My latest qualification through the British School of Yoga is Allergies: Testing & Treatment.

There are four types of allergens which can affect any of us:

  1. Air borne ones which are inhaled or affect the eyes. Examples are house dust mites, tree or grass pollen, along with dog or cat hairs.
  2. Allergens which are ingested in food, drink or drugs. Examples are seafood, peanuts, food colourings and preservatives, grains, yeast and coffee.
  3. Physical contact allergens which cause skin rashes or itching. Examples are nickel costume jewellery, latex, detergents and some perfumes or soaps.
  4. Insect bites and stings. The main example is the wasp.

You may have one of these particular allergies or you probably know someone who is affected. Allergies or intolerances can be inherited but they can also develop with age, so I hope you find this subject interesting.

They can cause eczema, migraines, hay fever or Candida, but more seriously, asthma or anaphylactic shock.

It is important to know what triggers the reaction and also to understand how severe it can be. Some may just be irritating, while others will need medical help and possibly medication.

Your GP may offer to take blood tests for certain allergies. If you are just curious or believe that you are intolerant to a certain substance, I would recommend Jackie Reader of Solar Health in Sevenoaks. She uses a completely painless form of testing and can be contacted on 07899 957888 or

She will then advise you to stay away from the particular allergen. This is when I would definitely suggest you to keep a diary to record how you feel and the changes that happen to you over the following days and weeks.

Personally, I have become sensitive to lily pollen and the smell of certain conifer trees over the last few years. I feel my throat closing over slightly and I start to cough, so I always keep antihistamine tablets at home and in the car. This can especially cause a problem over the Christmas period so we have an artificial tree at home.

As always, if you are on any medication, it is important to check with your GP or pharmacist before using new supplements.

Best wishes

Jane Ardley

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