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Everyday Holistic Pediatrics

Allergies 102: Take Control Of Your Child’s Allergies, Naturally!

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10 Ways to Reduce Your Child’s Allergy Symptom, Naturally!

Now that you’ve figured out what your child is allergic to and how to lower their allergy bucket as I talked about in my last blog post, Allergies 101: Lower Your Child’s Allergy Bucket, it’s time to learn how to manage your child’s allergy symptoms, naturally!

There are a variety of natural treatments that can significantly reduce allergy symptoms, without the drowsiness that many over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications can cause, or the problems that long-term steroid use can create.

  1. Clean up your child’s diet!
    • Ensure that your child’s diet is rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods. Try to have your child “eat a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables every day.
    • Eat Omega-3 rich foods, like wild salmon or other “safe” seafood. You can download a consumer guide for “Best Choices” of seafood through the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (Monterey Bay Seafood Consumer Guide)
    • Encourage fermented foods or supplement with probiotics as a powerful way to strengthen the immune system and help relieve allergy symptoms. If you need help picking the right probiotic supplement, be sure to download my free Guide to Choosing Your Child’s Probiotic.
  2. Eat foods that are rich in Quercetin.
    • Quercetin is a “natural anti-histamine” with powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Quercetin is found in many foods, such as raw onions, apples (especially the skins!), red grapes, kale, spinach, capers, watercress, cherries, green and black tea leaves, bee pollen, and chili peppers.
  3. Avoid foods that are rich in histamines or that cause histamine release.
    • Unfortunately, chocolate, wine, and strawberries top this list! Other foods that can cause histamine release or are high in histamines include avocados, bananas, dairy, eggs, oranges, peaches, pineapples, raspberries, spinach, and tomatoes. Yes – some of these foods are also on the high quercetin list, so you’ll have to see how your child reacts.
    • Fermented foods, which have tons of health benefits, can potentially cause increased histamine release and may need to be avoided during high-allergy season.
    • Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives can increase histamine release. Yet another reason to stick with WHOLE, unprocessed foods!
  4. Avoid foods that may cross-react with pollens you are sensitive to. This is known as Oral Allergy Syndrome – you know that itchy mouth you get after eating cantaloupe – it could be due to your ragweed allergy! What are other examples of cross reactivity?
    • Ragweed Pollen – bananas, zucchini, cantaloupe, sunflower seeds, cucumber.
    • Grass Pollen – melons, oranges, swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, wheat.
    • Alder Pollen – almonds, apples, cherries, celery, hazelnuts, parsley, peaches, pears.
    • Birch – apples, plums, carrots, cherries, fennel, walnuts, pears, potatoes, peaches, wheat.
  5. Avoid dairy products during allergy season as dairy can thicken mucous secretions, making unpleasant allergy symptoms even less tolerable, in addition to triggering histamine release.
  6. Eat local honey!
    • Local honey has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms. Local honey contains pollens from all the local plants, flowers, trees, and grasses that your child is allergic to. So why take it? Small frequent doses can “desensitize” you if taken before allergy season starts, similar to the concept of allergy shots. This is best taken 2-3 months before allergy season starts.
    • Take 1-2 teaspoons daily for several months before pollen season begins.
  7. Take natural allergy supplements that contain Quercetin.
    • As mentioned above, Quercetin is a powerful natural “anti-histamine.” It reduces histamine release from cells when exposed to an allergen, so it works better as a preventive. When your child already has a ton of histamine floating around, then overlapping Quercetin to prevent further histamine release while taking a medication anti-histamine like Claritin for a few days to mop up the histamine that has already been released, can work wonders!
    • Quercetin can be difficult to absorb from the gut and be delivered in a form that our body can use. Various forms have better absorption and bioavailability. My current favorite is Alpha-glycosyl Isoquercetrin by Integrative Therapeutics.
    • When combined with other supplements, Quercetin can pack even more allergy punch. Concurrent vitamin C supplementation helps to activate quercetin. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples that has anti-inflammatory properties and can help thin mucous, along with N-acetylcysteine. Stinging nettle is another anti-inflammatory herb that blocks histamine production and supports healthy nasal passages. Our favorite product that contains all four of these supplements is Orthomolecular Products D-Hist and D-Hist Jr – these work best when first taking a “loading dose” followed by a maintenance dose.
      Isoquercetrin         855_D-Hist_Jr.524_Natural_D-Hist
  8. Use homeopathic medicines to provide immediate relief from those annoying allergy symptoms.
    • Homeopathic medicines are my first go-to for any type of ailment. No side effects, no drug interactions, safe for infants and pregnant/breastfeeding women, AND they work!
    • Homeopathic medicine work best when tailored to your child’s individual symptoms. Consult with one of our doctors to figure out which homeopathic medicine(s) is best for your child’s specific allergy symptoms.
    • If you don’t have access to an awesome integrative pediatrician, then you can always try combination homeopathic medicines. Boiron’s Sabadil is a combination homeopathic medicine that can combat the most common allergy symptoms. When eye symptoms predominate, Boiron’s Optique eye drops can work amazingly well.
      Sabadil        optique-eye-drops-20-dose-boiron

      Be sure to download my FREE guide to The Top Homeopathic Medicines for Allergies. This guide will help you know exactly which homeopathic medicine to give for your child’s allergy symptoms!
  9. Acupuncture is a powerful option for both prevention and treatment of allergies. Acupressure can be used at home, on you or your child, along with various essential oils that can help keep allergy symptoms at bay.
    • Acupressure uses your gentle, loving, yet firm massage on specific acupuncture points to stimulate healing
    • Points that can be massaged specifically for allergy include:
      • “Large Intestine 4” – located in the webbing between the thumb and index finger
      • “Liver 3” – located in the webbing between the big toe and second toe
      • Take a look at www.wikihow.com/Do-Acupressure to see exactly where these points are located.
    • For another AMAZING resource on the healing benefits of acupressure and Chinese pediatric massage, get this FREE Acupressure 101 Guide from my dear friend, Robin Ray Green – pediatric acupuncture expert extraordinaire and author of “Heal Your Child From the Inside Out: the 5-Element Way to Nurturing Healthy, Happy Kids.”
  10. Use essential oils.
    • Essential oils can be diffused or massaged into specific acupressure points. Some essential oils that are particularly helpful for allergies are chamomile, eucalyptus, lemon, lavender, and peppermint.
    • When using essential oils for acupressure, you can add 5 drops of essential oil to a tablespoon of “carrier” oil like olive oil or jojoba oil, and use this to massage into the specific acupressure points mentioned above.
    • Be sure to buy essential oils from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that they have the intended therapeutic qualities. Some of my personal favorites are Elizabeth van Buren, DoTerra, Vibrant Blue Oils, and Young Living.
So, put away that tissue box, take control of your allergies, and feel great outdoors again!

How will you use holistic allergy treatments for you or your child?

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave  a comment below. As parents, we all learn so much from each others’ experiences and stories.

Thank you so much for allowing me to share in your journey to take charge of your child’s health, naturally! If you found value in this, please share it with your friends, family or colleagues – anyone who may benefit from an integrative approach to their or their child’s health care.

xo Holistic mama doc – Elisa Song, MD

(Updated on April 3, 2017 from a previous post with even more awesome information!)

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29 Comments
  1. I would love to get rid of my allergies. I really like to do things naturally. I like how you mentioned some foods that I can help me with my allergies. I am going to start eating things with quercetin.

  2. We love D Hist Jr for our very allergic 4 year old that plus fish oil and probiotics make a huge difference in her reactions. We also use doTerra EO’s to support all of us during this season.

    • Awesome! You’re already doing everything right! 😉

  3. I started reading with interest until you suggested homeopathy. How do you justify recommending a substance that is so dilute that it is basically a placebo?

    • Hi Danielle,

      I would urge you to take a further look at the evidence-based research that supports homeopathy as more than just placebo. Many very good studies show that homeopathy works better than placebo and often conventional treatments for various conditions, especially in the area of trauma/wound healing, ear infections, stomach flu, flu and allergies. As a medical doctor, I was definitely a skeptic at first. But then after doing my due diligence research and seeing how effective it could be for patients, I’ve become an instructor for the Center for Developmental in Clinical Homeopathy – an international organization run by medical doctors to teach medical doctors the principles and practice of homeopathy.

      Be that as it may, we all find modalities that resonate with how we want to treat our family and that work for us. Every person is an individual and what works for one may not work for the other.

      I hope that helps. Best wishes,
      Elisa

  4. You say to take fermented foods for probiotics, but then later to avoid fermented foods because of the histamines?

    • Hi Alli! Thanks for catching that! So, fermented foods are definitely an awesome source of probiotics and can be great for people with allergies, with the caveat that for some people who are having really bad histamine responses, sometimes they can’t tolerate fermented foods until their immune system and gut are more balanced.
      Sincerely,
      Elisa

  5. Thank you SO much for all you do!! I am so grateful for your knowledge and so wish you practiced here in my town! My 1.5 year old struggles with year long allergies and we were told to put him on Zyrtec daily. I HATE giving that to him daily so I am going to see how he does coming off it and i want to try a homeopathic remedy. We currently use EO’s, Juice Plus, Xclear, and i make elderberry syrup. Elderberry has quercetin in it, but do you recommend we also do an additional quercetin supplement AND one of the homeopathic remedies? Thank you SO much for sharing all your knowledge!!

    • Hi Laila – my daughter and I both have seasonal allergies, and we both take quite a bit of additional quercetin. On “bad days,” my 8 year-old gets about 500mg and I take at least 1000mg. And we love our homeopathic Sabadil! Also, if you haven’t already, please do join the Thriving Child Community private Facebook group and post your question there, or find the answer already in the discussion. It’s an amazing resource of collective knowledge from holistic parents and practitioners dedicated to helping children thrive naturally – body, mind & spirit, and I try to get on regularly to answer general questions: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThrivingChildSummit/
      xo Elisa

  6. Hello,

    What is the recommended D-Hist Jr dosage for a toddler? I’m also wondering what you would consider to be a “load dose” as well. Thank you for the information.

  7. Hi,

    I was wondering what an appropriate does of D-Hist Jr. would be for a toddler? Also, you talk about a “load dose”, what would that be in comparison?

    Thank you

    • Hi Lindsey – it totally depends on how big your toddler is and how bad his/her allergies are. For Kenzi, when she was 3 or 4 years of age, I gave her 1 tablet 2-3x/day on bad allergy days, and would “load” her with 2 chews in the morning. 🙂

  8. My 9 year old son, I believe has grass allergies. Typical around spring baseball games. His eyes get red first then nasal. What do you all recommend. I have the regular D-Hist not Junior. Should he take that with an allergy med at first or do a couple of days of allergy med and then just take the D-hist? He got pretty nasal congested at first? Thoughts.

    • Hi Tracy – I often will overlap DHist with an OTC allergy med. I just did a FB Live reviewing everything in the allergy post and more so definitely be sure to take a listen: http://bit.ly/FBLiveAllergy

  9. Thank you for taking time to educate parents as well as health care providers. I have learned so much from following you these last couple of years. You are an inspiration to me as I’m sure you are to many others.
    Sincerely, Kristin Hamrick FNP-C (North Carolina)

    • Thank you so much, Kristin. I can’t tell you how much that means to me, and helps me to continue to do this work! xo Elisa

  10. Epsom salt baths help me a lot and this blog post explaining phenol sulfur-transferase helps me understand why this may be. http://www.enzymestuff.com/epsomsalts.htm

    • Yes, great resource, Lisa! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  11. Hi Dr. Song,

    Would it be a possibility to have a consultation with you? I have a 1 yr. Old son, he has been struggling with eczema since age of 7 months. He has also has food sensitivities/allergies and environmental allergies. I have seen numerous homepathic practioners & have been combining multiple protocols in order to improve my son’s health, but I have not yet been able to work with anyone who is able to help us with reducing his allergic reaction to the environmental items, lowering hestamine etc. Kindly let me know!
    Thanks!

    • Hi Mona – I’m so sorry your son has been struggling. While I am not currently seeing new patients, my partner and fellow holistic pediatrician, Dr. Tracy Trolan, practices in the very same way that I do and is great. Please see our practice website, http://www.wholefamilywellness.org, for more info. Best of luck!

  12. Dr. Song,

    I was wondering if you could make a suggestion of which homeopathic lactose free allergy medicine/supplement I can use for my 1 yr old son who appears to have food & environmental allergies. I am not looking for medication for his food allergies, but was wondering if there may be a homeopathic medication m(s) that have the same function as the kid’s Zyrtec. I have never used Zertec & don’t want to have to use it, but my son’s eyes have been very itchy & both his eyes & face have been flaring up & his nose is very stuffy, itchy etc. due to the high pollen count & other environmental factors that we are doing our very best to control and we are in need of having a safe medication solution to manage the symptoms to provide him with some relief daily. TIA!

    • Homeopathic Apis mellifica and Histaminum have been shown to prevent histamine release from cells and might be considered a “homeopathic alternative” to medicines like Zyrtec. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any lactose-free homeopathic medicines. Some manufacturers may have liquid preparations without lactose, but I don’t know them well enough to recommend. The amount of lactose so small in each dose that even my most lactose-intolerant patients have been fine. True lactose allergy is rare, and lactose intolerance in infants is very rare as lactose is the primary sugar found in human breastmilk. For most children who react to dairy, it is due to a milk protein (casein or whey) allergy or sensitivity, and so they should still be able to tolerate the homeopathic lactose pellets. However, you know your son best, and if he is highly reactive to lactose, you should check first with your son’s healthcare provider before trying. Good luck!

  13. Thank you for all you do!

  14. So excited to have this new info. My now 4 year old has always suffered from a constant runny nose and it usually leads to ear infections. She doesn’t have them as frequently anymore but sadly has already been through way too many antibiotics and a set of ear tubes before we knew better. Is D-hist and Sabadilla going to be the best for her runny nose and allergy issues? Do you use them together or only one or the other?

    Also, when I looked up the Dulcamara for post nasal drip it mentioned it was for joint pain. Is that the correct item? Thanks!

    • Hi Melissa! So excited for you to have new tools to help your daughter! D-Hist and Sabadil work great together! For homeopathic medicines, like Dulcamara, there is only so much room to list symptoms that are helped on the tube. Dulcamara is good for joint pains triggered by damp weather but also for postnasal drip and so many other things! So don’t just look at what it says on the tube… Good luck!

  15. Is D-hist jr. safe for a 16-month-old? Does it help with only environmental allergies?

    • Hi Erinn – DHist Jr is generally safe for a 16-month old, however I would check with your practitioner first since I don’t know exactly what’s going on with your child. At 16 months, it may be hard to fully chew the tablets. And DHist is mostly for environmental allergies. I would not use it to treat food allergies. Good luck! xo

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