If you regularly suffer from allergies, I don’t have to tell you what they are about. But if you are suddenly afflicted by symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, coughing and itchy eyes, you may be wondering what’s going on. Either way, you should know that you don’t have to rely on over the counter pharmaceuticals to fend off the feeling that your head is turning to lead. There are natural ways to treat allergic reactions.
Allergies are the body’s reaction to particles that it considers foreign which come into contact with cells in the mucus membranes of your nose, mouth, throat, lungs, stomach, and intestines. The main culprit are pollens that are produced by plants, trees, grasses, and weeds. These are usually from the non-descript looking plants that manufacture small, light, dry granules that are carried in the wind and into your body.
Your body then triggers the release of histamine, a protein that seeks to stop the allergic reaction. Antihistamines are most commonly used to ease allergy symptoms by blocking the histamines’ attachment to receptors, preventing the further production of histamines. The only problem with that is the very same brain cells that keep you awake are the same ones affected by the blocking of histamines. That’s why a stuffy head can turn into a sleepy head.
Here are some natural ways to treat allergies and keep you alert at the same time.
- Use a saline rinse in each nostril every day to wash away pollen. This can reduce the nasal congestion associated with allergies. Regular use of a neti pot (a small vessel with a spout) is a great way to do this. A mixture of warm water and salt flows into one nostril, through the nasal passages, and out the other nostril. The salt solution loosens mucus to relieve congestion and clears out allergens like pollen.
- Colloidal silver can provide support to the immune system, which helps limit allergic reactions. It also helps prevent secondary infections that tend to arise as a result of the body’s response to allergens. A simple nasal spray of colloidal silver up into the sinus cavities while inhaling deeply works, or you can add a couple of tablespoons of colloidal silver to the water in a neti pot and rinse your sinuses out that way.
- Vitamin C is an effective way to decrease the production of histamine. Studies have shown that high levels of vitamin C help reduce histamine release and make histamine break down faster once it is released.
- Fish-oil supplements lower levels of leukotrienes a chemical that contributes to the allergic reaction. This is especially helpful to those who have asthmatic symptoms.
- Turmeric, a spice common in curry and Indian cuisine, contains curcumin. It acts as a decongestant, helping to reduce allergy symptoms.
- Quercetin is an antioxidant that helps to reduce symptoms. It’s found naturally in onions, apples, and other produce. You can use quercetin as a supplement as well.
Other tips include exercising in the evening when the pollen counts are lower, taking showers and washing your clothes more often to get rid of accumulation of pollens.