Allergy is a condition in which the immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign substance such as mold, dust or certain food. A food allergy is an allergic reaction to certain food such as milk, shellfish, nuts, chocolate, or soy, or food additives, such as preservatives and coloring. An allergic reaction can range anywhere from mild to severe and include skin rash, headache, hives, stuffy or runny nose, gastrointestinal upset, or shortness of breath. To deal effectively with food allergies a person must eliminate the offending food, but may find natural remedies helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms when the food is accidentally consumed.
Causes of Allergies
Some of the biggest culprits for causing allergic reactions are:
- Pollen – Allergies often called hay fever
- Dust mites – Commonly due house dusts
- Pet dander – Due to animal saliva and dander
- Mold spores – Indoor and outdoor fungi
- Cow’s Milk
- Fish and Shellfish
- Peanuts and other tree nuts.
- Pollens from grass weeds
- Poison ivy
- Poison oak
- Insect bite- Honeybees, hornets, wasps, fire ants, yellow jackets
- Chemicals- Laundry detergents, cleaners, dyes, few cosmetics, pesticides
- Medicines- Commonly penicillin and sulfa drugs
- Latex- Often in latex gloves, condoms
- Metal- Commonly nickel
Symptoms of Allergies
Allergies can cause a number of symptoms such as:
- Sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose
- Itchy, red rash, watering eyes
- Swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- Wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- Headache, dizziness and a general feeling of being unwell.
Doctors typically treat allergies with a variety of approaches which often include medications and allergy shots. There are, however, natural and home remedies for allergies that you might consider.
Home Remedies for Allergies
Build up Immunity
First try to identify the source. Second, once the sources are discovered, they should be avoided. Third, and most important, general health and resistance should be built up to establish immunity to them.
Using a nasal spray or Neti pot may help. You pour a saltwater (saline) solution into one nostril. As it flows through your nasal cavity into the other nostril, it washes out mucus and allergens.
Make licorice tea made from 1/2 teaspoon licorice root powder and 1 teaspoon ghee. Add 1/2 teaspoon honey only after the tea starts to cool and drink this tea. (Note: People with high blood pressure should not drink licorice tea)
Lemon & Honey
Squeeze half a lime in a glass of lukewarm water, add one teaspoon of honey. Take daily first thing in the morning for several months. This remedy not only flushes out the toxins but also acts as an anti allergic agent.
Seeds of Cumin, Fennel and Sesame
Take equal quantity of cumin seeds, fennel seeds and white sesame seeds (25 gram each) and dry-roast each seeds separately. Mix the roasted seeds and 1/2 teaspoon rock salt. Store in a glass jar, chew a handful of this mixture after eating any food which will aid digestion and help to prevent any kind of food allergy.
Use of five drops of castor oil in a little juice or water taken on an empty stomach in the morning, is highly beneficial for allergies in the intestinal tract, skin and nasal passages.
Add a cup of oat to bathwater which can effectively soothe the redness of a skin allergy and calm the itchiness.
Red Onion Water
When you expose the allergen, your body immediately releases histamine. Onion contains a compound- quercetin that helps to control the production of histamine. Hence it is useful in reducing symptoms of allergies. Onion is a natural antihistamine that helps to decrease allergic symptoms. It can also be helpful as a bronchodilator to open up the contracted airways.
Peppermint is a natural remedy for dust allergy, pollen allergy, or other respiratory allergies. It contains a type of flavonoid called luteolin-7-O-rutinoside, which helps inhibit the activity and secretion of anti-inflammatory enzymes, such as histamines. You can add a heaped teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves to a glass of water and bring it to a boil. For about ten minutes, allow the mixture to steep. Strain and drink the tea when it is mildly warm.
The eucalyptus oil can be a game-changer in seasonal allergies. You can add few drops of Eucalyptus Oil to the water, boil it, and inhale the steam. It will help to open your sinuses and nasal passages further. Some research suggests that eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties also.
Do’s for Allergies
- Strengthen your immune system and eat food that has gentle property. Try juicing the green vegetables for a daily drink to raise immunity and flush out toxins from the body.
- Keep to organic, untreated, unprocessed foods as far as possible so to eliminate pesticides and various sprays.
- Take diet rich in vitamin B and E as it possesses effective anti-allergic properties. Eat one or two banana daily if you are not sensitive to banana.
- Read food labels carefully to avoid an ingredient you’re allergic to.
- Drink 6-8 glasses of pure water daily.
- Drink green tea as it has gentle cleansing effect.
- If the allergen is airborne, clean living and working spaces frequently.
- Wear a face mask when doing chores.
- Get rid of dust, molds, and mildew. Use a HEPA filter to reduce exposure to allergen triggers such as mold and dust. Place filter where you spend more time such as bedroom.
- Manage stress. Try deep breathing and relaxation exercise.
- Exercise regularly to help circulate toxins out of the body.
Don’ts for Allergies
- Avoid allergen triggering food which may include eggs, strawberries, berries, peanuts, nuts, chocolates, cheese, tomatoes, soy products, seafood and anything that is fatty or spicy.
- Avoid mucus forming foods, such as dairy products, processed sugar, and items made from white flour.
- Skip foods that decrease immunity such as hydrogenated oils and trans fats.
- Avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, cola drinks, and chocolates.
- Stop smoking, if you smoke. Smoking exacerbates allergic reactions.
- Avoid foods containing any food additives, such as preservatives and coloring.
When to See a Doctor
See Doctor immediately if:
Develop breathing difficulties, swelling of lips and tongue, and a rash within a few minutes of eating a suspected food.
The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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