Simple home remedies, proven to offer effective relief to many seasonal allergy sufferers
The eye-watering misery of seasonal allergies affect millions of people worldwide, with symptoms felt anywhere during the period from early spring through to the end of the Autumn/Fall. If you’re a sufferer, you may well find that while you get some relief from taking conventional medication, they carry with them unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness and even depression. One assumes that anti-histamine medications prevent the production of histamine but they don’t. Antihistamines merely block the action of histamine at receptor sites. In other words, they suppress the appearance of physical symptoms, but do nothing to address the underlying cause.
Allergies occur as a result of the over-reaction of the body’s immune system to allergens such as grass, pollens, airborne fungi, cosmetics and certain foods. When an allergen is introduced, the body reacts by producing an abundance of inflammatory compounds, such as histamine, from mast cells. This attempt to find and destroy the allergen brings on the sufferer’s symptoms of sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose.
Though many natural remedies can be very effective, allergist Marianne Frieri MD and chairwoman of Allergy and Immunology at Nassau Medical Center NY, explains that “Natural doesn’t always mean better, or safer”. She points out that “It’s possible to overdose on even the most seemingly mild preparations, and that almost anything in nature’s pharmacy could cause a toxic reaction if you use too much.” Most importantly she says, “Never mix alternative treatments with traditional drugs without your doctor’s approval.” Dr Frieri continues, “If, for example, you are taking the allergy drug Allegra (an antihistamine) — at the same time you decide to try a natural substance with antihistaminic properties, you can end up with far too much antihistaminic activity, which can result in some significant problems.” She also cautions, “Those with moderate to severe allergies should always consult an allergist first, before seeking alternative treatments”. It is thought to start your treatments a good three to four weeks before the start of the hay fever season, to achieve the best results.
Quercetin is a type of antioxidant called a flavonoid also known as a bio-flavonoid. This natural antioxidant helps rid the body of free radicals that can cause damage to cells which can lead to cancer. It is also believed to hinder the release of histamine, an inflammatory chemical the body produces in response to allergens. Quercetin is found naturally in many foods including broccoli, berries, wine, lettuce, capers, tomatoes, parsley, citrus fruits apples and onions. It almost goes without saying that to eat a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, is a must for any allergy sufferer. For those who wish to supplement their intake of Quercetin, then a dosage of 1000mg a day is recommended. If you are pregnant, lactating or suffer from liver disease, please consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Cartenoids are a family of pigments found in plants as well as animals. They are powerful antioxidants that help mop up free radicals and help the immun system to work more effectively. Good sources of these cartenoids can be found in orange carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, kale, broccoli, egg yolk, peppers, tomatoes, papaya, apricots and watermelon.
Nettle (Urtica dioica) is thought to be nature’s answer to antihistamine, and behaves in a similar way to conventional medication without the nasty side effects. It inhibits the body’s ability to produce histamine. Before the allergy season arrives, it would make sense to start drinking nettle teas on a regular basis. Anyone who wishes to supplement this further should take a dose of 300mg a day which should offer significant relief. Please ensure you do not mistake this herb with another similar species Urtica Urens, which has quite the opposite effect and is loaded with histamine.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Research is revealing that these wonderful acids reduce inflammatory chemicals in the body over time. Although allergy related research is far from conclusive, a recent study in Europe has shown that there is a decreased chance of allergy in those participants who had the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids in their blood cells. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in oily fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds ( my latest discovery and loaded with this precious oil! ) walnuts and animals that have been grass-fed.
Elderberry Tincture Elderberry juice is a traditional remedy which is used both internally and and topically to treat cuts, colds and flu. Research at the University of Maryland Medical Center, suggests that elderberry juice may be effective in treating inflammation of the mucous membranes and therefore reducing nasal congestion, which may make it a beneficial treatment for those suffering with allergies. Learn how to make your own tincture here on Natural Mothers Network: Homemade Elderberry Tincture Recipe
Raw Honey Allergy Warning! Some people recommend eating raw honey in the belief that the tiny particles of flower pollen in local honey can be considered an inoculation that will make their seasonal allergies easier to endure and relieve symptoms. By eating small amounts of the trees or flowers you are allergic to in local, raw honey, you build up your tolerance to these allergens. For many sufferers this appears to work, but there have also been many reported instances of people eating raw honey (containing unknown levels of pollen) who subsequently suffered severe allergic reactions and even anaphylactic shock- symptoms varied from shortness of breath, dizziness, low blood pressure, fainting and even heart failure. Proceed with caution if you have a known history of seasonal allergies!
Do you know of any home remedies for seasonal allergies I’ve not included? Please leave a comment below if you have found one that really works for you!
Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for educational purposes only, although every effort is made to provide accurate and up-to-date information. Unless otherwise noted, the articles at this website are not written by doctors or other health care professionals. If you are concerned about your health, or that of your child, consult with your health care provider regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Rebecca Watkins worked as a professional photo journalist and travelled the world with her husband John, before settling down as a stay at home mother to their three daughters. They have recently moved back from the French Alps to an old cottage in Devon, England. Rebecca’s days are filled with visits to the beach, animated discussions and in the best moments, happiness and creativity in her family home of five. The other moments are filled with craziness and chaos and she loves those too.