Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Allergy Season

Fall allergy season is beginning. If you are prone to autumnal allergies, please do not wait until you are sniffling and sneezing to start an antihistamine! The time to begin is now so that the antihistamine can be in the system when it is needed. Remember histamine is released by the body when it perceives a threat (like pollen or mold). Histamine attaches to receptors on cells and a series of events is triggered, and the result is the swollen nasal membranes, itchy eyes, and mucous production associated with an allergic event. Antihistamines attach to these same receptors on the cells forming a protective barrier to prevent histamine from triggering the allergic response. If the antihistamine is not in the body before pollen or mold hits, then the antihistamine has to work double time to find cell receptors that have not been impacted. An antihistamine is much more effective if it is in the body before pollen comes along.

Also, for those of you who have to use prescription inhalers: there are usually two kinds of inhalers. One is a rescue inhaler which is used to provide immediate relief, and it usually contains some form of albuterol. The other type of inhaler is a steroid inhaler. These stabilize membranes in the body and decrease swelling of membranes. This inhaler can take up to three weeks to work, so it must be used before there is an immediate need. Make sure that you discuss with your doctor or pharmacist the type of inhaler that you have so that it can be used appropriately.

Non-prescription nasal steroid sprays are also very useful as these can decrease swelling of the nasal passages. Because of the minute amount of steroid that is absorbed into the body from nasal sprays or oral inhalers, these may both be used at the same time without harm.

Healthy living (and limited sneezing) with John Hollis Pharmacy by Cindy Franklin, staff pharmacist.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Two More Medicinal Teas!

Continuing our focus on proactive natural healthcare, we are introducing two more medicinal teas!  Remember that our teas have no "filler" items and all ingredients work together to benefit health.  The first is Immuni-tea and it is just in time for the upcoming cold and flu season.  We have used Elderberry as a primary ingredient as this is a Native American plant that is rich in antioxidants and prized for its healing properties, especially in the upper respiratory tract.  It provides a naturally fruity flavor.  To this, we add Echinacea and Goldenseal for the immune system and for inflammation of mucous membranes.  When combined, these two herbs have a synergistic effect.  Cat's Claw and Astragalus are added to boost the immune system, and we finish with Rosehips for vitamin C and Chamomile to soothe the system.  We recommend steeping this tea for 10 minutes to maximize the herbs, and increasing the acidity of the tea with a squeeze of fresh lemon may enhance the beneficial effects.

To support the immune system, we suggest one cup daily in the morning during cold and flu season.  This may be increased to one cup every two hours as needed.

We have also added ZZZ-tea to our collection.  This was a fun but difficult tea to finish as we had to be careful not to conduct our testing in late afternoon...we did not want any drowsy drivers!  ZZZ-tea has a non-caffeinated rooibos base that acts as a potent anti-oxidant to help promote the natural recuperation that occurs during sleep.  Chamomile has a featured role as it is the superstar of night time teas for soothing and calming, and then we add lavender and lemon balm to promote relaxation and hops to help with anxiety and sleeplessness.  Each individual has a unique response to herbal blends, so we suggest not using alcohol or sleep aids in addition with ZZZ-tea.  ZZZ-tea is best enjoyed one hour before bedtime.

We have these available now as the weather is cooling and perfect for hot tea.

Healthy living with John Hollis Pharmacy from Cindy Franklin, staff pharmacist.