Organic Remedies for Fall Allergies
If the change of seasons from summer to autumn also bring fall allergies, you might benefit from some homeopathic alternatives to over-the-counter allergy pills. While pharmaceutical choices – such as anti-histamines – may bring relief, they often bring unwanted side-affects, such as grogginess, drowsiness, or headaches.
What are histamines?
Allergies are simply your immune system’s hypersensitive reaction to foreign irritants. In an attempt to block these irritants, your body secretes histamines to attack the invading irritants by triggering inflammation. Irritants include: pollen, mold, grass, dander, and many others. When your body comes into contact with these irritants, common allergy symptoms appear, including: sneezing, red eyes, runny nose, post nasal drip, cough, and itching. Histamines are found in your nose, mouth, internal organs, blood vessels, and in your feet. The brain also makes histamine to transfer signals between your nerves. Histamine is also found in your gut, where it is stored and released by your stomach cells for use in digestion.
Try these organic alternatives to over-the-counter meds!
Ginger is a flowering plant with a root that is widely used as a spice and to treat many symptoms such as motion sickness, upset stomach, nausea, and allergies. To use, simply peel and cut the root (found at your local grocer), place it in a mug and add 1 cup of boiling water. Wait 10 minutes then add a teaspoon of honey and sip. It will help as a decongestant and to suppress reaction to allergens. You can also purchase ginger tea bags that will aid with congestion of your nose and throat.
Green Tea is a very popular Japanese remedy for allergies. Researchers there found that the compound Methylated Epigallocatechin Gallate in the tea inhibits certain cell receptors and alleviates allergic symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, and cough associated with allergies.
TIP: Add a teaspoon of honey to the above remedies. Pure honey has also been shown to contain anti-allergenic properties. Don’t heat or cook honey before adding it to your tea.
Wasabi is a plant with a green root used in cooking. It is commonly used in paste form and its spicy flavor is often used as a complement to fish and sushi. If you enjoy spice, wasabi can add some fire to your roast beef or steak. Researchers in Japan found that wasabi contains allyl isothiocyanate, which increases the flow of mucus, which helps remove allergens. Small amounts work best, especially as you get used to the flavor and level of heat.
Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts contain fiber, which aids in the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Since histamines are found there, it makes sense that promoting a healthy stomach would also aid in the efficient removal of allergens. However, if you are allergic to certain nuts or fruits, keep them out of your diet.
WHAT TO AVOID?
If you are allergic to ragweed or other weed pollens, try to avoid eating large quantities of bananas, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, or melons. Chamomile can also worsen symptoms! Processed foods are also bad for the stomach as they interrupt the natural removal of allergens.