Natural Ways to Alleviate Allergies
While some allergies can produce mild symptoms, other sufferers may be severely debilitated by the onset of reactions. While medication is one way to control allergies and their symptoms, there are also natural ways to alleviate allergies. Here are just a few suggestions to minimize the ways in which your allergies affect you.
Saline Can Stop an Attack Before it Starts
New York Medical College’s Nathanael Horne, MD says the best thing you can do for yourself is to treat yourself before allergy symptoms develop. By spraying just a small amount of saline into your nostrils, you can wash away pollen residue, before it can interact with your sinuses. In a recent study, researchers found that spraying saline into the nostrils twice per day over a three week period resulted in significantly less nasal congestion than that experienced by the control group.
Cut Beef and Dairy Out of Your Diet to Reduce Hay Fever
People who have a high concentration of trans oleic acid in their diets are far more likely to develop hay fever. Trans oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat found mostly in dairy products and red meats. By switching to fish and poultry, you can limit your intake of this compound and reduce the chances of experiencing a hay fever outbreak.
Fish Oil Affects Allergic Asthma Reactions
Allergic asthma is a condition in which an allergic reaction causes the asthma attack and that initial allergic reaction is prompted by high levels of leukotrienes. Fish oil works by reducing the levels of leukotrienes, limiting the chances that you’ll have the allergic reaction in the first place. Fish oil supplements can be found in pharmacies and health food stores.
Dress for Better Protection
If you combine a wide-brimmed hat with sunglasses, you can limit your exposure to pollen, particularly on windy days. This will help keep your eyes from becoming irritated, puffy, and watery.
Butterbur for a Natural Treatment
Your doctor may prescribe a more powerful medication, but, for those interested in natural remedies, butterbur may be the next best thing. While this herb is used to treat pollen allergies and headaches, it can also act as an antihistamine without the sleep-inducing side effects.
In some cases, butterbur can cause liver or lung damage. If you have an allergy to ragweed, marigolds, or daisies, taking butterbur could cause an adverse reaction. Use with caution and under the direction of your doctor or an allergist.
Acupuncture Works for Pollen Allergies
In a recent study, allergy patients submitted to about 12 acupuncture sessions, as opposed to a control group who received a simulated or fake treatment. The group receiving real acupuncture reported experiencing less symptoms and used far less antihistamine than the control group.
Clear Congestion with Turmeric
Turmeric, which is a spice mostly used in Indian cuisine and in creating curry dishes, contains a substance called curcumin. It’s believed that curcumin reduces allergy symptoms by clearing congestion and warding off the common cold. Bharat Aggarwal, PhD of MD Anderson Cancer Center says curcumin is as effective as prescription medication in treating some conditions.
Move Your Runs to the Evening
Many people go for their run first thing in the morning, or conduct outdoor exercise in the early afternoon. If this sounds like you, it may be wise to change your routine. Many types of trees release their pollen at daybreak, except for ragweed pollen, which is released in the middle of the day. By going for your run at dusk or after dark, you’ll be limiting your exposure to those substances.
Invest in a New Vacuum Cleaner or Heating System
If your vacuum doesn’t employ a HEPA filtration system, you’re likely stirring up pollen every time you clean your rugs. Similarly, a heating system without a HEPA filter will blow pollen around afresh every time it kicks on. Also consider getting a HEPA filter-equipped air purifier for areas that see high volume.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea works as a natural antihistamine and New York City allergist Tim Mainardi, MD says it’s powerful. How powerful? He says it interferes with allergy tests. Individuals should drink two cups of green tea per day, starting about two weeks before the start of allergy season.
Licorice is a General Decongestant
When ingested, licorice root boosts the levels of steroids naturally produced in the body. Although there’s no research to back this up, some allergists also believe it acts to loosen mucus, reducing episodes of coughing and sneezing. It can also help you breathe easier.
Skip the Dairy and Dried Fruit
These foods, while healthy, may work to instigate your allergies. They can cause inflammation of the nose’s blood vessels, which leads to congestion. Cheeses may be especially suspicious in this manner. Additionally, those suffering from pollen allergies may be making their conditions worse by eating melon, bananas, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, or chamomile.
Shower as Soon as You Come Home
At the very least, you should change your clothes when you get home and throw the soiled clothes in the hamper. After a long day out running errands or at work, the fibers in your clothes have been collecting a whole host of pollens. By showering and changing your clothes, you can eliminate their chances to affect you.
While these are all ways that you can alleviate allergies without medication, it is important to consult with your doctor before stopping or starting any medication.
Hudson Valley Sinus Center specializes in helping individuals manage their allergies, so they can live a better quality of life all year round. Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein is the founder and specializes in allergies and other conditions that affect the sinuses. He is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery.
Depending on your condition, the specialists at Hudson Valley Sinus Center can offer a number of treatment recommendations suited to your lifestyle. From allergy shots and medications to endoscopic sinus surgery, Dr. Rubinstein and his associates can provide you with the diagnosis and treatment to resolve your condition.