by Dr. Lisa Leslie-Williams
Natural allergy relief, from vibrant foods to natural cough syrup made by bees, offers potent cures.
For millions of Americans, even the thought of spring makes their eyes burn, itch and water. If you suffer from seasonal eye allergies and are tired of the stinging medications that take control over your life because of their rebound effect, you may want to consider an alternative approach that stimulates your body’s natural ability to relieve symptoms.
The immune system plays an important role in your body’s reaction to allergens. By focusing on good nutrition and taking steps to support your immune system, you may be able to say goodbye to itchy eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms.
To support your immune system:
- Eat plenty of vibrantly coloured fruits and vegetables. These play important roles in balancing the immune system. There is now science to support the old adage: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant that has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Peppers, onions, and garlic contain compounds that help thin and reduce mucus.
- Cleanse your nasal passages: Neti pots have become very popular—with good reason. They are a safe and natural way to help your body’s natural mechanism for clearing your sinuses of bacteria and allergens.
- Use eye drops that address the underlying problem. Antihistamine eye drops or artificial tears may provide temporary relief but they don’t address the problem as well as homeopathic preparations that gently stimulate the body’s natural ability to relieve symptoms. Products like Similasan Allergy Eye Relief contains natural active ingredients: no dyes, chemical vasoconstrictors, decongestants, or steroids. These drops can be used regularly without that annoying rebound effect. Moreover, they may help to activate your body’s own defence mechanisms.
- Sip on an anti-inflammatory cooler. One of my family’s favourites is my pineapple ginger cooler. It contains pineapple peel and ginger, both of which are natural anti-inflammatory agents. It’s a refreshing drink to have on a warm day.
- Add local honey to your daily diet. The mechanism by which honey helps to relieve allergy symptoms is three-fold. First, honey helps to soothe the throat. Second, honey is a natural cough suppressant. A study found 2 teaspoons of honey to be just as effective as dextromethorphan (a main ingredient in cough syrup). Third, the pollen that bees use to make honey is ingested when you eat local honey. The immune system then becomes sensitized over time, which may make you less sensitive to the pollen.
If you try these strategies and you still aren’t getting symptom relief, try a bed bug-proof pillow cover. What some people think are seasonal allergies are actually not seasonal allergies at all. If you’re looking for night-time allergy relief from sneezing, runny nose and even a dry hacking cough, that could mean bed bugs and dust mites.