Have you every came in contact with substances like bee pollen, dust from a book shelve or dander from your cats and find yourself reacting adversely to these substances? Chances are that you are allergic to them. My own allergies come mostly when I’m exposed to dust from bookshelves – I get a runny nose, sinus, and accompanied a headache. Allergies occur when your immune system start reacting to the harmless substance in your environment. When these substances are detected the immunes system proceeds to produce antibodies to protect the body from these unwanted invaders that are practically not harmful to the body. It does this by first releasing histamine and other chemicals which can lead to some of the classic symptoms you get when you have allergies like red eyes, itchiness, runny nose, eczema, hives or even an asthma attack.
Allergy is not life threatening so there is no need to panic – the only downside is that it keeps you very uncomfortable. How severe an allergy become totally depends on the individual – which can range from minor irritation to anaphylaxis – which is a life threaten allergy that can make you go into shock. Below are a few home remedies for allergies
Stinging Nettle Leaves
70% of my patients who took needle leaves capsules reported positive results with no need of taking another supplement. I have personally tried it during my allergy season and can testify to its effectiveness. It works well in relieving most of the symptoms of allergy, from watery eyes, sneezing and running nose. Dr. Andrew Weil M.D and author of Natural Health/Natural Medicine said that he knows of nothing far more effective for allergy relief than stinging nettle. Stinging Nettle is able to accomplish this effect through the aid of amines, glucoquinones and chlorophyll – which are responsible for blocking the production of histamines by the body during an allergic reaction. There are many ways to consume stinging nettle. Either you go through the stress of preparing a concoction of nettle tea and honey or you simply settle for the capsules, which is very effective and can be found here. Simply take about 150 to 500 milligrams, 2-3 times daily for two weeks.
The leaves also boost immunity thus protecting you from any type of allergy. Stinging Nettle Leaves are also available capsules, tincture or tea.
Alternatively, if you want to go the herbal route. Steep 2 tablespoon of nettle leaves into hot water for about 10 minutes. Strain out the resulting mixture and add honey to sweeten the mix. Drink two cups of this tea daily. It’s advised you do it before the allergy season. You can also use nettle leaf in combination with other herbs like peppermint leaf, raspberry leaf to make a refreshing allergy relief tea.
Precautions: If you are on blood thinners or blood pressure lowering medications, consult your doctor before using nettle leaves.
Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their colors. The bioflavonoid quercetin is a potent inhibitor of histamine release – which are chemicals that cause allergic reactions. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine and antioxidant which helps fight free radicals responsible for body cell damage. Quercetin is also known to help fight inflammation. From my experience, quercetin is best used 4-6 weeks prior to the allergy season. This helps prevents the symptoms of allergies. Quercetin is richly available in foods like citrus, Onion, Apples, Parsley, and Tea. But you can take the supplement to help prevent allergies and associated symptoms. Take 250 milligrams twice daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is an aged long remedy for various health conditions. I have written a comprehensive piece on the use of Apple Cider Vinegar which can be found here. Remember that allergies only happen when the body starts releasing histamine to fight against harmless substance, therefore signaling the mucous membranes to produce symptoms of allergies like inflammation, rashes, sneezing etc. ACV works well to relief allergy due to its ability to reduce mucous production and cleanse your lymphatic system. Personally, I have tried it for allergy and it proved its potency. Simply mix 1 teaspoon of ACV into 1 glass of water. Stir thoroughly and drink. You can have this mixture three times daily. If you are still confused about the brand to use – (my personal favorite is the Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar)
Alternatively, you can mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and ½ tablespoon raw bee honey. This concoction should be drunk three times daily.
If you are comfortable with pouring a liquid content into your nose, then you shouldn’t have a problem with this remedy. I have a friend who tried it with and swore it works. Neti pot is just a pot filled with a sterile saline solution used to push water into your nostrils. It basically works for sinus allergy that gives you a runny nose, sneezing, nasal drip and watery eyes. The solution poured into your nostril will help flush out the sinuses of allergens and irritations. This practice did not just start recently. It has been used in the Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine to provide instant relief to those suffering from nasal allergies. Most functional and alternative doctors now prescribe it.
Below are 5 reasons why you should use the Neti Pot
• To help soothe dry nasal passages
• Gently washes away dust, pollen, and environmental irritants
• Offsets the effects of breathing dry indoor air (especially in winter)
• Helps you breathe freer when practicing yoga or meditation
• Removes excess mucus naturally.
How to Use Neti Pot?
Start by filling the pot with water. This can be distilled, warm or saline water. Tilt your head a bit to help you easily insert the pot, making sure you are standing close to a basin. Gentle bring the spout of the neti pot close to your nostril and gradually pour the solution into it. Remember that you will have to pour the liquid into the right nostril if you have tilted your head towards the left – vice versa. Then gently adjust your head, so the water drains off from the other nostrils. Repeat for the other nostril. Don’t get upset if you don’t get things right, practice makes perfect. Repeat this 1 – 2 times daily.
Peppermint Tea for Allergies
80% of the time my allergy is related to nasal congestion. Each time this happens a cup of hot peppermint tea gives me the needed relief. Peppermint tea is known to have three volatile oils known as menthol, menthone, and menthylacetate, these oils give it the properties needed to break up mucus and clear your throat. Another important point to note is that peppermint is also anti-inflammatory and have antibacterial properties. Here is the link to where to purchase the peppermint tea I use. If you can’t lay your hands on the leaves, feel free to make your own tea. All you need is about 2 tablespoons of dried peppermint leaves and hot water. Start by putting the peppermint leaves into a jar – then pour hot water over it and let it steep for about 7 minutes. Strain out the resulting liquid. You can add honey to the tea to sweeten it. Alternatively, you can place it over your face while inhaling you inhale the steam. Either way will give you the needed relief.
Echinacea for Allergies
Personally, I have not used Echinacea before, but I felt the need to add it because of several testimonies from people who have used it. It is usually prescribed for the treatment of allergies as hay fever and allergic rhinitis. If your goal is to reduce the symptoms of colds, flu, fever, sore throat and cough then you should consider using it. You can also get it in tea form. Echinacea is known to help increase the number of white blood cells, which in turn boost the activities of other immune cells in your body. To prepare Echinacea the traditional way follow the below instructions:
• 1 tbsp Echinacea leaves
• ¼ Lemongrass
• ¼ Peppermint Leaves
• 1 cup of Hot water
Directions: Gather all the herbs together and mix them all up. Then pour hot water over them and allow it to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain out the resulting solution. You can have it 1 – 2 times daily.
Change your diet
Most times unhealthy diet can render your immune system weak. A weak immune system can likely not be able to cope with substances like pollen and cat dander.
Research shows that most times patient with allergies also have low blood sugar when this health condition get treated most times the allergies clears up. Dr. Weintraub recommends you start by cutting out refined sugars like cakes, candy, cookies, soda and sweet foods. These type of foods flood the bloodstream with glucose and blood sugar