Saturday, June 30, 2007

Natural Remedies For Allergy

Allergies, especially the seasonal ones, affect over twenty-two million people in the US alone! The symptoms can be as diverse as runny nose, itching, red patches, and so on. There are many over-the-counter prescriptions available, but all have some side effect or the other. However, if you opt for natural remedies, you’ll not only keep your allergies at bay, but would also save yourself from side effects.

How does allergy occur?

We continuously breathe in pollen, dust particles, molds, spores, animal hairs and insects that float in the air. When such foreign bodies, called allergens, enter the body, the body's immune system fights them by producing antibodies and by releasing certain chemicals called histamines. Most of the time this fight goes unnoticed, but in certain cases, it may cause an inflammatory reaction. This is called an allergy. You may get allergic even through certain foods, like wheat, corn, yeast, eggs, milk, coffee and chocolate. Even food additives, pesticides, chemical sprays, hydrocarbons, and so on can bring on this condition. Tobacco is also known to contain many allergens.

What are the symptoms of allergy?

The inflammatory reaction to allergens mainly affects the skin, mucous membranes, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. This may result in itching, skin reactions, headache, runny and congested nose and sinuses, watery eyes, sneezing, respiratory symptoms and rapid heart beat. You may even suffer fatigue, intestinal gas or pain, abdominal bloating and mood changes.

can be severe and may even force you to change your lifestyle. And in their case, prevention is far better than the cure. So, if you can identify beforehand what’s causing the allergy, you can take precautionary measures, by avoiding the cause altogether.

How to prevent allergies?

There're things you can do to prevent allergies. The allergens, especially consumed through food and drinks, need to be kept out. So, drink lots of water and fruit juices, except citrus. Include brown or white rice in your diet. For non-vegetarians, turkey and white fish, like sole, halibut, are recommended. All green vegetables, except corn and tomatoes, also prove beneficial. And so do almonds, walnuts and sunflower seeds. However, if you do fall victim to an allergy, go in for natural allergy home relief remedy.

Natural remedy for allergy

Herbal remedy for allergy is an effective way to counter allergies. Let's see some of them:

a. Garlic: Garlic or Allium sativum, used for centuries, is a potent treatment against allergy causing bacteria and yeasts. Garlic owes its efficacy to allicin. Garlic and other alliums can raise or lower blood sugar levels. However, diabetic or hypoglycemic should be cautious in its use.

b. Green Tea: Green tea is rich in phytonutrients that help ward off allergens. It’s also effective against many types of bacteria.

c.Licorice Root: Licorice, according to the Chinese medicine, is said to replenish vital energy, moisten the lungs and strengthen digestion to keep away the allergens.

d. Ephedra: Ephedra or Ephedra sinicia is also known as mahuang. This herb figures prominently in Chinese medicine for treating bronchial and inflammatory disorders. However, its use can raise both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and may even cause excitability in some.

e. Nettle: Nettle or Urtica dioica has enjoyed a long history as a treatment for seasonal allergies. It's effective, but be sure not to confuse it with Urtica urens, which contains high levels of leukotrienes and histamine.

f. Echinacea: Echinacea or Echinacea purpurea is a Native American herb and is also known as purple coneflower. It fights allergies by increasing the production of T-cells in the blood.

Allergies are here to stay and they can affect you at any time in your life. So, it’s best to take preventive measures to keep them at bay. But if you do get afflicted, opt for natural remedies, as they are safe and effective. However, take your physician into confidence before taking any medicine.