Friday, May 11, 2012

My "Green" Medicine Cabinet: Allergy Relief

So we're still working our way through my "Green Medicine Cabinet" where I share my favorite "green" swaps for traditional medications. This post series has actually had a "positive thinking effect" on me since I've started it, because now every time Avery, Brandon or I get sick, I don't think, "Oh man, now I have to deal with this!" Or, "Great another cold." I instead think, "Sweet! Time to try out some new green alternatives, or put my old favorites to the test once again." Gotta love my semi-scientist brain. But hey, if that helps me cope with getting a cold, I'm sticking with it.
Here's the green medicines we've covered so far...
Today's green medicine cabinet pick:
Natural D-Hist for allergies.
Teething Relief

In today's post I'm going to talk about my favorite green remedy for allergies.  Now allergies and I go way back. Like the saying, "Keep you're friends close, and your enemies closer," Well that's allergies and I. So today I'm going to share my favorite green remedy for when those sneezes, sniffles, itchy eyes, and runny noses start.

Back story: I can remember at an early age, struggling with my allergies. With the runny noeses...sneezing...and congestion. I've even posted my whole back story on allergies on my "Going Gluten-Free" post, and I listed my favorite "Alternative Allergy Remedies" in this post.

These include:
-getting a skin-prick allergy test
-getting a food-sensitivity test
-cutting out meat and dairy
-using a neti pot

Now those tips are all fine and dandy, until you still suffer from allergies symptoms.  These tips helped me out for several years, but after Avery was born I started to get some mild allergy symptoms, like the runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes usually when I'd spend time outside or it was a "high allergen day".  My vegan diet and neti pot could only take me so far, I needed something else, something stronger and more effective....this is when I found Natural D-Hist.

Once again, my disclaimer- I am not a medical doctor or a pharmacist. So while I can share what has worked with me, it may not work for you. I would say to talk with your "health care provider" but they will probably just tell you to take the traditional over-the-counter or prescription medication. Instead you could do your own research or talk with someone at a natural health food store. Also, I purchased this medicine on my own money and this is my honest opinion of it.

Traditional medicine:
Before going "green" with my allergy routine,
I used to take Benadryl, Allegra-D and Flonase.
Although they drained my wallet, they didn't
do much for my allergies other than give me
unpleasant side effects.
Although I tried many allergy medications in my time, my go-to drug of choice was good ol' Benadryl. 

Their website claims:
 "Get effective relief from your allergies with BENADRYL® Allergy ULTRATAB® Tablets – antihistamine relief in a small tablet that works when you need it most."

Let's see what's in it...
"Active Ingredient:  Diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg
Inactive Ingredients: carnauba wax, crospovidone, D&C red #27 aluminum lake, dibasic calcium phosphate dihydrate, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, pregelatinized starch, stearic acid, titanium dioxide"

Now, they have a dye-free version which changes the ingredeints for the better...
"Gelatin, glycerin, polyethylene glycol, purified water, and sorbitol. (Capsules are imprinted with edible dye-free ink.)"

Although it's not the worst ingredient list I've ever seen, but what led me to stray from Benadryl, was the side effects of drowsiness, dry mouth, and the need to take so many (since they usually wear off in 4-6 hours). Here's some other reasons why Benadryl may not be the best choice for routine allergy symptom care.

"Green Medicine Cabinet" alternative: Natural D-Hist

According to their website
"While most products only mask the situation, our scientific formulation addresses the issue before it can become a concern, providing sinus and nasal passage support when you need it most." 

They also describe how they call upon natural ingredients like: quercetin, stinging nettles leaf, bromelain, and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), which you can read more about here.

How I use it:
I take 1 pill a day, first thing in the morning. I've tried taking it other times during the day, such as right when I start to notice symptoms, but I think that by then it's too late. So just starting my day off with one, on a routine basis seems to work the best for me even on the "worst" allergy days.

How it's greener:
Let's take a look at the formula/ingredients:

"Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) 150 mg, Quercetin 200 mg, Stinging Nettles Leaf Powder 200 mg, Bromelain (2400 GDU/g) 50 mg, N-Acetyl-Cysteine USP 25 mg.

Other ingredients: Natural vegetable capsules. 
This product may contain one or more of the following: Ascorbyl Palmitate, Microcrystalline Cellulose and Silicon Dioxide."

Sounds much greener to me! But the proof is really in the pudding with this supplement, because I'm amazed that I can feel so much relief with no side unpleasant side effects like I did before.

Just a head's up: 
You may want to read up on what they call a "loading dose" or "acute case" as they call for different doses than what I usually use, like 2-3 capsules 3 times a day. Also, I have taken this while breastfeeding Avery with no complications or unpleasant side effects, in case you were wondering.

Where to find it:
I get mine from my chiropractor, but it's also on Amazon and for a 120 ct. bottle it's $34. But if you just want to give it a try, the 40 ct. bottle is only $17. I know that seems pricey compared to Benadryl, but it's so worth it!

They have a Children's version of D-Hist called D-Hist Jr. which you can find here. I know that if Avery ever starts to show signs of allergies when she gets a little older, I will be calling upon this.

Still on the fence about it?
Check out what some other people wrote about it on the reviews on Amazon. I always love to hear other people's views on whether something works or doesn't and this one had a lot of great reviews.

Well, here's to hoping D-Hist can give you some relief this allergy season, minus the drowsiness and other common side effects of traditional allergy medicines. See you next time when we check back into my "green" medicine cabinet.

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