Monday, May 08, 2006

Colds or Allergies?

Yesterday, the pollen count was very, very high. It was extremely windy, with hurricane force gusts, and beautifully sunny and dry. Perfect conditions for pollen and seeds to blow about, making people with allergies seek the indoors. It seemed every lawn mower in the town was working with growling force; this resulted in windblown grass seeds and pollen being distributed throughout.

Gray is allergic to grass.

He has been suffering with this for the last week. We had the thought it might be a cold; there are many signs that mimic those symptoms. Dr. Greene's site explains the differences. His site is mainly about children and their ills; however, the explanations about allergies and colds and cures is apropos for all of us.

But Graham started his regimin as soon as the symptoms appeared. He uses nasal rinses, allergy medications, etc. at the first sign of a stuffy nose and dry cough. I went to Heaven on Earth Natural Foods here in Qualicum Beach and owner Jim Lowe suggested Gray try Sinna. On the Ayervedic and Herbal Health Medicines website Sinna is explained as follows: "Sinna tablets are effective in cases of infectious and allergic rhinitis as well as sinus inflammation. Sinna reduces the swelling of infected mucous membranes.
Composition:Hydrastis canadensis 6X, Kali bichromicum 6X, Lemna minor 4X, Luffa operculata 6X, Mercurius sulphuratus ruber 8X."

Graham hasn't used Sinna long enough to know if there is relief; however, today is a better day for him, and he has only used them for three days. There are many medications out there; both homeopathic and otherwise. Having spoken with many other allergy sufferers, I know the effectiveness of any particular medication wears away over time as the user continues with them.

Perusing the 'net in search of relief for Gray, I found one of the old remedies consisted of swallowing a spider! I'm not sure if anyone has done any research on this...I don't know of many people that would be willing to be a test subject. Not me, at any rate.

There are other old suggests stuffing an orange peel that has been turned inside out into the nostril. Research shows that the ingredients in citrus fruits and Vitamin C block the histamine response in a natural way, so increasing these foods in the diet would be indicated. I believe it would be better than running around doing chores, with orange peel hanging out of your nose, but that's just me.

I would rather pick up the supplement which has Quercitin, the vitamin like compound found in citrus fruits and buckwheat. They are sold as combination Vitamin C and quercitin.

Another is hanging a bag of onions around your neck, as you sleep. The consensus seems to be the onions would produce tears, which would wash out the pollen. I think that Gray would be sleeping by himself, if he wanted to try this one. I love onions; I've never considered sleeping with them, however.

I have had success with Stinging Nettle tablets in supplemental form. Scientific evidence is sparse, as is common with most of the homeopathic remedies, it seems, but many achieve relief with Stinging Nettle. There are also teas that offer this ingredient.

But the wind has settled down today; the weekend is over and the lawn mowers have ceased their roar. It is still dry and sunny and the trees and flowers are still sending their pollen and scents out from their blossoms. Allergies are the dark side of the riot of blooms in the spring, for those of us who are prone to them.

For Graham and many others, the onset of Spring brings allergies of one kind or another. In Gray's case, his system becomes somewhat immune over the summer, finally mostly stopping in the Fall. He identifies strongly with the person in that commercial for allergy medications who has a veil over her eyes and nose...his eyes burn and tear, his nose is plugged, he has a dry cough and feels as if he is watching the world from another dimension.

We live in an area that is renowned for its gardens. Every Spring the blooms reappear; if the weather conditions are right, the airborne pollens and seeds will produce allergies. But the flowers also give such awe and joy and a sense of rebirth and renewal.

Even Graham, suffering as much as he is, wouldn't want to do without them.

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