Finding relief from allergies can be a frustrating process, especially if you choose not to use over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications. The best alternative medicine for most people is to simply avoid the particular allergen that affects them, however unless you want to stay in a plastic bubble, this isn’t always an option for most people.
What are the Common Symptoms of allergies?
Allergy symptoms vary depending upon the person. Some symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe. Most people with mild allergies experience sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, running or stuffy nose, head congestion, and coughing. In fact, it may feel like you are experiencing a head cold. Most head colds will show up for about a week, and you will start to see the symptoms disappear. Allergies begin immediately following the exposure to the allergen and continue as long as you are exposed to the allergen.
Moderate allergy symptoms are allergies that are spread throughout different parts of the body. Itchiness of the skin and difficulty breathing are common symptoms associated with moderate allergies.
Those with severe allergies are usually under strict medication. These are the patients who experience anaphylaxis. These symptoms could result in hospitalization or death of the person with the allergy.
How do you treat allergies?
Many people like to use over-the-counter antihistamines to treat their allergy symptoms. There are alternative options to medicines you can find at your local supermarket. Natural allergy relief is becoming more popular among many allergy suffers. Many natural remedies are designed to treat your allergy symptoms before your body begins to release histamine.
Some things you can do to prevent allergies are simple changes around your home:
- Dust and vacuum weekly
- Remove carpets all together and replace them with hardwood floors or laminate floors.
- Cover your upholstered furniture in plastic.
- Use an air purifier to control odors, dust, pollen, mold, animal dander, and bacteria.
- Wash bedding and clothing often and store laundered fabrics in closed closets and drawers.
- Keep pets out of the home and wash them when needed.
- Keep your house temperature around 68-72 degrees. Colder nighttime temperatures promote better sleep for the individual with allergies.
- Clean areas that are prone to mold, such as the bathroom and basement, with proper anti-bacterial cleansers.
- Wipe kitchen counters with cleansers daily.
- Remove draperies from your home as they are prone to dust.
- Keep windows closed during times of high pollen counts.
- Replace air conditioner filters with allergy-free filters.
Let’s discuss some other natural allergy remedies you can use to treat your allergies:
People in India have used Neti pots to flush the sinuses and keep them clear. It is similar to using a nasal spray. It is basically a saltwater mixture that is used to rinse out your sinus. If you do not want to purchase a Neti pot, you can use your hand to rinse the sinuses. You will need to mix a quarter to a half teaspoon of non-iodized table salt into a cup of lukewarm water and pour it into the pot, or into the palm of your hand.
Then, lean over your sink or bathtub with your head slightly cocked to one side and pour the saltwater into one nostril and allow it to drain out the other nostril. You will then repeat this process on the other nostril. Once you have done so, gently blow out each nostril to clear them. Most people use neti pots twice a day during allergy season.
Here are some natural herbs you can try for allergy relief:
Licorice Root – This herb encourages the production of certain hormones by the adrenal glands. It helps reduce inflammation and increase interferon, which fights viruses.
Sarsaparilla Root – This promotes healthy circulation, benefits the glandular system, and helps to stimulate natural hormone production.
Bladderwrack – This also promotes glandular health. It is considered to be an immune system booster.
Ginger Root – This stimulates the immune system and has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.
Astragalus – This helps build a natural resistance to colds and flu.
Capsicum – This is high in vitamin C and helps the respiratory system fight infections. It is high in quercitin, a natural antihistamine, which helps those with allergies and respiratory problems.
Rose Hips Extract – This is used to prevent and heal infections. It is also used for the treatment of colds, flu, and fever.
Marshmallow Root – This is known for relieving irritation of mucous membranes and helps the body expel excess mucous.
Burdock – This is used to treat colds and sore throats.
Mullein – Used to treat cough, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.
Eyebright – This is used for congestion, coughs, and hay fever.
Acerola Cherry – This is a natural source of anti-histamine. It is high in vitamin C.
Ma Huang – It contains ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, both used in prescription and OTC allergy medications.
Rosemary – This is used to strengthen the nervous system. It also provides anti-inflammatory and analgesic relief.
White Pine – This is used to treat chest congestion, colds, and coughs.
Allergy relief can be found in some foods you can purchase at the grocery store. Omega-3s have been shown to fight inflammation and can be found in cold-water fish, walnuts, flax-seed oil, meat, and eggs. Omega-3s are also sold at the grocery store in liquid cap format. Horseradish, chili peppers, or hot mustard also clear your nasal passages. They act as a natural decongestant, but will only provide a temporary solution.
Stinging nettle has been found to treat allergies by acting as a natural antihistamine. Nettle inhibits the body’s ability to produce histamine. You can purchase stinging nettle in pill format. About 300 milligrams of stinging nettle a day will offer relief for most allergy suffers, however, the effects only last a few hours.
Butterbur is known to be as effective as the drug cetirizine. Cetirizine can be found in allergy medications such as Zyrtec. Butterbur is a common weed found in England and may be hard to find in the United States.
This is a popular method used in Europe. You administer small drops of the allergen that affects your body under your tongue for 2 minutes, and then swallow. This daily remedy starts before the peak allergy season begins and can be used to treat year-round allergies.
This therapy is currently not available in the United States unless authorized by your doctor or insurance company. Natural allergy remedies are a great way to strengthen your body’s immune system as well as provide relief from allergies. Prescription medications and over-the-counter medications eventually weaken your body’s defenses and make it harder for the medicines to help your immune system. Natural remedies will provide your immune system with a build up of defenses and prevent the need for medications.
As you may be aware herbs and other natural nutrients strengthen the adrenal glands in your body, thereby allowing your immune system to fight the allergen better. Many of the natural herbs we have discussed act as natural antihistamines, decongestants, and relief inflammation to particular parts of your body that are affected by allergies. This allows you to treat your allergies without having to have a prescription from your doctor or make a trip to the grocery store for over-the-counter allergy medications.