A service member battles allergies at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., May 26, 2017. In Florida, allergies occur year-round due to the warmer temperatures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon)
If you’re like me and you suffer from allergies, going outside can turn real bad real quick. I enjoy the outdoors and would love to be in nature more often, but if I have to experience an allergy attack every time I do, I’d rather stay in.
I do take an allergy pill and it helps for most of the day. But if I forget to take it one day, I suffer the consequences of itchy skin, runny nose, and watery eyes. I am allergic to trees, mold, cats, sulfa, and cockroaches. Yes, even cockroaches…
Others may be allergic to pollen, dust mites, pet dander, foods, insect stings, medicines, and beauty products. And it seems like pollen is everywhere in the spring and summer.
It’d be nice to not have to rely on medication and pills to go about life normally. If you agree, there are some natural remedies we can try to find relief.
What are allergies?
MedlinePlus says “an allergy is a reaction by your immune system to something that does not bother most other people.” MayoClinic explains that the immune system unnecessarily makes antibodies that mark a particular allergen as harmful by mistake. So, when you encounter said allergen your immune system responds and produces a reaction.
Although I feel like allergies do affect quite a lot of people (actually more than 50 million Americans experience allergies each year), my immune system does need to shape up.
Allergies cause some of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
Usual treatments include medications or shots, no thank you.
Allergies often affect my mood as well. I admit I am grumpy when my eyes are irritated and I can’t breathe--it is just plain unpleasant.
Luckily, things I can do at home are more natural and effective in the long run.
Natural remedies for allergies
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH) suggests trying the following five methods to relieve seasonal allergies:
- Nasal saline irrigation-- This is draining nostrils using salt water
- Butterbur extract-- This an herb that can decrease the symptoms of nasal allergies
- Honey-- More research is needed, but honey could help
- Acupuncture-- Has proved helpful for some people
- Probiotics-- Probiotics aren’t only good for your health overall, they can improve some allergy symptoms. By eating certain foods you can receive the benefits of probiotics
Also, there are specific ways you can try to relieve symptoms, depending on the type of symptoms you have. For instance, if you are having a reaction on your skin such as rash, itch, hives, or burning, you can do a number of treatments:
You could use warm water instead of hot water, stop using scented products, avoid scratching, take an oatmeal bath, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to improve skin condition and reduce symptoms (depending on the cause).
Jamie Lagarde claims that simply cleaning your nose and managing stress could improve the severity of allergies.
“Pollens adhere to our mucus membranes” and “stress hormones wreak havoc in the body and especially in the immune system,” she states. Dealing with these involved components can prevent allergies from being worse.
Lagarde also says apple cider vinegar could help because it boosts the immune system, breaks up mucus, and supports lymphatic drainage.
Detoxifying the body could also improve your condition. The liver plays a large role in detoxifying the body and can be inhibited by stress, medication, alcohol, and processed food. This can cause allergies to worsen. So, by reducing such things in your life, you can prevent your allergies from flaring up.
According to Scott Frothingham, spirulina and quercetin are also things you could use to find allergy relief. Spirulina is a blue-green algae you can eat that has antiallergic effects. Quercetin is contained in broccoli, cauliflower, green tea, and citrus fruits. It is believed to manage the release of histamines and control allergy symptoms in part.
He says vitamin C might also reduce histamine levels and some essential oils have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, However, you could even have allergic reactions to these treatments so proceed with caution when using any new method.
If you don’t want to take anything, wearing a mask and washing up could prevent most allergens from irritating you. WebMD provides that some children who had a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and nuts were shown to have fewer allergy symptoms. Eating healthy is just as good for other aspects of your health too.
Elliot Caleira suggests using garlic or bone broth for allergy relief. Garlic is a natural antibiotic that combats disease and inflammation. Bone broth is made of amino acids and other nutrients that help give your immune system a boost.
I know I’m certainly willing to implement some of these treatment methods into my life in order to breathe easier with less allergy symptoms. You shouldn’t have to dread the changing seasons and with the help of these natural remedies, we can appreciate all of what nature has to offer.