Allergy Natural Remedies
Allergy natural remedies and home remedies for allergies include the use of herbs, homeopathy, nutritional supplements, and aromatherapy.
An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system misinterprets a foreign but normally harmless substance (such as pollen, grass, certain food, etc.) as a harmful invader.
The immune system responds to this perceived threat, known as an allergen, by producing proteins known as IgE antibodies. Normally, in the case of an actual
threat such as a flu virus, these antibodies work to protect you from these virus that could make you sick or cause an infection. However, in the case of an
allergy, these antibodies look upon the allergen as harmful (even though it is not) and triggers the release of histamines and other substances that cause
Histamines produce various bodily reactions that involve your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system, such as respiratory and nasal congestion, increased mucus
production, skin rashes and welts, diarrhea, and headache.
Common allergens can be found in the environment, such as pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, and so on. Allergens can also be found in food, particularly peanuts, wheat,
soy, fish, shellfish, eggs and milk. Usually, when the environmental allergens are removed, the allergic symptoms go away. However, if the allergens are not removed,
the immune system will continue to produce histamines and the allergic symptoms will worsen which may result in chronic
sinusitis (sinus infection).
It remains unclear as to why some people develop allergic reaction to certain allergens while others are unaffected. One possible reason may be due to genetics. Another
reason may be due to stress and a compromised immune system.
Symptoms of Allergies
Just as we may have allergic reactions to different types of allergens, the symptoms of allergies are also different depending on the type of allergens causing the reaction.
For airborne allergens such as pollen (reactions to pollen are often called hay fever), the symptoms are usually:
For an allergic skin reaction (called atopic dermatitis), the symptoms may include:
- Nasal congestion
- Sneezing caused by itchy nose
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Itchy, watery or swollen eyes (conjunctivitis)
A food allergy may cause:
- Itchy skin
- Red skin
- Hives, rashes, or other skin eruptions
- Tingling mouth
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, face or throat
Beware of Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is a kind of allergic reactions that are life-threatening. A person who is having this kind of reactions must receive medical treatment within about 30 minutes.
Anaphylaxis develops suddenly shortly after a person is exposed to the allergen (e.g. ingestion of certain food or insect sting). Symptoms include:
- difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
- A rapid, weak pulse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling airways, which can block breathing
Allergy Natural Remedies
Conventional medications for allergies can include over-the-counter or prescription medications in the form of oral medications, nasal sprays or eyedrops.
Oral allergy medications include corticosteroids, antihistamines, and decongestants. For severe allergies or allergies not relieved by other treatment,
some people go for allergy shots (immunotherapy). These conventional treatments can reduce allergy symptoms but can also have side effects such
as drowsiness, headache, and dry mouth.
Allergy natural remedies involve the use of herbal remedies and nutritional supplements, as well as homeopathic remedies and aromatherapy. These are milder and more
gentle on our bodies. However, natural allergy remedies may take longer to be effective, so if you are suffering from seasonal allergies such as hay fever, be sure to
start taking allergy natural remedies one or two months before the allergy season starts.
Allergy Natural Remedies - Nutritional Supplements for Allergies
Nutritional supplements are effective allergy natural remedies that can help alleviate allergy symptoms. In particular, consider the following if you have allergies:
- Vitamin C: High levels of vitamin C help reduce histamine release and also make histamine break down faster once it is released. In addition,
vitamin C is anti-inflammatory and may help dampen some of the inflammation associated with chronic allergies. However, for vitamin C to be effective against allergies,
you need to take it before you are exposed to the allergen. It is best to take the slow-release form of vitamin C (i.e. ester-C or calcium ascorbate), 500 to 1,000 mg
twice a day.
- MSM: MSM (Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane) has been found to be effective in providing fast relief from hay fever symptoms. Its effectiveness is due
to it's ability to block the receptivity of histamine in the sensitive tissue of the mucus membranes of nasal passages. This process is believed to prevent the
histamine from creating the inflammation, swelling, and fluid build-up that can come with allergies. You can take 3000 to 5000 mg of MSM daily.
- Quercetin: Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and
an anti-inflammatory and has been found in laboratories to prevent immune cells from releasing histamines. Little research, however, has been done on humans as to whether
it really works. Nevertheless, some people who have tried Quercetin could have positive results. It is worth giving it a try! (Dosage: 1000 mg three times a day)
- Essential Fatty Acids: EFAs can reduce inflammatory responses associated with allergies. You can take one to two tablespoons of flaxseed oil a
Allergy Natural Remedies - Herbal Remedies for Allergies
Herbs can be used as allergy natural remedies to lessen the symptoms of allergies as well. The most common herbal remedies for allergies include:
- Stinging Nettle: Research shows that the herb nettle can effectively treat allergic nasal symptoms, such as runny nose, nasal congestion, coughs, etc. Many people have
reported positive results in using nettle to treat hay fever.
- Garlic: Garlic has anti-inflammatory effects because it contains high concentrations of compounds such as quercetin. If you have allergies, use lots of garlic in your
cooking. Alternatively, take garlic pills daily.
- Ginkgo: The ginkgo leaf extract contains several substances (ginkgolides) that interfere with the action of a chemical, platelet-activating factor (PAF),
produced by the body. PAF plays a key role in triggering allergies, asthma and inflammation. If you have allergies, you can try 60 to 240 mg of the standardized
ginkgo extract daily.
Allergy Natural Remedies - Homeopathic Remedies for Allergies
Homeopathic remedies are effective allergy natural remedies as well. They usually can provide fast relief. For a remedy to work, you need to select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. Use a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) and follow the instructions printed on the label.
Remedies effective for allergies include:
- Allium Cepa: This remedy is for people with watery eyes and a clear nasal discharge, along with sneezing and a tickling cough.
The symptoms tend to get better in fresh air.
- Arsenicum Album: This remedy is for people with burning eyes, watery, runny nose with a stuffy, tickling feeling during allergy attacks.
Swelling below the eyes and a wheezy cough are common. This remedy is good for the highly sensitive person with many allergies.
- Euphrasia: This remedy is for red, burning, swollen eyes which are irritated with acrid tears or pus.
- Gelsemium: This remedy is indicated if a person has a tired, droopy feeling during allergies with a flushed and heavy-feeling face. The
person may feel the swollen membranes inside the nose. Or alternatively, the nose may be runny and the person may sneeze frequently.
- Nux Vomica: This remedy is for people with diverse allergy symptoms, such as a stuffed-up nose when outdoors or at night, and a runny
nose when indoors and in the daytime. Other symptoms include a teasing cough, a tickly feeling in the throat, and headache. People who need this remedy may often
wake up sneezing; they tend to feel impatient, irritable, and chilly.
- Sabadilla: This remedy is for people who have many repeated sneezes in a row, an itching and runny nose, a feeling of a lump in the throat, and watery eyes.
The person may feel nervous during allergy attacks.
Allergy Natural Remedies - Aromatherapy
** If you suffer from plant allergies such as hay fever, use essential plant oils cautiously. **
Several essential oils can loosen mucus. They include:
You can use any of these oils in a steam inhalant or a bath or a diffuser.
For skin allergies such as hives and itching, you can use Chamomile oil to massage the affected area.
- Tea Tree
Natural Sinus Infection Remedies
Natural Cures for Hives
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004)
The Editors of Prevention Health Books, Prevention's Healing with Vitamins (Rodale Books, 1998)
J.A. Duke, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (St. Martin's Paperback, 2002)
University of Maryland Medical Center - Quercetin (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/quercetin-000322.htm)
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