Allergic reaction takes place when the immune system of our body misinterprets a harmless substance as potential danger, thus producing antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) to neutralize its effects. The allergic symptoms like itching, stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes, wheezing, sneezing are mere irritants whereas allergic shock is known to cause death in some exceptional cases.
People are allergic to plant pollens, animal dander, dust and specific drugs. Foods like peanut, egg, milk, peanut wheat and other similar harmless products can trigger allergy in susceptible people. Though life threatening allergies require immediate medical attention, there are simple home remedies that can help you deal with mild allergies, relieving the symptoms without any side effects.
The best way to deal with allergy is to find out your own allergens and avoid them. Keep your home dust free and clean. For spring allergies, avoid being exposed to pollens. Outdoor activities should be planned keeping an eye on the weather and pollen counts in mind. Pollens counts are highest in early morning hours and before the sunset in the evening. They are lowest after rainfall. Wear a dust mask when traveling or cleaning dusty cabinets or attics. Keep the air inside your home dehumidified and also use HEPA (High Efficiency Pollen Air Filter) in the air conditioners and heaters.
Diet to tackle allergy
The healthy diet to tackle allergies should include plenty of water especially hot water. Spinach, nuts, licorice roots, broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits, marshmallow root and capsicum are all rich in anti-histamines which can tackle pollen. Regular consumption of fish or fish oil is a natural anti-dote to allergies, in addition they relieve sinus pain. Fish is also rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Healthy levels of folate in the body prevent allergies to a great extent. Ginger is known to increase the ability to fight allergens while at the same time it brings down histamines in the body.
Avoid junk food and alcohol, especially red wine.
Butterbur root works as effectively as prescription medicines in relieving symptoms of allergy, minus the side effects of sleepiness which is common feature of any anti-histamine drug. Butterbur is leukotriene inhibitor, thus restraining swelling in nasal passages. Care should be taken not to consume unprocessed or raw butterbur as it may contain harmful pyrrolizidine alkaloids.
Stuffy or runny nose, with severe congestion in chest is one of the most troublesome symptoms of allergy in adults. Inhaling steam either by covering the head over a saucepan with hot water or using a regular steamer gives instant relief from the irritation and congestion. Adding essential oils like eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, myrtle or some amount of vicks vaporub to the water increases the effectiveness of the treatment. Take care not to get burns on face or the internal organs with the heat.
When bees collect nectar from flowers they bring the pollen spores along with them which is then transferred to the honey. Consuming at least 1 tbsp of honey a day will gradually accustom the body to pollen, which will bring down the allergic reactions.
Lime juice and water
Squeeze fresh lime juice into a glass of warm water and drink it first thing in the morning for few months. You can add a dash of ginger juice and I tsp of honey if needed which will increase its effectiveness as well as taste. This provides permanent relief from allergy attacks.