Natural Ways to Treat Seasonal Allergies

Spring is the time when many people suffer more from allergies than at other times of the year, manifesting in sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, itching nose and post-nasal drip. These are due to an immune system’s over-reaction to certain allergens when the body produces an excess of inflammatory chemicals like histamine and leukotrienes. These are made possible by the presence of a fatty acid found in animal products, so you may want to reduce or cut out the intake of red meat, shellfish, eggs and dairy products.

In addition try the following:

Home Remedies

  • Home-made saline solution: 1/2 teaspoon salt (Himalaya Salt is superior to normal salt), 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (optional), 500 ml boiled & cooled water. Keep in a bottle in the bathroom. Either use a Neti-Pot (which is more efficient), or just pour some of the solution into your cupped hand, with middle finger of your other hand close one nostril and sniff up the water from your hand into the open nostril. Do the same with the other side. Spit out any of the water that runs down the back of your nose into your throat, then blow your nose to clean it out really well. Note: for babies and children use a syringe and gently squirt the water up their nose. If you do this daily, and in flu and allergy season twice daily or more, you will greatly reduce the occurrence of ear infections. Babies and children have a very short eustachian tube, and since they can’t blow their noses effectively, mucous accumulates easily in the eustachian tubes, enabling viruses and bacteria to travel up to the ear. That is why babies and children have ear infections more frequently than adults. By making the saline rinse part of their daily routine like brushing teeth from early on in life, the chances of the child ending up with grommets and frequent courses of antibiotics are greatly reduced. You can also use this same solution as an effective remedy for dry eyes: simply pour some in a dropper bottle and drop into your eyes whenever necessary. Due to the salt and bicarb content, the water won’t burn your nose or eyes.
  • A tablespoon of local, raw honey per day  – note: NOT FOR BABIES UNDER ONE YEAR OF AGE. 
  • Spicy food – this can act as a decongestant
  • Steam your face – boil some water and place a towel around your head, so it hangs down the sides of your face. Then breathe the steam in deeply through nose and mouth for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Long-term breastfeeding (exclusively for the first 6 months and supplementary for 2 years and beyond, as recommended by the WHO) more often than not allows children to outgrow existing allergies and prevents allergies from developing in the first place (go here for more info) .

Homoeopathic Remedies

These are based on the principles that allow the body to heal itself. If you don’t have a homoeopath near you to prescribe specific remedies tailor-made for you, there are two remedies to try:

  • Euphrasia: for burning, itching, watery eyes
  • Allium cepa: alleviates runny, dripping, itchy nose.

Herbal Remedies

  • Quercetin: acts as a natural anti-histamine
  • Stinging Nettle Leaf: used for reducing allergic symptoms and as a blood purifier. Drink 2 – 3  cups of tea made from stinging nettle tea a day.
  • Probiotics: they must contain the following strains to be effective: lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Acidophilus and Bifidusbacterium lactis.

see drtracey.co.za for more info.

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