Allergic diseases are on the rise, with one in five Australians now suffering from conditions such as allergic rhinitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis. The reason for this growing prevalence is likely to involve numerous factors, with research suggesting that changes in modern diets, sanitation measures and a subsequent loss in diversity of gut bacteria, sick building syndrome, air pollution and other theories may all play a role.
The ensuing response involves a cascade of changes to our immune system that affects secretory IgA production, T cell function and an up-regulation of the Th2 response. While antihistamine drugs work at the end of this cascade, blocking histamine release to relieve symptoms, they do not address the possible detrimental effects of immune activation and T cell proliferation.
Complementary and natural medicines have been used for centuries to treat allergies, and several medicinal herbs and nutrients have been shown to work at numerous points along the allergic cascade offering a safe and broad spectrum approach to allergy management.
In this infographic, we take a closer look at herbal and nutritional ways to inhibit the allergic response.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Inc. Allergy in Australia 2014. ASCIA 2014. Viewed 6 August 2016, https://www.allergy.org.au/images/stories/reports/ASCIA_Allergy_in_Austr...
- Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australia. Fast facts about allergy and immune disease. AIFA 2016. Viewed 6 August 2016, http://www.allergyimmunology.org.au/fast-facts
- Larche M, Akdis CA, Valenta R. Immunological mechanisms of allergen-specific immunotherapy. Nature Rev Immunol 2006;6;761-771. [Abstract]
- Holgate ST, Polosa R. Treatment strategies for allergy and asthma. Nature Rev Immunol 2008;8;218-230. [Abstract]
- Stone K, Prussin C, Metcalfe DD. IgE, mast cells, basophils, and eosinophils. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;125(2 Suppl 2):S73-S80. [Full text]
- van Ree R, Hummelshøj, Plantinga M, et al. Allergic sensitization: host-immune factors. Clin Transl Allergy 2014;4;12. [Full text]
- Walsh ER. The role of eosinophils in allergic airway inflammation. Disc Med 2010;9(47):357-362. [Full text]
- Stansbury J. Rosmarinic acid as a novel agent in the treatment of allergies and asthma. J Restor Med 2014;3:121-126. [Full text]
- Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements: an evidence-based guide, 4th ed. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2015.
This image by FX Medicine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
More information about how to share/use the infographics for personal use.
If you interested in using any FX Medicine content for commercial use please contact us.