Four natural allergy remedies
Written by Ayesha Khan
Although many experience the height of their allergies as the spring flowers bloom, it’s very possible that this year the sniffles will continue well into summer.
It all starts when an irritating foreign particle or allergen enters our nose or throat. As the body’s natural defence, cells create histamine, which in turn puts the glands into overdrive to produce mucus to trap and wash away the allergens. Doctors say the key to avoiding any allergy is limiting exposure to allergens, but that doesn’t mean we’re doomed to stay inside all season. Here are some tips to help reduce allergy symptoms.
Be proactive about probiotics
The latest medical research shows that since most of the immune system lives in the gut, the presence of healthy bacteria can help regulate how the immune system reacts to allergens. Lactobacillus acidophilus, or the ‘friendly’ bacteria found in yoghurt, is a great place to start. Aside from these beneficial effects, it’s always a good idea to have a healthy probiotic as part of your diet to avoid indigestion.
Eat your herbs
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that helps stabilise cells and prevent them from secreting histamine. It’s naturally found in foods like broccoli and citrus, but not nearly in the right quantities to help treat allergies. Daily supplements of the herbal remedy can be found at health food stores, but be patient – this rather slow-acting salve can take up to four weeks to actually start working. Nettle leaf is another natural antihistamine and makes a delicious, soothing tea when mixed with peppermint. It is important to consult a doctor before taking any sort of herbal supplements, especially for those who have liver problems or are pregnant.
Leave it to the bees
While there is no medical evidence to prove this works, generations have sworn by it. The idea is to ingest, via the honeybee, quantities of the pollen that is causing allergies – a natural allergy shot.
Don’t let allergens follow you home
A good way to avoid the lasting effects of outdoor allergens is to make it a habit to shower, change, and wash your clothes after spending an extended period of time outside. A gentle saline nasal spray can also be used to help keep the nasty pollen out of the system. Additionally, you can create an allergen-free environment in the home by using a HEPA air filter.