Monthly Archives: March 2014

Taking the “Sting” out of Allergies: Finding Allergy Relief with Natural Medicine

 Ara Walline, Doctor of Naturopathy at Unravel Therapeutics

Ara Walline, ND

Ara Walline, ND

Itchy and watery eyes, stagnant and painful sinus congestion, flares of red and burning rashes, shortness of breath, overall sluggishness and mental fatigue; depending on the individual, allergies can manifest in a variety of ways. Using natural medicine, every treatment is also individualized and for this reason allergy relief can be longer lasting.  The naturopathic approach to allergy relief has three main goals: stabilize the immune system, identify and reduce allergy triggers, and relieve symptoms.

Stabilize the Immune System

By looking at an individual’s symptom picture it is possible to determine what part of the immune system is out of balance. Specific herbs and nutrients can then be recommended to calm or bolster the immune system accordingly and thus reduce symptoms.

allergy-culprits naturopathy

Identify and Reduce Triggers

Identifying and reducing allergy triggers can be a straightforward process in some casesand in other situations it can be more difficult. Not surprisingly, there is often a connection between environmental allergies and food sensitivities; one may follow or worsen the other.

Relieve Symptoms

One of my favorite local herbs to treat allergy symptoms is Stinging Nettle. This herb contains a variety of active chemical compounds including bioflavonoids, lectins, and polysaccharides that are believed to protect the body’s cells from inflammatory injury. When prepared and used correctly, this herb can be as effective as an over-the-counter antihistamine without the sedating side effects.

It’s never too early to prepare for allergy season. Developing a comprehensive plan for how to reduce your allergy symptoms can help make the spring much more enjoyable!

By |March 11th, 2014|Alternative Medicine, Health|Comments Off on Taking the “Sting” out of Allergies: Finding Allergy Relief with Natural Medicine|

Step in the Sauna and Escape Allergies

Ara Walline, Doctor of Naturopathy at Unravel Therapeutics

Ara Walline, ND

Ara Walline, ND

Sauna therapy can benefit the heart, the nervous system, the immune system and even improve allergies, according to preliminary research studies. Whether in a Roman steam bath, a Native American sweat lodge, or a local spa, the benefit of sauna and heat therapy has long been employed for healing by cultures around the world. A 2013 study is helping to expand the science of sauna therapy by demonstrating that after just 6 weeks of treatment individuals suffering from chronic allergies were able to experience less congestion and greater lung capacity as well!

Unravel Therapeutics SaunaWhy does sauna help reduce allergy symptoms? This study suggests that the changes in blood flow and in the nervous system’s response to heat may explain it. Study participants followed a targeted 30 minute sauna experience consisting of repeated 5 minute heat and 5 minute rest periods. Measurements of lung and nervous system function were taken at the beginning and end of the study period, as well as half way through. Building on previous research that linked chronic allergies to a poorly regulated nervous system, this study sought to exploit the fact that exposing the body to heat in the form of sauna can also build nervous system resilience. Investigators believe that symptoms were improved not only as a result of strengthening the nervous system, but also as a result of the congestion-clearing local effects of heat in the nasal cavity.

In naturopathic medicine, we are taught to use and respect the tools of heat and cold, water, and herbs to strengthen and nourish the organs and tissues of the body. This study demonstrates how seemingly simple treatments like heat and sauna can have profound effects on the body, and ultimately, contribute to greater overall health and vitality.


Kunbootsri N, Janyacharoen T, Arrayawichanon P, Chainansamit S, Kanpittaya J, Auvichayapat P, Sawanyawisuth K. The effect of six-weeks of sauna on treatment of the autonomic nervous system, peak nasal inspiratory flow and lung functions of allergic rhinitis Thai patients. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2013 Jun;31(2):142-7.





* During the month of March, enjoy a trip to the Eucalyptus sauna at Unravel Therapeutics at the beginning or end or your naturopathic health consultation to benefit from the health promoting effects of heat as we endure the last few months of winter’s chill!

By |March 9th, 2014|Alternative Medicine|Comments Off on Step in the Sauna and Escape Allergies|