Seeking good relief from allergies: Try natural interventions
Allergies are very troubling with constant sneezing, stuffy noses, watery eyes, headaches, and bothersome itching of the eyes and nose. This can be very costly for your daily productivity as it hits your quality of life by making you miserable. Imagine suffering from a horrible cold for weeks with no relief as is often seen with allergy sufferers. Natural alternatives for allergy sufferers are far more preferable than drugs due to the side effect profiles associated with allergy drugs.
Dr. Lisa Lewis, ND, of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians shares some very insightful considerations for the natural treatment of allergies. An allergic response is a super sensitive immune response which is set off by consuming certain foods, touching certain substances, or inhaling irritants such as pollen or animal dander. The most difficult allergies to control are allergies to pollen, spores, mold, and dust, which affect the respiratory system.
Naturopaths see allergies as generally being associated with weak adrenal, immune, and digestive
systems. The goal of natural treatments is to support and improve the functioning of these systems while alleviating hay fever symptoms. It is believed that being in good health, which begins with good nutrition, may help to ease the symptoms of allergies. It is also important to identify foods which may setting off allergies and to remove them from your diet.
A good diet is important for allergy sufferers
It is suggested that your diet should be relatively low in fat with high-complex-carbohydrate content and that you should drink eight or more glasses of water everyday. The following foods should be included in high quantities in your diet:
- Dark green, leafy vegetables
- Deep yellow and orange vegetables
- Bamboo shoots
- Beet tops
The following foods should be eliminated from your diet:
1: Alcohol, caffeine, and dairy products
2: Bananas and citrus fruit
4: Food colorings (tartrazine)
6: Red meat
Many supplements help with allergies
The list of supplements which may help you deal with allergies includes:
1: Bioflavonoids (e.g., quercetin, catechin, and hesperidin)
2: Flaxseed oil
4: High potency multivitamins
5: Vitamin A
6: Vitamin C
7: Vitamin E
Herbal medicines are helpful for allergies
There are many herbal medicines which are also very helpful with allergies, which include:
1: Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
2: Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)
3: Gingko (Gingko biloba)
4: Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
5: Red clover (Trifolium pratense)
6: Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica)
7: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Homeopathy, hydrotherapy and acupuncture have also been noted to be very helpful with allergies. Reporting on food allergies associated with allergies, EmaxHealth reporter Tim Boyer has written about Dr. Oz's four hidden food allergies you should know about. Considerations of the effectiveness of natural interventions for the treatment of allergies are raised by Emaxhealth reporter Denise Reynolds RD in an article about managing seasonal allergy symptoms.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is helpful for allergies
Alex A. Kecskes shares considerations of the value of Traditional Chinese Medicine for the treatment of allergies in an article for the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. The pharmacies and even the supermarkets are loaded with antihistamines, decongestants, or drugs that act on the nervous system, for the treatment of allergy symptoms. Although these drugs may be effective for the treatment of the allergic response, they are often associated with undesirable side effects, such as drowsiness, immune system suppression and too much reliance on medications.
The whole person approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a good alternative to the western approaches for the treatment of allergies. Traditional Chinese doctors see people suffering with chronic allergies as generally showing signs of spleen or kidney deficiency, and even lung problems.
TCM doctors view allergies as a manifestation of wind invading the upper body. This is seen as happening because one's Wei (or protective Qi) has been seriously weakened. Chinese herbalists are therefore interested in building up the body's defensive Qi. In this way, not only the acute symptoms of allergies are treated, underlying immune system imbalances are also being targeted. Intervention in such instances includes acupuncture and improving your diet.
TCM doctors also suggest replacing coffee with green tea, which is rich in catechin, and which offers anti-allergy actions. Chrysanthemum tea, which is made from dried flowers, has also been found to reduce allergy symptoms. Quercetin, a bioflavonoid, is also often recommended by TCM herbalists for allergic relief. Quercetin stabilizes mast cells, which slows down the body's release of histamine and other chemicals which are related to allergic symptoms. Radishes are also often prescribed by TCM doctors for allergies since they cool and moisten dry, itchy allergy eyes and help to clear the sinuses.
I have witnessed the explosive growth of the over-the-counter allergy drug market. The manners in which these drugs are sold makes them appear like candy and they are as easy to buy. However, these drugs, like all drugs, are not harmless. Patients often complain of side effects from allergy drugs. It is therefore my firm professional opinion that natural interventions for allergies should be used whenever possible. Natural health care oriented medical doctors, naturopaths, and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctors should be consulted whenever there are concerns about allergies.