By Heather Legg
I was just thinking how we are in the midst of our pollen season where I live and every year my husband is miserable for about 6 weeks. This year however, he’s pretty good. For the past year or so, he has been drinking cup upon cup of rooibos tea, which is good for allergies. We weren’t sure it would work, but now that his allergies haven’t hit him so hard, I’d say it at least helps. He still has some sneezing but he definitely isn’t miserable.
As I was looking on the internet the other day, I came across a few other natural remedies which are beneficial to allergies. Remember, though, none of these work like an antihistamine. You don’t drink a cup of tea or eat a clove of garlic and feel better in an hour. You have to regularly ingest the item for it to be beneficial. You can start now and see if they help, and continue through to next year and see if you can tell in your allergy symptoms next year.
Herbs and supplements: Foods that contain Quercetin – a bioflavonoid that helps in reducing allergy symptoms – like onions, garlic and spicy peppers like cayenne. Stinging nettle and Butterbur also have antihistamine, anti-inflammatory agents in them to reduce allergy symptoms. You can find them in teas at your health food stores.
• Vitamins – B5 can defend against stress and help with adrenal function, B12 reduces inflammation, C is a natural antihistamine, E is an immune booster – the healthier and less stressed the body is, the less reaction it may have to allergens. A multivitamin usually always is a good idea.
• Lime – squeeze the juice of one lime or a half of a lime into a lukewarm glass of water. If needed, you can sweeten this mixture with about a teaspoon of honey (local honey is said to be very good for pollen allergies). Drink this lime mixture daily for a few months. Many recommend doing so in the morning. Lime is also a great detoxifier and is high in vitamin C.
• Grape Seed Extract – used in conjunction with Vitamin C it’s found to be successful in reducing allergy symptoms. While found naturally in red wine and grape juice, supplement form seems to be the most effective to take it.
• Carotenoids – this helps reduce inflammation and is found in foods rich in beta carotene, like carrots, apricots, pumpkin, leafy greens and sweet potatoes (look for orange or dark green fruits and vegetables).
I think the pattern is clear that diets high in fruits and vegetables can ward off allergies. Maybe they can’t prevent them completely, but even reducing the symptoms while getting more vitamins and healthy components is beneficial.
Here are a few of the things recommended on abcnews.com:”
- Use the neti pot. It flushes all the bad stuff out of your nasal passages and this one does bring immediate relief.
- Avoid milk: Many people I know have found that by eliminating dairy, their seasonal allergies improve. Milk and dairy increases and thickens mucous, so when you have more due to allergies, there is more to thicken and increase. Even if you don’t have a milk allergy, it may be worth it to avoid it during allergy season.
- Use a HEPA air filter and Keep your windows closed: There were many a spring when I would open the windows on a nice spring day only to find my husband sneezing and miserable hours later. I could see the pollen dust in the house. Needless to say, the windows stay closed now. A good filter will keep pollen and other allergens out of the air, too.”
Remember, these aren’t quick fixes. But combining and sticking to some of these strategies may help your allergy season go a little better. You may find you can use less of your allergy medication, or even give it up! See what works for you, maybe one will be what you need while another does nothing for you. The good thing is, these are all cost effective with very little effort or side effects involved.