Oral Allergy Syndrome Usually Goes Undiagnosed.

by Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com.

It's not unusual for a person with seasonal allergies to have an itchy nose and itchy eyes. But it may seem surprising that some hay-fever sufferers get an itchy feeling in their mouths, throats and lips when they start to eat certain foods.
This condition is known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS) or pollen-associated food allergy syndrome, and it's the most common form of food allergy in adults. It occurs because proteins found in some fresh fruits and vegetables are similar to allergy-causing proteins found in pollens, such as ragweed, birch, mugwort and grasses.
Not long after some people with seasonal allergies eat uncooked fruits and raw vegetables, as well as some nuts and spices, these people's immune systems recognize a similarity between the food and pollen's proteins. This is called cross reactivity. 

Here are foods that may have proteins that cross-react with certain pollen:

Ragweed Allergy: Ragweed cross-reacts with bananas and melons, so people with ragweed allergies may also react to honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelons, or tomatoes. Zucchini, sunflower seeds, dandelions, chamomile tea, and Echinacea may also affect some people.

Birch Pollen Allergy: People with birch pollen allergies may react to kiwi, apples, pears, peaches, plums, coriander, fennel, parsley, celery, cherries, carrots, hazelnuts and almonds.

Grass Pollen Allergy: People with grass allergy may react to peaches, celery, tomatoes, melons, and oranges.

Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) Allergy: Like pollen allergy, people allergic to natural rubber latex may react to bananas, avocados, kiwi, chestnut, and papaya. Of course, if your food is handled by a person wearing latex gloves and you have a latex allergy, you may actually be reacting to cross-contamination of latex particles on the food.

If this all sounds confusing, you’re right. That’s why it’s critical to always consult with a health care provider for a complete diagnosis of your allergies. It could be OAS, food intolerance, another type of food-borne illness, food poisoning or something entirely different.

A health care professional will ask if you have OAS symptoms and about the foods you eat and will do tests to understand your other allergies. Oral sensitivity tends to develop over time, with repeated exposures to inhaled pollens. Many doctors report that most of their patients with OAS are adults. A health care provider may administer a skin-prick test. A bit of the protein trigger is included in a light scratch on your back or forearm. If that spot turns red or swells in about 15 minutes, it's likely an allergic reaction.

OAS is usually nothing to worry about, but, this could become more serious and you may need to take precautions, such as carrying epinephrine with you at all times for emergency treatment for yourself. A recent study shows that in about 2% of patients with OAS, oral allergy symptoms could progress to anaphylaxis, a serious reaction that could be deadly without immediate emergency treatment.

The basic plan: If a food makes you have bad symptoms, avoid that food. Cooking may help, as heat breaks down or alters the trigger proteins so that the immune system may not target them. Peeling or canning fruits and vegetables may also help some people, because most trigger proteins are in the outer skin or peel, but this is not always the case. 

Is Your OAS Seasonal?

If ragweed or certain grasses are in full bloom in your area, you may only experience a temporary reaction to certain foods while it is blooming and then the rest of the year you may be able to eat those foods without a reaction. Ragweed and grasses usually release their pollen in the fall. Tree pollen usually is abundant in the spring.

Early Symptoms as a Warning:

If you have never really had food allergies, then one day you are eating a tomato or other food and notice a burning sensation in the back of your throat or in your mouth, that can be an early indication that you have OAS. More noticeable reactions are a rash around the mouth, swollen lips, swollen tongue and itchy skin.

At this point, you can do one of two things:

1.) Try process of elimination to see if your reaction is legitimate. Cook the tomato or other food that you seem to be reacting to. If you no longer feel that burning ore tingle sensation when it's cooked, there's a very high chance it's OAS.

2.) Avoid the pollen you think may be the trigger until it is washed away by rains or snows. If you suspect it is ragweed, get rid of the plants somehow. While wearing protective gloves, a dust mask and long sleeves and pants, pull up the plants if you know where they are and isolate them in a pile where they can die before they bloom, or burn them. If you suspect it is grass, this isn't an option, so protect yourself while it is blooming by staying inside as much as possible, avoiding fields, wear a dust mask and long sleeves and pants etc.


Yet Another Reason to Cut Back on Meat. And Now Milk Too?

by Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com.

We've been hearing about this one a lot lately. A new study linking meat consumption to Alzheimer's, dementia and senility.

Leading UK psychotherapist Peter Field advises his patients to abstain from eating meat and animal protein if they value their long-term mental health. According to him, there is a direct link between consumption of animal protein and cognitive dysfunction, which may result in Alzheimer's disease and senile dementia.
Field, who is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health and a regular BBC contributor, says that there is a clear connection between dementia, cognitive impairment and meat eating, as well as other diseases such as certain types of cancer and diabetes. "The research is very convincing," he states. Field quotes Cornell University Professor T. Collin Campbell, author of The China Study and internationally acknowledged authority in the area of disease and diet: "Cognitive dysfunction tends to be much higher among people who are consuming an animal based diet. People with cognitive dysfunction have now been shown to have about a 6 fold increase risk of Alzheimer's disease."
Agreeing with Professor Campbell, Field says that the best way to avoid such problems is to adopt a whole food plant-based diet, which provides all of the elements necessary for good health—mental and physical.

We have been telling Circkles readers for years that the American diet is far too high in meat. We use it as the main element in our meals and the average American diet is about 50-60% meat .Cultures such as the Asian only make meat approximately 20% of each meal, and are scientifically known for having a far less incidence of heart disease, cholesterol and digestive problems than Americans. The majority of Americans could cut their meat consumption in half and never miss it in their meals. They would also be doing their colon, digestion, weight and overall health a huge favor. It's all a matter of changing your meal planning slightly by making meat a much smaller portion and focusing meals more on vegetables, or even carbs would be preferable to meat. You can do this by making more combined food dishes, like casseroles, spaghetti, pasta dishes, where the meat won't be missed so much instead of making a meat and potatoes type of meal where the meat is the main dish with only a side of vegetables. Asians use meat more as a flavoring than a meal.

Also, just simply make your meat portions smaller. The RDA for meat is only 3 ounces per day. That is not much. About the size of a small hamburger....for the entire day! Use high protein vegetables as meat substitutes in dishes. Such as substituting beans or soy. Also mushrooms, while not high in protein, make a good meat filler to give flavor to dishes.


Got Milk? Hope Not.

Macrobiotic diet users, vegetarians and healthy eaters have known about this one for years. Milk is for baby cows, not people. You may have heard about another recent study that says milk is not good for people especially women. Circkles readers have also been reading this in our magazine. Milk is fattening, has little nutritional value for humans and the recent study on it says that it does not prevent osteoporosis or make bones stronger. Milk has always been hyped up by the Dairy Council in its advertising and consumers just fell for it. Milk and all dairy products also create a high amount of mucus buildup in the body.

Any of the milk alternatives now on the market are far more nutritious and healthy for you than cow's milk. Such as soy milk, almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk. If you are used to the taste of cow's milk, wean your taste buds off of it gradually. The milk alternatives take some time to get used to. Also, many of them have added sugar, so avoid the flavored milks alternatives like vanilla almond milk or sweetened soy milks.

Foods That Heal: Gogi Berries

Do you know what foods will give you more energy, calm your nerves, act as an anti-inflammatory, help prevent cancers, or help you lose weight? Hopefully this column will help you to have a better understanding of food and its healing properties. The best diet for optimal health is a wide variation of foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimally cooked  and processed whole foods. Sweets, fatty foods, meat, dairy and carbs in moderation.

by Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com

Sometimes called wolf berries, Chinese wolfberries and Tibetan goji, this little gem has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.

Therapeutic Properties: Low in calories, packed with fiber, may protect eye health, some reports suggest an increase in a feeling of happiness and overall health, improved digestion and less fatigue.
We talked about vision loss due to computer screens and the benefits of zeaxanthin to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant in last month's Health Circkles.. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65. Guess what is high in zeathanthin? Gogi berries.

Goji has only been tested on humans in two published studies. A Chinese study published in the Chinese Journal of Oncology in 1994 found that 79 people with cancer responded better to treatment when goji was added to their regimen.

Acid or Alkaline: Neutral.

How to Use: You can eat them raw or soak them in hot water before munching. Others prefer adding goji berries to trail mixes, smoothies or as a garnish on cereals, salads or yogurts. Basically, goji berries can be baked, cooked, steamed, and processed in any way after they are washed.

Significant Nutrients: High in antioxidants, beta carotene and vitamin C as well as zeaxanthin.

Warnings: Anyone who uses blood thinners or takes diabetic medication may have a negative reaction eating goji berries.

© 2014 Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com. All rights reserved to images and articles.


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Itchy skin can drive a person nuts. Ultimately, you want to find the cause of the rash to eliminate it forever, not just cover it up, but often that can be difficult to do with allergies.

To soothe itching and heal a rash temporarily, here are some natural alternatives:

Aloe: Heals skin, stops itching. Apply aloe vera gel (not juice) to the rash 2-3 times a day.

Plantain: Works very well for rashes caused by a toxin such as in poison ivy, poison oak, bug bites or other skin irritations caused by toxins in plants. Often just rubbing up against a plant such as borage or stinging nettle can cause rashes in sensitive people.
Wild plantain grows along roadsides and in fields. Crush the leaves to release the juices either by chewing them lightly in your mouth or using a mortar and pestal. Place the crushed leaves on the rash and keep it there for at least 30 minutes. Refresh the poultice as needed.

Calendula: Is very soothing. Although it does not work as well as the above two remedies to actually heal a rash. If you can find calendula oil or a salve that is actually made from the herb in a decent potency, give it a try. Otherwise try making a strong tea (decoction) from the flower petals and soaking the rash in it or applying a cloth soaked in the tea to the rash and keep it there for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Diaper Rash: Best cured by keeping the baby clean and dry. Old urine can burn the skin and if you have a severe case going on, try 8 parts water to one part vinegar and wiping the baby's bottom with this solution after every diaper change. Powders do not really help.




How to use herbs for maximum benefit. Short and sweet descriptions and uses written by our on-staff Nutritional Herbalist. Always remember that herbs should be treated as a medicine. Almost all of our modern-day medicines are derived from chemical compounds found in herbs and plants. If you have not used a particular herb before, try a half dose at first to make sure you do not have an unfavorable reaction to it.

Gingko Biloba Ginkgo biloba.

Medicinal Properties: Another amazing herb in my top 5 most amazing herbs. In traditional Asian medicine, ginkgo has been used for centuries for asthma, and I personally can attest that it works quickly and effectively if you are having an asthma attack. Even though this in itself is worth mentioning, ginkgo has been promoted almost exclusively for increasing the blood flow to the brain thus increasing mental function and memory. It has been scientifically proven that this herb does increase the blood flow in capillaries and end arteries (specifically the small blood vessels,) which is why it is now being marketed for penile dysfunction. More studies have revealed ginkgo's use in preventing kidney and liver damage caused by Cyclosporin A - a drug used after transplant surgery. Ginkgo is also effective against allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock due to its platelet activating factor (PAF)antagonist activity, which is why it works well against allergic asthma.

How to Use: A tea of the leaves, 1 tsp herb to 1 C water, 1-2 times daily for 1 week, then 1 week off. Extracts or capsules. Most effective after a minimum of 3-4 doses. Do not use for longer than 2 months.

Parts Used: Leaves

Growing: Grows in China where it is revered as a sacred tree. Rarely found in the wild and almost impossible to start from seed.
Warning: Watch your blood pressure while using this herb. People with high blood pressure should not use it and it has been known to lower the blood pressure in others, so if you have a low blood pressure already, this could be a problem.

Some Herb Basics: Most herbs work better on an empty stomach. A few exceptions are garlic, goldenseal and cayenne due to stomach upset. Herbs work in a cumulative fashion meaning they are not a "one dose wonder." They need to build up in the system a little, usually within 2-3 doses, before any real affect can be noticed. Fresh herbs always work better than old herbs and science is always proving the fact that a whole herb usually is more effective than one isolated compound of that herb.


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