Home remedies for allergies. Many of us have allergies. However, allergies can be dulled or subsided or even completely avoided to make sure you live a virtually allergy free life. Having allergies is very common, much more common than one may even perceive. In the US alone, allergic rhinitis affects about 11 million people. So, you can figure out that allergies are pretty common, more so in kids. Most allergies are lost behind when we grow up, but some continue on into adult life, haunting us for our entire lives.
But, what are allergies actually ? These are reactions by the immune system of the body to certain substances, which it doesn’t like. It can also happen due to food, pollen, a pathogen or an artificially generated chemical, like a food additive.
Standard symptoms of allergy are hives, redness, skin swelling, vomiting, runny nose , watery eyes and many more. However, one can reduce the symptoms of allergy using these techniques and home remedies.
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The main philosophy is to stimulate the immune system to manage the allergen, instead of creating a big fuss about it. These are some really simple home remedies which should help your body in adjusting to allergens.
1. Take locally grown organic honey
This is the simplest and perhaps the most effective of all natural remedies for pollen allergies that come with the change of season, mostly in spring and fall. Note that you have to eat locally grown and unfiltered raw organic honey. This remedy is used by many people who have allergies. Honey is known to curb the effects of allergy , particularly the ones caused due to pollen grains.
Why it works ?
Local honey contains the nectar of local plants, which the honey bee collected. This provides your body with a wide spectrum of nutrients in very small quantities, very minute but quite effective in the long run. This helps your body recognize elements from various local plants and this makes you tolerate their pollen better. All you have to do is to ensure you get the best quality honey. It should not be filtered. It will not work instantly. But regular consumption of local honey surely provides you with a better immune system and an ability to outgrow your allergies. Rhinitis can now be a thing of the past.
CAUTION : Honey should not be given to babies less than 1 year old.
This wonderful herb is renowned since ancient times for its ability to stimulate a sluggish immune response . However, some people are allergic to echinacea too and they should not take it. This herb should not be given to babies and pregnant women. Recent studies suggest that echinacea may in fact cause allergies in children under 12 years of age.
But, if you have been comfortable taking echinacea, then it wouldn’t cause allergy to you. It is excellent for preventing spring allergies.
Freshly grown echinacea
Lemongrass or lemons
- Directions / How to use
Take some fresh flowers of echinacea flower. Make sure you dust away the pollen. Then add some leaves to a pan of boiling water. Add lemon or lemongrass for flavor. Otherwise the taste is not appealing. Drink about 1/2 cup of this tea on a intermittent basis ( not daily )
- Why it works ?
Echinacea is well renowned for its immune boosting properties. It supercharges your immune system. That way it may help to modulate allergies. If you do not have fresh echinacea, you can always use store bought echinacea tea.
3. Eat Foods rich in calcium but dairy free
Eat almonds, herrings, dried thyme as seasoning because they are rich in calcium. This helps in reducing allergies. There is some indication that calcium and vitamin D deficiency may provoke allergies . However, most of us are dependent on milk for our calcium. Most of the milk is pasteurized and homogenized and is a major cause of allergies and lactose intolerance. So, one should substitute dairy for plant based or animal based calcium rich foods. Some of the foods that you should eat are Tofu, Okra, Broccoli, Beans and Watercress.
Having a magnesium deficieny is more strongly correlated to food allergies. A person who is not getting enough magnesium in diet may develop allergy to certain elements . That is why, it is important to eat foods really rich in magenisum. It is not well absorbed in the gut ( like most other nutrients ) Eat spinach, figs and bananas for higher magnesium intake. This dietary mineral helps the body in lowering the effects of allergies.Other foods sources rich in magnesium are – Dark chocolate ( delicious ! ), mackerel and avocados.
The most prominent study regarding dietary deficiencies and food allergies is about the trace mineral selenium. It was found that children who had food allergies generally had lower serum levels of selenium. A lack of selenium in the body may correlate to increased sensitivity to food allergies. So, eating more selenium rich foods is the way to go.
These are the foods that you should eat – tuna, sunflower seeds, crimini mushrooms, oysters and brazil nuts.
6. Butterbur for allergies
We have already mentioned how effective butterbur is for migraines. This plant has shown immense promise in management of allergies . This herb can be useful in curbing allergic rhinitis. But, one should consult the trained herbalist for possible side effects before using it. Butterbur is available as an extract form, usually rolled into pills or powder. It is only to be taken when needed, that is when you are suffering from allergy and having the symptoms of it. It works like an antihistamine in suppressing an allergic reaction. It relieves the symptoms of hay fever considerably.
Long term continued use of butterbur may lead to liver toxicity.
7. Drinking Green tea
If you have been a regular drinker of 4 cups of green tea a day, then you might be feeling the wonderful effects it has on the system. Drinking green tea works for reducing allergies and their symptoms are dulled. So, if you are having an allergic flare up, it is time to drink green tea.
Why it works ?
Green tea contains a class of antioxidants known as catechins. They regularly make rounds as one of the best fat busters for our body. One special catechin known as EGCG works by blocking the action of histamine . This makes it a natural anti-histamine. It reduces inflammation associated with an allergy. So, even though you get the allergy, the symptoms like red eyes, sore throat, headaches are downsized.
Secondly, tea also has some amount of quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory nutrient found only in few foods in respectable concentration. This paves the way for our next home remedy. Green tea works best when consumed daily. It is very relaxing and rejuvenating .
Eating foods that are rich in quercetin helps to dull or even mitigate the allergic response of the body. It quenches inflammation, making the body less susceptible to developing harsher symptoms like hives, rashes, swollen eyes or other body parts.These are the foods that are very rich in quercetin.( in comparison to green tea )
- Red onions ( 16 times more quercetin than green tea )
- Cilantro or coriander ( 26 times more than green tea )
- Sweet potato ( 5 times more than green tea )
Other prominent sources are Buckwheat, Kale, Watercress and Apples. Eating these foods on a consistent basis keeps your querceting levels high, thus making your body able to defend allergies better.
Pineapple is great for reducing allergies. It is helpful in eczema , asthma and most other allergies. This effect is mainly due to a special enzyme found in fresh pineapple known as bromelain. It is a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Pineapple juice also works great to eliminate joint pain and arthritis.
This is indeed the mother of all home remedies. Not because it is highly effective for allergies or something else, but because it shows up everywhere. It particularly works best on allergies brought on by pets, food allergies and local pollen allergies.
Drinking tea of stinging nettle helps a lot in allergies. It can help to reduce the frequent bouts of allergy symptoms , like hives. Stinging nettles is a powerful anti-inflammatory herbs, one which has been used for centuries to relieve arthritis pain.You can use it to relieve allergies.
Stinging nettle ( you can buy bulk herb powder ) or fresh young leaves ( 5 – 10 )
- Directions / How to use
Add 1 tablespoon of stinging nettle powder to a boiling pan of water( about 200 ml ). Boil it for a few minutes then lit it simmer. After some time, remove the heat and place a lid over the pan. Wait for 10 minutes and filter the liquid. Your stinging nettle tea is ready.
- Why it works ?
Stinging nettle reduces inflammation at its very base level, reducing the effects of allergy visible on the outside.
12. Using A Neti Pot For Nasal Allergies
Neti Pot is a very useful device to perform a saline nasal rinse. Performing a nasal cleanse relieves nasal and sinus allergies. It is more of a relief strategy than a prevention strategy. It calms the excessive sneezing and wheezing that comes with a nasal allergy.
Caution : It is very important that one uses absolutely pure water in a neti pot. There have been reports of people contracting dangerous brain infection called meningitis due to contaminated water in a neti pot.
13. Chamomile Tea For Allergic Asthma
If allergy leads to asthma, it can be dulled to some extent by drinking chamomile tea. It boosts body’s ability to reduce inflammation of the lungs. Taking turmeric in food can help with inflammatory reactions that can occur along with an allergy. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory with capability to reduce even severe inflammations.
One can prevent many kinds of allergies by doing some changes in the house.
- Install an Air Purifier : One can get an air purifier installed which traps up dirt and other allergens like pollen, pet hair, minute particles and makes the air absolutely clean.
- Inspect the house for molds : They are dark or black spots on walls and in corners of the house. Molds release fungus and cause respiratory allergy. It is costly to remove a mold, but this is very important for the health of the family.
Just like us, our pets can also suffer from allergies. As the owner of the pet, one should carefully search for things that could cause allergy to the pet. Then, one can use home remedies for dog allergies and similarly for the cat. However, before giving them any herbal decoction, consult a veterinary doctor.
- Manage your entire household by labelling things as Safe and Not Safe. It is difficult to avoid allergic reactions in families.
- Read food labels and avoid taking foods that may trigger allergy.
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2. Use of echinacea in medicine. Susan S Percival. Biochemical Pharmacology.
3. Food allergy as a risk factor for nutritional rickets . A. T. Fox, G. Du Toit, A. Lang andG. Lack. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.
4. Blood and mast cell histamine levels in magnesium-deficient rats. Kraeuter SL, Schwartz R . The Journal of Nutrition.
5. Randomised controlled trial of butterbur and cetirizine for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis. BMJ 2002. Andreas Schapowal.
6. Green Tea. University of Michigan – Health System.