There are many natural remedies for allergies, many of which may help relieve symptoms. Unfortunately, most have only anecdotal support. But limited research in science indicates that some may provide relief from allergy symptoms or help reduce allergy attacks. These remedies include certain herbs, exercise, nasal irrigation, and acupuncture. Since allergies can affect your quality of life, it is normal to be interested in any treatment that can provide relief from symptoms. But if you are considering the best natural remedies for allergies, first run the idea by your doctor, as some may be risky to you.
Table of Contents
You will learn the following from this post:
- Meaning of allergies
- Types of allergies
- Symptoms of allergies
- Natural remedies for allergies
What are Allergies?
Allergies are the way your body reacts to a substance it feels harmful. For instance, coming in contact with what is generally considered harmless, such as pollen, might make your immune system react. The substances that trigger this reaction are known as allergens.
What is an Allergic Reaction?
An ‘allergic reaction’ is the manner in which your body responds to an allergen. A chain of events arises, which results in an allergic reaction.
If you are allergy-prone, the first time you come in contact with a specific allergen (such as pollen), your body responds by creating antibodies. The job of these antibodies is to locate the allergens and get rid of them from the body system. Because of that, a chemical known as histamine is released and triggers symptoms of allergies
Types of Allergies
Some people are allergic to one substance, while others are allergic to more than one, such as dust mites, mold, animal dander, and pollen.
Hay fever, otherwise known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is an allergic response to pollen. It triggers swelling and inflammation of the lining of your nose and the protective tissues of the eyes. Pollen allergy symptoms include itchy, watery mouth and nose, congestion (feeling stuffy), and sneezing. Treatment options include prescription and over-the-counter oral-nasal cromolyn, nasal antihistamines, nasal steroids, anti-leukotrienes, and antihistamines. In some people, allergic symptoms might be caused by exposure to pollen.
You can reduce your symptoms by avoiding pollen. Remain indoors when pollen counts are high, shut your windows, and turn on the air-conditioner. Ask about immunotherapy (allergy shots) from your healthcare provider to treat pollen allergy.
Some people develop allergies after repeated contact with latex. Like those used in home cleaning or surgery, Rubber gloves are a significant source for causing this kind of reaction. Itching of the skin, wheezing, eye tearing and irritation, hive and skin rash may result from latex allergy.
Allergic reactions to latex may not be severe, such as itching and skin redness. However, more serious reactions can occur if the mucus membranes are exposed, such as during a gynecological or dental exam or an operation.
Treating latex allergic reactions starts by removing the latex product causing the reaction. People with latex allergies should wear a Medic Alert bracelet and carry an epinephrine kit. Latex allergy has no cure; therefore, the best treatment is avoidance and prevention.
Molds are small but tiny fungi with spores that float in the air like pollen. Mold is a common allergy trigger, and it can be found in damp areas, such as the bathroom, kitchen, or basement, including outdoors under mushrooms or in mulch, hay, leaf piles, and grass. The spires from mold reach a peak during hot, humid weather. Treatment of mold allergies may include medications to control your chest and nasal/eye symptoms. You may need immunotherapy if your symptoms are not adequately controlled with medications or avoidance.
The proteins produced by sweat glands in an animal’s skin can cause allergic reactions. These allergens are shed in dander and by the proteins in an animal’s saliva. Therefore, avoidance measures do not really work as well as removing the pet from the home. However, because several people do not like to do this, the second-best measure is to keep the pet out of the bedroom, using an air cleaning with HEPA filtration and frequently washing the pet. Treatment of animal dander allergies may include medications to control your chest and nasal/eye symptoms. You may need immunotherapy if your symptoms are not adequately controlled with medications or avoidance.
Food allergies are triggered when your body develops a particular antibody to a specific food. An allergic reaction is triggered within minutes of eating the food, and symptoms can be pretty serious. The generally-known most common food allergies in adults include tree nuts, peanuts, and shellfish. In children, they include tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, egg, and milk.
If you experience or have a food allergy, your symptoms may include swelling around your mouth, breathing difficulties, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, hives, and itching.
Avoiding the foods that activate the allergic reaction is extremely important. If you or your child have allergic reactions to certain foods, your doctor may suggest that you carry epinephrine at all times. This epinephrine is needed in case you accidentally eat foods that trigger allergies. In addition, there are new therapies for peanut allergies known as oral immunotherapy.
Dust mites are small organisms that reside in dust and the fibers of household objects, such as upholstery, carpet, mattresses, and pillows. Dust mites develop in warm, humid areas. The symptoms of allergies from dust mites are similar to those of pollen allergy. To control dust mite allergies, use dust mite encasements (polyurethane covers/airtight plastic) over box springs, mattresses, and pillows. Also, get rid of vacuum or carpet frequently with an efficient filter vacuum cleaner. Treating dust mite allergies may include medications to control your chest and nasal/eye symptoms. You may need immunotherapy if your symptoms are not adequately controlled with medications or avoidance.
Symptoms of Allergies
Allergy symptoms are categorized as mild, moderate or severe:
- Mild reactions include local symptoms that affect specific parts of your body, such as runny nose, hay fever, watery/red eyes, itchiness, and rash or hives. Mild reactions to allergies do not spread to other areas of the body.
- Moderate reactions are symptoms that manage to spread to other areas of the body. Symptoms may include trouble breathing, swelling, hive, or itchiness.
- A severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, is a rare but life-threatening emergency where the body’s response to the allergen is unexpected and affects the entire body. Anaphylaxis may start with serious itching of the face or eyes. Within minutes, more severe symptoms develop, such as swelling (angioedema), hives, diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, abdominal pain, and throat swelling (which could trigger swallowing or breathing problems). You may also experience dizziness or mental confusion since anaphylaxis may trigger a drop in blood pressure.
Good Home Remedies for Allergies
Below are different natural remedies for allergies you can try at home. However, you should understand that no natural remedy is effective during an allergic emergency like anaphylaxis.
Exercising regularly and consistently can go a long way in decreasing allergic reactions, such as respiratory allergies (connected with breathing), but the reason is not yet clear. However, in moderation, exercising the body is not harmful to people with allergies, and it offers more health benefits.
How Exercise is Used
Allergic people should follow the general exercise recommended for everyone. This includes about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. These activities include swimming, treadmill exercise, cycling, running, walking, etc.
Warnings and Side Effects
Discuss your exercise plans with your healthcare provider (especially if you have exercise-induced asthma or general asthma). Follow any medical restrictions you may have. It is both recommended and advised that you gradually increase your exercise as you develop your endurance.
2. Nasal Irrigation
Nasal irrigation, also known as saline lavage or nasal rinse, is often used by allergic people with respiratory symptoms. It’s the remedy you can make at home by using sterile saltwater to clear nasal passages.
How Irrigation is Used
You can choose to perform nasal irrigation daily or several times a day to relieve congestion symptoms. You can try nasal rinse by getting a kit and following instructions. One common and popular method is using a neti pot with a saline solution. You pour the solution from the pot into a nostril, and it drains from the other nostril. You can take advantage of a bulb syringe or squeeze bottle.
Warning and Side Effects
Ensure that you only use boiled or distilled water for nasal irrigation. There have been reports of amoeba infection resulting from contaminated tap water in nasal irrigation. Also, ensure that you clean the device after each use. You should wait about an hour or more after nasal irrigation before going to sleep. That makes sure that the saline has completely drained from your sinuses and helps prevent coughing.
3. Vitamin D
Deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to allergies, such as anaphylaxis, eczema, allergic asthma, and allergic rhinitis (nasal congestion). This is because this vitamin regulates the immune system cells and releases chemicals that can trigger allergy symptoms.
How Vitamin D is Used
If you have once been diagnosed with a deficiency in vitamin D, your healthcare provider would have recommended the supplements you need. Each person has different vitamin D needs, depending on the amount of sun exposure and skin color. But if you are not vitamin D deficient, the Institute of Medicine recommends that people between the ages of 1 and 70 receive 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D every day. Those above 70 years old should get 800 IU daily.
Warnings and Side Effects
Taking too much vitamin D is possible, and it elevates the calcium levels in the blood, which can cause kidney stones and calcium deposits in the heart and other organs of the body. Sunlight exposure also raises vitamin D levels. Generally, you should avoid overexposing yourself to sunlight because it can cause skin cancer and sunburn.
Acupuncture is a process of healing that has been used in China for more than 5,000 years. This process involves stimulating points on the body with needles, electrical probes, or pressure. These points are believed to be connected by specific pathways that create an energy flow that affects overall health.
How Acupuncture is Used
Acupuncture is often a complementary therapy as an addition to conventional treatment of allergies. For example, in visiting an acupuncturist, you would receive a series of weekly or bi-weekly treatments for a couple of weeks and then follow-up treatments as required.
Warnings and Side Effects
Acupuncture is generally a safe process, and there should be no side effects associated with it. However, it’s best to seek a licensed, certified, or registered practitioner as your state requires.
The herb butterbur, also known as Petasites hybridus, is a shrub-like plant that grows in parts of North America, Europe, and Northern Asia. Extracts from the herb have been a treatment option for asthma, allergic rhinitis, cough, stomach cramps, and migraine headaches.
How Butterbur is Used
Commercial extracts of butterbur are made from leaves or roots of the plant. You can get them in tablet or capsule form to be taken orally. The supplement is typically taken 2 to 4 times each day for a week or more, especially during the allergy season.
Warnings and Side Effects
The side effects of butterbur may include drowsiness, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, headache, and indigestion. Butterbur belongs to the ragweed plant family. Therefore, people allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemum, or daisies should avoid getting in contact with butterbur and its products.
Pregnant or nursing women and children, including people with liver or kidney disease issues, should not take butterbur in any form.
The most effective best remedy for allergic reactions is staying away from whatever is causing your allergies. This may seem obvious and relatively simple, but the effect of your effort can go a long way in your healing process if you know what you are allergic to.
Many types of best natural remedies for allergies are thought to help ease symptoms. However, for many, research is still limited on how these remedies affect allergies. Let your doctor know your symptoms before trying any best remedy for allergies.
The information contained in this post "5 Best Natural Remedies For Allergies" is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.