Posted on Sep 12, 2011 | Comments 1
– Keep itchy eyes and running nose at bay with natural allergy remedies
If you suffer from allergies, you’re probably familiar with the pharmaceutical remedies that can relieve your symptoms. But here are some natural ways to fight allergies that won’t make you drowsy or damage your liver.
1. Quercetin supplements
Derived from a natural plant known as biofla vonoid, this compound is found in many kinds of foods including things like apples, tea, broccoli, citrus fruits, and onions. They act not only as natural antioxidants, but also help allergy sufferers by preventing allergic attacks.
You’ll need to take this as a supplement and start about six weeks before the expected start of allergy season to get maximum results. A dose of 1,000 milligrams per day between meals is usually recommended.
2. Bromelain enzyme
Another natural option for allergy sufferers is bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple plants that has anti-inflammatory properties. It seems to work by helping to body produce reactions that reduce pain and swelling.
This enzyme can also help patients who have recently undergone surgery or had a nasal injury, and can help with a variety of other ailments, including ulcerative colitis, muscle relaxation, shortening labor, and getting rid of fat.
3. Eat to prevent allergies
There are now several studies that suggest certain dietary intakes can help you fight allergies. For instance, nothing clears the sinuses like spicy, hot foods. Add more horseradish, hot sauce, or chilli peppers to your diet (assuming your digestive system can hack it) to clear the nasal passages quickly and naturally.
Additionally, most people do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diets, but these nutrients help to fight inflammation. To boost your intake, eat more walnuts, flaxseeds and flax oil, cold-water fish, and eggs from grass-fed chickens.
4. Neti pot
Your nasal passages and sinuses can become very congested with allergies, making it difficult to breath and challenging to sleep. Neti pots help you do what people have been doing for centuries – give your sinuses a saltwater bath.
These little devices are small vessels that look somewhat like Alladin lamps that help you run saltwater through your nasal passages to remove allergens and promote sinus health. In fact, an Italian study on the neti pots showed that this nasal flushing methods can really help to reduce your dependence on antihistamines.
Irrigation of this kind may also help to prevent frequent nosebleeds.
5. Eucalyptus steam
Create a gentle mist that will help to clear the sinuses and create a lovely aroma in your home at the same time. Using eucalyptus essential oil, add a few drops to either a pot of hot water or a humidifier diffuser.
You can either go about your day normally, or for a really intense treatment, lean over the pot or humidifier and drape a towel over the back of your head to drink in the purifying aromas. This will help to loosen mucus in your system and have you breathing easier in no time.
6. Stinging nettle as a natural antihistamine
If you can’t live without some sort of antihistamine support, a natural and effective option is stinging nettle (urtica dioica) that acts using similar mechanisms to pharmaceutical treatments but is free of drug side effects like sleepiness and dry mouth. You can either take stinging nettle as a supplement (freeze-dried, capsule leaves are best), though you can also brew it in tea or take it as a tincture.
This is another antihistamine-acting plant (a perennial shrub called petasites hybridus found in Europe) that is being used to prevent allergic rhinitis instead of prescription drugs. Scientific studies against pharmaceuticals like Zyrtec and Allegra have shown great promise for this natural alternative.
If, however, you’re allergic to ragweed, this may not be the choice for you as it is in the same family and may worsen your allergies rather than relieve them.
8. Prevention through lifestyle changes
There are several simple things you can do to fight allergies by reducing your exposure to allergens and ease the discomfort that involve some simple lifestyle changes. For instance, start by limiting (or completely avoiding) your use of window fans during allergy season as these can bring allergens into your home or work environment.
Ceiling fans and air conditioners are better in this case. If the allergens are really bad, consider closing windows altogether to keep pollen and other allergens out of the interior spaces as much as possible. And when possible limit how much time you spend outdoors in order to further limit your exposure.
One more thing: if you have carpeting in your home, strongly consider cleaning it with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. These specialized filters help to trap find particular matter, dust mites, pollen, and mold spores, all of which contribute to common allergies.