Many people suffer in silence from allergies but allergies are not something that you simply have to put up with! It is possible to manage your allergies naturally. Common allergy symptoms include sneezing, sinus congestion, itchy eyes, persistent cough, wheezing, asthma, headaches, and skin disorders such as eczema. If you have allergies, as well as looking at symptom relief, the underlying causes such as immune imbalances or nutritional deficiencies need to be addressed in order to give you long term relief. Common causes of allergies include reacting to certain foods, food additives and pesticides, grasses and pollens, dust mites, and chemicals in personal products and cleaning products.
Herbs and Nutrients to Manage Allergies Naturally
The following herbs and nutrients may help to manage symptoms of allergies naturally, as well as rebalancing your immune function.
• Perilla (Perilla frutescens) – great herb that is beneficial in the treatment of hayfever, asthma and sinusitis. It can be used to reduce the symptoms of allergic reactions, particularly of the upper respiratory tract.
• Atractylodes (Atractylodes lancea) – this herb is beneficial for hayfever, nasal congestion, asthma, and dermatitis. It also helps the immune system to fight colds and respiratory infections.
• Albizia (Albizia lebbeck) - The anti-allergy properties of the herb albizia are helpful for hayfever, asthma, sinus congestion and allergic skin conditions such as eczema and hives. It also helps to strengthen the lungs and clear mucus.
• Quercetin - Is a bioflavonoid vitamin that is used for acute or chronic allergies such as hayfever, hives, and asthma. It is also a great antioxidant.
• Probiotics - There are many different strains of probiotics; the most useful for allergies is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG).
This strain has been found to be effective in reducing allergies including eczema.
• Zinc - Plays a very important role in regulating the immune system and is a common deficiency. Optimal zinc levels are crucial in any allergy treatment.
• Vitamin C - Boosts the immune system, improves lung function and decreases allergy symptoms.
• Essential oils - Antimicrobial essential oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and thyme used in a sinus spray can provide relief from nasal and sinus congestion that occurs with hayfever and upper respiratory tract infections.
What Are You Putting Into Your Body?
Common food allergies include gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, and corn. If you find your allergies flare up after eating any of these foods or your diet contains a lot of these foods, you may benefit from an elimination diet. An elimination diet involves avoiding certain foods or food groups and then reintroducing them and monitoring allergy symptoms.
These days a lot of our food contains high levels of preservatives, additives, and pesticides that can all impact on our immune systems and contribute to allergies. Think about introducing organic foods to your diet. Organic foods not only taste better, they contain higher levels of nutrients which can be beneficial to overall health.
How To Manage Your Allergy Symptoms
To help balance your immune system and help manage your allergy symptoms, follow these simple recommendations:
• Consider a natural supplement for allergy relief.
• Reduce or eliminate foods and drinks contributing little to no nutrition e.g. alcohol, caffeinated drinks, cigarettes, refined sugars and processed foods.
• Eat foods rich in fibre to help support your body’s natural digestive detoxification pathway. Fresh fruits, vegetables including lots of leafy greens, avocado, and small amounts of high fibre whole grains or seeds such as quinoa, buckwheat, teff, and oats.
• Increase fruit and vegetable intake, particularly those bright in colours, such as berries and capsicum, as they contain high levels of antioxidants and nutrients.
• Cruciferous vegetables are amazing detoxifiers! Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other vegetables from the same family provide a compound called sulforaphane, offering potent antioxidant activity that is anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer, helping to rid the body of harmful toxins and combat their negative effects
• Drink up! Drinking plenty of water each day helps to flush out toxins and waste from the body. Aim for 2 litres a day, which includes herbal teas. It will keep your body well hydrated.
• Brush your body! Dry skin brushing is an easy and effective way to help improve the appearance of your skin by regenerating skin cells but also helps to stimulate blood circulation and the lymphatic system, improving toxin elimination!
• Practice breathing deeply for at least 5 minutes a day. It helps you relax but also allows oxygen to circulate throughout your whole system helping to clean up your cells.
• Sweat it out! Exercise promotes detoxification via our perspiration. Work up a sweat in your favourite gym class or try a sauna session. As you exercise, blood circulates throughout the body bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to your organs and muscles, whilst toxins are released through the pores of your skin
• Switch to eco-friendly, natural household cleaners and personal health care products e.g. toothpaste, cleansers, deodorants.