I hope you had a great summer, and that you haven't been bothered by seasonal sensitivities!  But if you are, or if you know anyone who is, I have some up-to-date information for you.  We're still in ragweed season, which, for some, is worse than the earlier tree pollen and grass allergies.  Of course, the ragweed will soon be followed by leaf mold, so the allergy season is far from over.  With the hot humid weather over the summer, mold inside the home can also be an  issue well into the fall.

   What Are Sensitivities?

For a more detailed explanation of sensitivities (intolerances), please see our newsletter of May 2009 /newsletter/allergies-may-2009-volume-1-issue-3.html.  Briefly, a sensitivity or intolerance might be described by a medical person as an abnormal reaction of the immune system to a substance that is usually not harmful.  A natural health practitioner would describe a sensitivity as the inability of the liver to neutralize certain substances that build up within the body and eventually trigger an immune reaction.  The immune system produces an inflammatory response, involving the release of histamine - hence antihistamines are often used to counter the effects of hay fever type sensitivities.  The May 2009 newsletter also discusses food sensitivities, but for now, we'll stick to the hay fever type.


Ambrosia psilostachya kz1.jpgAmbrosia psilostachya

Ragweed pollen is one of the leading causes of hay fever in the United States, and undoubtedly the same is true in Canada.  The 41 species of annual ragweed have adapted to live in most areas of the U.S. and Canada. 

Ragweed season
Depending on your location, ragweed may begin spreading its pollen as early as the last week of July, and continue into the middle of October, or to the first frost.  Springtime reactions to ragweed are possible in climates mild enough for ragweed pollen to survive the winter, and be picked up by spring winds.

As if hay fever weren't enough, some sensitive people may develop contact dermatitis when exposed to ragweed as well.  The rash will usually resolve on its own within 2 or 3 weeks as long as there is not further contact with the plant.

Ragweed pollen spreads best on dry sunny days; in fact, humidity over 70% makes it more difficult for the pollen to travel, so there's an advantage to humid days.

Foods to avoid
Some foods and herbs contain proteins similar to those in ragweed pollen and may trigger symptoms if you have a ragweed sensitivity.  Symptoms related to food sensitivities will typically be worse during ragweed season.  The foods to watch out for are:

  • bananas
  • chamomile
  • cantaloupes
  • cucumbers
  • Echinacea
  • honeydew melons
  • watermelon
  • zucchini

Ragweed's here to stay!
Common ragweed's most likely point of origin was Ontario, leading to it being referred to as Canada's gift to the colonies!  Now ragweed can be found all across eastern and central Canada and the U.S., though thankfully there is little ragweed west of the Rockies.

Ragweed loves farmland - can you see where this is heading?  Yes, some ragweed in the U.S. has become resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, used on genetically modified crops (e.g. corn, canola, soybean).  This is the most recent development after years of unsuccessful attempts to eradicate ragweed by other means.  So now it's more resistant than ever.


Mold thrives in damp locations, especially basements, but also bathrooms and laundry rooms.  The damper the conditions, the more mold with thrive.  Of course, humid weather plays an important role.

Mold spores are spread by the wind, much like plant pollens.  However, unlike plant pollens, they are not destroyed by cold weather.  They simply become dormant over the winter, and reappear in the spring.  Fall and spring are generally their 'best' seasons (or our worst).  But summer humidity can increase the risk of exposure to mold as well.

   How Can I Get Rid of My Hay Fever Symptoms? Or Better Yet, My Sensitivities?

Avoiding pollen:

  • Keep windows closed to keep pollen outside.
  • Don't hang laundry out to dry - it will be covered with pollen.
  • Vacuum frequently to reduce pollen in carpets, upholstery and curtains.

Avoiding mold:

  • Rake leaves often and keep gutters clear.
  • Keep composters far from the house.
  • Clean up any debris in the yard that can harbour allergens and mold.
  • Run a dehumidifier in the basement.
  • Check your bathroom and laundry room frequently, especially in humid weather, for mold, and remove it.
  • Get rid of damp boxes of mementos, books and clothing.

Treating symptoms:
I'm sure you're familiar with antihistamines available at pharmacies for the treatment of the symptoms of hay fever.  One option is to find one that works well for you without causing either drowsiness or agitation.

Histablock is a Nature's Sunshine product, and a sort of natural antihistamine that you can order directly from our office.


  • Provides nutrients that support the respiratory system in its battle against allergens, pollutants, and toxins.
  • Supports the body’s efforts to control inflammation and swelling of mucous membranes.
  • Supports free breathing and may help reduce unpleasantness associated with allergens.
  • Provides antioxidant strength to help stabilize mast cells.

There are a number of additional ways you can minimize your susceptibility to allergens, for example by strengthening your immune system by taking AL-J http://www.ramilas.com/store/#!/~/product/id=6402681, vitamin C http://www.ramilas.com/store/#!/~/product/id=6402670, and taking anti-inflammatory products, such as Zambroza http://www.ramilas.com/store/#!/~/product/id=7802979.

A new way to treat allergies is with the Bionette, which you can purchase from our office.  The Bionette is a revolutionary electronic sensitivity relief device which uses red light phototherapy to treat allergic rhinitis (hay fever) symptoms.  Using low-level narrow band red light technology, this anti-inflammatory, intra-nasal device effectively relieves hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, itching, runny or stuffed nose, headache and teary eyes.  Bionette should be used for 4.5 minutes 2 to 3 times a day upon the first appearance of hay fever symptoms.  Once improvement occurs, the frequency of use can be gradually reduced as required. 
The Bionette is

  • clinically proven
  • drug-free
  • super compact and lightweight.

Please contact us for further information.

   The Best Option? Get Rid of Your Sensitivities! Completely and Easily.

You're probably familiar with the option of being tested for your sensitivities by means of small injections of substances to find out which you react to.  Then, typically, you receive an injection at intervals that range from each week to every 3 weeks for several years.  During this time, and sometimes even at the end of it, you still have to cope with your sensitivities.

Well, the good news is that we offer identification and 'clearing' (getting rid) of sensitivities that is not invasive, totally painless and quick!  We can test you for several hundred individual environmental sensitivities, as well as equal numbers of food sensitivities if needed. 

If you are interested in this, please contact me for an appointment at 613.829.0427.  For more information, please see our web site at /allergy-testing/.  Please note that while the web site mostly discusses food sensitivities, that the methods are equally applicable to, and effective for, environmental sensitivities.

For additional information, please email ramila@ramilas.com; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment.  Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter.  Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

  1. Ragweed. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ragweed  Accessed July 22, 2014.
  2. Kerr M. Ragweed allergies. http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/ragweed May 4, 2012.  Accessed July 22, 2014.
  3. Essau J. Ragweed's rule. http://allergicliving.com/2010/07/02/outdoor-allergy-ragweeds-rule/ Accessed July 22, 2014.
  4. Cerny D. Get a grip on ragweed allergy. http://allergicliving.com/2010/07/02/outdoor-allergy-ragweed-allergy-coping-strategies/  Accessed July 22, 2014.
  5. Cerny D. Allergic Living's guide to fall allergies. Allergic Living  http://allergicliving.com/2010/07/02/outdoor-allergy-guide-to-fall-allergies/  Accessed on July 22, 2014.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic