Natural Allergy Remedies and Prevention

August/September 2007
http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/natural-allergy-remedies-and-prevention.aspx




Autumn is just weeks away, and along with the spiced cider and backyard football it will be bring a new season of allergies. Stores shelves will restock their array of drug treatments ? some for congestion, others for that scratchy throat. But seasonal allergies are simply a body's natural overreaction to everyday substances, so a natural, more healthful treatment simply makes sense. Whether it's dust, mold or pollen that sets off your sniffer, there are a variety of options straight from nature to help you sooth or even prevent many allergy symptoms and reactions.

Try these simple remedies ? many of which are from The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke, Ph.D. ? to enjoy the crisp, colorful fall itch- and sniffle-free.

Garlic & Onions. These alliums contain compounds that slow inflammation. Eat them alone or add generously to meals during allergy season.

Honey. Raw, local honey may help your body build a resistance to allergy-inducing pollens, reducing your allergic reaction. Start eating small amounts of honey before allergy season, gradually increasing to 1 teaspoon a day and continuing throughout the season.

Horseradish. You've probably noticed how spicy Thai and Mexican food can make your face flush and nose run. Similarly, hot foods such as horseradish and wasabi are great for decongestion. If you can take the heat, try a bite plain or add them to dishes for sinus relief.

Vitamin C. Long known to ward off colds and other viruses, this common vitamin also contains antihistamine properties. Eat foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges or bell peppers, or take a supplement daily during allergy season.

Ginko biloba. Try taking 60 to 240 milligrams of ginko daily to help nip an allergic reaction in the bud.

As with dust and pollen allergies, different folks have different reactions to certain herbs, foods and supplements. It's always wise to start with a small dose of any allergy remedy, whether natural or pharmaceutical, and observe your body's response before increasing the quantity or frequency. If you notice an adverse reaction, decrease or discontinue use.

Share your favorite natural allergy treatments in the comments section below.