Little Mountain Homeopathy, 351 E. 39th Ave., Vancouver, BC V5W 1K3
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Little Mountain Homeopathy

Classical homeopath in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Award-winning holistic natural health practitioner.


Common Spring Tree Pollen Allergies in Vancouver

download (6)Unfortunately, Vancouver has one of the longest allergy seasons in Canada due to the combination of the city’s mild weather and rising spring temperatures due to global warming. The city also has a high concentration of trees, much higher than many other cities in Canada. Also, because most of the trees in Vancouver have been planted, the trees are mostly male trees in order to avoid cleanup of seeds and fruit; yet it is also only the male trees that produce pollen. Female trees, on the other hand, which are scarce in Vancouver, don’t produce pollen, and instead trap and remove pollen from the air and turn it into seed.

Symptoms of hay fever or pollen allergy include an itchy nose, repetitive sneezing and a runny and/or blocked nose. Other hay fever symptoms include watery, itchy red eyes and an itchy mouth. Pollen allergy can also trigger asthmatic symptoms of coughing, breathlessness and wheezing.

It is interesting to note that tree pollen allergy sufferers will often have allergies to certain foods, due to cross-allergies between certain tree pollens and foods. Cross-allergies between pollens and foods happen because the protein in a particular pollen is similar to the protein in particular foods. Symptoms of cross-allergies to foods include itchy mouth, as well as itching and/or swelling in the lips and tongue.

aldercatkinsAlder trees, which are one of the most common causes of tree pollen allergies in Vancouver, thrive in warmer temperatures, thus alder tree pollen allergies will only increase and worsen with our unnaturally warm global warming spring weather. The highest pollen allergy counts usually start in mid to late February and last until mid-June. People who are allergic to alder pollen may also have cross-allergies to peaches, hazelnuts, cherries, almonds, parsley, apples and pears.

Birch trees are another common cause of pollen allergies in beautiful-birch-trees-with-fresh-green-leaves-file-photo-poVancouver. Birch pollen is also more likely than many other types of tree pollen to bring on asthmatic symptoms. The highest pollen count for birch trees usually starts in mid-March to early April and end in early to late May.  People who are allergic to birch pollen may also have cross-allergies to apples, pears, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, kiwis, potatoes, carrots, celery, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts and soy.

Alder and birch pollen allergies are certainly the most common types of tree pollen allergies in Vancouver. Other less common tree pollen allergies in Vancouver include ash, box-elder, cedar, elm, maple, mulberry, oak and walnut. April and May are generally the two months when pollen counts are at their highest in Canada.

9062001Climate change will certainly cause tree pollen allergies to worsen in the future. According to scientific research, increasing levels of carbon dioxide (the main cause of global warming) increases the growth rate of plants as well as the amount and potency of plant/tree pollen. Due to rising temperatures, a longer spring means an extended growing season, and thus pollen will be circulating in the air for an extended amount of time. Also, living in polluted urban areas such as Vancouver makes hay fever symptoms worse because smog traps pollen, preventing it from circulating into the upper atmosphere. It has been very well documented that pollen allergies are a lot more common in polluted urban areas. Urban pollution has also been shown to increase  the toxicity of pollens by weakening the surface structure of the grains and by allowing the release of allergen proteins.

The Natural Treatment of Tree Pollen Allergies

hayfever-remedy-1Recently, sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for all types of allergies including pollen allergies has become a trend. The allergist gives the patient a small dose of the allergen under the tongue to boost tolerance to the substance.  According to a 2009 World Allergy Organization (WAO) paper, SLIT is widely accepted and used in European, South American, and Asian countries as well as in Australia and is gaining interest from allergists in the United States and Canada.

Homeopathy is a valid alternative health treatment method for pollen allergies. Homeopathic remedies can be used in a similar manner to sublingual immunotherapy, since homeopathic remedies only contain a small amount of substance. Using the homeopathic method of desensitization for pollen allergies, a homeopathic remedy made  the offending allergen is given sublingually in order to boost tolerance to the substance. This method has been used successfully at homeopathic hospitals in the UK, as well as at our clinic.

Read More about Homeopathy for Allergies



Use the Neti Pot to Clear Nasal & Sinus Congestion

I first found out about the neti pot a few years ago, and ever since then I have recommended it religiously to everyone I talk to. Anyone who gets nasal congestion due to colds or allergies, sinus congestion, or sinus infections can benefit. There are so many advantages to using a neti pot. It’s inexpensive, fairly easy to find, easy to use once you get the hang of it, and very healthy.

What is a Neti Pot?

A neti pot is a container with a spout on the end of it, used to irrigate (clean) the nasal and sinus passages.

Where to Find a Neti Pot?

Neti pots are sold at most health food stores and yoga stores. They have become increasingly popular in the last few years.

How to Use a Neti Pot?

Put 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt into the neti pot (any good sea salt will do, it does not have to be special neti pot salt). Then fill the neti pot with warm water (filtered or spring water is best). Mix the water with a spoon until the salt is fully dissolved.

Tip your head forward and to the side. Put the spout gently into your nostril so that an airtight seal is formed. Tip the neti pot up and tilt your head further to the side until the water starts pouring out from the opposite nostril.

Keep pouring until the neti pot is empty. Remove the spout and blow forcefully out from both nostrils. Then repeat the process with the other nostril.

Watch this video for a thorough step by step demonstration of the procedure:

How to Get Your Children to Use the Neti Pot

My 6 and 7 year old both use a neti pot. Eventually, once your children have watched you use the neti pot a number of times, they will be curious about trying it themselves. Make it fun for them by letting them measure out the salt into the neti pot. Make sure to emphasize to them the correct head position (forward and to the side). Eventually they will become curious enough that they will allow you to pour the water into their nostrils. Kids become fascinated when they see the water pouring from one nostril and out the other. It’s like a mini science experiment!

Showing your kids this technique is invaluable if they have nasal congestion at bedtime. The neti pot will help both children and parents to get a restful, congestion-free sleep.

Why is Using a Neti Pot Healthy?

The saline (salt) solution helps remove mucus, bacteria, pollutants, and other irritants from the nasal and sinus cavities. And in contrast to using Nasonex and other pharmaceutical products, using the neti pot is completely safe and has no side effects.

History of the Neti Pot

Neti Pot usage first originated in India and South East Asia, and was part of the ancient yoga tradition. These Eastern cultures have used the neti pot routinely for centuries.

Chronic Allergies, Chronic Sinus Congestion & Low Immunity

People with chronic health complaints should see a professional homeopath in their area. Homeopathic treatment will strengthen the immunity and reduce the susceptibility to colds, allergies, congestion and infections. Contact the clinic to find out more about constitutional homeopathic treatment.

Homeopathy: My Cure for Allergies

Originally published in babyvibe: “Allergies and Homeopathy”

dandelion-380x540My journey with homeopathy began soon after giving birth to my second child. The labour went fairly smoothly. I was fortunate to have a water birth at home under the care of a midwife. But when my baby was only a few months old my troubles began.

One morning I awoke to discover an outbreak of hives up and down my arms accompanied by puffy red eyes. My eyes and arms were extremely itchy and red. I also felt so completely drained of energy that I could barely move. I was soon able to piece together that these allergic symptoms were reactions to food. I had never had allergic reactions to foods before, so it all came as a shock to me, but I knew the flare-ups always occurred after eating.

My allergic reactions became so extreme and my energy was so low that I was frantic to find a solution so that I could care for my new baby. I tried seeing medical and naturopathic doctors, but found that I was not significantly improving. I felt hopeless and depressed about my condition. I was also running out of money.

kittens4That was until a friend of my mother’s had heard about my condition. She contacted me and told tell me about her 10 years of experience with homeopathic treatment. She used to have allergies to cat hair, but after she consulted with her homeopath, the homeopath was able to prescribe a homeopathic medicine for her that alleviated her allergic symptoms permanently. It sounded like homeopathy was worth a try so I made an appointment with a homeopath.

Homeopathic consultations are a strange and wonderful thing. The homeopath asked me all sorts of questions about my life and the consultation lasted almost a full three hours. She explained to me that in order to prescribe a homeopathic medicine for me as an individual, it was important for her to ask questions that would help her understand not only what was unique about my symptoms but also what was unique about me as an individual. When I walked out of that consultation room I felt like the homeopath possibly knew me better in some ways than my close friends and family.

Homeopathic_RemediesA few days later I picked my homeopathic medicine up from my homeopath’s office. Inside the letter envelope they gave me were only a couple of doses of my homeopathic medication in sugar pellet form. Later I was to learn that homeopathic medications are made from anything in our natural world such as a plant, mineral or animal. Homeopaths get their remedies from homeopathic pharmacies. The homeopathic pharmacy grinds the original substance (plant, mineral or animal) with milk sugar and a mortar and pestle, then dilutes a small amount of the mixture with water and alcohol. The preparation then goes through a long repeated series of shakings (succussions) and dilutions, then is finally medicated onto sugar pellets. Homeopathic remedies stimulate the body to heal itself. Unlike standard pharmaceutical medications, one single dose of a homeopathic medication has an action that can last sometimes weeks, months, or even years.

A couple of weeks after taking only a couple of doses of my homeopathic medicine my symptoms started to subside. I came out of my depression and started my studies in homeopathy. I also found homeopathy affordable because the follow-ups are spaced six to eight weeks apart, then became much less frequent as I got better.

I believe that homeopathy works well as it always aims to address the root cause of the problem. It prevents disease rather than just treating the symptoms in the moment. It is also gentle because of how the medicines are prepared, and it is truly holistic because only one remedy is given to address all of a person’s health complaints at once.

Now, years later, I can eat any food without having an allergic reaction. The hay fever I have struggled on and off with my whole life has also completely subsided thanks to regular homeopathic treatment. I now use homeopathy to treat all of my family’s health complaints because homeopathy is a complete system of medicine.

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