Hay-Fever

Natures Solution

Hay-Fever ~ Ailments & Remedies

With the changing season, many people start to dread the onslaught of outdoor allergies.

For some, it's just a few sniffles.

But other unlucky sufferers have to face major bouts of allergy symptoms, including red, itchy eyes and skin, sneezing, and even trouble breathing.

Big Pharma and their pill manufacturers are running their ads right now, and it's true that allergy pills can be used to mask allergy symptoms.

But rather than turning to pill popping to reduce symptoms, why not prepare your body to defend itself against allergies naturally, using natures allergy-fighting remedies.

And, the same foods and herbs that fight allergies tend to boost the immune system to help keep you healthier in general.

So, consider incorporating some of these allergy-fighting ingredients into each meal to help build your body's resistance to allergy and hay-fever symptoms.

Remedy: Stinging Nettle

You can't discuss natural allergy remedies without espousing stinging nettle.

Turn to stinging nettle as a potent natural form of hay-fever relief.

Why it works:

It helps stifle inflammation that occurs when you're experiencing allergy symptoms.

Stinging nettle contains histamine, the chemical your body produces during an allergic reaction, so it helps you acquire tolerance.

How to use it:

Look for 500-mg freeze-dried nettle capsules in your natural health store, and take three times a day.

That's the best form for allergy relief; it won't sting because it's freeze-dried.

Long-term use of the herb is not recommended, since it can deplete your potassium stores.

Talk with a knowledgeable herbalist or holistic health practitioner to determine the best dose based your symptoms.

Other remedies to consider:

Remedy: Reishi Mushrooms

Why it works:

Reishi is a medicinal mushroom that has been cultivated for thousands of years in China for its myriad purported health benefits.

The mushroom contains lanostan, a substance that can help regulate the level of allergen (what your body produces in response to the presence of pollen and other common irritants) in the body.

The mushroom is also believed to generally tone the immune system.

Since hay-fever is the result of your immune system overreacting to otherwise benign substances, the mushroom works on many levels to help keep your allergies in check.

How to use it:

Reishi can be found in a variety of forms at your local health food store.

It's always wise to talk to a knowledgeable herbalist or holistic health care practitioner to find the right form and dosage for your particular situation.

Hay-Fever Remedy: Quercetin

Why it works:

This flavonoid occurs naturally in many foods.

It's often recommended for allergy and hay-fever sufferers, as it's believed to act as an antihistamine.

How to use it:

You can buy it in supplement form, or boost your intake by upping your consumption of black tea, green tea, apples, onions, raspberries, red grapes and broccoli, which are all good natural sources.

Hay-Fever Remedy: Vitamin-C

Why it works:

Add vitamin-C rich foods, like citrus and broccoli, into your diet.

Vitamin-C has natural antihistamine properties, which can prevent inflammation of the airways.

It also helps the immune system function more effectively.

How to use it:

Good food sources of vitamin-C

Leaves and roots of the butterbur shrub contain compounds called petasines, which can block some reactions that spark allergies.

It's use is not generally recommended for young children, people older than 65, or those with ragweed allergies.

A large British meta-analysis of six studies looking at butterbur as an allergy reliever found five studies supported the claim.

The roots of this perennial shrub generally contain high levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can damage the liver, so herbalists recommend looking for butterbur products that specify no pyrrolizidines, or ones that use a CO2 extracting process, which limits the amount of pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

Swiss and German researchers found that butterbur was just as effective as the prescription antihistamine cetirizine after two weeks of treatment.

It's also been shown to relieve sneezing, itching, runny nose, stuffiness, and watery eyes in just five days.

#6: Elderberries

Immune-strengthening elderberries are often hailed as a natural flu treatment, but the berries serve a purpose in natural hay-fever relief, too.

Try elderberry wine, juice, or jam to tap the fruit's beneficial flavonoids that reduce inflammation.

#7: Onions and Garlic

Quercetin is another secret weapon that helps fight allergies by acting like an antihistamine.

Onions and garlic are packed with quercetin, as are apples.

(If you go with eating apples, just make sure they don't stimulate oral allergy syndrome.).

#8: Parsley

According to Michael Castleman, author of The New Healing Herbs (Rodale, 2009), parsley inhibits the secretion of allergy-inducing histamine.

(Parsley is a diuretic, so talk to your doctor before taking supplements or eating large amounts of it.)

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