(NaturalNews) Many Americans are bothered by allergies every year, and most scramble to find some sort of relief for everything from hay fever to grass, dust, mold and other allergies. Many of those "remedies" aren't really remedies at all, but rather provide only superficial, temporary relief from the condition.
"As many as 35 million Americans suffer from various forms of allergies, as researched by American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology," says OrganicFacts.net, an alternative health site. "However, Immuno Labs in Fort Lauderdale, Florida considers this figure to be much higher."
While it may not be possible to cure allergies, there are at least some natural, homeopathic and non-medicinal ways that could provide you long-term relief or, in many cases, temper allergic conditions and reactions before they get too powerful.
Probably the first and most useful thing you can do is anticipate your own personal allergy "season." For example, if you're historically more sensitive during the spring and late summer, when pollen is heavy and farmers are harvesting hay, you'll want to make sure you are trying to head if off weeks ahead of time. "Home remedies take time to cure and prevent any disease. If these are followed properly, one can stay healthier without suffering from allergy," says the site.
Also, other things, such as maintaining a proper diet, can help mitigate the effects of allergy season.
Diet "forms the basic healthy nutrition for your body and creates strong immunity to fight with various allergic symptoms like coughs, cold, fever, itching and breathing infections. Food or diet should never be monotonous," says OrganicFacts.net. "Maintain a rotational diet to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients and necessary elements to keep yourself strong, healthy and immune from allergies."
Here are some foods and other substances you can use in your quest to beat back allergic reactions:
Have a helping of honey. Experts say if you're going to try honey then use something local; you can combine a spoonful with teas, breads or just by itself. Local honey tends to make your body resistant to a few types of pollens. Don't ever cook it, though, as that will destroy the beneficial qualities of this all-natural product. And use raw honey, not pasteurized or processed honey.
Sezelle Gereau Haddon, MD, an attending otolaryngologist at the Beth Israel Medical Center Department of Integrative Medicine in New York City, says many of her patients swear by eating local honey as an anti-allergen. "The bees eat the pollen that's in your region of the country, then they produce the honey and you consume that, so it's kind of like a mini allergy shot," she told Women's Day.
Spice up your allergy relief with ginger. Here's one way to prepare it: Take some freshly peeled and cut ginger root and add boiling hot water to it. Wait five to ten minutes and drink. You can use some of your local honey to sweeten the concoction, which is considered to be a very good decongestant and antihistamine. "It has a direct effect on the anti-inflammatory processes of the human body, as it plays a pivotal role in dominating the platelet-activating factor," says OrganicFacts.net.
Dr. Haddon says you can also use stinging nettle leaf in a tea-like form, fixed the same way you would prepare your ginger root. "To make sure you get enough of the medicinal oils, pour boiling water over the tea bag and cover the cup for 15 minutes to let the oils seep in before drinking," says Women's Day.
Get stuck on acupuncture. Traditional medical science can't really explain why this treatment is effective, but it can be, especially if begun a month or so before your anticipated allergy season, say homeopathic experts.
Teas of various types tend to provide relief. Peppermint, chamomile and green teas have all been found to act as effective antihistamines. Peppermint tea can help relieve congestion; when it is warm outside, you can make iced tea with it. Two to three cups of chamomile with honey is effective as a natural histamine, while one to two cups daily of green tea with honey is helpful as well. "Japanese researchers have found a compound called Methylated Epigallocatechin Gallate in green tea, which inhibits the cell receptor included in activating allergic responses," OrganicFacts.net notes.
Lime juice is one of the best. Lime juice, say the experts, has been found to be among the best home remedies for any type of allergy - but you want to avoid it if you've had any previous history of suffering from an allergy to citrus fruits. Drink a glass of lukewarm water with some honey and lime juice in the months preceding allergy season for the best effect.
Probiotics to the rescue. Per Women's Day, "Since not all strains of probiotics are beneficial for the same thing, Dr. Haddon recommends choosing brands that contain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium lactis and Acidophilus. She likes Pro-5 by Klaire Labs."
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