Monthly Archives: February 2011

Natural Allergy Prevention


The acacia are in bloom!!

Those are the words that instill fear in the hearts of Mom’s all over my county.  The beautiful puffs of yellow are pollen waiting to dust every surface for miles.

We pray for rain and mist to earth bound the pollen which blow well in the warm spring days.  With not much of it’s greenery in site the tree is most often just a giant yellow wall of pollen.

Despite our teary out cry there are some real benefits from the acacia.

True gum arabic is the product of Acacia senegal, abundant in dry tropical West Africa from Senegal to northern Nigeria.

Acacia arabica is the gum-Arabic tree of India, but yields a gum inferior to the true gum-Arabic.

Medicinal uses

Many Acacia species have important uses in traditional medicine. Most of the uses have been shown to have a scientific basis since chemical compounds found in the various species have medicinal effects.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Acacia nilotica is considered a remedy that is helpful for treating premature ejaculation. A 19th century Ethiopian medical text describes a potion made from an Ethiopian species of Acacia (known as grar) mixed with the root of the tacha, then boiled, as a cure for rabies.

An astringent medicine high in tannins, called catechu or cutch, is procured from several species, but more especially from Acacia catechu, by boiling down the wood and evaporating the solution so as to get an extract

So despite our desire to flee it’s presence and wonder when oh when will our houses, cars and clothes not be covered by the yellow of the acacia they are indeed a beneficial part of our lives.

So what to do?

1. Pollen is every where – CONTAIN THE POLLEN

Placing clothing that has been exposed to spring pollens in a separate area thus not contaminating your clean clothes is critical.  Don’t sit, swing or fling your clothes.  Get them off with care and place them where their impact will be the least.

2. Shower

Wash your hair before it comes in contact with your bedding and even your couches and chairs.  If your shoulders and jackets show signs of pollen your scalp and hair will have even more.

3. Local Honey, Lime and Hot Water

Local Honey is made from local pollen thus helping build your immune system, a bit of lime (half squeezed into hot water) and hot water make for a detoxifying tea.  A cup in the morning and a cup after a nice shower  will help control the antihistamine reactions while building immunity.

4. Vitamins

Allergies naturally drop our immune system so a good vitamin regimen will boost and strengthen your resistance and ward of the spring fever we all know so well as the the spring cold.  Check with your doctor, pharmacist or naturopath for recommendations.  Personally I increase my families Vitamin B and Vitamin C intake along with Omega 3 and Vitamin E.

5. Salt

Yes salt, no not the healthiest of choices depending on how it’s used but a salt rinse can have a cleansing action; clearing pollen from the throat and sooth the abrasions it’s caused.   If you are suffering from postnasal drainage due to a bacterial sinus infection or allergies, the mucus which drains from your nasal cavity is full of chemicals that tend to promote an inflammatory response. As this stuff drains down the back of your throat, it leaves a trail of inflamed tissues in its wake. Frequent gargling with salt water will help minimize this problem.

A nasal salt rinse has many of the same benefits.  The salty water helps pull fluid out of the swollen nasal lining, acting as a decongestant. It also helps wash away pollens, dirt, mucous, crusts, and other debris.

6. Consume Anti-inflammatory foods!

Blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, ginger, leafy greens, oatmeal etc.

All help keep inflammation at bay and thus help relieve the swelling associated with allergies.
I love the following smoothie recipe and during allergy season boosting it with Smoothie Essential Boosts REALLY helps get those extra vitamins into my family in a way they are willing.

Ginger Berry Smoothie

2C ice
1C vanilla soy milk
1C frozen blueberries
1/4C frozen blackberries
1/2C pineapple chunks
1/2 banana
1t grated lemon zest
1/2t grated fresh ginger

Blend and serve.


Slurpies! Spring Colors and Summer Promises


As a child the “slurpy” and “icee” were sugar delights that danced in front of our eyes.  Colors and flavors frozen to the perfect drink and crunch.  Guaranteed to sugar hype the best of kids and adults.  In my teen years friends used them to hide schnapps and vodka while smiling innocently at the teachers.  As an adult they are those stolen moments that carry me back to the past.

Much to my delight in Dana Jacobs – 12 Best Foods Cookbook – is a healthy recipe Slurpy!

Filled with antioxidants and vitamins there is no guilt to these slurpies.

Watermelon-Blueberry Slurpy

This frosty slush is refreshing on a hot day.

1 cup frozen cubed seedless red watermelon

3/4 cup; frozen blueberries

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger

1/2 cup unfiltered apple juice

Juice of 1/2 lime

In a blender, combine the watermelon, blueberries, ginger, apple juice and lime juice.  Blend until pureed and still slightly pulpy.  Pour into a wide glass and serve with a spoon.

Makes 1 serving

Per Serving: 192 calories, 2g fat, 0g saturated fat, 2g protein, 47g carbohydrates, 6g fiber

Alternate Boosts include:

Adding a Smoothie Essentials Boost; fiber, women’s blend, protein, and multivitamin (for example – and yes they can all be added – no flavor no color) can turn this quick cooling slushie into a great meal replacement.

Adding a touch of vodka or tequila will make this an adult party drink with numerous health boosts.

Freeze it for a few minutes and have a sorbet to serve with fresh summer fruits.  The perfect dessert.