Achoo: Hay Fever and Sneezing—Be Gone!
“Hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis) is an allergic reaction of the nasal passages and airways to wind-borne pollens that shares many comment features with asthma.”—Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine
Sniffles and Sneezes
Sneezing, sniffling, dry, itching, burning eyes…. All these nuisances spell aggravation and not feeling well. It’s no fun when you’re trying to work, or even if you’re just wanting to have a good time with friends or family, when you’re bogged down by all those symptoms and having to carry tissues with you to keep your sniffles in check.
You don’t have to run to the doctor every time you feel hay fever rearing its ugly head up. There are several (raw) natural remedies that can ease your symptoms and help you keep active and feeling better!
What’s In Your Kitchen?
While you run from the outdoors and seek solace from hay fever in the comfort of your own home, you may be doing more harm there than you realize. Why? You may be eating foods that are aggravating your hay fever symptoms! Depending on the type of allergy you have and whether or not your immune system reacts to only pollens. Your particular immune system could be reacting negatively to certain fruits and vegetables, says John Anderson, M.D, head of the division of allergy and clinical immunology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Here’s an example, directly quoted from Dr. John Anderson:
“If you’re allergic to ragweed, for example, having a slice of watermelon or cantaloupe or eating a banana could cause your mouth to itch and swell, or you might experience additional stuffiness.”
Sound familiar, anyone? He also shares another example…
Again, I’m directly quoting Dr. John Anderson here:
“If you’re allergic to grass pollens, eating apples, cherries, peaches, carrots, or potatoes might make your symptoms worse.”
So, it’s a great idea to learn to listen to your body and watch how it reacts to various foods you eat. We all have our favorite foods but you don’t want to suffer simply to continue eating them!
Local (Raw) Honey
One truly fascinating option for helping allergies of any kind is (raw) local honey. This can’t be any honey from the store. It needs to be local to your area and it needs to specifically be raw, unheated honey to do the trick. The reason it needs to be from your local area is because it works almost like an allergy shot. Think about it: You go get allergy shots and you’re having the very thing you’re allergic to injected into your body. Why? Because this builds your immune resistance against whatever you’re allergic to. Why, then, wouldn’t you consider (raw) honey as a remedy? The bees are miraculous little creatures, working continuously. By them pollinating the very things you’re allergic to, they are creating a honey that, just like the allergy shots, will build your immune resistance against those culprits that are making you ill.
“In honey the allergens are delivered in small, manageable doses and the effect over time is very much like that from undergoing a whole series of allergy immunology injections. The major difference though is that the honey is a lot easier to take and it is certainly a lot less expensive.”—Tom Ogren
Nip It In the Bud With Nettle
In a previous article, I talked about nettle as a raw beauty solution; however, nettle not only improves your hair, skin, and nails—it is a powerful nutrition source for a variety of health issues. Today, let’s focus on nettle’s hay fever and other allergy relief benefits.
You can use the flowers, roots, and leaves of the nettle plant. It’s loaded with phytochemicals and nutrients and is very beneficial as a natural hay fever remedy. You can purchase it as capsules, a tonic, or as a tea (loose leaf or bagged). You can also go on a scavenger hunt and gather your own!
Mother Nature provides a host of ingredients for you to use, including remedies for hay fever/allergies! You can make your own hay fever tonic by taking nettles, eyebright, cleavers, and elderflowers and putting ¼ cup of the herbs in a quart of water. Let this sit overnight and then drink it all day.
I prefer my nettle as a loose leaf tea. I put a teaspoon or tablespoon in a cup of hot water and let it steep 5-15 minutes. The longer you let it steep, the darker and stronger it’ll be. I think it has a deep, earthy flavor. I love nettle tea; it makes me feel amazing! You could also add a teaspoon of the (raw) local honey to sweeten it up—what a bonus remedy in a cup, both the nettle tea and the honey will be working to relieve your allergies! (You can drink nettle tea several times a day, or as needed.)
Many times people will ask me what they can do for their allergies when allergy season rolls around, or when their allergies are all flared up. I usually tell them about a few different options (like the ones listed above) but quercetin is one they often prefer to try—simply because they want to take a capsule instead of try the raw honey (most times because they just don’t like honey) or the nettle (because they detest its earthy, strong flavor. Quercitin helps keep histamines from releasing from immune cells—that helps your itchy, allergy symptoms from being so bad. Quercetin is available in sources other than a bottle of capsules, though. It can be found in onions, grapes, wild blueberries, and apples. Be sure to eat—or juice—the skin, too!
For more raw remedies, visit: Raw People: Raw Remedies.
Here’s to allergy-free days ahead!
Copyright 2009 Michele L. Tune All Rights Reserved
Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing (Third Edition). New York: Avery Publishing, 2000. Pg. 104.
Murray, Michael, N.D., and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Revised 2nd Edition). Prima Publishing, 1998. Pg. 262
Ogren, Tom. Local Honey and Allergies. BizzyBeeHoney.com. http://www.bizzybeehoney.com/hoandal.html
Thomas, Karen Jean. Oddball Ointments, Powerful Potions, and Fabulous Folk Remedies (A Jerry Baker Health Book). American Master Publishing, 2002. Pg. 15.
Wong, Cathy, ND, CNS, About.com Guide to Alternative Medicine since 2000. Natural Remedies for Hay Fever and Allergy Relief, October 25, 2007. http://altmedicine.about.com/od/healthconditionsatod/a/allergies.htm
Yeager, Selene. The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. Prevention Health Books. Rodale Publishing, 1998.Pg. 267
Photo Credit: Evah
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