For the majority of people, the onset of spring is a wonderful time. The countryside bursts into life, the sun shines, and the world seems a happier place after the cold and fusty months of winter. Unfortunately, for a section of society, spring brings on a wealth of problems, because it is the season for allergies. If you’re someone who regularly has to fight allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, sinus congestion, streaming eyes, itchy skin etc., you may well be looking for some natural ways to control your allergies. Here’s some of our favourite suggestions.
If your immune system is overloaded this can mean that allergies can be triggered. Your immune system may become overloaded if you are stressed or under pressure. With this in mind you should do all you can to eat and sleep well and generally take care of yourself.
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Sugar is highly acid and mucus-forming, and this encourages your allergies. Eliminate sugar for a few weeks and reap the benefits in many ways.
You’ve probably seen probiotic yoghurt etc. advertised on the TV. It’s well worth trying them Research in Finland has found that children born to mothers who suffered with allergies, and had hay fever and asthma for example, were less likely to develop allergies if they took probiotic bacteria supplements. Try live yoghurt containing probiotic bacteria with a side of apples, vegetables and wholegrains as these will help the vital bacteria to flourish. In addition, if you’ve been suffering with a nasty virus or something that required antibiotics, nutritionists tend to recommend high-potency capsules of probiotic bacteria – these can be found in health-food shops.
The liver is at the heart of the body when it comes to dealing with the immune system, irritants and allergies, so it’s important to treat it well. The liver removes many major toxins which can improve how you handle allergies. Do your liver a favour and cut out alcohol, smoking, caffeine and sugar. Clean eating and drinking, and boosting antioxidants and vitamins in your diet will help you to reduce liver inflammation and boost your immunity.
By the same token if you know there are certain triggers for your allergies, then it is worth considering eliminating similar food groups. If you’re prone to hay fever for example, this means you’ll have a reaction to foods such as grain. It is worth trialling the elimination of dairy and wheat from your diet for a few weeks to see if this helps.
Natural antihistamines abound in nature. In some parts of the world it is recommended to eat local honey as an antidote to your hay fever. Vitamin C is also said to help with those symptoms – up to four x 1g tablets daily. Or why not try turmeric? Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that can provide relief.
Native Americans knew a thing or two about medicine. They utilised stinging nettles for thousands of years as a treatment for many health conditions, including allergies. Nettles do not cause heart problems or cause drowsiness and are available in a dried form for making tea, in liquid tinctures to take as drops, or in capsule form from health food shops.
Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that blocks the production of histamine, and reduces allergy symptoms. Drink two to three cups of green tea daily for the best results.
Taking a hot shower helps on a number of levels. The steam help temporarily clear your sinuses, but it will also eradicate any pollen sticking to your hair and skin. At the very least, if you’re suffering badly and have no access to a shower, give your hands and face a good wash and keep your hair tied back and away from your face.
Have you ever noticed that when you tuck into a hot curry or a spicy dish your nose starts to run? That’s because heavily spiced food helps to thin out the mucus. This will help free any congestion your experiencing as a result of your allergies.
Try and drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. This will help you stay hydrated and can relieve some allergy symptoms.
You’ve probably used eucalyptus when you’ve had a cold in the past. Operating from the same starting point, eucalyptus can be great for improving your allergy symptoms. Dried leaves in a bowl near where you work or sleep, or inhalation of oil from a handkerchief, will help reduce inflammation. Eucalyptus is also beneficial if you suffer with asthma.
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