HELP!!! My Allergies Are Ruining My Life!
Spring season is here, and so are the many allergies this beautiful season brings with it. Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, affects approximately 50 million Americans. While most of us enjoy the sight of the colorful trees ,grasses, flowers, and the fragrances of the broad variety of blooms , springtime also means sneezing, a stuffy and runny nose, headaches, and watery, itchy eyes for those of us who experience seasonal allergies.
Many of the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis are often caused by the sensitivity to pollens from trees, grasses or weeds, or airborne mold spores. Those months of runny nose, scratchy eyes and headaches you endure each spring are actually the result of a case of mistaken identity. Your body mistakes pollen for damaging invaders like fungal spores and dust mites. This triggers the release of histamine, a natural chemical that’s part of our immune system response. Histamine causes inflammation and irritation of soft tissue, which leads to the many uncomfortable symptoms.
Modern medical science has produced countless cures for seasonal allergies. These remedies are available both over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription, and many work by counteracting histamines. These kinds of drugs are called antihistamines, and they tend to do the trick. But drugs often come with side effects. In addition to reducing allergies, antihistamines can also produce dry nasal cavities, drowsiness and other undesirable conditions.
It’s for this reason that many of us seek out natural and holistic allergy remedies from “Nature’s Pharmacy.”
Foods rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients can help boost immunity and curb inflammation in the body — both of which can lessen symptoms of seasonal allergies. To consider a few:
Raw and Local Honey: Honey that is raw and local will still contain all of the living enzymes needed to protect your body from a histamine overdose that is unique to your geographical area. In addition, the honey must be Allergen Appropriate. Thus, for fall allergies, you should buy honey that is harvested in the fall, and for spring fever, make certain that you buy the spring honey in order to benefit from the pollens this honey. Raw honey contains traces of pollen and this is where most of its power for this malady arises. However, you must take the honey for at least 3 months prior to the onset of the allergy season for its effects to be obtained. In fact, you may want to skip the honey and go right to the source by using pollen on its own instead. A very small number of people will have a reaction to this powerful remedy so it is important to start with just a grain at first. You should watch for an increase in itchy redness around the eyes or other allergy symptoms. If you don’t have a problem then you can generally use ½-1 tsp of pollen daily for a month before your typical allergies begin to surface and continuing on through your allergy season.
Apples: Apples, especially their peels, are rich in quercetin, a bioflavonoid that has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Experts believe that quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamine, thus preventing an allergic response. Onions, berries, cabbage, and cauliflower are also rich in quercetin.
Salmon: The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in fatty fish have been found to help ease allergy symptoms. Omega-3’s have anti-inflammatory properties and can help bolster immunity — and when your immune system is at its peak, it responds less to allergens. In addition to salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are great sources of omega-3’s. Due to the contamination of our seafood in the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean, and the US Farmed Fish industry, a safer option is to consider fish which comes from South America or Europe, where the farmed fish industry banned all GMO feed, and the fish is farmed in a clean, moving water source.
Oranges: Oranges — as well as strawberries and red peppers — are an excellent source of vitamin C, which may be helpful for people with hay fever. Vitamin C has antihistamine properties, and research suggests it may help reduce seasonal allergy symptoms.
Nuts: Foods rich in magnesium, including cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, and walnuts, may also help control allergies. Magnesium relaxes and opens the muscles, and a deficiency has been linked to inflammation in the body.
Hot Peppers: If you’re suffering from seasonal allergy symptoms, try turning up the heat. Hot chili peppers, horseradish, and hot mustards are natural decongestants. If you have a stuffy nose, treat yourself to a Thai, Indian, or Mexican dinner — the spicier, the better! An added bonus? Chili peppers also contain vitamin C. In addition, an anti-inflammatory tea, brewed from Ginger and Tumeric root, Cinnamon stick, and mixed with local honey and lemon, is a great decongestive remedy.
Embrace what nature’s bounty has to offer, and thrive!