Looking for help to alleviate allergy symptoms naturally? Here are some ways to get started.
Many people can’t take over-the-counter allergy medicines. However, there are some excellent alternative remedies available. Here are five of the most well-known anti-allergy alternatives that you can try.
1. Local Honey
It may sound like an old wives’ tale, but for seasonal allergies, it can often provide relief. Whether you’ve moved to a different area and one of the local plants is causing you to have an allergic reaction or you’ve reached a tolerance point in later life with a certain irritant, local honey may hold the key.
This is because honeybees gather from a variety of flowers, not just one distinct species. They then take the nectar and pollen from their harvest back to the hive, where they make it into honey. Mixed into this cocktail are hypoallergenic properties, anti-inflammatory agents, and anti-microbial substances that render it good for months or years. These same factors mean that, while it’s good for the bees to eat, it’s also good to inoculate yourself against the local flora.
If your particular Achilles’ heel is pet dander or particulates of a non-organic nature, smudging can actually help. All plants in the Salvia family, not just sage, have an antimicrobial property that helps to cleanse the air. This means that you need not take only from the White Sage plant—a critical traditional resource for many Native American groups that have been over-harvested by companies seeking to exploit Western culture’s thirst for mysticism.
Instead, you might smudge with rosemary, a member of the salvia family with well-known antimicrobial benefits. When one smudges, the smoke captures particles and makes them too heavy to stay aloft. Then, they are easily vacuumed or dusted, leaving the air smelling clean.
Butterbur is a plant that has been used for many millennia. All its parts contain some properties that aid human beings—from the leaves that were used to wrap butter in to keep it fresh to an extractive that helps reduce the frequency of migraines. However, when it comes to allergies, it has proven quite successful in human trials.
The primary agent in Butterbur extract, often administered as a pill, reduces the amount of leukotriene in a person’s system. Leukotriene is responsible for any allergic reaction, and inhibitors of this substance, such as Butterbur prevent its release by docking with special ports on cells. This is similar to the leukotriene inhibitor in the medicine Singulair. While more testing should be done, it bodes well that this initial human study has had such interesting results.
4. For Dust Mites and More Complex Allergens
Many people have an allergy to dust mites. While these tiny animals are a part of the ecosystem, without which we’d be swimming in cast-off skin cells, it doesn’t mean they don’t cause problems. A rinse or spray used to kill the microscopic fauna can often be sourced from nature. It need not be harsh or dangerous to larger life forms.
The pet dander that can also accumulate is also an allergen for many but can be kept to a minimum. Using sprays and botanical washes for laundry keeps the problems that plague many from becoming untenable. By maintaining a good cleaning schedule, this is one of the best natural allergy remedies available.
This is a protein-digesting enzyme found in all parts of the pineapple plant as well as in the fruit of papayas. While it has a long history of tenderizing meat, it also has medicinal properties. These hinge upon a factor that reduces swelling, making it useful for digestive difficulties and osteoarthritis.
However, it has also been noted to reduce the swelling in the upper respiratory tract and sinuses that are associated with seasonal allergies. In studies, it relieved the swelling of the bronchial airways associated with asthma, and also relieved the congestion and or swelling associated with chronic sinusitis. While more tests must be done, it offers relief to many as an alternative to over-the-counter allergy medicines.
Perhaps one of the most encouraging facets of alternative allergen relief is that the rigor of the scientific study can be applied to natural or holistic remedies with relative ease. It is not necessary to discount the healing powers of nature, simply because they were not developed within the laboratory.