Histamines are a chemical your immune system has in its tool box of preparedness to deal with invasion of unwelcome bits that cause reaction in your body, and for good reason. They envelop invasive particles, accepted as ‘allergens’ making them unable to do harm. Great if the result is an improvement but not great if they cause challenges for your quality of life in the form of sneezing, runny nose and asthma or even less obvious ways like causing you to sleep less.
Welcome to Spring and Rhinitis; hay fever, allergies, followed by anti-histamines; medicines that ask your immune system to calm the histamines down. It sounds ludicrous but, sometimes histamines overreact to benign and usually harmless stimuli, mistaking them for more malicious ones and well, snot and runny eyes are the unfortunate result. I have thought about the idea of meditating on calming my histamines down with my mind instead of buying anti-histamines with no clear result but something that does seem to be a good alternative is remedying gut microbiome, which is reported to be where 70% of our immune system operates from.
In a recent study, improved gut health; the cultures of bacteria that develop the food you eat into usable energy, found that symptoms caused by pollen were significantly reduced when patients were given probiotics containing lactobacillus gasseri, bifidobacterium bifidum and bifidobacterium longum. These probiotics are readily available in capsule and dry oral applications, and while there is nothing wrong with taking probiotic medicines, in fact they are measurably beneficial and highly recommended, fermented beverage, kefir, is a much tastier and enjoyable way to deliver these very cultures.
Kefir is a naturally fermented food that transforms sugars and lactose in water or milk and according to healthline.com "...[milk] Kefir is low in lactose because its lactic acid bacteria have already pre-digested the lactose. People who have lactose intolerance can often drink kefir without problems". This reinforces the notion that letting micro-organisms do the work of making sure chemicals and nutrients are fit for our body's best condition, so that our histamines can be saved for real threats, is plausible. Reinforcing our immune system through providing the right cultures for our gut microbiome is a direct and healthy intervention that can reduce the effects of your environment from the inside.
Try as little as 40ml per day of this delicious drink and see for yourself if there is any truth in these growing number of studies supporting gut health as the centre of operations, working to keep us healthy and avoid chronic diseases. Comment below on your kefir experience, we would love to hear from you!
You can ferment your own water or milk kefir with kefir grains fresh or dried from NUmeSa Foods from their online store and grow your own life changing brews! Read this previous blog to find out how.
Or if you are like me and prefer to have it delivered you can buy bottled kefir from the small factory in Pretoria supplying health food stores country wide, right here.
We at Numesa believe that a healthy tummy means a happy life!
Written by Viv Brown