Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

What is Alpha Lipoic Acid?

Is There a Non-Drowsy Antihistamine?

Q: Can you tell me what Alpha Lipoic Acid is and what it is used for?

A: Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is a vitamin-like coenzyme. It is referred to as “universal”, because it is both fat and water soluble. This means that it can neutralize free radicals in fatty and watery regions of cells. It can be transported across cell membranes for protection against free radicals both inside and outside the cell. ALA can also cross the blood-brain barrier, helping to eliminate toxins that effect the nervous system and to protect neurotransmitters.

In addition to its antioxidant properties, ALA directs calories away from fat production and toward energy production. Some other benefits of ALA are:

  • Enhances effects of other antioxidants, such as Vitamins C and E
  • Helps support blood sugar levels
  • Protects the liver
  • Supports cardiovascular and nerve cell health
  • ALA is extremely safe and beneficial for people of all ages.

Q: Can you recommend a natural antihistamine that will not make me drowsy?

A: Antihistamines are almost a necessity if you have allergies and live in St. Louis. Allergies are hypersensitive reactions by the immune system to things such as pollen, mold, dust mites, animal dander and food allergies. When exposed to these, the white blood cells, particularly the mast cells, produce histamine which create an inflammatory response (sneezing, watering eyes and coughing).
Antihistamines block the production of histamine, thereby reducing the symptoms. My favorite natural remedy is called “HistaBlock”. It contains stinging nettle, quercetin, bromelain and fructus aurantia. It helps to stabilize the mast cells, making them less likely to rupture and release more histamine. It is a very effective, safe alternative without any side effects.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011. www.morethanherbsonline.com.