What does it mean to suffer from allergies?
Anyone who’s ever suffered from seasonal allergies knows first-hand how miserable it can be. This misery includes itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and hay fever that brings about excessive sneezing episodes. In other words, it’s typically a time for ‘popping’ the antihistamines and decongestants and keeping a box of tissues nearby at all times. Keep in mind, that having these symptoms doesn’t have to warrant a trip to your local drug store to purchase over-the-counter medications. In fact, there are many more natural ways to go about treating yourself as you suffer from seasonal allergies.
The body’s physiological response
Do you know what’s actually going on inside your body when you’re having an allergy ‘flare-up?’ First and foremost, the term ‘allergies’ is the response your body is having as a result of a foreign invasion of allergens. Furthermore, this response demonstrates that your immune system is kicking things into overdrive all while your plasma cells are unleashing IgE (immunoglobulin) explicit to that allergen. As a result, IgE binds itself to your mast cells which are located in your skin and nasal mucous membranes and thus, discharges histamines which are responsible for the constriction of airways and possibly hives. Furthermore, the barrage of symptoms allergy sufferers experience can be contributed to the combination of histamines, leukotrienes (runny nose and excessive phlegm), and prostaglandins.
Is there any hope for allergy sufferers?
When it comes to dealing with allergies, getting older is actually a good thing! The reason being is that most people in the age range of 60 to 70 years old will now have less sensitive immune systems and thus, stop reacting to their specific allergens. However, some people may develop a specific allergy later in life which never affected them earlier. Either way, I’m here to offer you some natural methods to negate the dreaded seasonal allergy symptoms.
Natural methods to treat seasonal allergies
- Honey in moderation. If you consume honey from a local merchant, you are receiving the spores of pollen directly from the bees which can cause you to eventually become immune to the pollen as an allergen.
- Hot peppers. If your palate can tolerate it, incorporating horseradish, hot chili peppers, and hot mustards into your meals can naturally open up your nasal passageways.
- Golden seal. Within Golden seal is an active ingredient known as berberine which has germ-destroying and immune-boosting attributes.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. As crazy as it sounds, studies have shown that if you eat a lot of food abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, your reaction to specific allergens will be less debilitating. Examples of these foods are grass fed meat, eggs, flaxseed oil, etc.
- Quercetin. This natural antioxidant is classified as a flavonoid which has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as aids the immune system. There are certain foods (apples, berries, black tea, capers, red grapes, and red onions) high in quercetin which inhibit the discharge of histamines and thus, are considered the more natural form of antihistamines. It can also be taken as a supplement ranging from 200 – 400mg/day dose.
- Vitamin D. Adding Vitamin D to your vitamin repertoire has been shown to decrease the body’s allergic reaction to mold which your body may consider an allergen.
Essential oils to combat allergies
- Blend of sandalwood, frankincense, and Ravensara. This combination of oils was used in a previous study to treat hay fever and as a result, appeared to help with stuffy and running noses. Also, any sneezing was lessened with the use of this blend. *always dilute with a carrier oil*
- Eucalyptus. Due to its menthol nature, it has local anesthetic characteristics and the ability to soothe minor sore throats. In addition, this oil can help with dilating nasal cavities as a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Lavender. This oil is considered a ‘cooling oil’ and has anti-inflammatory capabilities. In addition, it stops the formulation of mucous in its tracks.
- Lemon. This oil will assist in lessening the build-up of phlegm, as well as have an anti-inflammatory effect. Just as you would put a slice of lemon in your water, put a drop of this essential oil in your water, as well.
- Oregano. This oil is the fighter of fungal infections (anti fungal), as well as the eliminator of microorganisms (antimicrobial). It can ward off troublesome bacteria that have the potential to intensify your allergy ‘flare-up.’ *do not apply directly to the skin*
- Peppermint. With its minty aroma, this oil can open-up your sinus cavity and actually loosen up the phlegm built up in your chest. In addition, it has the ability to soothe an irritated throat.
So there you have an overview on natural methods for treating seasonal allergies. Here’s to living your best life ever! Feel free to leave me a comment or any insight you may have on this topic.