Last Modified on May 19, 2015
Natural allergy treatments either attack the histamine causing the reaction, treat the symptoms or both. Strengthening the immune system with effective home remedies, cleanliness and avoiding high histamine foods are all important. Allergic reactions can increase in severity with multiple exposures, so knowing what foods or other allergens to avoid can be crucial. Apple cider vinegar is one home remedy that offers both long-term benefits and immediate relief.
What are Allergies?
Allergies are a problem for at least 2 out of every 10 people and are an abnormal immune system response to something that is harmless to most people (the allergen). Identifying the allergen is important, as the immune system’s response may worsen with each exposure. That shrimp or bee sting that caused itching or mild swelling the first time can become an immediate throat-swelling, life-threatening emergency with further exposures. Dealing with allergies is a two-prong approach: avoidance and treatment. There are many home remedies for allergies that will safely alleviate the symptoms. Avoidance is particularly important with food allergies or insect stings, as anaphylaxis is a whole-body allergic reaction requiring immediate emergency room treatment.
During an allergic reaction, the body attempts to bind the allergen with a specific antibody, IgE. The antibodies join with mast cells (a type of blood cell). The allergen (pollen, etc.) links to the antibody, causing the mast cell to release histamine into the blood stream; this causes the reaction – sneezing, itching, etc.
Natural Remedies for Allergies
There are numerous alternative remedies for allergies, undoubtedly due to how many people suffer from them. Removing the allergens from the hair, skin, clothes and home is important. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most widely used natural cures. ACV alleviates the immediate symptoms and also strengthens the immune system, helping to lessen or prevent further attacks. Horseradish and wasabi are excellent home remedies for draining the sinuses, getting rid of the clogged-up feeling. Certain herbal teas, especially peppermint, are wonderful for alleviating some of the symptoms and generally making the sufferer feel better. Certain foods can increase histamine (bad) or are antihistamine or neutral (good). A list can be found on this page. Look for ‘Avoid High Histamine Foods’ on the Table of Contents.
It may seem strange to think of water as a natural remedy for allergies, but it can certainly help. Saline solution (salt water) can be used to irrigate the nose, removing irritants and some of the inflamed cells. Red, irritated eyes can be rinsed with cool, pure water. Showers, shampoos and clean clothes are excellent home treatments for allergies. When you come in from outside, you (and your pet) bring pollen with you, in your hair and on your skin and clothes. An immediate shower and shampoo will remove most of it. A hot shower can also be helpful with a coughing attack in the middle of the night. A clean pillowcase every night during the pollen season can’t hurt. Don’t forget to change those HVAC filters and vacuum often.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Horseradish and Wasabi
Apple cider vinegar is the most popular home cure for allergies. This superlative natural remedy attacks allergies in two ways. First, ACV works very quickly against the itching, sneezing and coughing. Secondly, ACV works over time to repair the immune system and may reduce the severity of future allergic reactions. Of course, ACV is so good for you in so many ways that it’s a win-win, period. It can be consumed as a daily tonic or, when allergies are in ‘full bloom’, take 1/8 cup of ACV in a glass of water. ACV can also be mixed with natural supplements such as cayenne, turmeric or raw, local honey.
Horseradish and wasabi are definitely ‘love it or hate it’ foods. However, they are both well-known home cures for clogged sinuses. These natural remedies contain allyl isothiocyanate; sinuses and tear ducts will start working overtime to do their jobs, removing irritants from the system and providing relief. Just inhaling horseradish might be enough.
Peppermint tea is one of the best natural remedies for clogged noses and irritated sinuses. Essential oils, especially menthol, act as decongestants as well as having anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial benefits. Yerba mate tea (made from the leaves of a South American tree) has also been used to naturally cure allergies. Nettle leaf can be taken as a tea (alone or mixed with peppermint or red raspberry) or as a capsule for natural allergy relief.
Allergies make our lives miserable. Home remedies offer relief from the sniffing, sneezing and itching, but using alternative remedies that will strengthen the immune system should be the long-term goal. However, avoiding foods, etc. that cause severe reactions is critical, as anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment. It may be possible to eventually be able to reduce the system’s response to these particular allergens, but it is far safer to avoid them as much as possible.
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Apple Cider Vinegar is hands down our favorite remedy for stopping most allergies like pollen, dander, dust, animals food, etc. We aren't kidding! We wish more people knew about this amazing home remedy for allergies.
We have found that when apple cider vinegar is taken either as a daily tonic or at the first sign of an allergy (i.e., sinus headache, stuffy nose, watery eyes), one can completely stop the histamine response or allergic reaction.
There are a couple ways you can drink apple cider vinegar. One way is to put 1/8th cup ACV in 16 oz of water and sip it throughout the day. The other method is to gulp the mixture at once. Depends on your preference, really. Sometimes you just have to take this dosage once to stop the allergy and sometimes you need to take it up to three times a day. If taken at the onset of symptoms, allergies will usually disappear between 1 -3 hours after taking the first dose of Apple Cider Vinegar. If you've been experiencing allergies for a day or more, your symptoms will disappear after about 24 hours. If they don't, make sure you continue to take water/vinegar mixture for several days! The great thing about apple cider vinegar is that it appears to repair the immune system over time. So while you may take it every day for a month or two to begin with, you can taper off it and then only take as needed.
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