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花粉症に悩む人が5割超 !!
Pollen such as cryptomerias and Japanese cypresses appear in Japan every year from February until April. It has been predicted that the pollen count in 2006 will be less than last year but many people will still suffer from hay fever.
In the issue of Nikkei Business (6th February, 2006), 56.5% said that they were suffering from hay fever and even non-suffers were also anxious about developing it in the future. People who have been suffering from it for many years as well as those who are worried about developing it in the future, need to understand about hay fever.

An outline of Nikkei Business investigation Period (10th January - 17th January 2006)
A number of people who replied: Total 734 (660 men, 67 women, 7 not specified)
花粉症 Q&A
I suffer from it every year. Please tell me if there are any foods that are good for easing hay fever.
Hay fever is an allergy that is caused by plants’ pollen. At certain time of the year when pollen is dispersed, people suffer from sneezing, blocked nose,
itchy eyes, watery eyes and a sour throat etc. caused by the specific pollen acting as an allergen. These allergic symptoms are difficult to prevent by controlling what you eat, but it is possible to ease the symptoms. It is said that the active oxygen aggravates allergic symptoms, so hay fever suffers should be encouraged to eat food that have an antioxidative effect. It is also said that too much protein and fat in the diet could be a cause of the allergy. Fast foods, ready made foods, strong spices, alcohol and cigarettes should be avoided because they could aggravate the symptoms.
Hay fever is an allergy such as atopic dermatitis and asthma that have increased in recent years. The allergic person develops a protein called an antibody. When it comes in contact with an allergen, pollen in this case, the body releases various chemicals such as histamine which causes swelling and itching.

[ What is hay fever ? ]

1.  The allergen - pollen is inhaled.

2.  The antibody to the allergen is made inside the body.

3.  The antibody sticks to the gemastete cell on the surface of the mucous membrane
   of the nose.

4.  When the allergen enters the body, it starts “An allergen antibody reaction”

5.  As a result, a chemical such as histamine is released from the gemastete cell.

6.  The chemical such as histamine acts on the nerves and the blood vessels and
   causes hay fever symptoms such as sneezing and itchy eyes.
The Japan’s forestry plan is said to be one of the causes. Many Cryptomerias have been planted in recent years. Another could be that our immune system is not as effective as before due to the stressful nature of modern living.

1.  Avoid going out on a windy day.

2.  Wear pollen proof masks, hats and goggles etc. when out of doors.

3.  Wear garments made of closely weaved materials that pollen does not easily
   attach itself to.

4.  When coming in from outside, wash hands and face well and gargle thoroughly.

5.  Close doors and windows.

These conventional preventive measures would appear common sense to the long suffers, but they are not enough to prevent hay fever. What are needed now are more proactive measures.
Having understood the causes of recent increases in hay fever, it is important to improve our general health which in turn improves our anti-oxidation power and our immunity. The symptoms of hay fever are eased by taking the anti-allergy drugs commencing about two weeks before the season starts but they can have serious side effects. The followings are recommended.

1. Eat foods that help the immune system and minimize allergic problems.

2. Avoid additives and too much animal proteins and fat.

3. Eat plenty of vegetables and yoghurt that contains lactic acid bacterium.

Vitamins, minerals and polyphenols are understood to be effective. Kakishibu contains a lot of polyphenols, which is available as a supplement.

 ■ Persimmon
   leaf tea
An anti-allergic effect is recognized in flavonoid that is a kind of polyphenol found in persimmon leaf. It is rich in vitamin C therefore it is also good for the skin. It is also recommended for a block nose.
 ■ Ten-Cha Ten-Cha is a sweetened tea from the southern part of China. The polyphenols that are found in Ten-Cha are effective for allergy of the nose such as hay fever and also available as sweets etc.
 ■ Perilla seeds
  and Perilla leaf
They contain a lot of anti-oxidation materials. Leaves can be eaten as they are. The oil from Egoma that is the same family as Perilla also contains a lot of anti-oxidation materials.
 ■ Liboste In South Africa it is said, “Tea for perpetual youth and longevity” and “Tea that cures all diseases”. It contains Flavonoid that has an anti-oxidation power.
 ■ Adlay It contains anti-oxidation elements and is said to reduce inflammation caused by an allergy.
 ■ Herbs It is said that they have an anti-allergic action. Taken as herbal tea.

(Echinacea, Elder flower, Chamomile, Comfrey, Selbilm, St John’s Wort and thyme)

< Foods recommended during the pollen season >

  ・Foods with a lot of dietary fibres


  ・Beans such as soybeans and
    red beans






  ・Sesame seeds




  ・Red pepper


  ・Mandarin orange



  ・Pickled ume

< Foods not recommended during the pollen season >

  ・Foods and drinks containing
   a lot of sugar

  ・Fatty foods

  ・Animal proteins

  ・Fast foods


  ・Artificial oils and fats

  ・Corned beef

  ・Bamboo shoot

  ・Mochi Rice

  ・Fish eggs

  ・Prawns and crabs

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