A holistic approach to allergies

Dr Cornelia Botha and Dr Tanith Davidson treat allergies in their practice and have compiled the below article. Dr Botha focusses more on headaches, respiratory and digestive allergies, whereas Dr Davidson focusses more on skin allergies. To make an appointment with either Dr Cornelia Botha or Dr Tanith Davidson please contact their receptionist by visiting the contact page.

Allergies are not only about the common seasonal allergies to pollens or allergies to animal dander. There are many different types of allergies that are caused by different mechanisms in the body. Some of the mechanisms and causes are still unknown to medical scientists.

An allergy is an abnormal reaction of a one’s immune system to a normally harmless substance, which results in any combination of symptoms. In the case of seasonal allergies to pollens the characteristic reaction includes itchy eyes and nose, sneezing, sinusitis, running or blocked nose and / or difficulty breathing. The so-called seasonal allergies (hay fever etc) are rarely only seasonal nowadays. A lot of, if not most, people experience these symptoms for most of the year.

Some people have allergic and hypersensitivity reactions to food. For information on the role of food in allergy disease please click here. Other diseases that are fueled by IgE type allergies include angioedema (swelling of the eyelids and/or lips), hives (medically referred to as urticaria), asthma and eczema.

Food hypersensitivity reactions have been associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, migraine & migraine-like headaches, crohn’s disease (a severe inflammatory bowel disease), juvenile obesity, asthma, eczema, and other diseases. To learn more about food hypersensitivities click here.


A thorough approach will include the taking of a full medical history (including the use of medical drugs), in addition to assessing the patient in light of homeopathy and other healing traditions. Information regarding diet and lifestyle will also be very important. Gut pathology often plays and role in allergies, as well as hidden infections such as H. pylori and Candida. Appropriate laboratory testing can be done to screen for these. Many allergic diseases will benefit from assessment of both IgE and IgG reactions.

In some case we find that one or more the patient’s specific liver detoxification systems are not functioning properly or that the natural antioxidant capacity is compromised. These factors are assessed by advanced biotransformation testing. The detailed report from this kind of testing can help tailor a treatment program. Research shows that chemicals additives in food and heavy metal exposure can trigger and aggravate allergies. Heavy metal challenge testing is an important tool in assessing an allergic disease.

Your allergic disease may be influenced by one or a combination of several aforementioned factors.

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Fortunately various options for natural and complementary treatments are available. A simplistic approach to allergies such as employing anti-histamine drugs or even antihistamine herbs seldom produces the results they did in the past. Each patient should be assessed as individual so that the correct and safest combination of homeopathic remedies, western and Chinese herbs, personalised detoxification plans, antioxidants and other supplements can be prescribed. Dietary and other lifestyle changes should also be given.

Desensitization treatment is very effective in many cases, particularly where inhaled allergens are causing hayfever and asthma. But we find it also works well in cases of eczema and hives. Making this type of treatment involves collecting a sample of the patient’s blood and sending it off to a lab that produces an injectable homeopathic medicine that reduces the person's reaction to his or her allergens. The medicine is completely individualized; no-one else can use it. This desensitization treatment is used by the patient for 5 - 10 weeks only and the effects last for 9 months - 2 years. It can then be repeated if necessary and each time it is repeated a person will be desensitized for longer and longer periods. Desensitization treatment is available at a cost of R 2600.20 (excluding the consultation fee).

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To make an appointment with either Dr Cornelia Botha or Dr Tanith Davidson please contact their receptionist by visiting the contact page.