Fight Seasonal Allergies with AGE

Fight Seasonal Allergies with AGE

by Steven Ehrlich, NMD

It has been said that allergies are a phobia of the immune system. Normally harmless substances such as tree pollens and pet danders are tagged by the body as potentially dangerous and targeted by your immune system for destruction. In its overzealous determination to keep you safe, your body inadvertently afflicts you with the misery that so many know as common seasonal allergy symptoms: sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes and even shortness of breath and eczema.

So how can we stop this immunological overreaction and learn to enjoy the great outdoors again? One important part of an overall holistic approach to treating seasonal allergies is supplementing with aged garlic extract (AGE).

Unburden Yourself
One of the founding principals of naturopathic medicine is tolle causam, “treat the cause.” When we ask, “What is the cause of this hypersensitive immune system in the seasonal allergy patient?” many potential answers emerge. One of the mostoverlooked factors is the constant burden of harmful viruses and bacteria that many people carry around with them throughout the year.

Pathological microorganisms can live and fester in a person, wreaking havoc on his or her immune system without the person ever knowing it. We’re all aware of what it feels like when we “catch a bug.” Those cold and flu symptoms emerge when the body gets so overwhelmed by a harmful pathogen that it erupts in a violent immune response.

But what about when the load of pathogens is just under the threshold of causing an all-out sickness? In these cases, we can feel run-down, fatigued and just not at 100 percent. What we’re experiencing is the subtle compromising of our immune system. We may have some minor nasal congestion, chronically bloodshot eyes, etc. Our immune system is bothered, yes, but just not enough to mount an all-out war. If this situation continues, our immune system starts to experience the wear and tear of being chronically under stress. It begins to see the world as a dangerous place, full of potentially harmful invaders, and it can develop an “itchy trigger finger” where even benign substances, like tree pollen, can be seen as threats.

Obviously, relieving our body of this onerous burden of pathological bacteria and viruses is an important step in calming down our immune system and getting rid of seasonal allergies. And that’s where AGE can make a difference in terms of addressing the underlying issues that lead to allergic reactions. Throughout the ages, garlic has been known for its antimicrobial properties. In ancient Egypt, garlic was prized by slave and pharaoh alike, and references to garlic are even inscribed on the pyramids. The Romans and the Greeks also relied heavily on garlic in their own pharmacopoeia. Hippocrates himself was known to recommend garlic for pneumonia and other infectious illnesses.

Modern science has taken traditional healing wisdom about garlic and brought it to a whole new level with the discovery of S-Allyl cysteine (SAC), one of the key components of aged garlic extract. SAC is a water-soluble, sulfur-containing compound with demonstrated antimicrobial properties. AGE products such as Kyolic™ supplements that contain standardized amounts of SAC give people the power of having this microbe-scrubbing compound in an odorless supplement that can be used daily to fight the overgrowth of harmful pathogens. As the immune system is freed from the burden of the constant fighting against these microbes, it can finally relax. It can stop its hypervigilant, reflex-ive tendency to attack anything it comes into contact with, and simple pollens and molds can pass through the body without triggering immunological red alerts.

How’s Your Mucus Today?
Another key component to addressing seasonal allergies is managing your mucus. Mucus is like an oil slick created by the body to trap invaders and send them “running” from the body. Thin mucus not only resists bacterial and viral growth but helps prevent harmful microbes from getting deeper into the body and further aggravating the immune system. However, if mucus is thick and viscous, it can instead become a breeding ground for bacterial and viral growth.

It’s a common scenario: seasonal allergies increase mucus production. Thick mucus starts to cause congestion, which becomes an incubator for harmful microbes. The growing levels of harmful microbes further aggravate the immune system and result in even more mucus. Soon a person finds him- or herself with a full-fledged sinus infection or bronchitis and is often forced to resort to antibiotics. This leaves the person even more vulnerable to hypersensitivity reactions, such as allergies, in the future. AGE has natural mucolytic (mucus-thinning) properties that can help keep mucus flowing rather than pooling. AGE also keeps antimicrobial SAC high to cleanse the system of any immune-aggravating pathogens.

Hitting the Immune System’s Gas and Brake Pedals
Optimum health demands a strong and active immune system to guard against infections and malignancies, but we also want our immune system to be calm and temperate to avoid allergies or autoimmune diseases. That being the case, AGE is a substance that can help strengthen the immune system to fight pathogens and kill abnormal cells and yet at the same time restrain the immune system from overreacting to harmless allergens.

The research on garlic’s immune-enhancing properties is compelling. Some studies show tumor growth inhibition from increased immunostimulation resulting from AGE. In one particular study, published in the March 2001 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, a certain type of lung cancer was transplanted into animal subjects. Those subjects given AGE showed tumor growth inhibition as well as an increase in natural killer (NK) cell activity. NK cells are one of the most potent aspects of immune defense. Here we see the remarkable immune-boosting side of AGE. The specific antiallergy effects of AGE were demonstrated in the same study as well. Test subjects were exposed to a certain allergen experience, and those receiving AGE showed significantly less allergic response.

The study underscores AGE as a potent immune modulator: AGE is able to stimulate the immune system into doing some of the most vital protective roles with greater vigilance and yet dampen its tendency toward overreaction when exposed to allergens. In other words, AGE can step on the gas when your immune system needs to get revved up to fight off an invader or take care of some menacing abnormal cells and it can push on the brakes when your immune system might otherwise be throwing a tantrum over some harmless tree pollen. This makes AGE an ideal immune supplement, a sort of immunological smart pill.

Use the Right Tools
While consuming garlic through diet may have many health benefits, to get the most impact, we need to turn to supplements with standardized SAC such as Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract. The impact of allergies should not be underestimated. A study in the February 2004 issue of Ophthalmic Epidemiology, which examined the lives of more than 150 sufferers, clearly shows that people with seasonal allergies suffer lost wages and a lower quality of life. AGE provides a natural pathway to tackle a serious problem. Note that garlic may interact with certain medications, particularly some medications used in fighting HIV and others, so speak to your doctor first.

Spring will be here soon enough, and as your friends reach for their tissues, nose sprays and eyedrops, you can be enjoying the weather again—with a little help from AGE.

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