In the United States, more than 20% of adults and children are quite familiar with the frustrating symptoms that accompany an allergy. In fact, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology released a report that named allergies the sixth leading cause of chronic illness. Luckily, Mother Nature gives us natural cures for allergies that can make our symptoms easier to handle.
What are Allergies?
An allergy is the result of your immune system reacting to foreign substances, such as pet dander, dust, pollen and other materials that irritate your system. Depending on the allergen, your sinuses, skin, airways or digestive system may react. Allergies range from minor irritations to the more serious reaction of anaphylaxis, which can cause you to go into shock . The severity of symptoms will vary from person to person.
Causes and Symptoms
The majority of allergies develop during childhood and early adulthood. You also face a greater chance of suffering from allergies when family members show a history. An allergy often develops when your immune system views a harmless substance (like a flower) as a dangerous threat. Your body reacts by generating antibodies that stay on alert for when this particular allergen resurfaces. The next time you come in contact with it, the antibodies react – releasing immune system chemicals (like histamine). Allergy symptoms are often the result.
Common triggers for allergies include the following factors:
• Food – There are eight foods that account for 90% of all food reactions – milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat . Food allergies can cause hives, tingling mouth, shock, and swollen lips, tongue, face or throat.
• Insects – A sting from a bee or wasp can set off an allergy. Insect stings can cause coughing, tight chest, wheezing, shortness of breath, itching, hives all over the body, swelling at sting site, and in the worst cases, shock.
• Airborne Allergens – Animal dander, pollen, mold and dust mites are examples of airborne allergens. Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) can cause congestion, runny nose, and itchy watery eyes.
• Medications – Prescription drugs can be linked to an allergic reaction. Penicillin and penicillin-based antibiotics are examples of such medications. Drug allergies can cause itchy skin, rash, facial swelling, wheezing, and hives.
• Chemicals and Ingredients – Soap, cosmetics and skin lotions may contain substances that cause an allergic reaction.
• Skin Reactions – Bodily responses when you touch an allergen, such as latex, wristwatches and metal jewelry, can occur. Dermatitis (allergic skin condition) can bring itchy skin, red skin, and flaky skin.
Allergy Natural Cures
It’s important to have a treatment plan in place for when you come in contact with an allergen. For those of you who would like to avoid taking medication, consider the following natural cures for allergies:
a) Licorice Root:
It is said that licorice root can help your body build up an immunity to allergens. Add three ounces of cut licorice root to one quart of water. Boil the root for 10 minutes in a glass pot – and then strain into a bottle. Take one tablespoon of the concoction before eating a meal until the remedy is gone for six days. Some people have reported an enhanced resistance to allergies. If you suffer from high blood pressure or kidney problems, do not take licorice root, which can contribute to renal failure.
b) Wild Cherry:
Prepare a tea using the bark of wild cherry, which has a reputation for soothing the upper respiratory tract. The remedy also works to clear the throat and nasal passages, especially if you have a nasty cough. Health food stores will sell the powdered form of the bark. Add one tablespoon of herb to one cup of water. Steep the ingredients for 10 minutes. Drink one cup of tea per day for two months.
To treat a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes, eyebright will normalize the blood flow to the nose and eyes. A recommended dose is 20 to 25 drops of tincture taken three times a day.
d) Echinacea and Goldenseal:
Prepare a remedy by combining 250 to 500 milligrams of echinacea and 150 to 300 milligrams of goldenseal, which is then taken two to three times daily for five to seven days. This remedy will help fight green or yellow nasal mucus.
e) Potato Flour:
Dissolve three tablespoons of potato flour in a glass of water, and add to a larger bucket of water. Repeat this process until you have filled up a bathtub suitable enough for a soak. This is a nice remedy for allergies that cause skin rashes. Soak in the tub three times per day.
Apply avocado paste to a rash associated with allergies.
There is a natural antihistamine found in regular tea. Drink one to two cups of green or black tea (sweetened with honey) to fight allergy symptoms.
Some people may enjoy relief from allergic rhinitis by using butterbur. Tablets containing the herb can be found at your local health food store.
i) Stinging Nettle:
To improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis, some people have used stinging nettle to decrease the production of histamine. Some people have found that many of their allergy symptoms are prevented or lessened when using nettle, such as runny nose, watery eyes, itchy skin and nasal congestion. To treat chronic allergies and dry out the sinuses, add 150 to 500 milligrams of nettle two or three times daily to your supplement routine. Continue for two weeks.
Pure honey contains antibacterial and other healing properties that can treat symptoms of allergies.
k) Chamomile Tea:
Offering a natural antihistamine, chamomile tea sweetened with honey can help with allergy symptoms. Drink one to two cups per day.
Peel and crush a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, and place in a mug. Pour boiling water over the root and allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink the concoction all at once to enjoy a mild decongestant.
m) Apple Cider Vinegar:
Relieve itching associated with hives and insect stings by applying apple cider vinegar to affected sites. Dilute the vinegar with a small amount of water, and then use a piece of gauze to apply to the skin. Some people have also soaked in bathwater with vinegar added to it.
To treat inflammation associated with an allergic reaction, as well as other symptoms, consider using plantain. The plant (not to be confused with the relative of the banana) has been used for centuries as a way to treat respiratory issues. With antispasmodic and anti-catarrhal properties, a reduced severity of symptoms may take place.
Packed with antioxidants, quercitin is an herb that gives your immune system a boost, as well as helps control allergy symptoms, such as wheezing, sneezing, and inflamed eyes.
p) Garlic and Onion:
Combine garlic and onion to benefit from high concentrations of quercetin, which will reduce inflammation associated with allergies. Make it a habit to include these ingredients when preparing your meals.
Offering natural anti- inflammatory properties, the East Indian herb turmeric is suggested for those fighting the dragging nature of allergies. It is suggested to take 500 milligrams three times on a daily basis.
Clear the sinuses by taking a bite out of fresh horseradish or eating a spoonful of prepared horseradish.
s) Vitamin C:
Increase the foods you eat that contain vitamin C to take advantage of a powerful natural antihistamine that comes with no side effects. Fruits and vegetables to pile on your plate include Chinese bitter melon, pokeweed shoots, guava, watercress, and bell peppers. As for a supplement, a suggested dose is 1000 mg of vitamin C taken three times a day.
To interfere with the transmission of chemicals known to trigger allergies, take 60 to 240 mg of a standardized kinko extract a day.