Allergies can be annoying and disrupt quality of life. In the previous article, we looked at the symptoms, causes and standard medical treatments for them. In this article, we will take a look at some natural and gentle ways to work with your allergies.
Non-pharmaceutical remedies work best with minor or seasonal allergies, such as hay fever or mild allergic reactions to environmental or food causes. If the allergy is more severe–especially if you are getting hives or having difficulty breathing–do not take matters into your own hands. Seek the help of a professional who can identify and provide the best route of action for you. Severe allergies can be life threatening!
If you believe you have a mild food allergy, keep a food journal and note what times on which days you feel most affected. Isolate those food which seem to be possible culprits and remove them from your diet entirely. Add each food back with several days in between to note your body’s response. This may help you isolate what food is the aggressor.
Some professionals recommend testing your food allergy by consuming a sample of the most pure version of the food you think you are allergic to and taking your pulse before and 20 minutes after. The belief is that a rise in pulse of more than 10 beats per minutes is a strong indicator of an allergic reaction. Of course, you need to make sure you remain rested for those 20 minutes… going out for a jog after consuming the food and then taking your pulse wouldn’t give you an accurate result!
Keep in mind that sometimes people are allergic to something within the food they are eating and not the food itself. Common culprits here include things like cellulose, carageenan, various gums like locust bean or guar, sulfites and the chemicals involved in the bromation process of wheat. If you are sensitive to foods it is generally a good idea to try to stick to foods in their purest, least chemically altered or added to forms.
Some people who thought they were allergic to milk discover that they are simply intolerant of the protein in milk called casein. The enzymes used to break down casein are destroyed in the pasteurization process.
Of course, the natural way to alleviate the suffering of a food allergy is to remove the food from your diet. Some people find that they can tolerate a small amount of the food they are allergic to if they consume digestive enzymes. Various brands and types of digestive enzymes are sold at your local health food store. Consuming oat bran in the morning can also help slow the process of absorption if you plan to consume a food that bothers you. Aspirin speeds the process, so avoid it if you haven’t been prescribed it!
Oil of Oregano can be taken internally to help with bacterial gut offenders such as H Pylori, which is often confused with a food allergy.
Environmental and Seasonal Allergies
Sometimes the thing that bothers us enters our bodies in a way other than our mouth. Common irritants include pollens, mold, soaps, dyes, animal dander, beauty products and dust. Begin by keeping a journal to isolate what is offending you. If the allergy becomes too difficult and is interfering with your quality of life you can take medications to help. But sometimes, medications aren’t readily available or you may choose to attempt to control your reactions more naturally.
If you are allergic to pollen, you may find great relief from taking a tablespoon of raw, local honey per day. Ideally the honey should be from a location within 10 miles of you. Never give honey to a child under age one.
Another alternative is to take up to two teaspoons of bee pollen per day. Start with a couple granules and work up to two teaspoons. Again, the pollen should be from a local hive. Bee pollen can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, so take it with caution and immediately stop if you show any sign of reaction.
Seasonal allergies can also be benefited by taking a tincture of nettle herb. Two droppers full can be taken daily either directly into the mouth or in a warm cup of water. Other helpful herbs include dandelion, burdock, feverfew and echinacea, which can be taken in tincture or infusion form. For more information on the efficacy and research behind herbs and health, you can purchase a copy of The PDR for Herbal Medicines.
Animal allergies can be curtailed by bathing the animal often in anti-dandruff shampoos, vacuuming and cleaning bedding regularly and using herbal lozenges with eucalyptus can be helpful. There are many natural, over the counter lung and sinus herbal syrups and teas. Bath and shampoo yourself regularly with oatmeal based soaps to eliminate itching.
There are some who suggest the homeopathic remedies allium cepa and euphrasia for allergies, but at this time the research done on homeopathy does not find much more than a placebo effect with such treatments.
It can also be helpful to use an air purifier if the allergen is found in your home. If it is outside, limit the time that doors or window are open. In either case, running a cool mist humidifier with a few drops of oil of oregano can be soothing. Lavender and Rose can also be added to a carrier oil and rubbed on the neck and chest. A neti pot with sterile water can also be used to alleviate mild sinus issues.
Make sure to drink lots of water and eat a well balanced diet when dealing with allergies and do not fail to call for assistance from a local care provider if you have any indication that your allergy is worsening or not responding to home treatment.