Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
Sep 13, 2019 05:22PM
● By J Garnett
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, over 50 million Americans are diagnosed with allergies. Many more are obviously living with the miserable symptoms and are undiagnosed by a professional. Allergens are present during every season of the month and vary from region to region. The pesky particles that are to blame are not bound by the outdoors and can be found inside the home as well.
People suffering from allergies experience numerous symptoms, such as runny, watery eyes and nose, congestion, coughing, fatigue, headaches, nausea and more. The severity of these symptoms can be mild to severe, but no matter how miserable, they can be uncomfortable, debilitating and cause many people to miss work and fun activities each season. The plush green grass, the patchwork of leaf color, the first blossom of the year or the cracklings of a roaring fire on a chilly winter’s night—just a few of the things compromised because of a pounding congested head, aggravated lungs and any number of the horrible side effects that accompany allergies.
While allergies in general can be crippling, there are some that are worse than others. People allergic to particular foods including wheat, shellfish, nuts and insect bites and stings can be in mortal danger if anaphylactic shock occurs. When this type of allergic reaction occurs, the body’s immune system is in overdrive, and all systems and organs are affected and begin to shut down. This can cause death. In these extreme cases, doctors prescribe medications that patients can keep on hand in case this type of reaction occurs.
For milder allergies, doctors still prescribe medications for the symptoms. More so, there are a plethora of medications that can be bought over-the-counter. Many of these medications can cause side effects that are just as bothersome as the allergies themselves. Common side effects of allergy medicine include significant sedation, dry mouth, blurred vision, trouble urinating, constipation and agitation. Precautions are given to patients who suffer from seizures, glaucoma, thyroid disorders, high blood pressure and diabetes because allergy medication can have adverse reactions.
According to a research study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, first generation antihistamines, like Benadryl for example, have been shown to increase the risk of early onset dementia by 54 percent. Antihistamines block a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which is essential for memory and learning. The study was done with people who took antihistamines on a regular basis, and there are many allergy sufferers who fight their symptoms year round. There are natural antihistamines, however, that can be found in some foods and plant extracts that can be used as an alternative to prescribed and over-the-counter allergy medications.
In a 2018 long-term observational study published in the Journal of International Medical Research, revealed that Vitamin C, when given in large doses intravenously, acts as a natural antihistamine. Oxidative stress is a major contributor to allergies. Vitamin C combats the oxidative process with the high levels of antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory properties. Some fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C are broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, kiwi, squash, melons and citrus fruits. There are other natural antihistamines that can be used as well.
Bromelain, which is an enzyme in the core and juice of pineapples, has been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory for the sinus cavity. Probiotics can be found in yogurt, pickles, kombucha, sauerkraut and miso, and boost the body’s immune system, which can help fight off allergies. Quercetin is an antioxidant flavonoid that has been shown to be an anti-allergic and antihistamine. It can be found in apples, grapes, berries, black tea, red onions and red wine.
The extracts from the plants butterbur, astragalus, grape seeds, stinging nettle and spirulina are all effective in fighting allergy symptoms. These can all be found in supplement form and can be added to most diets, especially during times when allergy sufferers are affected most.
Many people go to great lengths to fight their allergies, including getting shots to desensitize them to the allergens affecting them. Allergy shots contain small amounts of pollen and allergens. The shots are meant to help the body build up a resistance to these allergens. However, there’s a natural way to build up a resistance, without having to endure the prick of a needle; bees can be a major player in fighting allergies without stinging.
Bees can be found in every geographic area around the country. Bees collect pollen from many of the plants and flowers that cause some of the most severe allergy symptoms. Consuming raw, unfiltered honey is a natural, tasty way to fight and desensitize against allergens. Local honey works best because the pollen being collected by bees is coming from local plants that are wreaking havoc on people’s allergic response.
Allergens are found almost everywhere and at any time of year. Inside a house where the windows remain closed during the winter months, the blooming of spring, the growth of summer and the harvesting of fall all produce particulates that attack people’s bodies and cause horrible symptoms. Eating fruits, vegetables, taking plant extracts and consuming local honey are all natural ways to treat allergies. Put those pharmaceuticals back on the shelf, enjoy the seasons and find relief with plant medicines.
J. Garnet, M.A., is an educator and freelance writer. Garnet’s studies have led him to the world of plant medicine and its many benefits. His work is centered on educating the public on alternative medicine. Connect at 520-437-8855 or [email protected]