Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
Allergy season is officially upon us. For those that suffer from seasonal allergies, this time of year can be particularly uncomfortable and frustrating. Not only are allergies tough to deal with, they are also difficult to prevent and treat.
While we can’t claim these tactics are a magic bullet, they have been shown to help prevent and naturally treat seasonal allergies and their irritating symptoms.
Allergies occur when there is an imbalance in our immune system that causes our body to react too strongly to allergens. (1) Allergens are actually harmless, but when our immune system is compromised, we can have a negative reaction to them. The solution, therefore, is dependent on the strengthening of our immune system, which can be accomplished in a number of ways. (1)
One proven way to strengthen your immune system is with probiotics – either in the form of supplements or with foods that have naturally occurring probiotics such as fermented foods. Probiotics have been shown to strengthen our gut health and boost our immune system, helping to prevent our bodies from reacting inappropriately to allergens. (2) Furthermore, recent studies have shown that pregnant mothers who take probiotics can reduce their baby’s chance of eczema by 30%, an early symptom of allergies later in life. (3)
Allergens cause cells in the body to produce histamine, which is responsible for many common seasonal allergy complaints such as tearing, runny nose & excess mucus build up. Vitamin C helps to combat the formation of histamine, as opposed to common over the counter remedies which often only combat the histamine after its already been produced. (4) Vitamin C also helps to boost your immune system, which also can help prevent our bodies from having allergic reactions. Aim for at least 2,000 mg of Vitamin C per day. (5)
A German study published in the journal Allergy found that those who ate a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids suffered fewer allergy symptoms than those that didn’t. (6) Omega-3s have been shown to help combat inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been shown to have a variety of negative effects on the body, including a weakened and inefficient immune system. Omega-3s can be found in supplements as well as small cold-water fish, flax seed, chia seed and grass-fed meat. (7)
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help cleanse our lymphatic systems. (8) Lymphocytes, also known as white blood cells are a fundamental component of our immune systems. Lymphocytes are what react to allergens as if they are foreign invaders, causing allergic reactions. While the lymphatic system is generally less well known than other systems in our body, it is an essential part of our body’s allergic reactions. (9) Therefore, strengthening our lymphatic systems is critical when fighting allergens. Apple cider vinegar not only has been shown to cleanse and strengthen this system, it has also been shown to reduce mucus production. (10) Apple cider vinegar isn’t the tastiest thing to consume, but many companies are now producing delicious low-sugar beverages with apple cider vinegar as one of the main ingredients.
Similar to Omega-3s, it is important to eat a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods to help combat allergies and boost our immune systems. (11) Before and during allergy season, it is beneficial to steer clear of processed carbohydrates, sugar, dairy and processed meat and instead focus on low sugar fruits, vegetables and grass-fed meats. These foods all help to decrease inflammation in the body and help to prevent allergies. (12)
Anya Kaats & Suja Juice
- What Causes Chronic Allergies and Allergy Symptoms?” WebMD. WebMD, LLC., 2015. Web. Nov. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/chronic-allergies-causes>.
- “Probiotics and Fermented Foods for a Healthy Immune System.” Mercola.com. Mercola Inc, 14 July 2012. Web. March. 2015. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/07/14/gut-microbes-for-healthy-immune-system.aspx>
- “Probiotics: The Secret to Lowering Your Child’s Eczema Risk.” Mercola.com. Mercola Inc, 3 Jan. 2011. Web. Nov. 2015. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/03/probiotics-lessen-eczema-risk.aspx>.
- “Allergies.” LifeExtension.com. Life Extension INC, 1 Apr. 2015. Web. <http://www.lifeextension.com/Protocols/Immune-Connective-Joint/Allergies/Page-01>.
- “Vitamin C Benefits, Sources, Supplements, & More.” WebMD. WebMD LLC. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/diet/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c>.
- “How and Why Do Allergies Develop?” Mercola.com. Marcela LLC, 2015. Web. Sept. 2015. <http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/04/18/allergy-season.aspx>.
- “Omega-3 Fatty Acids Facts.” WebMD. WebMD LLC, 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/omega-3-fatty-acids-fact-sheet>.
- The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar.” GETRIDOFTHINGS.com. Saint Paul Media Inc., 29 Oct. 2015. Web. <http://www.getridofthings.com/glossary/the-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar/>.
- “Immune Response: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1991. Web.Nov. 2015. <https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000821.htm>.
- Choi, Inho, Sunju Lee, and Young-Kwon Hong. “The New Era of the Lymphatic System: No Longer Secondary to the Blood Vascular System.” Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312397/>.
- Allergies: Natural Solutions.” Natural Allergy Remedies and Allergy Relief. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1 Mar. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=36>.
- “Allergies: Natural Solutions.” Natural Allergy Remedies and Allergy Relief. 2015 AANP, 2015. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=36>.