There’s nothing quite like the panic that hits right in the middle of a sneezing attack when you think, “This might never stop.”
An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system overreacts to an allergen such as dust, pet dander or pollen. Some allergies, especially those to foods like tree nuts can land on the severe end of the spectrum, and may require a specialized medical strategy.
But if your immune system is just a bit dramatic and you suffer from annoying sneezing fits, hives and itchy or watery eyes, there’s a range of natural remedies for you — none of which produce that frustratingly sluggish-feeling you get from popping a Benadryl. Not to mention, all of these options have added health benefits so it could be a win-win for you and your immune system.
1. Flaxseed Oil to Flush Toxins
Your allergies can get aggravated when your body isn't eliminating toxins effectively. Taking flaxseed oil (one teaspoon two times a day for 2-3 days) or triphala, an herbal mixture made from three Indian fruits, can help your body naturally flush toxin buildup. If your allergies primarily show up in the way of respiratory issues like sneezing or difficulty breathing, it's likely a Kapha-induced allergy and a Kapha-pacifying diet can help.
2. Ghee in Your Nose to Block Allergens (No, Really!)
You can also try to physically block allergens by using a very small amount of ghee (clarified butter) on a Q-tip just on the insides of your nostrils — do this very gently, using a minimal amount of ghee and do not push the Q-tip deep into your nose! Alternate nostril breathing is also very effective in helping to tackle respiratory allergies.
3. Reishi Mushrooms for Your Immune System
The spores from this fungus — often used in traditional Chinese medicine — have been shown to help boost the immune system, help tackle conditions like asthma and bronchitis and fight fatigue. They have even been used to treat cancer, in conjunction with other medicines. When taken regularly, the herb can help regulate your immune system's response to allergens.
4. Nettle Leaf to Relieve Symptoms
Nettle leaf is another very effective antihistamine since it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine. Nettle leaf can also be used in combination with other herbs, like peppermint leaf or red raspberry leaf, to make a soothing herbal tea to relieve allergy symptoms. Otherwise, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are an easy and effective option.
5. Essential Oils to Soothe Inflammation
Steaming essential oils is an indulgent way to ease symptoms of pesky allergies. Enter the allergy trio: lemon, peppermint and lavender. The powers of these three essential oils is the best way to tackle most allergic reactions. Combined, they work as one of the most powerful antihistamines to bring down inflammation and other discomforts caused by your body’s allergic response.
The easiest method is simply to pour boiling water into a bowl (or any other container) and add a couple of drops of your oils into the water. Drape a towel over your head to form a tent and inhale deeply through your nose for five to 10 minutes. Just be careful not to get your face too close to the water.
6. Probiotics for Prevention
Research shows that our hyper-vigilance about germs and bacteria may actually may be causing more allergies to develop. The good news is that probiotics may be a new way to prevent and remedy allergies.
Probiotics is a term often used interchangeably with microflora; oftentimes probiotics implies the microflora we can consume in supplements, foods and liquids)
Consuming probiotics — especially those that are native to the human digestive tract — will help boost your inner ecosystem and your immunity. In fact, researchers believe that in our sterile modern world, probiotics can actually encourage the production of antibodies in babies and children that can help protect them from allergies that commonly develop later in life.
No one deserves to walk around in a haze of sneezing, coughing and eye-rubbing, so go forth and dip your toes in one of these natural remedies. Until then, gesundheit!