Published January 20, 2018 Allergies are an interesting topic because they challenge us to look at the body ‘whole-istically’ to lower overall inflammation, improve liver detoxification pathways, and stabilize mast cells. To start off this topic, let’s go over what’s happening on a cellular level when the body is experiencing the fun we call “allergies.” When allergens (such as pollen) come into contact with the body’s ‘mast cells,’ these mast cells ‘degranulate’ or burst open, releasing histamine. The body is supposed to break down and detoxify histamines through your liver detox pathways. However, many other compounds use the same route to exit the body (for example medications, pesticides, hormones, bacteria/viruses, heavy metals, etc!) Say you’re exposed to ragweed (an IgE allergy), then you walk outside without a jacket into extreme cold winds (which triggers your mast cells to burst), then you eat eggplant (which contains a high amount of naturally occurring histamines), then you’re hit with pesticides in the air from a neighbor’s sprayed lawn (clogs detox pathways), and then you eat 2 day old leftover chicken for dinner (which contains histamine produced by bacteria breaking down the protein as it sat in the fridge) – you will be overloaded with different triggers and will build up histamine! Here’s why those who experience spring allergies can use fresh GINGER TEA to improve liver detox AND inhibit the allergic response: The transcription factor (aka protein that transcribes genes) “Nrf2” activates specific genes that enhance liver phase II detoxification. Nrf2-deficient animals experience increased toxicity from drugs, carcinogens, allergens, and environmental pollutants (hello allergies)! Research has found that the phytochemicals in ginger modulate and increase Nrf2 so that you can get rid of histamine better & faster. Ginger is also a natural antihistamine. A 2015 study found that patients with hay fever who received ginger capsules had a significant reduction in IgE (antibody) levels after just one month of treatment (compared to a placebo control group). After 2 months of treatment, 62% of patients treated with ginger had a reduction in sneezing, 83% saw a reduction in sinusitis, and 79% has relief from nasal itching. Finally, a 2009 study found that ginger acts as a mast cell stabilizer (so that they don’t go crazy and release all that histamine in the first place!) HOW TO USE GINGER TEA EFFECTIVELY The key is to consume ginger consistently. In the 2015 study I mentioned, results happened gradually over 1 to 2 months. This is not an overnight cure, and it takes at least a few days to start feeling relief. To make the tea, simply bring fresh ginger slices to boil in a pot of water. Once boiling, lower the heat and cover – let simmer for 15 minutes to get a strong brew!