Allergies and Natural Remedies

A runny nose, watery eyes, coughing, sneezing along with an itchy nose or throat is a sure symptom of an allergy, something which many of us experience sometimes. Allergies can be of various types – they can be food allergies, skin allergies, or an allergic reaction to airborne substances like dust and pollen. An allergy is your body’s immune system overreacting to certain matter that is not deemed harmful in the general scheme of things.

Preferable to Allopathic Medication

Perhaps the best recourse to take care of an allergy is through naturopathy. The concept of naturopathy believes in increasing the body’s natural abilities to heal itself with the help of harmless therapies and treating the underlying causes rather than the symptoms.

Natural remedies help strengthen the immune system and defend the body from allergens. Allopathic allergy medicines block the formation of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals causing the allergic reaction.  When we talk of curing the allergy with the help of naturopathy, it involves using natural substances like herbs, plants and shrubs that are known to have medicinal properties. To cure allergy we can use plants and herbs that act as anti-histamines or block the histamine action that causes allergies.

Chamomile Tea is Best

A number of herbs are known to have anti-histamine properties and are natural remedies to clear a bout of hay fever (allergy to plant pollen). Chamomile is a well-known herb that has multiple therapeutic properties.  The ingredients in this fragrant plant have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antihistamine and antispasmodic properties.

The wonderful flavour of chamomile is not only a favourite of the tea enthusiasts, it is highly recommended by herbalists as well. Chamomile reduces inflammation, heals skin infections and wounds. When taken as tea, it enhances the immune system and has a tranquilizing effect that helps ward off insomnia and combat anxiety.1

Ginger does the Rest!

Ginger, the humble root that is present in all Asian kitchens has a wealth of medicinal benefits. It is natural anti-histamine, which can alleviate a number of allergies, especially those surrounding the sinuses.

Especially when you have a cold or allergic rhinitis, ginger tea or an infusion of a small piece of the rhizome in a cup of warm water reduces the aches and pains accompanying the allergy. Fresh ginger juliennes can combat the feeling of nausea and help soothe the stomach in case of a stomach disorder. Apart from immunity boosting properties of ginger, there are other health benefits too that prompted its use in Chinese medicine.2

Although these natural remedies may be beneficial to natural health, some people may well be allergic to these products. For example, ginger may not cause any side effects in the general populace, but some people may have an allergic reaction to its components. They may develop rashes, have difficulty breathing or break into hives. People suffering from stomach ulcers or gallstones should avoid consumption of ginger.

Similarly, in case of chamomile, nausea and vomiting are reported allergies in some individuals.

Chamomile also has blood-thinning properties; hence, people taking anticoagulant medications like Warfarin should avoid chamomile.3 However, as with any medication, before adopting any natural remedies, it is advisable to consult a practicing naturopath as well as your doctor.

Footnotes and references:

1.  http://www.nutritional-supplement-educational-centre.com/chamomile-tea-benefits.html

2.  http://www.health-benefits-of.org/2011/06/26/ginger-health-benefits-medicinal-use-allergy-and-nutrition-facts/

3.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warfarin