Natural Alternatives To Pharmaceutical Allergy Treatments
Spring is supposed to be a season of hope. We finally emerge from the depths of winter, Mother Nature is finally awake and the sun decides to make an appearance. However, for allergy sufferers, spring is the time of year they dread the most. Spores, grass and tree pollens fill the air and airborne allergy levels reach staggering proportions. Symptoms such as sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes remain with allergy sufferers for months. As a result, spring is more a time of pain than hope for the millions of unfortunate individuals afflicted with various allergies.
What Are You Allergic To?
A staggering number of people are unaware of what actually triggers their allergies. If you are one of the estimated 35 million Americans who have some form of allergy, it’s time for you to take part in an allergy test which is comprised of the following steps:
- Your skin is pricked slightly to allow an allergen such as mould or grass access
- The doctor will check for a reaction after around 20 minutes
- Reactions usually come in the form of hives, swelling or redness
- After finding out what causes your allergy, pay close attention to a Pollen Counter to help you avoid triggering the problem as much as possible
Medication? Go Natural!
The ‘easy’ solution to allergy treatment is pharmaceutical drugs. You know the drill: Your doctor says you’re allergic to pollen and gives you some pills to help alleviate the symptoms. In most cases, drugs are not that effective yet $6 billion is spent on them by desperate patients every year. Medical research suggests that medication like nasal sprays can actually be addictive if used too much with your nose becoming dependent on the spray.
With this in mind, here are some natural alternatives which may provide the allergy relief you need:
Homemade Saltwater Spray
Create your own spray which can clear congestion without possessing the addictive qualities of pharmaceutical spray. Get 200ml of water and half a teaspoon of salt. Place them together in a squirt bottle. Use it in the morning and evening to remove allergens from your nose. An alternative is saline solution which can be bought at a variety of stores.
Even if you know that you don’t have a milk allergy, a host of physicians in the United States believe that milk can cause excess mucus production. This ensures that bacteria and allergens have the perfect environment where they can thrive. Therefore, you should consider removing milk from your diet during allergy season just to see if it makes any difference.
This is a European herb which is gaining quite a following amongst experts in the field of allergy cures. Swiss scientists discovered that patients who used butterbur four times a day experienced results similar to patients who used a popular antihistamine. Positively, butterbur does not cause the drowsiness associated with over the counter medications. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recently presented a study conducted by British scientists which confirmed butterbur’s effectiveness against grass allergens.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Some research has suggested that the presence of Omega 3 can reduce two types of inflammatory chemicals in the body (prostaglandin E2 and inflammatory cytokines), which obviously helps with hay fever symptoms. Also, a German study has found that those participants who had a high level of omega 3 fatty acids in their blood had a decreased risk of hay fever. You can increase Omega 3 in your body through eating more fish, or it can be taken as supplement (most commonly through fish oil or flaxseed oil capsules).
Spice Things Up
Researchers also suggest that spicy foods can help you combat allergies. Spicy foods tend to thin out mucus secretions which will lead to cleared nasal passages. Spices recommended for this purpose include hot ginger, cayenne pepper and fenugreek, while garlic and even onion can also be effective. Nutritionists also say that you need to steer clear of foods that upset your stomach. By doing this, you will ease the burden on your immune system which will then be better prepared for the fight against allergies. Incidentally, if you suffer from weed pollen allergies, steer clear of bananas, melons and Echinacea as these all make your symptoms worse.
Although pharmaceutical drugs can be effective in a variety of ways, you are better off seeking out natural alternatives for a healthier and less expensive alternative to allergy treatments.