General Interest

Beautiful Young Woman lying on the field in green grass and blowing dandelion. Outdoors. Enjoy Natur

Are you one of the 50 million American suffering from allergies? Odds are, you’re in the club. Whether you suffer seasonally, regularly or infrequently, finding relief is serious business.

Allergy symptoms can dramatically affect your day-to-day functioning. And there is a huge industry out there constantly vying for your business, trying to passionately convincing you to buy their drugs.

In 2017, the top 10 allergy medications in America made over a whopping 1.7 billion dollars [1]. And that’s just the best-selling brands!

But the reality is that nature has already given us an allergy arsenal, in plants and substances that won’t harm us or give us that weird, jittery feeling. You CAN avoid the drug store for allergy relief. You just need to know where to look.

Allergy symptoms occur when an allergen enters the body and reacts with the antibody produced to attack it.  It is this microscopic interaction that has major effects, such as itchy or watery eyes, nasal tissue swelling, irritated throat, and the entire spectrum of outward signs ranging from uncomfortable to unbearable.  The most common allergy is clinically named allergic rhinitis and is divided into two categories:

  • Seasonal– Different forms of pollen are the main culprits from trees, grass and weeds.  The severity and the timing depends on where you are physically located. Seasonal allergies are largely out of your control.
  • Perennial– Year-round allergies originate both inside and outdoors.  These also include food allergies and allergies to chemicals like detergents and dyes [2].

No matter what you may be allergic to, nature is here to help. The list below contains the Top 8 Natural Allergy Relief Remedies for both seasonal and perennial sufferers.

8 Allergies Relief Remedies
8 Allergies Relief Remedies Infographic

#1 Ginger

This anti-cancer superstar is the gift that keeps on giving. Ginger contains powerful compounds that inhibit allergic reactions at the cellular level. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties also ease symptoms from irritated tissues to skin rashes [3].

Ginger extract and supplements are widely available for daily use. The most potent way to consumer ginger is by consuming the actual root. Slice it and place in your favorite hot tea.  Better yet, juice it or blend it into a delicious Creamy Ginger Smoothie.

Add a nub of fresh ginger to your weekly shopping list. You’ll be able to source it for under $1. Talk about an incredible bang for literally ONE buck!

#2 Vitamin C

Vitamin C may be THE most important supplement in the life of an allergy sufferer. This is because it is a highly potent antihistamine and a natural champion of the immune system.

Oranges, lemons, kale, strawberries and Brussels sprouts all contain high levels of Vitamin C. Increase your consumption of these to keep allergies at bay.

A study also found that taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C three to four times daily provided substantial relief for seasonal allergy sufferers. (4).

If you drink your Glowing Green Smoothie®, you will get your Vitamin C in spades.

#3 Quercetin

Quercetin is the all-natural antihistamine you’ve probably never heard of. It is found in onions, apples, green tea and garlic, so you can ingest this powerful remedy regularly with a healthy diet. Try topping your veggie noodles with this Garlic-Basil Dressing — easy peasy!

In fact, quercetin is purportedly SO powerful that it may in fact be the main agent behind the “An apple a day…” adage. Additionally, its antioxidant and immune boosting properties make this flavonoid a no-brainer for natural allergy medicine. (5)

A daily quercetin supplement, particularly if combined with Vitamin C, will undoubtedly lead to a decline in symptoms.

What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are the family of phytochemicals (plant compounds) that give fruits and vegetables their bright color and also carry out vital functions to protect them. They are present in fruits and veggies, tea and chocolate. Flavonoids are also shown to be anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and protectors of the Central Nervous System[6].

The takeaway? Eating a plant-based diet (check out this recipe for Chickpea “Tuna” Wraps) will not only get you ingesting more of the remedies on this list, but also set you up for success in your overall allergy battle.

In addition, it will help you cope with a whole range of life stressors. It will set you up for great skin, clear, focused energy, a clean body with less toxins. The list of benefits of a plant-based diet goes on and on and on.

#4 Elderberry syrup

Speaking of flavonoids, elderberry syrup is teeming with them, along with vitamin C and the B vitamin family.  Elderberry has been a panacea among Native Americans for centuries. And European herbalists documented its medical use as early as the 16th century. Like other remedies on the list, it also possesses strong anti-inflammatory and pro-immunity properties.

While in the throes of a serious allergy situation, a dosage of two teaspoons four times daily is recommended. For overall prevention and immune support, take two teaspoons every day [7].

Here’s an elixir recipe I recommended for sore throats a while back, and it’s a great allergy remedy too.

#5 Salty steam

For immediate allergy relief, a quick and easy remedy is to use the old fashioned steam method. Boil a pot of water and add a generous helping of sea salt. If you’re so inclined, include a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil.

Remove the pot from heat and set it down safely in front of you. Place a towel over your head to create a mini steam room for your face. You can position the towel so there is some outlet for the steam to come out the sides, so it’s not overly intense.

Breathe in and out deeply and slowly. The naturally penetrating rise of the steam will clear nasal passages and help soothe irritation of the eyes and nose. Although not a preventative measure, this is an easy trick to get you feeling better fast.

#6 Probiotics (the right kind!)

The importance of gut health simply cannot be overstated! The microbiome (the delicate ecosystem of bacteria in the gut) is ultimately responsible for overall immune response.

A healthy microbiome will reduce allergic inflammation by increasing the number and activity of T cells. Studies have shown that a weak microbiome creates a poor immune system early in life, and this in turn is directly linked to increased allergies into adulthood [8].

The more good bacteria present in the gut, the less you will suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms. Get yours from a diet rich in fermented foods and take a probiotic daily to keep your immune system functioning optimally. The right probiotic—one with a powerful balance of natural SBOs—is the best way to balance digestive health and battle allergies.

#7 Bromelain

Bromelain is a group of enzymes found most concentrated in pineapples. It’s great for helping to detoxify your system and assist protein digestion. Another reason to enjoy your healthy pineapple ice cream!

Bromelain counteracts uncomfortable allergy symptoms by reducing sinus inflammation and overall swelling and increasing blood flow.

Taking a bromelain supplement is your best bet at prevention, and it will boost your immune and digestive systems too. Recommended use is between 200 and 800 milligrams daily. While it’s considered relatively safe, speak to your doctor first if you have a pineapple allergy [9].

#8 Raw local honey

Raw local honey is a fantastic and tasty remedy that keeps outdoor allergies at bay. But in order to help you, the honey HAS to be local, at least within a 50 mile or so radius. It works like this: bees are our chief pollinators. And what’s the number one outdoor allergy?

In some form or another, pollen! By ingesting honey from a nearby source, you are ingesting small amounts of local pollen. Over time this strengthens immune response and can lessen or even eliminate seasonal allergy symptoms.  Be sure to test a small amount first to see how your body reacts.

Buying local honey is a great way to support small businesses and the scarily declining bee population. Get some from your farmer’s market or health store. Use it in tea, this Spring Strawberry Smoothie Bowl, oatmeal and as a healthy substitute for sugar.

Maybe you are suffering from seasonal allergies.  Or maybe, unfortunately, you have symptoms year-round from adverse reactions to mold, detergents or any number of things. The good news is that you don’t have to resort to a medicine cabinet full of drugs to get relief. Mother Nature has your back, so take advantage.

In love and health,

Kimberly

References:

[1] Leading allergy remedy brands in the United States in 2017, based on sales (in million U.S. dollars)*
[2] Allergies… Nothing to Sneeze at!
[3]
Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence
[4] Allergies… Nothing to Sneeze at!
[5] Allergies… Nothing to Sneeze at!
[6] Flavonoids
[7] The ABC Clinical Guide To Elder Berry
[8] Probiotics in Asthma and Allergy Prevention
[9] Bromelain Can Help Abate Inflammation

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