How To Stop Allergies

PersonwithDogNearTreesGrassHow to stop allergies? If you are in the midst of your pollen season, the thought that is probably most on your mind is – “My allergies are killing me!” or maybe, “What to do for allergies?” There must be a solution. Preferably an all natural, drug free solution.

The day may be beautiful. The person (or dog) you are with delightful, but…when the flowers, grasses, and trees are all in bloom, you may be in deep trouble with your allergies. This should be an enjoyable moment as the weather is finally warm and the landscape is once again beautiful. Unfortunately for those who suffer from allergies it can also be one of the most miserable times of the year.

Allergies are an abnormal immune system response, usually triggered by a specific antibody called IgE. Different people who suffer from allergies have different type of responses when it comes to certain things that cause allergies.  When you have an allergic reaction to an allergen, the body overresponds.  The body assumes that this allergen is a potentially dangerous foreign substance and prepares for an attack.

The body prepares for this attack by releasing chemicals that include histamine and leukotrienes to keep the allergen from getting further into the body (through discharges and swelling tissues) and even destroy the allergen.  What you experience is the too familiar watery eyes and runny nose.

For those who experience a severe allergic reaction they may have swelling or closing of the throat, trouble breathing, feel pains in the chest, and experience dizzy spells.  When very serious, this type of allergic reaction is called anaphylactic shock. Extreme allergic reactions happen fast – and without emergency medical treatment, they can be fatal.

Get medical help right away. if you know you are prone to these serious reactions, ask your doctor about a prescription for an “epi pen” to carry with you at all times. Then someone with you can inject life-saving epinephrine on the spot while waiting for the paramedics.

Unfortunately there is not a simple cure for allergies.  However, there are many good natural treatments to reduce your total load of allergens and improve your body’s ability to handle exposures that you cannot avoid.

Create a good allergy treatment plan for yourself.  Although you can not completely get rid of allergies there are number of precautions that can be taken as well as a plan to reduce the effects of allergies.

Here are some strategies:

Identifying the Allergen that Sets Off Your Reaction

You must first identify what it is that is causing the allergy.  You may have to retrace your steps before an allergic reaction has happened.  It could be as simple as leaving a window open and allowing pollen in from outdoors. Solution: close your windows. Get a good home air purifier.

An allergic or allergy-like reaction could also be caused by certain food that you ate — or certain chemicals in the air.  Unfortunately at times it may be hard to find out what it is that has caused the allergic reaction. Your doctors may only be able to treat the symptoms.

By keeping a journal for a few days to a week, you may be able to pinpoint what has caused your allergy.  Once you have determined the cause of your allergy you will be able to take the necessary steps to either avoid the allergen or take the necessary treatment to reduce the effect of the allergy.

Eliminate the Allergen

Now that you have determined what has caused the allergy, you can avoid it.  If it is pollen that has caused your allergy, you can keep the windows closed at the house, take natural herbs and supplements to treat your allergies,  and ride with the windows closed in the car.

You can also go outside during certain hours when the pollen levels are lower.  If you have an allergy to pollen, this means you probably should not work outside cutting down trees or cutting grass (this may be a good excuse for you in terms of home chores).

Boost Your Immune System

By taking vitamin C or eating a healthy diet that contains a high amount of vitamins it can help boost your immune system.  These foods and supplements can help protect you from some allergens you may come in contact with.  High doses of vitamin C, for instance, have antihistamine effects that can actually lessen your reaction to allergens. Look for buffered vitamin C if regular ascorbic acid causes diarrhea at large doses.

Alternatives – Natural Remedies for Pollen Allergies

You may wonder if there are any natural remedies or alternatives for how to stop allergies all together.  There is an alternative that may work in certain individuals and this is called immune therapy.  With immune therapy tiny amounts of the allergen are actually injected.  Unfortunately this does not work with every allergy and does not work with every individual. Ask your primary care provider for a referral to a good allergist.

How to Naturally Get Rid Of Allergies

The use of medications can help give you some control when it comes to allergies.  However, these drugs come with a number of side effects and risks. They can interact with other medications you must take for other medical problems. The use of  antihistamines can help stop the symtpoms – although they may have some side effects such as drowsiness and they do nothing to change your allergic tendency.

When it comes to medications there side effects may be to much for a person to handle.  This may lead you to take a more natural approach to dealing with their allergies.  For those who would like to know what to do for allergies and how to lessen the effects of allergies here is a natural remedy approach to allergies:

• Improve your immune system by eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

•  Eat colorful natural foods that are black, red , yellow, and green everyday.

•  Eat vegetables such as leeks, onions, leafy vegetables, beans radish, and sweet potatoes (unless you are allergic to them).

•  Eat foods that contain a high amount of vitamin C such as oranges, grapes, and lemons.

•  Avoid processed foods and junk food as they can contain ingredients that can worsen allergies.

•  Drink ginger tea, if tolerated, as it can improve circulation and improve lung function.

• Try anti allergy herbs such as butterbur or nettles

•  Add some quercetin or grapeseed extract to your regimen

•  Use an all natural nasal spray that does not contain meditations to keep your nasal passages clear.

•  Clear out the dust, mold and pet dander from your house – lowering your total load of allergens can make a big difference. Put in hardwood floors or tile rather than wall-to-wall carpet

•  Use your vacuum cleaner regularly

• Consider a good HEPA air purifier or filter for your bedroom and/or office where you spend the most time indoors.

Final Thoughts

How to stop allergies? You can do this, but it may mean making some changes in your environment at home and at work. Learn more about the many natural remedies for allergies available to you. In the event a serious allergic reaction does occur it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

 

Butterbur for Allergies, Stinging Nettles for Allergies – Helpful Herbs

Butterbur for allergies? Stinging nettles for allergies? Funny names, but these are two leading traditional herbs for treating allergies, These two herbs are among the most effective natural remedies for seasonal allergies affecting the nose.

Here are some points for you to consider when making your decision on what to take for natural allergy relief:

1. Butterbur for Allergies

ButterburExtractThis herb has a botanical name called petasites hybridus. This is a large-leafed plant that looks like a shrub originating from Europe. The extracts from leaves, stem and roots of the plant are used to treat stomach ulcers, migraines, coughs and other infections. They also have been used to treat asthma and allergies. If you have both migraines and allergies, this may be the herb for you.

Back in the 14th century, the plant was used to reduce fever and counteract plague.

How does the product work? It contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that reduce some of the mediators of allergies (leukotrienes and histamine). Petasines are the active compounds in butterbur which lessen the production of leukotrienes (chemicals in the immune system that enhance the inflammation seen in allergic rhitinis or hay fever).

However, it is important to know that ordinary butterbur contains substances which may be toxic to the liver. As a result, some products are processed in a way that will remove the toxic alkaloids from raw butterbur. For safety reasons, always check any supplement to make sure it was manufactured in a way that makes a butterbur extract into something safe for use.

Does butterbur have any common side effects?

A review of adverse effects of herbal medicines found that butterbur was actually mostly associated with minor rather than severe adverse effects. Some of the more likely side effects of butterbur include: Diarrhea, severe headache, nausea, Irritated eyes, tiredness, and constipation. The biggest risk of improperly processed butterbur is serious, that is, cancer. Some toxic chemicals in the herb called pyrrolizidine alkaloids or the “PAs” may contribute to causing cancer and/or kidney and liver damage. These risks are greatest if the patient uses butterbur for a long period of time,

Paradoxically, another risk of butterbur is allergic reactions. Because this herb is in the same botanical family, if a patient is ragweed allergic, then butterbur could aggravate the symptoms of their allergy.

The bottom line with butterbur is – use with caution for short term periods only. Make sure that the product manufacturer knows what they are doing and have removed the potentially toxic ingredients in this herb. Nevertheless, if all of those issues are addressed, this may be a particularly effective way to treat pollen allergies and other types of allergic flares.

2. Stinging Nettles for Allergies

FreezeDriedStingingNettlesThis herb is also referred to as nettle, and its botanical name is Urtica dioica. It is extracted from the roots or leaves of the stinging nettle shrub. It also originates from Europe, but was established in North America and currently grows all over the USA and in Canada.

The name was derived from how the herb provokes an intense reaction — with urticaria that can sting for over 10 hours after the little toxic hairs of the plant get into the skin. For allergies, experts usually recommend getting a freeze dried supplement form of the nettles in capsules.

How does it work?  Some studies suggest that the nettles have both a mechanical and biochemical mode of action. In allergic rhinitis, nettles can inhibit inflammatory pathways that affect the nose.

The leaves of the herb are covered by little hairs that contain high concentration of silicon. So when your skin makes contact with the leaf, the hairs’ round tips detach and the hair’s sharp point penetrates the skin. In response, the body releases the mediators serotonin and histamine. These chemicals are the ones responsible for reduction of pain by stimulating pain neurons.

What the side effects of stinging nettles?

Because of the nature of nettles, there are several possible side effects, including:

o Burning effects

o Rashes

o Uncontrollable itching

o Digestive discomfort or constipation

o Bleeding

o Low blood pressure, which in older individuals can lead to faintness and falls

As with any herbal product, nettle-allergic people are also at risk when using the herb. Knowing whether or not you are allergic to it, however, may require cautious testing.  Notably, diabetics should also be alert for possible increases or decreases in blood sugar levels. If the supplement otherwise helps your allergies, adjust your other treatment accordingly. If not, it may not be worth the risk.

Conclusions

Both butterbur and stinging nettles can be helpful for allergies. However, as both of these natural remedies are herbs or plants, people with allergies, especially pollen allergies, may or may not be allergic to them. Always check with your own health care provider and pharmacist before starting any herbal treatment. You never know what may interact with prescription drugs you are also taking.

Despite these caveats, for an otherwise healthy person who is tormented by seasonal pollen allergies, butterbur and stinging nettle, alone or in a combination product, may be just the solution for your symptoms.