It’s that time of year again. You walk outside to see your car covered in sticky, yellow pollen and immediately start sniffling, sneezing and itching all over. If you are one of the 26 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, you may dread the thought of going outside during these Spring months and might even consider pulling the covers over your head until the season blows over.
When you understand how pollen affects you, it only makes sense to treat your allergies the natural way. First, picture a single grain of pollen- it looks something like a spiny sea animal and it latches itself onto soft mucous membranes in your body (inside of your nose, mouth, eyes and lungs). Receptors that sit in these mucous membranes react to pollen, mold, dust and dander and release histamine chemicals designed to help the body get rid of the allergen. This histamine is what causes sneezing, wheezing, itching and coughing.
Most OTC allergy medications attempt to treat the symptoms by suppressing histamine in your body. However, natural homeopathic alternatives shore up your body’s defenses before the pollen can lodge itself onto your mucous membranes. Many of the natural treatments below are designed to prevent an allergic reaction before it occurs.
- Quercitin: Quercitin is a natural plant-derived bioflavonoid that helps stabilize cells and prevents them from producing histamine. Quercitin is also a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body. The recommended dosage is about 1,000 mg taken between meals and it is best to start taking quercitin up to six weeks before allergy season begins.
- Stinging Nettle: Stinging Nettle behaves the same way as many OTC drugs sold to treat allergies, but without the unwanted side effects. Nettle inhibits the body’s ability to product histamine. Studies have shown taking 300 mg daily will offer relief for most people, however the effects may only last a couple of hours.
- Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT): Sublingual Immunotherapy has been used over the past 20 years in Europe. It works by giving the body a very small dose of the allergen (usually a 1:1,000 dilution) under the tongue for two minutes, so eventually the body becomes immune to whatever it is allergic to. Sublingual Immunotherapy should begin two weeks before peak allergy season and will suppress allergic reactions all year round.
- A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom found that patients that used SLIT for two years were nearly seven times less likely to be affected by common allergens!
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is an age-old remedy that works wonders on cold and allergy symptoms. The theory behind this vinegar is that is able to reduce mucous production and clean the lymphatic system, ridding the body of pollen, dust and dander.
- Local Honey: The idea behind eating local honey for allergies is kind of like giving yourself an all natural vaccine. Local honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that are common in your area and is made by the same bees that are pollinating all the trees and flowers around you. Introducing these spores into your body throuh honey, gives your body the chance to overcome whatever it is allergic to.
Have you tried any allergy natural remedy that have worked for you? Share below!