Allergy suffers meet the changing of seasons with conflicting emotions — joy and dread. The warm feeling of spring’s sun hitting your face also means allergens slamming your nasal passages. Whether it’s the nose, eyes or skin that negatively react to nature’s bounty, there are ways to combat feeling yucky without loading up on drugs. Here are a few scientifically-based and anecdotal remedies that may ease your suffering.
Western and Eastern medicines are not as different as many people think. Both recognize allergies as a hypersensitivity to something in the environment. They just take different paths toward relieving that suffering. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs are generally designed to mask allergic symptoms. Have a runny nose and trouble sleeping? Nyquil can dry you up and knock you out for 8 hours. But once that dose wears off, you’re back to square one.
Acupuncture, on the other hand, works to provide short- and long-term allergy relief. The medicinal treatment of inserting tiny needles into the body strategically restores energy flow. This Chinese medicine has been used to treat a wide range of ailments including illness, joint pain and hay fever. For Western skeptics, blind clinical trials indicate that 71 percent of allergy suffers benefited from acupuncture.
Tea For Me
Tea lovers seem to have a warm beverage for everything and allergies are no different. With so many remedies, non-tea drinkers tend to be a tad skeptical. However, herbal teas are infused with specific plant leaves and roots that provide key nutrients, minerals and elements that positively affect allergy suffering. Look for key ingredients in organic, loose leaf tea sources such as:
- Rooibos: This caffeine-free, South American tea has been used to treat issues such as allergies, insomnia, eczema and cramps. The science behind it stems from a pair of bioflavonoids — rutin and quercetin — that suppress histamines. Rooibos has been widely used in South American hospitals and tastes good.
- Yerba Mate: This shrub grows in parts of South America including Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. It amps up the adrenal glands to help suppress the body’s overreaction to allergens in the environment. In many cases, allergy suffering is caused by hypersensitive reactions to natural elements. Yerba Mate also helps reduce inflammation and improves oxygen flow throughout the body.
- Stinging Nettle: These leaves have a wide range of uses for combating ailments that include arthritis, high blood pressure, gout, hay fever and some even claim it cures baldness. Okay, skeptical. However, scientists believe the leaves and stems hinder communication to the brain about allergens. That helps reduce allergic overreactions and prevent annoying symptoms.
There are two reasons why local, and not mass produced honey can help relieve allergies. First, some corporations infuse honey with corn syrup making them impure. The second reason comes from the fact that bees pull together many of the seasonal pollens that exist in your specific area. In theory, by taking in local honey on a regular basis, you will develop a tolerance. Although purely anecdotal, it makes good logical sense.
Many natural allergy remedies have a solid basis in science and others just work. When the elders tell you about a home remedy, listen up. Experience is a great teacher.