Health

These Natural Remedies and Tips Provide Instant Relief for Allergies

Let’s face it: most of us deal from some allergy, whether it be all year round or just a seasonal occurrence. While we may be fully… Trista - December 4, 2019

Let’s face it: most of us deal from some allergy, whether it be all year round or just a seasonal occurrence. While we may be fully aware of how allergies affect our bodies, we may still be in the dark as to what allergies really are. In short, allergies happen when the body’s immune system overreacts to a non-harmful allergen such as dust or pollen. When the body overreacts to these substances, it produces antibodies (in this case, it is Immunoglobulin E that is produced most often as an antibody). As a result of this antibody production, you may experience a stuffy or runny nose, scratchy throat, cough, or red and itchy eyes.

Now that we understand how allergies happen, it may be useful to know what time of the year allergies are most likely to strike. Spring, summer, or fall may have the potential for producing symptoms; these seasons provide an abundance of allergens, including pollen from trees, grasses, ragweed, and mold. Typically, an individual will have the same allergy pattern year after year. 

How do you determine which allergies you have? The only way to do this is to be examined by a doctor. A physician will ask about your allergy history and specific symptoms you experience as well as check your ears, nose, and throat. In rare cases, blood work is needed to determine precisely what is causing the problem.

What is the best treatment for allergy symptoms? One of the most common and well heard of medications are antihistamines. Why do they work so well? When the body produces those IgE antibodies (discussed previously), they combine with the allergen, which causes your body to produce histamine. Histamine itself increases blood flow to the area of the body the allergen is affecting. This, in turn, causes inflammation of the area as well as mucus production. This whole process is what causes the typical symptoms of allergies to manifest. Antihistamines work directly against histamine, which ultimately blocks the symptoms from occurring. 

When is the allergy season? It depends on what allergen we are talking about. March through June is tree pollen season. June, July, and August are the worst for grass pollens. August through October is weed pollen time; mold also peaks during this time.

For those of us who do deal with allergies at least part of the year, we know that medication alone is not always enough to combat symptoms. So why not compile a list of things you can do to help decrease allergy symptoms? Here are some tips to consider when dealing with your allergy symptoms.

Hanging indoors might be best. Pixabay

Stay Inside

Although this may not be the solution you were looking for, it is one of the easiest ways to keep exposure to allergens down to a minimum. If the weather is dry and calls for lots of wind, it may be better for your health to stay indoors. Allergens are easily carried on wind currents, which is why symptoms flare on windy days. The best days for allergy sufferers to wander outside is right after rainfalls; the rain will cleanse the air of allergens. 

Don’t let the allergens inside your home. Pixabay

Close the Windows

An easy solution to keep pollen from aggravating your symptoms: close all windows in the house. This tip is useful when pollen counts are high (usually at night), which is easy enough to check on any weather app. If it is a particularly windy day, it is imperative you close the windows; remember, allergens are easily carried on breezes!

Invest in suitable AC units. Pixabay

Keep Indoor Air Clean

If you forget to close your windows on high pollen days, there are steps you can take to clean the air in your house so your allergies can be kept in check. There are certain filters you can add to your air conditioning unit called HEPA filters; it automatically filters the air coming through the unit. If you have a furnace, feel free to add a flat or panel screen here to reduce allergens in the air. 

Another easy tip to follow is to keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier. You can also keep the air clean in the house if you vacuum regularly using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. If regular cleaners irritate your allergies, you could also try making natural cleaners using vinegar or baking soda.

Ask someone else to do the outdoor chores. Pixabay

Avoid Outdoor Chores

During your particular allergy season, it may be best to stay inside. If this is the case, make it a point to make others responsible for the outdoor chores. The two most common culprits for allergy irritation are lawn mowing and weed pulling; by having others complete these tasks for you, you will have an easier time with your symptoms.

Taking medications can help. Pixabay

Try Medications

There are both prescription medications and over the counter medications that are made widely available for allergy sufferers. You have a choice from the following: oral antihistamines, saline nasal rinses, corticosteroid nasal sprays, decongestants, leukotriene antagonists, and immunotherapy. There are some special notes to consider for some of these treatment options: oral and nasal sprays must be used daily if it is to be effective at preventing symptoms, while decongestants should only be taken for three days tops. 

Taking a shower can help. Pixabay

Keep Your Skin Clean

The air inside your house is not the only thing you can keep clean of allergens: it is also essential to keep your body free as well. If you do happen to spend a significant amount of time outside when the pollen count is high, make sure to shower off immediately after coming inside and put away the clothes you wore out as well. This tip will ensure that pollen from your old clothes does not come into contact with fresh clothing. 

Itchy eyes can be annoying. Pixabay

Take First Generation H1-Antihistamines

Although we have already discussed medication types, it is worth going into detail about the most common relief type. These medications are typically taken orally and are most recognized by patients. This type of drug can be purchased without a prescription at a low cost. The medicines under this classification are Benadryl, Aller-Chlor, and Tavist. The only downfall of these drugs is that they cause drowsiness.

Washing the allergens out of your clothes will help. Pixabay

Use Your Dryer

While saving money by hanging laundry out to dry during the summer may sound like a good idea, it may be harmful to those who suffer from any pollen allergy. The wet laundry attracts allergens and entraps them in the material; when you bring the dry clothing inside, it is full of allergens! If you do happen to suffer from seasonal allergies, use your dryer on all laundry to save yourself from unnecessary suffering. 

Antihistamines are good at relieving symptoms. Pixabay

Try Second Generation H1-Antihistamines

These are the medications most sought after from allergy sufferers; they work just as well as first-generation drugs but without the drowsiness side effect. Remedies under this classification are Xyzal, Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec. All of these treatments can be purchased over the counter, although they typically run higher in price compared to first-generation drugs. For best results, it is recommended that you start taking antihistamines two weeks before symptoms typically present themselves.

All that pollen won’t be good for you. Pixabay

Wear a Pollen Mask

If you must be the one to venture outdoors on high pollen days, there are solutions to help keep your symptoms at bay. When outdoors, wear a pollen mask to keep those allergens from entering your body, which is how the immune response is triggered. Try to avoid performing any outdoor activities early in the morning, as this is when pollen counts are typically the highest.

Your local weather report has pollen levels. Pixabay

Check the Pollen Levels

Although this was touched on briefly before, it is worth mentioning again. If you do plan on participating in outdoor events, be sure to check either the television, newspaper, or internet for the forecasted pollen count for the day. This gives you time to prepare; before you head out, be sure to take allergy medication to stop symptoms from starting in the first place. 

Clearing your sinuses can help. Flickr

Rinse Your Sinuses

This technique is useful if you suffer from nasal congestion. It is inexpensive and straightforward; all you do is rinse your nasal passages with a saline solution. The saline solution effectively flushes away mucus and allergens.

To prepare the saline solution, you will want to obtain a squeeze bottle or neti pot. Add water that is either distilled, previously boiled and cooled, sterile or filtered. Be sure to thoroughly rinse out your container after each use with similar water and leave open to air dry. 

Butterbur is an excellent natural extract for your allergies. Pixabay

Use Butterbur

If pharmaceuticals are not the solution you are looking for this tip may be for you. Some natural remedies have been investigated in their effectiveness at treating seasonal allergies: one of those remedies is butterbur. Butterbur is a shrub extract and is one of the most researched natural resources to date. An extract made from the shrub called Ze 339 is as effective as antihistamines at curbing allergy symptoms. Other natural remedies that may provide some relief include spirulina, Phleum pratense, and pycnogenol. 

These can be unpleasant, but they will help. Pixabay

Purchase Nasal Sprays

Corticosteroid nasal sprays are considered the most effective for treating nasal symptoms of allergies. If the nasal spray does not give you total relief, try combining it with oral antihistamines. Nasal sprays currently available include Beconase, Flonase, and Nasacort. Comfort can be achieved a few hours after use, but it usually takes a few days for symptoms to disappear completely. Side effects may include nasal irritation and minor bleeding. 

There are also antihistamine nasal sprays available for use. These can be purchased over the counter and include Patanase, Astepro, and Nasalcrom. All three are considered mast cell stabilizers and are typically less effective than corticosteroid nasal sprays. Side effects include drowsiness and a bitter taste in the mouth. A third option is intranasal anticholinergic agents such as Atrovent. These medications work to reduce mucus production and can be used in conjunction with other medication types. 

Alternative remedies can work too. Pixabay

Do Acupuncture 

There is some evidence out there to suggest that acupuncture may help to lessen allergy symptoms, so if you are looking for a natural remedy to try, look no further! These tiny needles target certain areas of the body in order to help alleviate pain, stress, and other health ailments. If you are afraid of poking yourself over and over again, maybe this allergy remedy is not for you.

A proper diet boosts the immune system. Pixabay

Eat Healthily

Studies have shown that changing your diet may help to alleviate allergy symptoms. Increasing your intake of vegetables, fruits, and nuts, in particular, seem to help. Specifically, it was found that grapes, oranges, and tomatoes decreased the frequency of allergy symptoms. 

One of the best things you can do for your allergies is to change your diet. The diet should be low in fat but high in complex carbohydrates. What should be included in your diet are onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne, horseradish, green leafy vegetables, nettles, bamboo shoots, cabbage, beet tops, carrots, yams, and yellow and orange vegetables. What should be avoided includes alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, wheat, bananas, citrus fruits, sugar, chocolate, red meat, food coloring, and peanuts.

Cough syrup can relieve scratchy throat and swollen sinuses. Pixabay

Buy Decongestants

Though touched on before, it is crucial to make a few notes about this particular medication type. While decongestants are excellent at relieving nasal symptoms, it is not recommended to take them daily. Side effects of these drugs are staggering, including increased blood pressure, headache, insomnia, and irritability. Decongestants are often found in combination drugs, such as being added to antihistamines, pain relievers, and cold and flu medications.

It is imperative to remember only to use decongestants up to three days in a row; using it more frequently causes rebound congestion, which can actually make symptoms worse as soon as the medication is ceased. 

Simple enough: stay hydrated. Pixabay

Drink More Fluids

Not only is eating healthy, extremely beneficial but so is drinking lots of fluids. Approved liquids include water, juice, and other nonalcoholic drinks. If you start feeling stuffy or you are suffering from postnasal drip, try sipping on fluids to relieve these symptoms. The extra liquid helps to thin out the mucus being produced by histamine in your body; warm fluids like tea, broth, and soups help immensely due to their steam production.

Hot tea or a shower generates steam to soothe sinuses. Pixabay

Take Advantage of Steam

If hot beverages are not your cup of tea, you could try steam all by itself! All you have to do is inhale the steam through your nose. The warm air helps to ease your stuffy nose and makes breathing easier. You have a few options on how to prepare your steam: you can put hot water in a bowl or sink and hold your head over it with a towel around your head to help trap the steam, or you can jump into a really hot shower. 

Runny noses can be annoying. Pixabay

Learn About Leukotriene Antagonists

In the body, there are agents called leukotrienes that are released when allergens are detected. When they are released, they cause a narrowing of the tubules in the lung; they also increase the production of mucus. Leukotrienes may also cause inflammation and swelling. The only agent of this kind currently on the market is Singulair; it works best for those who have asthma as well as allergies. 

Cigarette smoke agitates allergies. Pixabay

Avoid Cigarette Smoke

Cigarette smoke is an irritant and can aggravate allergy symptoms. Other irritants may include aerosols and smoke from wood-burning fireplaces. All of these agents may worsen nasal symptoms and can cause watery eyes. While your symptoms are flaring, try to avoid anything that might cause further irritation such as smoke.

A shot can be your cure. Pixabay

Get Allergy Shots

If symptoms are hard to control and other remedies have not soothed your symptoms, it may be time to try an allergy shot. When receiving an injection, a patient is given some of the allergy triggers, with each dose becoming larger each successive injection. Although they do not work for everyone, allergy shots are supposed to work by keeping the body from overreacting to an allergen. 

Pet dander can aggravate allergies too. Pixabay

Keep Your Distance From Pets

Allergies to pets are quite common; what causes the allergic reaction is the saliva or dander from the animal. If pets trigger your allergies, it may be best to keep them outside (weather permitting). It may help your allergies if you do not allow your pets into your bedroom and to also wash them regularly. We know you love your four-legged friends, but you might have to keep your distance for a little while if you don’t want to wash, clean, and shower everything constantly.

Timothy grass provides an excellent extract to treat allergies. Pixabay

Use Oral Extracts

Four types of oral extracts can be used to alleviate symptoms of allergies. Oralair is explicitly used for grass allergies; it is placed under the tongue and should be given four months before allergy season starts. Grastek is used against Timothy grass only. It is also provided under the tongue, but it must be started twelve weeks before allergy season starts. Ragwitek is used for ragweed. Odactra is used to treat symptoms associated with dust mites. Again it is given under the tongue.

Make sure to stay away from any mold. Pixabay

Stay Away From Mold

Most people have an allergy to mold, whether they know it or not. The best way to reduce the occurrence of mold is to wipe down any moist surfaces such as the shower or bathtub. Also, you can try running a ventilation fan while you are showering to decrease the incidence of mold. If you are allergic to mold, try keeping the humidity in your house below sixty percent to hinder mold growth.

If you do have a mold allergy, it may be helpful to avoid any areas of the home where mold can quickly grow, such as the basement, compost heaps, barns, crawl spaces, and garages. If you cannot avoid these areas, it may be best to install dehumidifiers in these rooms. Make sure to clean them every week.

There are other ways to prevent mold from accumulating in the home. Make sure all clothing is dry before it is put away into storage. When it is laundry day, make sure to switch over your loads promptly; leaving damp clothing in the washing machine for too long can encourage mold growth. Take some mold-killing cleaner to the bathroom where it is easy for mold to proliferate. 

Put filters in your AC units. Pixabay

Utilize Air Conditioning

Since it was advised earlier to keep your doors and windows closed, especially during the morning and evening hours, it is a good idea to run your air conditioning when it is warmer out to keep allergens outside. Remember to equip your A/C unit with a filter to make sure that the air in the house is free of any allergens. If you do not have a screen, you can try using cheesecloth to trap allergens. Do not run a fan! This action may actually stir up dust, which sets off allergy symptoms for some people. 

Shades can keep your eyes safe. Pixabay

Protect Your Eyes

Protecting your eyes will ensure that pollen and other allergens do not enter the body through the eyes. Wear sunglasses when venturing outdoors to keep yourself safe. You will be surprised at how many millions of little pollen flakes are trying to get into your eyes. Sunglasses are a simple defense that can shield your body from pollutants and allergies.

Plastic covers make it easy to clean up allergens. Pixabay

Use Plastic Covers

It is almost impossible to keep every allergen that causes you allergies out of the home. To help prevent allergens from making it into your system, try covering surfaces with plastic covers. The most useful places to cover up are pillows, mattresses, and box springs. It might seem like you are sleeping over at your great-grandmas with all that crinkly-sounding furniture, but it will keep you healthy and clean.

Clean the furniture regularly. Pixabay

Clean the Furniture

If you happen to suffer from seasonal allergies, some types of furniture should be avoided. Any overstuffed or down-filled bedding should not be used with someone with allergies. It is also important to wash any bedding every week with hot water during allergy season. 

Throw rugs are also a no-no; they happen to be prominent collectors of dust and mold and could exacerbate symptoms. If you already have an eclectic mix of rugs, make sure to wash them in hot water as well regularly. 

It may also be helpful to switch your blinds; Venetian blinds and long drapes help to collect dust. Shades and shutters are a safe alternative to help keep allergens out as well as to decrease the number of allergens inside.

Using apple cider vinegar is a natural way to boost your immune system. Pixabay

Try Apple Cider Vinegar

This at-home natural remedy has become a bit of a craze. It is another natural remedy for allergies, apple cider vinegar, helps to boost the immune system, support lymphatic drainage, and help break up mucus. Please do not take it straight by itself; however, try mixing one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and lemon juice up to three times a day for relief.

Did you know that certain scents relieve sinuses? Pixabay

Diffuse Essential Oils

It is thought that essential oils help to detoxify the body, fight infections, bacteria, parasites, and other harmful toxins. Essential oils may be added to a bath, tea, massage oil, or an oil diffuser. Specific oils that have been linked to allergy relief are peppermint, basil, eucalyptus, and tea tree. Peppermint oil works through its anti-inflammatory properties, while eucalyptus oils work by killing off any microbes in the area. Another standard oil used for the relief of allergy symptoms is frankincense oil. 

Probiotics also boost the immune system. Pixabay

Eat Probiotics

As was mentioned earlier, allergies occur because of the body’s immune system overreacting to a specific allergen. Research has shown that individuals who have more healthy bacteria in their gut were less likely to suffer from allergy symptoms. Probiotics also help the immune system by helping to produce immune-enhancing substances. It is best to take one in the morning and another one at night to achieve the best results. 

Pineapple is a good source of bromelain. Pixabay

Consume Bromelain

Have you ever heard of bromelain? This ingredient is another extract that can be used to help combat allergy symptoms. Bromelain is an enzyme that is found naturally in papaya and pineapple. The protein is thought to act by reducing swelling in affected areas.

What can’t broccoli do? Pixabay

Try Quercetin

This strange word is a chemical that can be found in food. Researchers believe that it acts upon the histamines that are released in your body by your immune system during an allergic reaction. You can find quercetin in broccoli, cauliflower, green tea, and citrus fruits. It is recommended that two to three grams are taken daily; if symptoms are especially bad, increase the dose to six grams.

An orange a day can keep the doctor away. Pixabay

Intake Vitamin C

Another supplement that is a natural way to curb allergy symptoms includes vitamin C. It is recommended that patients take two thousand milligrams of the supplement each day to keep histamine levels in check. Be careful about how much of this vitamin you choose; it could cause diarrhea.

Honey is a good source of sweetness to help the throat. Pixabay

Use Honey

While no scientific data are present to back up this finding, honey is one of those common-sense items worth mentioning. Using a teaspoon of honey can help alleviate a sore throat caused by chronic coughing. It naturally coats the esophagus, which is probably causing you some serious itchiness. Honey is also yummy compared to some other options on the list!

Spicy food encourages runny noses. Pixabay

Eat Spicy Foods

Are you looking for ways to clear out all of that mucus without pumping yourself full of drugs? Look no further. Eating spicy foods can help thin out mucus and clear congestion. If you are used to eating spicy foods, you probably already know this tip for reducing allergies. Try eating some spicy peppers, hot sauce, or even a steamy bowl of tomato soup, and your nose will start running almost immediately.

Gingko acts as a natural antihistamine. Pixabay

Go For Herbal Medicines

While we have talked about prescription and over the counter medications, herbal medicines have not been given much attention. There are about a handful of natural herbs that can be used to help treat allergy symptoms. 

  • Dong Quai (Angelica Sinensis) and stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) can be used as an anti-inflammatory as well as a natural antihistamine. 
  • Eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis) acts to reduce congestion and secretions. It is especially useful for itchy eyes, sneezing, and mucus. 
  • Gingko (Gingko Biloba) contains bioflavonoids, which act as a natural antihistamine. It is also a good antioxidant. 
  • Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) helps to minimize all aspects of an allergic reaction and supports liver function. 
  • Red clover (Trifolium pratense) aids the body in naturally building up a resistance to allergens.
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) can be used to help reduce congestion and mucus secretions.

So what do you do after you choose the herb you want to use? Make tea! Drink three to four cups a day for maximum results. If the herbs come in tincture form, take one to three drops three to four times a day.

Euphrasia is good at soothing your throat. Pixabay

What About Homeopathy

Besides these herbal medicines, there are other substances out there that can be used in the treatment of allergy symptoms. The standard dose for all of the following contents should be three pellets every four hours. Relief should be felt after two doses. By the third dose, if symptoms are still persistent, try another remedy.

  • Allium cepa can be used if you are experiencing discharge from the eyes and nose. It may also help reduce hoarseness.
  • Euphrasia can also be used to combat discharge from the eyes and the nose; it can also help to reduce coughing, sneezing, and diarrhea. 
  • Natrum muriaticum, again, can be used for discharge but is more well known for combating cold sores. It may also get rid of the headaches caused by congestion. 
  • Nux vomica helps to relieve both a runny and stuffy nose and sneezing. 
  • Wyethia gets rid of that itchy feeling in the back of the throat and nose.
Carrots are just great for your health overall. Pixabay

Try Carotenoids

More natural remedies are coming your way! Carotenoids are found in plants, with the most popular being beta-carotene. Although it may not be beneficial to start consuming carotenoids after symptoms begin, research has shown that individuals with more carotenoids in their diet experienced less inflammation in their airways. Foods that contain this beneficial substance include apricots, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach, kale, butternut squash, and collard greens.

Walnuts are rich with good fats. Pixabay

Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids

This tip offers another natural remedy that can be acquired naturally through the diet. Research has shown that these essential fatty acids help to reduce inflammation throughout the body by reducing the production of natural inflammatory causing chemicals throughout the body. Good sources of omega-three fatty acids come from fish oil capsules, flaxseed oil, and walnuts. You can also take supplements if you have a hard time incorporating these into your diet.

Rosemary reduces the reaction of the white blood cells, reducing allergy symptoms. Pixabay

Use Rosemary

If you suffer from allergies, look no further than your kitchen spice rack! Not only does rosemary help with allergies, but it has also been shown to provide relief for people living with asthma as well. How does it work to combat allergies? Rosemary contains a chemical called rosmarinic acid, which has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

This acid can also suppress the immune response of some white blood cells, which will hinder allergies from occurring in the first place. A word of caution here: it may be worth it to take rosmarinic acid with food as it may cause mild stomach pains when taken alone. 

Turmeric also reduces the body’s overall allergic response. Pixabay

Cook With Turmeric

This food is a spice commonly used in Indian cooking. The active component in this spice is called curcumin, which has been shown to reduce the overall allergic response. If turmeric is consumed over a long period, individuals will notice relief from sneezing and congestion. Try looking up some basic recipes that call for this ingredient and you can start benefiting from its healthy uses right away.

Keep that body fit for a healthier life. Pixabay

Exercise Daily

Another simple solution to your allergy problems is to get up and move! Even moving for a mere thirty minutes a day can bring about relief. It is believed that exercise helps to produce anti-inflammatory effects in the nasal passages. If you cannot get outside for a good workout, try pumping iron indoors. Besides, you should try to exercise on a regular basis even if you don’t have allergies.

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/allergy-education-17/slideshow-natural-relief

https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/live-well/2018/06/10-easy-ways-to-beat-seasonal-allergies-when-the-pollen-count-spikes/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/seasonal-allergies/art-20048343

https://www.drugs.com/slideshow/seasonal-allergy-tips-1031

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/seasonal-allergies-4-routes-to-relief#2

https://sedera.com/seasonal-allergies/

https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-allergies#precautions

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/natural-allergy-remedies

https://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=117

https://www.verywellhealth.com/natural-allergy-remedies-89245

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2017-05-19/the-5-best-herbs-for-spring-allergy-relief

https://truhealthmedicine.com/healthy-living/13-natural-seasonal-allergy-remedies

Advertisement