The word allergy is derived from the Greek words "allos" meaning ‘other than’ and "ergon" meaning ‘reaction’.
Allergies occur because of an overreaction of the immune system to a foreign substance. Millions of people suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies that result in coughing, sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes.
If you suffer from allergies try some of these natural solutions to get yourself back into balance and help you lessen allergic reactions.
Our immune system is usually a well-trained biological warfare unit for the body. The immune system is able to identify and destroy many foreign invaders, as well as cells that are infected with viruses.The immune system sometimes overreacts to allergen which results in a hypersensitive immune system. When this happens the immune system misidentifies a harmless substance as harmful, and then attacks the substance with ferocity far greater than required resulting in inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages and the airways. This is the reason why allergies are referred to as an immune system disorder; it raises a defense against harmless intruders.
It is usually difficult to tell the difference between a cold and an allergy attack, due to the symptoms can be very similar in nature.
Although allergies can mimic almost any sickness, the following symptoms may still represent some form of an allergic reaction. If you or your child experience a combination of the following symptoms, you might have allergies:
- Nasal congestion
- A runny nose
- Coughing and wheezing
- Itchy, scaly rashes and hives
- Sensitivity to certain chemicals, perfumes and paints
Traditional Chinese Medicine says, poor digestion can create an excess buildup of mucus in the body, which can worsen allergy symptoms. Opt for a warm breakfast to get your digestive tract moving each day. To further improve digestion, make sure you chew your food thoroughly. Listen to your body and eliminate any foods that you have a difficult time digesting or that cause you gastrointestinal distress.
Daily consumption of raw local honey can help build up your immunity against seasonal allergies. Bees carry pollen back to their hives with them; eating pollen-infused honey may help your body create the antibodies needed to strengthen your immunity against the pollen. The only way this will prove to be beneficial is if you use local honey, which is infused with local pollen. Try to consume one teaspoon of honey, two times per day during allergy season. It may take a few weeks of regular consumption to notice a difference, so consume honey daily it for at least a month before throwing in the towel.
Eliminating highly processed foods and focus on consuming a diet of leafy green vegetables, high quality proteins and low-glycemic foods to prevent any inflammation caused by blood sugar imbalances. Research has linked the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with a reduced incidence of allergies. Fermented foods and drinks such as sauerkraut, kimchee, kefir and kombucha can help populate the gut with healthy bacteria.
Using a neti pot on a regular basis helps flush out allergens and irritants from the nasal passage. Use a pre-made saline rinse or dissolve one teaspoon of Himalayan Sea salt in a quart of boiled distilled water and pour the cooled mixture through each nostril. Electric nasal flushes have become popular as well and serve the same purpose as a neti-pot. Some people find them easier to use.
Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine. For immediate allergy relief, freeze dried nettle leaves can be an effective option. Nettle leaves can also be used to make a soothing, allergy-relieving tea. Use nettle leaves on their own, or combine them with peppermint leaves, to make a tea you can sip on regularly during allergy season. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, taking nettle capsules may also help reduce symptoms of hay fever, including sneezing and itching. Though nettle leaves are generally considered safe, pregnant women should avoid them, and you should always consult with your doctor to check for any contraindications and drug interactions.
If your symptoms don’t improve or continue to worsen over time, visit your doctor to rule out the possibility of your condition being something more serious than seasonal allergies.