Homeopathic Remedies for Allergies

WomanwithAllergiesHomeopathic remedies for allergies offer a drug-free natural way to treat your sneezing, runny nose, and other types of allergic symptoms from pollens, grasses and other allergens. There are specific remedies that can help you shift your body away from having chronic types of allergies and others that may just help you get through the immediate misery.

Using homeopathic remedies for hayfever is a little different from other natural treatments. Although many people mistakenly think that herbs and other natural supplements are “homeopathic,” this is not true. Homeopathy is a specific type of alternative health care that differs from herbs or vitamins in how the remedies are made.

What is Homeopathy?

Homeopathic remedies come from not only plants (herbs), but also animal and mineral sources. The preparation process involves long periods of intense grinding or milling (called trituration) followed by serial dilutions in water or a water-ethanol solution.

After each dilution step, remedy solution is shaken 10-100 times (or put through a modern technology called vortexing). Recent research has shown that the unique preparation methods for homeopathic remedies release tiny particles of the original source material as well as larger amounts of silica from the inside walls of the glassware.

The homeopathic “potencies” (their terms for doses) that you can get at a health food store or online include 6C and 30C or 6X and 30X. A C potency means that the dilution factor is 1/100. An X potency means that the dilution factor is 1/10.

Homeopathic dosing is typically different from ordinary conventional drug dosing. You do not want to take the remedy continuously. Instead, you want to take it only in widely separated doses. That is, homeopaths recommend that you take a dose of a remedy intermittently only when you are having symptoms.

If you are improving when you take another dose, the treatment may actually set off a short term reversal in your improvement. This type of treatment is more like giving your body a good push to get started in a go-cart down a hill, but once you get going, the momentum toward better health will increase and you can coast to the finish line without taking ongoing doses.

Although controversial in conventional medical circles, more than 500 million people worldwide use homeopathy as part of their healthcare for allergies and many other conditions. The remedies may be particularly helpful at balancing or modulating. Studies have shown that these natural products can change the activation and deactivation of immune, inflammatory, and biological stress responses

The trick in using these remedies effectively is knowing which one is right for you at a givenHomeopathic Remedy point in time. If you have chronic allergic problems, you will need to consult a well-trained and experienced homeopath to treat you. However, for an occasional flare up of acute hay fever or seasonal allergies, you may be able to find a good remedy for your particular case on your own.

Treating the Patient, Not the Diagnosis

In homeopathy, it is very important to know who has the symptoms along with very specific details of what they are like and what types of things make the allergies better or worse. Homeopaths like to say that they treat the patient not the disease. This approach is very holistic, but also very different from how ordinary doctors have trained us to think about our illnesses and their treatment.

Let’s consider some examples. Let’s say that two women of roughly the same age and geographic location come to a homeopath for their chronic allergies. One woman gets sneezing and a stuffy nose along with a headache on the left side of the head that can worsen around 10-11 in the morning. A homeopath might end up suggesting a remedy called Natrum Muriaticum for her. That woman might be very focused on issues in her relationship with her significant other partner. When hurt emotionally, she would withdraw and want to be alone.

On the other hand, the other woman might awaken in the night around 1 am with an attack of her allergies. She might also feel very anxious along with the nasal symptoms. She is actually a real worrier who is obsessed with her health and her finances, always concerned about some issue in that area. The homeopath might recommend that the second individual take the remedy Arsenicum Album.

Acute Remedies for People with Allergies, Allergic Rhinitis, Hay Fever, or Seasonal Allergies

While you might need one of those two remedies for an acute hay fever episode, you probably are better off choosing one of the relatively smaller number of acute remedies that people can learn to take on their own with a little self education.

Some acute homeopathic remedies for allergies options would include:

Allium cepa – useful in individuals with acute allergies that include a watery discharge from the nose that irritates and burns the nasal area and lip. Going into a warm room can trigger a sneezing attack, whereas getting into open, cool air can help reduce symptoms. Such a person may be afraid that any pain or discomfort will turn into something unbearable.

Euphrasia – helpful for persons whose allergies bother their eyes a lot, with watery eyes and sensitivity to light or wind. Wiping the eyes may help reduce the discomfort. The Euphrasia type of discharge is irritating to the eyes. In contrast with Allium cepa (above), a Euphrasia person’s nasal discharge will be bland and non-irritating to the nose itself. The person needing Euphrasia may be overly worried about their symptoms or indifferent to them (polar opposites are common in homeopathy).

Nux Vomica -useful for driven individuals who have a runny nose during the daytime but a drier nose at night. The prominent behavior of a Nux Vomica person is impatience, irritability, and competitiveness (a workaholic, Type A way of looking at the world). In this type of case, the person gets worse outdoors or in cold air. They often rely on drinking a lot of coffee to keep going.

Where To Learn More about Homeopathy 

You can learn more about how to choose acute remedies for yourself and your family in allergy season in various ways and places. One good starting place is the National Center for Homeopathy (NCH), which is a non-profit organization that can provide a list of qualified homeopaths near you. Joining NCH also give you a monthly informative self care magazine. Their website has case examples, news and ideas about how to deal with various conditions, first aid challenges, and inspirational stories about successes in trying homeopathic remedies for various health problems, from allergies to injuries to different infectious diseases.

Be aware that there are over 1300 different remedies in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, so matching the person and their unique set of symptoms to the one right remedy at the time is no small feat. While this is a huge challenge for treating chronic illnesses, it is less relevant to acute flares.

That is because of the relatively smaller number of well-known remedies that can help out in shorter term problems like an acute allergy flare as compared with trying to “cure” a long-standing chronic illness. In the case of allergies, there may be only half a dozen common options.

Another strategy in self care is to look for a combination remedy product online or at the health food store. In combination remedies, the manufacturer puts multiple single remedies into one product. The idea behind this is that one of them may help you, even if a different one might help a different person. It is also possible with combination products that none of the ingredients in the product are right for your particular case – and if so, most likely, not much will happen.

Homeopathic remedies can shine in their ability to help people who do not tolerate other types of conventional or alternative treatment. It may be a great way for you to get some non-drowsy relief from your pollen allergies.


Best Air Purifier for Asthma – Home Air Purifier Reviews

Best Air Purifier for Asthma

rp_WomanwithAsthmaInhaler-300x199.jpgThe best air purifier for asthma is one that will effectively clean the air in a room without creating irritant side effects like noise and/or ozone. Here we will talk about key considerations and then give you home air purifier reviews for the 3 best choices for people with asthma.

Are air purifiers worth it? How do you know which one to buy? Below are several top rated home air purifier reviews to help you decide.

Asthma is a condition that can narrow the airways by causing inflammation and secretions.  As a result, patients are unable to breath normally. Oxygen levels drop, and a severe attack can be life threatening.

Pollen allergies, along with many other environmental exposures and some physical factors like cold temperature or exercise can trigger asthma attacks in specific individuals. The goal of using an air purifier or air cleaner is to remove particles, dusts, mold, pollens, animal danders, and irritant chemicals from the room.


Where do you put a portable unit?  Most of the better units have casters or wheels. You may need more than one unit if you are highly allergic or susceptible to asthma attacks around pollution (indoor or outdoor types), but if it is portable, you just position the air purifier wherever you are spending most of your time, day and night.

Using top rated air purifiers at home actually amounts to taking a powerful natural remedy for pollen allergies and other allergens. The best air cleaners remove the triggers from your breathing space. Finding ways to remove allergens from your environment is as important as taking natural supplements or herbs to treat yourself.

To be practical, that is going to mean your bedroom at night and your work space, if you work in a building, during the day. Very sensitive people who have to spend a lot of time in their cars may want to get a car air purifier as well. Of course if you own your own home and can afford it, you could install a central air purifier system. This could be financially out of reach for many people, though, and the best portable units can usually help you a lot as an alternative.

What To Look For

There are 3 features that you want for a unit to be most helpful for someone with asthma.

  • The air purifier must have an excellent HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter as part of a multi-stage filtering system that removes not only larger particles, but also much smaller allergens and even irritant chemicals like formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds that can trigger asthma attacks
  • The equipment should not emit ozone, which is an irritant unto itself and may worsen asthma in sensitive people.
  • The fan noise level needs to be tolerable so that you will use it regularly. Better units will be able to tell you the noise decibels they generate at different settings of the fan.

The main trick to using these types of units well is to run them on high when you are not in the room and then lower the fan down to the lower, more tolerable fan speed when you return to the room, e.g. to sleep in your bedroom. A quiet smaller unit that may not be able to clean your air on its own might work as a backup plan to maintain your air once a noisier, more powerful unit has done the major part of the job.

Price is also another important issue. You can find very inexpensive units that may be OK for small rooms and less allergen-filled air. However, it is not advisable that you compromise on quality and effectiveness to save money. Spending enough money to get what you need is better than buying any old unit because it is small or quiet or looks OK.

In short, can you answer the question “Are air purifiers worth it?” after you make your purchase? Chances are, you will say “no” if you have skimped on features to save money.

What Is the Best Rated Air Purifier for Asthma? 

For asthmatics,  a majority of the air purifiers that are on the market currently have all been built with the latest technologies. There are two main types of air purifiers: (1) mechanical and (2) electronic air purifiers.

The mechanical model include the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) purifier which works through capturing unwanted particles in the air. This type of filter is more ideal for capturing relatively large particles such a pollen and dust among others. If you live near a freeway or busy street, you may also get a lot of larger car and truck exhaust particles into your indoor air. If so, HEPA filters are the best strategy.

On the other hand, the electronic model works through a process known as electrostatic attraction to trap particles. The ionizer in these purifiers releases charged ions into the air, which in turn attach to particles. These particles become charged and hence attach to the nearby surface such as the walls. This method can be very effective for collecting allergens and removing them from the air.

Electronic types of air purifiers may be able to clean a larger volume of air space in a room. However, the main disadvantage of the electronic type is that they produce ozone in varying amounts. Ozone is a lung irritant with negative effects on asthma patients.

Home Air Purifier Reviews – HEPA Air Purifier Reviews for Allergies

These two general types of air purifiers are among the best rated air purifiers for people with asthma.

Better Brands of HEPA Air Purifiers for People with Asthma

 1. Austin Air Allergy Machine HEPA Air Cleaner

AllergyBeGoneAustinAirCleanerImageThe Austin Air Allergy Machine is a small compact metal steel unit on rollers with a powerful fan to circulate more than 250 cubic feet of air through a 4-stage filter per minute. This allergy unit includes 2 pre-filters, a medical grade HEPA filter and an activated military carbon cloth stage.

I like to call mine R2D2, though it does not try to communicate so much. I love this unit for its powerful capacity and use it in rooms when I really need to clear the air. To be honest, I prefer to let it do its thing when I am not in the room (because of the fan noise). Then I move in the quieter but weaker brands to keep things clean while I try to sleep or work in the room.

With the Austin, you can use your vacuum cleaner from the outside to avoid frequent filter changes.

Austin Air cleaners work well. The model that also removes chemical irritants can put out its own mild odor at first, but it fades with continued use. The Austin fan is noisier than some competitors’ models, but it also moves much more air through quickly and cleans the air better than do many competitors. It is one of the best HEPA and multi-stage air purifiers available.

The manufacturer is one of the most respected in the market and stand by their products with a 5-year mechanical warranty. While not inexpensive, the Austin costs much less than other leading room air purifiers.

2.  IQAir HealthPro Plus Air Purifier

IQAirPurifierImageThis Consumers’ Digest Best Buy from a Swiss manufacturer is pricey, but worth it. The IQAir’s HEPA filter provides high performance air cleaning to remove pollens, dusts, molds, danders, and chemicals. The extreme filtration can capture even very small particles that other air purifiers let pass right through. Although the unit has a plastic casing, it does not off-gas plastic contaminants, in contrast with many of the cheaper models that run less than $100-$200.

With 6 fan speeds and a noise abatement capacity at every speed, the IQAir is a unit that you can tolerate having near you when you trying to sleep or work. Many people find that a speed 3 setting is enough to clean up the room air before you want to be in it. You can put casters on the bottom to wheel the unit around more easily.

Doctors who work in environmental health get this brand for their own offices. I use it in my own home and office and find that it lives up to its hype. Changing the filters is straightforward and accessible.

People reviewing this unit on Amazon comment on noticing an improvement in the family allergies and asthma within days to weeks of starting to use the IQAir in their homes. Like any air purifier, this one is not perfect, but it is one of the best on the market.


3. Alen BreatheSmart Air Purifier

AlenBreatheSmartAirPurifierThe Alen unit is again one of the best rated air purifiers available. It provides the kind of air cleaning that modern open concept homes might need in large spaces, with up to 1100 sq feet of coverage. This Alen air purifier can even serve as a whole house air purifier for a small apartment or house.

This unit has one of the quietest running capabilities in the industry. You would want the HEPA-Silver filter unit upgrade for helping family members with asthma.

This is a larger sized unit, but it means business in cleaning the air. It can activate more when it detects particles and allergens in the air. Consumers reviewing this product like the indicator that tells you when the purifier has detected a wave of new particles or pollens in the air and gone into action.

Most people who have purchased this unit consider it one of the quieter and most effective ones they have owned.

Where to Buy Air Purifiers?

Realistically, you have two main choices of where to buy air purifiers – that is, a specialty store that focuses on helping people with allergies and asthma or a general retailer such as Amazon. Obviously you can get more specific support in making a selection at a store like Allergy Be Gone than at Amazon. Still, both offer the best top rated air purifiers for asthma and allergies.

Best Allergy Medicine – How To Choose

AllergyMedicineCapsulesWhat is the best allergy medicine? There are a number of factors that you need to consider in making your choice as you work with your doctor.

If you are allergic, you are in lots of company. Approximately 55% of Americans test positive for one or more allergens.  Unfortunately, there is no cure that will eradicate allergies.

The number of individuals who suffer from allergies only continues to grow.  These allergies can also result from pollens plus artificial additives or synthetic triggers. The incidental allergens or irrtants usually may come from a processed food you have eaten or a cosmetic product ingredient that was not suitable for your skin.

Pollen, dust, and mold allergies can be caused by anything from certain flowers to a few grains of pollen, a dusty attic, or a damp or flooded basement.  In order to be able to counter all types of allergies, especially seasonal allergies, it is imperative that you know what the best medications for allergies are that are currently available on the market.

You may choose to go with natural remedies for allergies like quercetin – but arm yourself with as much information on all of your options as possible.

Common Symptoms
​      Suffering an allergic reaction is far from fun.  In most instances, it is painful and irritating.  The most common symptoms include migraines, coughing, swelling of a particular area in the body, and sneezing.  It’s essential that you understand every allergy is different and frequently require different allergy medicines and tests.

You have to determine what anti-allergy medication is the best treatment for your allergies.  The easiest way to do this is by consulting a doctor or allergist for skin (prick tests or patch tests) and/or blood testing.  There is a simple reason for this.  Most people do not know what actually causes their allergies. Most allergists will test you for a wide variety of allergens.

Testing for Allergies
​     Ordinary allergy testing requires that a doctor expose you to tiny amounts of many substances in or on the skin.  There is seemingly no end to what you can be injected with, such as eggs, dust, grass, or even protein supplements.  If you are allergic to a substance, the injection site will become inflamed and red.  It may be very itchy. This is one of the best methods of testing for conventional allergies.

After your doctor has identified what substances trigger your allergies, he or she may also prescribe the best medication for controlling the symptoms. If you want to get at root causes, then you may have to do a lot more with avoidance of specific potential allergens to see if you get better. This is called elimination and avoidance, and it helps keep you from setting off your allergies in the first place.

Best Allergy Medicine for Ragweed
​     Even with your best efforts to stay away from your allergens, pollens tend to creep into your airspace. Most often found in the eastern and mid-western part of the US, ragweed is a type of weeds that are only in the air during one season of the year.  However, over 1 billion pollen grains are able to fly through the air during this time, easily triggering allergies in susceptible people.

Individuals with ragweed allergies can pick up the allergen anywhere.  Common symptoms include runny nose, constant sneezing, itchy throat, eye inflammation, and even a fever.
It is important to verify that you have a ragweed allergy.  If so, medications such as antihistamines can help reduce the severity of your symptoms.

These types of drugs shut down symptoms that result from excess release of histamine in your body when the ragweed antibodies trigger its activation.  You may also opt for nasal drops or anti-inflammatory eye drops after speaking with your physician.

Common over the counter antihistamine allergy medicines include:

Benadryl contains the chemical, diphenhydramine, that works by blocking the effects of the histamine (a compound released by cells in the body in response to allergic and inflammatory reactions) produced during an allergic reaction.

Benadryl most often causes drowsiness because of its sedative effects. Other side effects of this medicine include coordination problems, falls, dizziness, and indigestion. Be careful about driving a car when you are taking this drug.

Zyrtec also works by blocking the action of histamine within the body using the chemical, cetirizine.  Common side effects include drying of the mouth, nose, and throat, headaches, drowsiness, and blurred vision.

Allegra contains fexofenadine, another chemical that blocks the action of histamine.  Common side effects include headaches, dry mouth, and anxiety.  It does not have the sedating side effects that are common with many other types of antihistamines, making it ideal for use during the day.

Claritin utilizes the chemical, loratadine, to block histamine.  Side effects include headaches, dry mouth, and fatigue, though it too does not have a sedating effect. Thus this drug is another best option for daytime use.

​Many people take a version of a medicine that contains a decongestant drug that shrinks down the swollen nasal passages and improves air flow. However, it is important to take precautions when using decongestant nasal sprays and medications. Use these forms of the medications sparingly and carefully.

Many contain pseudoephedrine, an adrenaline-like substance, which has been shown to increase blood pressure and cause serious side effects in individuals with the eye disease glaucoma.  Additionally, these medications may result in trouble sleeping. These decongestant drugs can also interact with other drugs and may even increase the risk of stroke in some people.

Best Allergy Medicine for Dust
​Dust is the second to ragweed as the most common allergen that people all over the world suffer from.  These allergies are typically triggered by the presence of dust mites, which congregate in dusty areas.  They thrive on dust and dead skin cells that are found in most homes, including your own bedding.

To decrease the likelihood that your family is exposed to dust mites, it is important to regularly wash carpets, curtains, feather pillows, mattresses, and soft toys using hot water.  Allergists typically recommend that you get an allergen-proof zippered cover for your bed mattress and similar types of zippered allergy covers for your pillows.

The most effective dust allergy treatment with medications again includes taking decongestants and/or antihistamines.  Doctors may also prescribe routine allergy shots containing dust mites that increase your ability to tolerate these hard-to-avoid allergens.

Best Allergy Medicine for Children
​ An estimated 40% of children suffer from one or more allergies.  In response, there has been an increase in the number of more effective allergy medicines on the market designed specifically for kids.  Many parents choose to use over the counter medications.

While they can work well, the medications should not be used frequently because they tend to make children very sleepy.  Of course, a doctor should be consulted prior to giving your child this type of medication.

•For children over the age of 6 months, Zyrtec and Clarinex are good options.  Children taking Zyrtec may experience nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, fatigue, and dry mouth.  Side effects commonly experienced with Clarinex include nausea, sore throat, and fatigue.

•Children over the age of 2 may experience a significant decrease in symptoms with the use of Claritin.  Claritin may cause headache, heartburn, nausea, fatigue, and nervousness or restlessness in children.  Claritin RediTab is available for children over the age of six that have difficulty swallowing pills.  Common side effects with Claritin RediTab include hyperactivity, stomach aches, and nausea.

Allegra is another good option and can be purchased in liquid form.  It can cause headaches as well as behavioral disturbances including unusual thoughts, confusion, hallucinations, and aggressiveness. It is best used for seasonal allergies and is specifically prescribed for children suffering from hives.

It is important that you understand the underlying cause of an allergy prior to searching for the best allergy medicine.  Acupuncture may sometimes help as well, at least for children with asthma. For children (or adults) afraid of needles, there are needle-free types of acupuncture that use special lasers to try for bronchial asthma. While acupuncture may not be as cost effective in some situations as conventional drugs, it can improve quality of life in adults with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

Many people also opt to use natural herbal or homeopathic remedies for allergies. Homeopathy is controversial to conventional doctors, but a widely-used 200-year-old system of care whose medicines are generally non-toxic and safe for use in all ages. Unlike conventional allergy medicines or natural herbal products, homeopathic remedies usually do not have any adverse interactions with other drugs you may need to take at the same time.

The most vital component of finding the best allergy medicine begins with visiting your primary care doctor for a referral to an allergy specialist. The allergist has the knowledge and experience to order tests and diagnose the cause,as well as recommend proper treatment options for your particular case.