boring, I know.  But it makes a big difference, nonetheless.

Things you can do at home:

  • Drink more water ( a lot more)
    • staying hydrated will thin the phlegm and keep your mucus membranes from getting so inflamed.
    • drinking warm teas will help loosen the congestion.
  • Eat better
    • Cut the Sugar, Dairy, greasy and processed foods
      • all these foods are double whammies for your health…they increase inflammation in your whole body AND increase phlegm production.
    • keep food simple but nourishing
      • your best bets are warm bone broths and soups, and simple cooked foods like sweet potatoes and steamed veggies. These are easy to digest, full of nutrients and support your immune system
  • Get some rest!
    • Seriously, just go take a nap.
    • And go to bed early for awhile.
    • Extra rest is essential for your body to heal.
    • Sleep is better than watching netflix…..while resting is better than overdoing, sleep is when your body does the deep work of healing. So, about that nap…
  • Do a Nasal Rinse at least twice a day
    • I’m gonna beat this drum til everyone knows…..daily nasal rinses help you stay healthy!
      • they rinse away germs and allergens…better out than in.
      • the warm saline soothes the mucus membranes so they can heal
  • Remove things that are irritating your sinuses and lungs
    • Those lovely scented candles, smelly fabric softeners, household cleaners, perfumes….the list goes on. Unless you’re buying all-natural products, these things are full of VOC-volatile organic compounds-that are irritating to your lungs and sinuses. Give your body a break for awhile.  Even better, stop using those chemical-based products.

If you’ve done all this, and the chronic sinusitis, cough or phlegm still won’t go away, it’s time to get some help.

Luckily, we treat chronic sinusitis, drainage, coughs and ear problems all the time. Most people feel much better by the end of the first treatment—even long-term chronic cases who’ve seen too many doctors, tried too many antibiotics and feel like it’s never going to get better.  A few treatments, some herbal medicine, and voila… better than ever!

Things we can do to help you finally get over that chronic sinus infection or congestion:

Remember, we can have a huge positive impact on our health by having good lifestyle habits. Keep it simple, and try to be consistent.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Here’s to feeling better!

If you’d like to know if we can help you, come meet us in person and see if our therapies are a good fit.  Book your free Initial 15-minute Consult.

Jennie Luther, L.Ac, RMT
Acupuncturist Centennial
Family Tree Acupuncture & Wellness
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