Natural Remedies for Food Allergies

Discover these natural remedies for food allergies. A stressed immune system can become sensitive to allergens, a combination of herbs can help solve these problems.

| November/December 2001

  • Try these natural remedies for food allergies.
    Try these natural remedies for food allergies.
    By The Mother Earth Living staff

  • Try these natural remedies for food allergies.

Learn about these natural remedies for food allergies, these herbal combinations may be the key to solving digestive problems.

Natural Remedies for Food Allergies

A stressed immune system can become hypersensitive to allergens.

I didn’t know what food allergies were really like until I met Rebecca. She came into the clinic one afternoon several years ago, bringing with her a bag of digestive enzyme supplements and a list of foods she could not eat. I looked over the list and could see that it didn’t leave her much to enjoy in her diet. “Little enjoyment from my food is better than what happens when I let down my guard and eat a food I can’t handle,” she said rather grimly. I could see how she could feel that way — years of digestive pain, low energy, and diarrhea would put anyone in a bad mood.

Over the years, I have worked with many patients suffering from food allergies, and each patient seems to have worked out a different, simple diet that creates the least amount of problems for them. Some eat only lightly steamed vegetables and grains; some, mostly fish and potatoes; and others, cooked fruit. Each person tends to have a set of different intolerances, but certain foods seem to be nearly universal allergens: eggs, commercial meats, commercial dairy products, and many processed foods. Peanuts, a common allergen in the news these days, are not really nuts, but legumes. Legumes are also notorious because of all the proteins and potentially toxic compounds, such as protease inhibitors, that they contain — especially if they are not cooked well.

Understanding Food Allergies

Two types of common tests for determining your sensitivity to various foods are available at your doctor’s office. While not foolproof, these tests can offer some valuable evidence of a food allergy. The two tests are the skin prick test and a blood test such as the radioallergosorbent test. The skin prick test is the cheapest and is widely available. In this test, a doctor places drops of the food substance being tested on the skin, then makes a small pin prick at the site, allowing a little of the substance to enter the skin and interact with the immune system. A small bump or “wheal” develops at the site if one is allergic. Blood tests may be more accurate, but they require a blood draw and are often more expensive. By eliminating the foods to which you react from your diet for ten days or two weeks, you can better determine if those foods actually contribute to your symptoms.

With food allergies, a stressed and overstimulated immune system can become hypersensitive to allergens — a condition that’s more difficult to change than pure digestive enzyme insufficiency. This is why I always start by trying to increase the body’s own production of digestive substances and add enzyme supplements if needed. If this support isn’t enough to improve digestive efficiency and reduce symptoms, we can work on immune support next.

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