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SUMMER RECIPES Painting your home the healthy way THE



6 GREAT competitions – see inside

summer hay fever + insect stings + eczema tips

Allergies can be an issue all year round Insect Bites





1 in 3 New Zealanders suffer from allergies. Luckily Arrowcare offer a full range of allergy medicines to help you combat your allergy triggers. If you have itchy eyes or skin, sneezing or runny nose, allergies could be the culprit – talk to your pharmacist about which Arrowcare product is right for you.

0393 LWA

Recommendations should be consistent with the datasheet, label or pack insert of each medicine, which should be consulted. Arrowcare Zetop, Fexofast and Lorafix: always read the label and use as directed. People with kidney problems, and pregnant or breast-feeding women should seek medical advice before taking these medications. If symptoms persist see your Doctor or health professional. TAPS CH4464. *IMS, 2014. Total tablets including those on prescription.

Actavis New Zealand Ltd.

0800 800 097 fax: 0800 800 662 Auckland, New Zealand


LIVING WITH ALLERGIES PUBLISHER Published by Hawkhurst Media Services Ltd PO Box 25679, St Heliers, Auckland 1740 Director: Kerry McKenzie 09 589 1054 or 0275 969 979 ADVERTISING Advertising sales: Maree Selak 021 503 848


2 News and Views

BUY A MAGAZINE Visit our website 09 589 1054 G livingwithallergiesmagazine


PRODUCTION Editor: Sara Carbery Design: Rose Miller at Kraftwork Proofreader: Stella Clark


PRINTER McCollams Print

14 Summer stings

ISSN: 2324-2213

4 Hello summer, hello hay fever


7 What’s in your paint? 12 A dozen things you can do for healthy eyes



16 The wonders of probiotics

Disclaimer: Every effort is made to ensure accuracy but Living with Allergies accepts no liability for errors of fact or opinion. Information in this publication is not intended to replace advice by your health professional. If in doubt check with your allergy specialist, GP, nurse, dietitian or other health care professional.


Editorial and advertising material does not necessarily reflect the views of the Editor or publisher. Advertising in Living with Allergies does not constitute endorsement of any product. Living with Allergies is an independent publication and is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by the charity Allergy New Zealand. © All rights reserved. No article in whole or part should be reprinted without permission of the Editor.



19 Summer-time eczema

FOOD & RECIPES 24 Easy summer fare



32 Useful snippets


Look out for six great reader competitions throughout the magazine. See inside for how to enter or go to

allergy aware GIVEAWAY

Hedrin 15 is a fast and effective head lice treatment. It is proven to kill head lice and eggs with just one treatment and is suitable from six months of age. We have three bottles of liquid gel and three bottles of spray gel (RRP $26.99 each) to give away. Enter online at or email with HEDRIN 15 in the subject line. Entries close 29 February 2016.


If you’ve got a severely allergic teen or young person in your life, do them a favour and get them to watch this powerful short video. Produced by the Anaphylaxis Campaign in the UK, it highlights the importance of carrying their Adrenaline Auto-Injector (AAI), the first line of treatment for anaphylaxis, at all times.

Dogs & Asthma

We know that children with established allergy to dogs should avoid them, but a comprehensive study from Sweden indicates that growing up with a dog reduces a child’s risk of asthma. The study concluded that dog exposure during the first year of life was associated with a 15% lower likelihood of childhood asthma, while living close to farm animals cut the risk by 52%. These findings lend strong support to the “hygiene hypothesis” that suggests living in too-clean conditions early in life can increase susceptibility to allergy conditions such as asthma. According to the hypothesis, lack of early exposure to microbes and parasites may prevent the immune system developing properly. As a result, natural checks on unwanted immune responses that can lead to allergy are lacking.


NEW 100% Certified Natural & Organic Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Body Care range is made with organic almond oil and helps strengthen the skin’s own protective barrier function. Each prize pack includes one each of Body Wash 200ml, Body Lotion 200ml and Hand Cream 50ml. We have two prize packs to give away, each valued at $70.70 RRP. View and buy the range at Enter online at or email with WELEDA ALMOND in the subject line. Entries close 29 February 2016. 2 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015


Nip Spring Allergens in the Bud

Works in just 15 minutes

Do you love the idea of getting out into nature or petting a cat but hate the reality of irritating pollen, grass and fur? Are simple tasks like going out for a walk or cuddling your pet fraught with the anxiety of a reaction to allergens? Clinicians Allerstop is the first dietary supplement available over the counter for allergen support and is suitable for the entire family to use, including children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. Allerstop is a completely natural formula that works rapidly to provide support for your body’s response to indoor and outdoor allergens such as mould, dust mites, pet hair, grasses and pollen. Allerstop’s ingredients are proven to be effective and the fast release formulation means allergen support will occur within 15 minutes. Clinicians, a research-based New Zealand natural health company, has developed the unique formula in Allerstop using a specialised protein found in quail eggs, an ingredient the company has exclusive rights to use in this country. “This specialised protein was originally discovered in the 1970s in France where research allergist Dr Bruttmann found a powdered quail egg formula supported the body’s response to environmental irritants,” explains Clinicians’ Naturopath Jane Cronin. “These irritants contain enzymes that, when inhaled, irritate the lining of the nasal passages. Allerstop contains bio-active proteins that block irritants before they affect the nasal passage.” Clinicians Allerstop is available from all good pharmacies and health stores. To find out more, go to LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015 3

summer allergies

HELLO SUMMER, HELLO HAY FEVER Yay, summer – hours spent swinging, swimming, and soaking up the sun! Sadly the silly season isn’t such a fun time for hay fever sufferers. Immunologist and Allergy Specialist, Dr Andrew Baker, has some advice on minimising the harm.


Q: Is summer the peak time for hay fever? Spring through to summer is the peak time for hay fever. The medical term we would use for this is allergic rhinitis (nose) and allergic conjunctivitis (eyes) due to grasses and tree pollens. In general, for those that are allergic to tree pollens, the peak time is early spring, usually August/September, and often only for a couple of weeks. For those who are grass allergic, grass pollens are around from September until March, with a peak in October and November, so these are often the worst months. Q: What are hay fever rates like in NZ and how do they compare with the rest of the world? New Zealand has a very high rate of allergic rhinitis/ hay fever, with up to 30% of people suffering to some degree. While for many this can be mild and not a major problem, a large number also have severe or debilitating symptoms at times, affecting quality of life and causing missed days at school and work, and severe fatigue.

We are one of the worst affected countries for hay fever. The high level of dust mites in our homes (which causes year round allergic rhinitis) may be partly the cause. Q: Who is most likely to be affected by hay fever? Hay fever is more common in children, but 50% will not grow out of it and it will persist right throughout their adult lives. Q: What can people do to protect themselves/ their children from hay fever during the summer months? It is very difficult to avoid pollen because it is everywhere over spring and summer. Generally speaking, pollen avoidance does not work. I would recommend being mindful of times when further exposure is likely to occur and taking an antihistamine before this exposure rather than once the symptoms occur. Examples include driving in the car on a dry spring or summer’s day (remember to put the airflow on recycle), or if you’re going out into the country/fields.

MULTI-HERB REMEDY *Astragalus (Rhina-mpÂŽ)

Ki’s new Hayfever Control Formula has natural, herbal ingredients which help relieve the symptoms of hayfever. Build your immunity and help yourself ease the symptoms of hayfever! After all it makes sense, that nature helps clear the problem it creates in the first place. Available from selected health food stores and pharmacies. Always read the label and use only as directed.If symptoms persist see your doctor/healthcare professional. CHC70720-05/15

summer allergies Top 5 tips for hay fever sufferers 1 Get a regular treatment plan in place rather than reacting to symptoms when they occur. 2 Use a regular nasal spray such as flixonase or butacort. 3 When you start a steroid nasal spray be aware of several things: • These are slow to work, so take regularly for one month before deciding whether it helps or not. • If your symptoms feel better, continue with the nasal spray, don’t stop; they are best used as a regular preventer. • Nasal sprays often seem like an irritant/painful, or wet and unhelpful in the first week of use, but this gets better with time. It’s just because your nose is inflamed that they seem intolerable at first. Persist with them; it gets better. 4 Definitely don’t use otravine, as this causes severe rebound blockage. 5 Consider desensitisation – this is the best long term treatment solution. Dr Andrew Baker is an Immunologist and Allergy Specialist at Waitemata Allergy Clinic on Auckland’s North Shore. See


Natural relief of allergy and sinusitis symptoms • Hayfever & Sinusitis Drops - for hayfever and congested sinuses • Sinus Drops - for runny sinus conditions Available in 30ml & 100ml

Weleda - in harmony with nature and the human being



Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. Hayfever & Sinusitis Drops: Contains equal parts of: Alumen chromicum 6x; Sabadilla 6x; Gelsemium, decoct. 6x; Kalium bichromicum 6x; in water/ethanol base. Sinus Drops: Contains equal parts of: Berberis, fruit 3x; Prunus spinosa, herb 3x; Quartz 20x; in water/ethanol base. Weleda (NZ) Ltd, Havelock North (TAPS PP6972)

healthy homes


YOUR PAINT? Looking to tidy up your home with a fresh lick of paint? Before you break out the paintbrushes, think about the type of products you’ll be using. Are they really the best choice for you and your family?

Freshen up your next paint job with Resene Zylone Sheen VOC Free, which combines the popular low sheen of Resene Zylone Sheen without the unwanted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for better indoor air quality


HEN IT COMES to paint nasties, volatile organic

compounds (VOCs) are the big baddies to steer clear of, especially if anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma. VOCs are chemicals that become airborne – and therefore breathable – at room temperature. H2O is the Way to Go Water-based products are less harmful to use, breathe and dispose of than their oil-based enamel counterparts. Water-based acrylic paints and finishes can still contain VOCs, so check the label for the VOC level (or the percentage of hydrocarbon solvent), or look for an Environmental Choice NZ label. To be licensed to use the label, paint must – among other things – not contain more than 25% hydrocarbon solvents by weight. Natural, plant-based paints and finishes are another good option. They contain plant oils based on citrus or tree oils and natural turpentine and release low levels of non-toxic VOCs. Solvent-based products such as oil-based enamel paints, and some varnishes, can release significant levels of VOCs during and after application. Scarily, polyurethane can give off VOCs for years, and can cause respiratory and skin conditions. Handle with care! As well as being used to clean brushes, mineral turpentine may be used as a solvent in the paint and as a paint thinner during use. Once again, handle with care. Turps can contain benzene, which is carcinogenic. Continues on p8…



Protect your kitchen, bathroom, laundry and other indoor wet areas with the Resene Kitchen & Bathroom range, formulated with antibacterial silver and MoulDefender to minimise mould and bacteria growth. ®

Now that’s fresh thinking!

Only from 0800 RESENE (737 363)


How will I know? If you’re not sure what to look for in the ingredient list, opt for paints and products endorsed by independent schemes such as Environmental Choice New Zealand. These products have low levels of VOCs and hydrocarbon solvents; and no heavy metals, formaldehyde or harmful solvents. See whether your product makes the cut at www. The Asthma Foundation’s Sensitive Choice programme is another trustworthy endorsement to look out for. They encourage manufacturers and suppliers to offer products and services


that are asthma and allergy friendly. To find out more, see www.asthmafoundation. When you’re finished Where possible, keep or give away unused paint – don’t throw it away. To minimise waste, only buy as much as you need. Natural paints and finishes will eventually biodegrade on disposal, but all products should be disposed of carefully. Never tip paint or solvents down a storm water drain as they can contaminate waterways. Check with your local council. Some regions

have paint collection and recycling schemes for old and leftover paint, and there are recycled paints available. Container recycling should be possible through metals or plastics recycling, especially for environmentally labelled products. Resene runs a Paintwise programme where unwanted paint is disposed of responsibly or given away to community groups. Just bring your unwanted paint and paint containers into your local Resene ColorShop and they’ll do the rest. With thanks to

YOUR GP has never been closer. • • • •

Request repeat prescriptions Book appointments Check your lab results Communicate easily with your GP

Patient portals is an easy, safe and convenient way for you to manage your health care 24/7 from anywhere. Ask your GP today or for more information visit


Conjunctivitis – an easy way to stop the spread Applying eye treatments up to five times a day can be tricky. So getting a treatment which can be used less often helps keep on top of conjunctivitis, which is highly contagious. Over-the-counter conjunctivitis treatments need to be applied up to five times a day. Applying eye drops can be fiddly at any age so the fewer times a day you need to do it, the better. Fortunately one uniquely formulated product, available on prescription from your doctor, only needs to be used twice a day. It’s called Fucithalmic® and now it’s fully funded.


Designed for both adults and children, its ease of use will be a welcome relief for both parents and little ones.

CONVENIENT FOR ALL THE FAMILY Its convenience means Fucithalmic® fits better around family commitments, such as work, school, preschool and daycare. For busy parents, being able to apply eye drops in the morning and evening only, means it’s easier to follow through with treatment.


CONJUNCTIVITIS – A COMMON PROBLEM You may know conjunctivitis as ‘pink eye’ or ‘red eye’. Common symptoms include redness, itching, swelling of the eyelids and a discharge that may cause the lids and lashes to be matted together in the mornings. There can be a scratchy feeling, pain with bright light, or tearing. Conjunctivitis affects approximately 12% of New Zealand’s population and peaks from winter through to springtime. The three most common ways you can get it are through an allergic reaction, from bacteria, or from a virus.

FEATURES AND BENEFITS •E  asier than multiple-application products • Opaque  drop turns into clear gel, for clear vision after use • Effective and well-tolerated •U  sed by New Zealanders for over 13 years •N  ow fully funded (ie. you will not pay for the medicine – only doctor’s and pharmacy fees apply).

Ea sy to catch M ost ba cte ria th at ca us e conjun ctivit is are sprea d th rou gh direct ha nd-to -e ye conta ct fro m conta mi nated ha nd s. Th e dis ea se ca n be ca ug ht just by tou ch ing som ething th at wa s ha ndled by an infect ed pe rso n. For thi s rea son, pe op le wh o are dia gn osed wit h conjun ctivit is, pa rticula rly ch ild should sta y ho me until treat ren, me nt ha s sta rted, to avoid infect ing oth ers.


Ask your doctor if FUCITHALMIC® is right for you.

Now fully funded conjunctivitis treatment.

Fucithalmic® (Fusidic Acid 1% ) is a Prescription Medicine for the treatment of bacterial infections of the eye like conjunctivitis. Medicines have risks and benefits. Do not use if you wear contact lenses. Do not drive or operate machinery if vision is blurred after application. Possible side effects: mild stinging and burning in the eye, tearing & blurring of the eyes. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your doctor. For further details refer to Consumer Medicine Information on, Seqirus (NZ) Ltd, Auckland. Fucithalmic® is a registered trademark of Amdipharm Limited. TAPS NA6382 FUCI-018-10/15


eye health

A DOZEN THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR HEALTHY EYES Dust mites, pollen, fur … they’re difficult to avoid. But here are 12 things you can do to minimise your exposure to the pesky allergens that can irritate eyes.

You’ve heard the saying, “prevention is better than cure”. Dr Malcolm McKellar has some suggestions for preventing allergic conjunctivitis – and the red, watery and itchy eyes that accompany it.

1 Stay indoors and close windows when

pollen and dust levels are high. (Check out the MetService Pollen Forecast for your region.)

2 Dust with a damp cloth to remove pollen and dust from surfaces in your home and car.

3 Wash your face when you come in from outside to banish pollens, dust and fur.

4 Delegate the lawn mowing and

gardening duties to someone else.

Kill dust mites by hanging bedding out in the sun

5 Remove plants such as silver birch, privet and pussy willow from your garden.

6 Wear goggles and wrap-around sunglasses when you’re outside.

7 Avoid parks, forests and gardens in spring time. (A big ask, we know.)

8  Fit dust covers on pillows and mattresses. 9 Place furniture and bedding in sunlight to kill dust mites. Alternatively, place bedding/ pillows/cushions in a paper rubbish sack and leave in the freezer overnight.

10 Remove or replace carpet. 11 Choose ‘low allergy’ pets. Install air conditioning and air filters. 12 

With thanks to Dr Malcolm McKellar, an optometrist and ophthalmologist based in Christchurch. 12 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015























® ZADITEN Eye Drops


Allergy Tablets






± Than antihistamine tablets alone

PHARMACY MEDICINE. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, SEE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL. Zaditen® eye drops solution is indicated for symptomatic short-term treatment of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis in adults and children 3 years or older. References: 1. New Zealand, Zaditen® Data Sheet. 2. The Medical Letter. Drugs of Choice Handbook - Drugs for Allergic Disorders. Original publication date – February 2010 (revised March 2012);1-29. Alcon Laboratories (Australia) Pty Ltd. Distributed by Pharmaco (NZ) Ltd. 4 Fisher Crescent, Mt. Wellington, Auckland. Ph 0800 101 106. POPH.150703. NP4.A21508367415. TAPS.PP6878. 3

Zaditen® relieves allergy eyes within minutes and 1,2 n® protects against symptoms for up to 12 hours. Zadite 1

first aid

More time spent enjoying the great outdoors can mean bee and wasp stings are an unwelcome part of summer.

Summer Stings


HILE unpleasant,

for most of us a wasp or bee sting just means a bit of pain, itchiness, redness and minor swelling; easily remedied by an ice pack or wet cloth, and antihistamine tablets or lotions, hydrocortisone cream, vinegar or calamine lotion. But for a small percentage of the population, a sting can be deadly – around 2–3 people die each year in New Zealand from insect sting reactions. Knowing what to do if someone has an allergic reaction could mean the difference between life and death. Anaphylactic Symptoms An anaphylactic reaction occurs when the body’s antibodies respond to the insect venom by releasing 14 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015

chemicals such as histamine and serotonin that trigger an allergic reaction. Symptoms of a moderate general or anaphylactic reaction include hives or itching, puffy eyelids and puffy lips. Symptoms of a severe anaphylactic reaction include swelling of the tongue, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and wheezing, dizziness and light-headedness, difficulty breathing, anxiety and disorientation, nausea and vomiting, symptoms of shock such as rapid heartbeat, weak pulse and a drop in blood pressure, and a loss of consciousness or seizures. What to Do Call an ambulance immediately by dialling 111. All suspected anaphylactic

reactions require prompt medical treatment. A reaction that may initially seem mild can progress to being more severe. Severe anaphylactic reactions need immediate treatment with adrenaline, given in the form of an injection. The main action of adrenaline is to strengthen the force of the heart’s contraction and to open up the airways in the lungs. Adrenaline is usually sufficient to reverse the reaction, although more than one dose may be required to achieve this. People who know they have anaphylactic reactions will generally carry selfinjectable adrenaline (e.g. an EpiPen). This needs to be administered into the large muscle in the front of their thigh. The device only

contains one dose, so medical assessment after the adrenaline has been administered is crucial in case the reaction worsens and further doses of adrenaline are required. Immunotherapy It is possible to reduce the severity of future reactions – or even prevent them altogether – through a treatment known as immunotherapy (aka desensitisation). Immunotherapy uses insect venom to gradually build tolerance to the venom. Injections of small amounts of bee or wasp venom will be given every week until the amount of venom in a sting can be tolerated. Once this happens, maintenance injections will need to be given every few weeks for up to five years. Immunotherapy is generally only recommended for severe anaphylactic reactions where there are breathing difficulties or loss of consciousness.

Avoiding Stings To avoid stings, Allergy New Zealand recommends you take the following measures: • Wear closed footwear when outside • Cover arms and legs when outdoors • Avoid strong perfumes – they can attract insects • Avoid pastel coloured clothing • Rubbish should be disposed of promptly – wasps are attracted to rubbish and rotting fruit • Avoid eating sweets outdoors • Have someone else do the gardening and the lawns • Call a professional pest control agent to destroy wasp nests promptly • Use an insect repellent. If you’re stung by a bee and the stinger remains embedded in the skin, remove it carefully. This can be done by scraping under the barbed stinger with a knife blade, fingernail or sharp clean object. Try not to grasp the stinger when pulling it out

as this may cause more venom to be injected. It is particularly important to remove the tip. Be Prepared If you experience severe reactions, make sure you carry an emergency kit containing antihistamine tablets and self-injectable adrenaline with you at all times. This may also be appropriate if you experience mild reactions, in order to prevent the reaction from becoming more severe. Wearing a Medic Alert bracelet and carrying an identification card will provide helpful information in the event of a severe anaphylactic reaction. With thanks to Southern Cross Healthcare Group


We have a Stress Support Pack (RRP $109.90) from awardwinning SleepDrops to give away. Combining a month’s supply of SleepDrops Powder and Daytime Revive this comprehensive pack supports natural energy production and soothes frazzled nerves to help you get more out of your day and a better night’s sleep. Always read the label and take as directed. Enter online at or email with SLEEPDROPS in the subject line. Entries close 29 February 2016. LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015 15

natural health

The Wonders of PROBIOTICS They’re tiny but oh, so important. Naturopath Rebekah Paddy, from Mother-Well Holistic Health, explains what probiotics are and how they can help with allergies. What are probiotics? In short, they’re beneficial bacteria. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes probiotics as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”– that’s us! There are about 100 trillion bacteria living in our gastrointestinal tract (GIT), made up of 500 different species and thousands of different strains. What do probiotics do? These little microbes are multi-taskers, regulating our entire immune system and reducing risk of allergies and auto immune conditions. They also help digest our food, make essential vitamins, and help regulate inflammatory cytokines which are associated with inflammation and pain. Certain strains are seen to have anti-bacterial effects and others anti-viral properties. 16 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015

What is the link between probiotics and the immune system? Over 80% of our immune system resides in our digestive tract which means good gut health will directly improve our overall health. Beneficial bacteria (probiotics) are a very important part of this and are often seen as the cornerstone to our immunity. There is a vast amount of work that still needs to be done before we really understand how probiotics work, but the little we do know is pretty convincing. Probiotic supplementation has been shown to be helpful not only as a treatment option, but also as a preventative, including for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Amazingly, the good bacteria infants are exposed to in the first three months of life, through the birthing process and breastfeeding, set up a blueprint which generally stays with that person for life.

How do probiotics help with allergies? Allergies manifest when the immune system overreacts to harmless substances such as food or pollen. Probiotics keep the immune system balanced so it doesn’t ‘overreact’ to these things. A review of 21 studies that included 11,000 children at risk for developing eczema, showed that supplementing with beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus rhapsodic GG (LGG) or Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain HN001 reduced risk of eczema onset by 50% compared to a placebo. This was also seen in children who took a multi-strain probiotic. Are there side effects? All clinical reviews on probiotic efficacy and benefits have reported no harmful effects from probiotic use – so this is a very safe therapy. It should be noted, however, that at times the introduction of probiotics can initially increase symptoms such as flatulence

Foods such as fermented vegetables, kombucha and kefir have gut healing and probiotic properties and can be made at home. and bloating. It is usually advisable to start slowly to avoid this, and build up to the recommended daily dose. Are probiotics good to take when you’re taking antibiotics? Yes! The diarrhoea, bloating or thrush (candida) which sometimes manifest after antibiotic therapy are in part due to the killing off of the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, along with the bad. A 2012 review of 82 studies concluded that taking probiotics during antibiotic use reduces the risk of antibiotic associated diarrhoea (AAD), by 42%. Timing is important though. You need to take antibiotics and probiotics at least two hours apart. What about fermented foods? Fermented foods are enjoying a renaissance due to their gut healing and probiotic

properties. A whole article could be written on these, but in general, if you are well and just want a boost to your diet and wellbeing, fermented foods work wonderfully. Cultured yoghurts can be bought along with kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and pickled foods or you can easily and cheaply make your own. If, however, you have compromised immunity, a health condition or have had antibiotic treatment, I would recommend either a specific strain probiotic in high doses (eg LGG for eczema, Lactobacillus for upper respiratory condition, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii for candida), or a multi-strain option (often strains such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus, Streptococcus, and the yeast Saccharomyces), which will help with repopulation after antibiotics or for GI inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease. Once balance has been regained,

you can use fermented foods as a maintenance option. Finally – there’s only one letter difference – what is a prebiotic? A prebiotic is a substance – usually a food or herb – that helps to feed the good bacteria and create a healthy microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract. Common prebiotics used include slippery elm powder, garlic, onions, beans, legumes such as lentils, apples and root vegetables such as kumara and beetroot. Alongside daily fermented foods, prebiotics help to keep our fragile internal ecosystem healthy and well populated, which in turn supports a regulated and ‘intelligent’ immune system. Bon appetit! Rebekah Paddy is a Naturopath, Medical Herbalist and Director, at Mother-Well Holistic Health,, 09-6300067














USL Consumer toll free 0800 658 814 Email us at or visit * 1. Ian F Burgess and Nazma A Burgess, Dimeticone 4% liquid gel found to kill all lice and eggs with a single 15 minute application. BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:15 2. Burgess IF, Lee N, Matlock G, Randomised controlled, assessor blind trial comparing 4% dimeticone lotion with 0.5% malathion liquid for head louse infestation. PLoS ONE 2(11):e1127 published Nov 2007. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. TAPS NA 7886




UMMER can be both

Have you noticed your child’s eczema improves or gets worse at different times of the year? While some parents find summer aggravates their child’s skin, for others the sunny season – and the increased exposure to UV light – bring welcome relief.

a good and a bad time for eczema, says dermatologist Dr Steve Helander. “Many patients do benefit from some careful sun exposure and relaxation during time at the beach. “However the eczema may get worse due to heat, sweating and tight clothing or due to exercise in hot conditions over summer. Also with such sensitive skin, it is possible to react to sunblock.” Excessive sweating and then over-washing the skin afterwards, can also aggravate the eczema by drying the skin, he says. “And occasionally eczema may be aggravated directly by sun exposure, in which case it often appears on areas directly exposed to the sun, for example the face and upper chest.”

Things you can do To alleviate discomfort during the summer months… • Dress your child in cotton clothing; avoid wool or synthetics. “Loose cool clothing can certainly help.” • Using plenty of moisturiser is essential, particularly if your child is bathing more often. Using a soap substitute will also help. • Using low irritancy sunblock, such as the type that contains only titanium dioxide, rather than chemical products, may be helpful. Dermatologist Dr Steve Helander runs a medical practice in Ponsonby, Auckland (All Saints Centre). Phone (09) 360 0432.


Need relief from dry, itchy skin? Comvita has a full range of Medihoney® products for natural relief from dry, itchy skin. The formulations are certified natural, fragrance free, soap free and dermatologically tested. Enriched with medical grade honey, oat extract and nourishing plant butters, these products help to replenish dry skin for a healthier you. We have one full set of Comvita’s certified natural Medihoney® Range to give away, including the Soap Free Wash, Moisturising Lotion, Derma Cream, Skintensive™ Cream and Antibacterial Wound Gel™ (total RRP $96.75). Enter online at or email with MEDIHONEY in the subject line. Entries close 29 February 2016. LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015 19

White Mallow Baby Derma range soothes hypersensitive skin 100% certified natural & organic

Weleda - in harmony with nature and the human being


The fragrance free Weleda White Mallow range is specifically designed for baby skin that is hypersensitive or prone to eczema


Top 5 Tips for Parents of Children with Eczema 1 2 3

Use plenty of moisturiser, even when your child’s eczema has settled down. Avoid over-washing the skin. Some careful sun exposure will probably help with controlling your child’s eczema.

4 Don’t be afraid to use topical steroids as directed.


Only a minority of children benefit from dietary restriction so make sure all the basic, simple treatments are in place before you pursue this.


100% Certified Natural & Organic, Weleda White Mallow Baby Derma products are fragrance free and soothe hypersensitive skin, ideal for those susceptible to eczema. We have a Weleda White Mallow pack to give away –White Mallow Body Lotion 200ml, White Mallow Face Cream 50ml & White Mallow Nappy Change Cream 50ml – valued at $69.70 RRP. View the range at Enter online at or email with WELEDA in the subject line. Entries close 29 February 2016. LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015 21


Keep cool this summer The long awaited summer is finally here. For people with dry, itchy skin, the arrival of summer can often mean worsening skin dryness, rashes and prickly, hot skin. Dry skin lacks some of the oily coating that surrounds skin cells, allowing more water to escape from the skin than normal. When skin becomes hot, the blood vessels in the skin enlarge to allow heat to escape. This process cools the body’s core temperature although it does heat the surface of the skin, causing more water to evaporate. Hot, dry skin often worsens itching and can lead to skin irritation. Keeping cool and hydrated is no easy task in the heat of summer. Here are some skin-friendly tips for keeping cool. •

When bathing, keep the water temperature cool or warm, never hot. Hot showers heat the skin, causing more water to be lost from the body. Bubbles and luxuriously fragranced soaps may be lovely to wash with but can have a detrimental effect on the skin. These products can strip away the skin’s natural oils, worsening dryness. Often water alone is sufficient for cleansing. When skin needs extra cleansing use Medihoney® Natural Soap Free Wash to gently cleanse and nourish the skin.

Get creative with bathing. To keep little ones cool and happy, bathe outside in the early evening in a paddling pool. Add flower petals and leaves to the water for a skin-friendly alternative to bubbles.

Garden sprinklers can also be a great way for children to cool down in summer.


When swimming, chlorinated pools or salt water may aggravate dry and irritated skin. Consider protecting skin with a layer of moisturiser before swimming. Shower off the salt or chlorine before gently patting skin dry.

• Moisturise within three minutes of getting out of the water for maximum hydration. Use an all-over lotion such as Medihoney® Natural Moisturising Lotion for fast penetration. This certified natural moisturiser is dermatologically tested and fragrance free. Enriched with medical grade manuka honey, oat extract and rich plant butters to nourish and protect dry skin. •

Patches of rough, red skin that are hot and prickly may benefit from a cooling application of Medihoney® Natural Derma Cream. Keep a tube in the fridge and apply the soothing cream whenever skin is hot and irritated.

When skin is particularly hot, a cool damp cloth applied over the moisturiser can aid cooling.


Certified Natural Relief for Dry, Itchy and Sensitive Skin. • Formulated for sensitive, dry and eczema prone skin • Dermatologically tested • Fragrance free • With Manuka Honey Available from your local health store, pharmacy or

Natural Relief for Dry, Itchy Skin

food & recipes

EASY A selection of summer recipe ideas from foodie Sally Holland – someone who understands that allergies shouldn’t get in the way of great-tasting food!


Summer Fare W HEN OTHER

little girls were playing with dolls, Sally Holland was playing with a cake mixer! A self-confessed foodie, Sally launched her culinary career working in the Woman’s Weekly Test Kitchen in the 1970s, under the iconic food editor Tui Flower. Thirty years later, having raised a family and retained her passion for cooking, Sally had to radically adapt her culinary skills when her husband was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Taking

up the challenge, she drew on her foodie background to create delicious glutenfree dishes they could share with family and friends. Wanting to impart the knowledge she had gained with others dealing with similar dietary dilemmas, Sally has combined her recipes in a new cookbook, Goodbye to Gluten. As it says on the cover, it contains delicious gluten-free food everybody will want to eat! Here are a few of Sally’s favourite summer and Christmas dishes to whet your appetite.


A traditional tabbouleh uses bulgar wheat as the grain but of course that is not gluten free. Quinoa is an excellent substitute. It is an ancient grain-like seed and very high in protein, so nutritionally is very good. It is also a great substitute for couscous. The lamb can be cooked either in a pan or on the barbecue. For this recipe you can use leg steaks, backstraps or a butterflied leg of lamb.

1 cup quinoa 1½ cups water good pinch of salt ½ cup finely diced, red onion ½ cup sliced black olives 1 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley ½ cup chopped fresh mint ½ cup chopped fresh coriander 2 avocados, sliced 2 tbsp finely grated orange rind 6 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp lemon juice ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice salt and freshly ground black pepper lamb for 6 people


✓Gluten Free ✓Chemical free ✓No added water

Place the quinoa in a sieve and wash under running water for a minute or so. This helps to remove the naturally bitter taste on the outside of the seeds. Place in a saucepan with the water and salt. Cover and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and leave to stand until cool. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the red onion, olives, parsley, mint, coriander and avocados. Mix together the orange rind, olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice and salt and pepper. Pour over salad and carefully mix through. Set aside until serving time. Just before serving rub the lamb with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until it is done the way you prefer and leave to stand for five minutes to rest. Slice and arrange on top of the tabbouleh on a serving platter. Drizzle with any meat juices.

NZ’s Largest Range of Organic Gluten Free Foods




Our bacon is smoked over manuka wood and contains only pork, sea salt and brown sugar. Available at all good supermarkets. FACTORY SHOP CONTACT US 46c Porana Road Glenfield Auckland Ph. 09 443 2980 P: +649 4880211 E: 1 Barrys Point Rd, Takapuna LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015 25

food & recipes ARTICHOKE AND CANNELLINI BEAN DIP The cannellini beans give this dip a lovely creamy texture and the preserved lemon a citrus, salty surprise – lovely with a glass of chilled white wine. Makes 1½ cups

1 x 390 g tin artichoke hearts 1 x 390 g tin cannellini beans 50 ml extra virgin olive oil ½ cup finely grated parmesan 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley ½ preserved lemon, flesh discarded and rind finely diced salt and freshly ground black pepper extra virgin olive oil to serve flat-leaf parsley to serve Drain artichokes and chop roughly. Put in to the bowl of a food processor with the drained cannellini beans and the olive oil. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add the parmesan, garlic, parsley and preserved lemon. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until required. Turn out on to a shallow serving dish, spreading out all over the dish. Drizzle with extra olive oil and scatter parsley over.


We have one copy of Sally Holland’s Goodbye Gluten: Delicious gluten-free food everybody will want to eat to give away to a lucky reader – valued at $55 RRP. Or order your copy by emailing Enter online at or email with GOODBYE GLUTEN in the subject line. Entries close 29 February 2016. 26 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015

CHRISTMAS CAKE Makes 1 medium cake

This is a cake that is easy to make as there is no creaming the butter and sugar. Because gluten free baking doesn’t keep as well as regular baking, I recommend baking this cake just before you need it. You may wish to make two or three smaller cakes and freeze some for later – it freezes very well. Just ice or decorate when it has thawed. I like to decorate with dried fruit and nuts, piling them up on top of the cake.

225 g butter 1 cup water 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp ground cloves ½ tsp ground nutmeg 1 kg dried fruit cake mix 100 ml brandy 1 x 395 g tin sweetened condensed milk 1 tsp baking soda 2 large eggs, beaten 2 cups gluten free flour mix 1 tsp baking powder, gluten free whole brazil nuts and assorted dried fruits for decoration

Preheat oven to 150°C. Prepare a 20 cm square cake tin by lining with several layers of newspaper and then a final layer of baking paper. Place butter, water, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, dried fruit and brandy in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring often. Remove from heat. Mix in the condensed milk and the baking soda. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Mix in the eggs, then the sifted flour mix and baking powder. Spoon into the prepared tin and smoothe the surface. Arrange the brazil nuts on top of the cake. Bake for 2¼–2½ hours until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin. Remove paper from cake. Store cake in an airtight container. Decorate with the dried fruit before serving.

Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods is a miller of stone-ground whole grains and a leader in organic and gluten free foods. With more than 40 gluten free products, there’s no shortage of choice for breakfast, morning tea or lunch.

Check out wheat free oats, nutritious gluten free cereals, baking and bread mixes at your local organic store, or visit LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015 27


I have found the Cream Cheese Pastry from the Meals chapter of Goodbye Gluten produces the best results for these little tarts. I have simply added icing sugar to it. The fruit mince will keep for months in the refrigerator. These are delicious served warm with lightly whipped cream flavoured with brandy. FRUIT MINCE 200 g dried apricots, roughly chopped 200 g dried figs, stalks removed and roughly chopped 150 g raisins 150 g dried cranberries 200 g currants zest of 1 lemon 3 apples, grated 2 tbsp honey ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice ¼ cup lemon juice ½ –³¾ cup brandy

SWEET CREAM CHEESE PASTRY Make up the Cream Cheese Pastry (see recipe on p29) adding two tablespoons icing sugar to the food processor bowl along with the flour mix, salt and baking powder.

Fruit Mince Place apricots and figs into the bowl of a food processor and process until chopped into pieces the same size as the raisins. Add the raisins and cranberries and pulse to chop a little more. Transfer mixture to a non-metallic bowl. Add currants, lemon zest and grated apples. Mix well. Mix honey, orange juice and lemon juice together until honey is dissolved. Add to the fruit mixture, then add the brandy. Mix together thoroughly. Cover and leave to stand for 24 hours, giving the mixture a stir every now and then. Transfer to a clean, dry storage jar and keep in the refrigerator. To Make Tarts Preheat oven to 175°C. To make the pastry easier to work with, divide it in half and use one half at a time. Roll out thinly between two sheets of baking paper. Cut out circles about 7 cm in diameter and press into two 12-hole muffin tins. Spoon fruit mince into each tart. Roll out remaining pastry and cut out star shapes, about 5cm diameter. Place a star on top of each tart. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden.


This is easy to mix up and is best stored in an airtight container in the pantry. I have used white rice flour and cornflour from maize not wheat. Xanthan gum is made from corn sugar and is used as a gluten substitute to give elasticity in gluten free baking. Tapioca flour is also known as arrowroot. 2 cups rice flour 1 cup tapioca flour 1 cup cornflour 2 tbsp xanthan gum Sift all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk, slowly stir until well blended. Transfer to an airtight container.


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CREAM CHEESE PASTRY This is by far and away the best 1 35 pastry I have tried. It is a lovely soft dough that is easy to work with and bakes to a crisp crust. It can be used for pies, quiches and tarts. It also freezes very well, rolled into a ball and wrapped in several layers of cling film.

- ME A L S

2 cups gluten free flour mix (p 28) pinch of salt ½ tsp baking powder, gluten free 130 g cream cheese (traditional), chilled 165 g butter, chilled 1 large egg 1 tbsp cold water

Place the flour mix, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Cut the cream cheese and butter into chunks and then add it to the food processor. Whizz until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg and water together. Pour into the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture starts to clump together but is still crumbly. When you press some of the moisture together in your fingers it should feel like it will come together when it is removed from the food processor. If it feels too dry add a few more drops of water but be careful not to add too much. Tip out onto a clean surface and work the mixture with your hands until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate until ready to use.







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Allergy Guide


Body care range for sensitive skins Just as the almond wraps its kernel in a protective shell, the new Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Body Care range gently protects sensitive skin. Made with organic almond oil, this range helps strengthen the skin’s own protective barrier function. Fast absorbing and pH skin balanced, these products calm skin prone to irritation and restore the skin’s natural balance. 100% certified natural and organic, the range includes Body Wash 200ml, Body Lotion 200ml and Hand Cream 50ml. RRPs $20.90 to $29.90. Available from, online retailers, selected health stores and pharmacies.

Soothing, organic and fragrance free for baby 100% Certified Natural & Organic, Weleda White Mallow Baby Derma products are fragrance free and soothe hypersensitive skin, ideal for babies susceptible to eczema. White Mallow Baby Derma products help rebalance the skin’s natural barrier and stimulate its regenerative powers. Available from, online retailers, selected health stores and pharmacies.

Travelling safely with Allergy Cards Allergy Cards came from our overseas travel experiences. We found restaurant kitchens understood our food needs better by reading a card than if we explained in broken English and local words the importance of avoiding key foods. Reading the information in their own language avoided misunderstandings. The kitchens responded helpfully. Allergy cards say it all! Find us on

Dairy free yoghurt … no bull!

DIY carpet cleaning for a clean and healthy home

NoMoo proudly produce their new range of Dairy Free Yoghurts in their modern dedicated facility in rural Nelson. Containing the goodness of non-GMO whole bean soy milk, coconut cream, real fruit and live probiotic cultures, they don’t contain preservatives, artificial flavouring or colouring. NoMoo don’t make products containing cow’s milk, nuts, eggs or gluten either, so you can be sure their yoghurt is free of these common allergens too. Available at selected supermarkets and retailers or email:

Rug Doctor’s DIY equipment covers it all. From whole floor cleans, to spills, mattress cleaning, stairs and upholstery (chairs, couches and vehicles). Cleaning your carpet regularly not only maximises the life of your carpet, it is also very important for the health of your family, eliminating fleas, cockroach eggs and dust mites, giving you a clean and healthy home. To find out more, visit or call 0800 800 245


Natural allergy support

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USEFUL SNIPPETS We’ve enjoyed putting together this issue of Living with Allergies and have learnt some interesting things along the way. Here are some of them …

That living close to farm animals during the first year of life cuts the risk of developing asthma by 52% PAGE 2

That we have about 100 trillion bacteria living in our gastrointestinal tract PAGE 16

That some careful sun exposure can help eczema PAGE 21

That arrowroot is another name for tapioca flour PAGE 28

That the good bacteria infants are exposed to in the first three months of life, through the birthing process and breastfeeding, set up a blueprint which generally stays with that person for life PAGE 16

That Resene gives away unwanted paint to community groups through its Paintwise programme PAGE 8 That polyurethane can give off harmful VOCs for years, and can cause respiratory and skin conditions PAGE 7

That around 2–3 people die each year in New Zealand from insect sting reactions PAGE 14

That 50% of NZ children will grow out of hay fever (and 50% won’t) PAGE 4 32 LIVING WITH ALLERGIES Summer 2015



Gently protecting sensitive skin, naturally. Almond Sensitive Skin Body Care • Calms skin prone to irritation • 100% Certified Natural & Organic Available from, online retailers, selected health stores and pharmacies

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Living With Allergies Summer 2015


Living With Allergies Summer 2015