1. Allergy season worse than ever

    Must be a great time to be in the antihistamine business. With all the sniffles and sneezes going around this year, you'd think the drug companies were dropping pollen from helicopters.

    (And who knows... maybe they are.)

    In March, the number of people reporting allergy symptoms shot up by 25 percent from two years ago, according to a new poll. In April, the numbers started to even out a little bit -- but they were still up nearly 10 percent from the previous year.

    Now, I've seen the TV talking heads blame global warming for all this, but that's a load of hot air. Mild winters are nothing new -- and when you get a mild winter, you get an early spring and an early start to allergy season along with it.

    But the REAL reason more people have allergies -- including people who've never had them before -- is the fact that we've sealed ourselves in airtight containers and coated ourselves in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers.

    We're no longer naturally exposed to allergens the way we once were -- and as a result, we get sicker when we do encounter them.

    But that's neither here nor there. If you're suffering from allergies, all you want to know is how to make them STOP.

    Don't turn to meds. In addition to being expensive, they've got oodles of side effects -- and even the so-called non-drowsy formulas list drowsiness as a side effect (you can look it up).

    I've got everything you need to know about fighting allergies without meds in this month's Douglass Report. From the details on nature's own antihistamine, butterbur, to the Amish secret for avoiding seasonal sniffles, if you're a subscriber it's coming your way right now.

    And if you're not, here's your chance -- put down the tissues and sign up now, and you'll get complete access to it in my online archives.

  2. Poisonous pain relief

    If you had told me decades ago that people would deliberately start injecting each other with one of the world's most potent poisons just to smooth over a few wrinkles, I would have wondered if maybe you weren't a little poisoned yourself.

    But not content to leave a bad idea alone, Allergan -- the maker of the Botox injection -- is hoping to spread the toxins around even more... because this poison is on its way to being approved for millions of migraine headache sufferers.

    Allergan wants this bad -- real bad. So bad, the feds say the company broke the law and marketed Botox for headaches and other unapproved uses anyway, leaving a trail of fraud and kickbacks along the way.

    The company denies at least some of the charges... which is a funny thing to do when you've also agreed to pay $600 million to settle the case.

    On the other hand, $600 million is pennies compared to what's really at stake here -- because while Botox currently takes in a respectable $361 million annually, analyses say approval for migraines could cause sales to approach the billion-dollar mark.

    There's just one problem: It doesn't work. Not very well, anyway.

    One study found that Botox sufferers had the same number of headaches overall as those who took a placebo, while another found that Botox users had 2.3 fewer days of headaches per month than those who took a placebo.

    Now, I know some headaches are so bad you'd just about kill for those two extra days of pain relief. But hold on a moment -- because they come at a price: 31 regular injections of the world's most powerful toxin, the Botulinum toxin.

    And if even a drop of the Botox misses the muscle being injected, it can travel through the body and cause all kinds of damage -- from nausea and flulike symptoms to paralysis.

    Do yourself a favor -- if you want safer migraine relief, look for a high-quality butterbur-based supplement instead.

  3. Butterbur is nothing to sneeze at

    According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, the herb butterbur is an effective treatment for hay fever.

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