Your eyes are red and itchy. It seems like your nose has been running for centuries. You’re trying your hardest to sneeze, but you just can’t because your entire respiratory system has gone haywire. There are massive amounts of pollen in the area as it slowly, but surely gets warmer. You guessed it – it’s allergy season! Read on about some amazing home remedies for allergies that really work!
Allergies can pop up without you even knowing what might be the potential cause behind them. Your body may react to any substance in the surrounding and trigger an allergy; the common causes include animal dander (which comes from birds, cats, and dogs,) medications, insects, food, etc.
Once you do develop an allergy, you must take the necessary steps of preventing exposure to the allergen. For instance, if the cause is bird dander, you should take the essential steps of keeping the birdcage or the large bird aviary clean, by using absorbent paper towels or liners at the bottom of the cage or by purchasing a filter.
Most common types of allergies
“I am deathly allergic to cats. I mean, I love all animals, but they're not my animal of choice” - Rick Hoffman
Up to a third of people in the United States are allergic to dogs and cats, and many more of them are allergic to cats than to dogs. Cat allergies run in families. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, reddening of the eyes and getting a runny nose when you come in contact with a cat. The solution? Get rid of your cat, of course.
Easier said than done – if you are a cat owner, you know what it feels like. You’d rather live with the allergy than without the cat. If that is the case, the following treatments might help you:
OK, seriously. Time for Fluffy to go!
These are extremely common – they act up when the seasons change. They’re the worst in spring and fall. Raw honey can help prevent them - the gradual intake of pollen will enhance your immunity before the symptoms begin, and you will experience relief when the season arrives in all its glory.
Go ahead and try it! It doesn’t work for everyone, of course, but there are many other home remedies for seasonal allergies that you can try.
Can allergies cause a fever?
In severe cases, they may. This requires the attention of a health care professional. If the case is not an emergency, the symptoms will go away with a home remedy. Even if your allergy is so bad that you need prescription drugs, home remedies will help you.
Most common food allergies
These include milk allergy, wheat allergy, allergies to eggs and meat, and allergies to peanuts and soy. Allergies depend on what food or other product is common in the respective geographic region – for example peanuts are widespread in the US and many Americans have peanut allergies.
Wheat, milk, fish, eggs, soy and peanuts are most commonly linked to food allergies in child. Allergies to fish, nuts, shellfish and fruit like cherries and peaches are most common in the adult population.
Food allergies are not the same as food intolerance. The immune system does not respond to food intolerance, but it does to certain products, erroneously identifying them as dangerous and disease-causing.
Causes of allergies
“Unfortunately, I'm allergic to all animals and even some people” - Wentworth Miller
Apart from all of the above, common allergy triggers are dust mites, mold, latex, drugs and insect stings. For instance, allergy to mild snake poison or bees may have disastrous repercussions, whereas the bite or sting would not bother you if you weren’t allergic.
Signs and Symptoms
Below are the most common signs and symptoms of allergies:
- Watery discharge through the nose or throat.
- Pain and / or discomfort behind the eyes, in the lower forehead and eyebrows, in the cheeks and upper teeth, in the temples
- Feeling light-headed or dizzy, passing out
- Stomach pain, feeling nauseous, vomiting
- Itchy and irritated skin and eyes
- Swelling in the mouth, throat, hands, and feet
- Fever, headache
The following remedies will relieve mild allergic symptoms, but if you are experiencing any of the more serious ones on the above list, you may need urgent medical assistance.
1. Red Onion
Onions contain quercetin, a chemical compound that reduces the amount of histamine your organism produces, which is why they are effective in eliminating symptoms of allergies. This compound is soluble in water, therefore the remedy calls for water. It is incredibly effective – in essence, this is a natural anti-histamine. The compound also has proven anti-inflammatory properties.
- 1 red onion
- Approx. 1 l of water
- Cut the onion in thin slices and leave it in the water for around ten hours.
- Drink once or twice a day, best would be before meals. Consume up to 4 days, keeping it in the fridge during this time.
- If you can’t stand the taste, stir some raw organic honey into it.
2. Nasal Irrigation with a Neti Pot
Allergies are treated with nasal irrigation using a salty solution. Buy a Neti Pot from your local pharmacy or superstore – this is a simple pot with a spout that is available online as well.
Make sure you are using non-iodized, not regular salt. You can find out more about the difference between these two types of salt here.
Fill it with saline water in and inhale it from one nostril. The solution will help wash away mucus from the nasal passages. Warm water can work great, keeping the nasal passages moist, and you – free of allergy symptoms.
- One teaspoon of non-iodized salt
- Two cups of distilled or boiled warm water.
Fill the Neti pot with warm water, add the salt and pour the mix through one nostril. The water will flow out the other. The water irrigates the nasal cavities and reduces allergic symptoms. It also helps in clearing snot. Do this several days once or twice a day and you will notice remarkable improvement.
Do not use tap water as it can bring harmful bacteria into your body.
Note: As an alternative, you can try saline spray. Some people who have allergies find the prepackaged saline solutions easier to use. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this or alternate between Neti pots and sprays because with sprays, the solution will reach your nasal passageways more gently and evenly, whereas you could spill some of the solution using a Neti pot, or it may not go where intended.
3. Tea with peppermint and nettle
Nettle is very popular in Europe both as a home remedy ingredient and a cooking ingredient. It contains loads of iron, which helps lower blood pressure, relieve arthritis and help allergies. On the other hand, peppermint contains flavonoids that reduce the secretion of histamines, thereby minimizing discomfort a great deal.
- Two teaspoons of fresh peppermint or one teaspoon of dried peppermint
- Two teaspoons of fresh nettle or one teaspoon of dried nettle
- About 1 l of water
This remedy is very easy to prepare. Just add the nettle and peppermint to a pot of boiling water and cover. Wait 13 minutes, strain and let cool to room temperature. Drink twice a day for as long as you need to and add organic raw honey to taste.
4. Local pollen
Local pollen is a great way of preparing your immune system for the spring. It has to be local, as you have to develop tolerance to the pollen in your area. Pollen is available in powder, capsules and granules, but the last form is the best.
- Local bee pollen granules
Start taking it several months before your allergies act up. At first, do not take more than 2 granules under the tongue, and gradually increase the amount. Keep doing this for ten days. If you have an adverse reaction to it, stop. If not, you can take up to a tablespoon a day during the whole spring or other allergy season.
5. Citrus Fruit Juice
Most allergies flare up in the spring and summer, when it’s nice and warm outdoors and you want to be outside. This calls for a refreshing, zesty Vitamin C-rich drink! Citrus fruit juice can provide allergy relief because of strengthens and enhances the immune system. This has some clear advantages as the immune system is fighting as best as it can!
- Two oranges
- One lemon
- One tablespoon of organic, raw local honey
Squeeze the juice from the lemon and oranges and leave it in the fridge for a few hours. Add some ice and stir in the honey. Drink this every day throughout allergy season.
How to Prevent Allergy Flare-ups ?
Avoiding trigger foods is not easy, a fact we sufferers are more than familiar with. Wear a medical alert bracelet to notify medics of your condition if you have serious allergies. You could also carry an epinephrine injector with you.
When having lunch or dinner in a restaurant, tell the chef and waiter in advance that you are severely allergic to a given food product and you will feel very, very bad even if the dish contains small traces of it. Stop going to the restaurant if they don’t accommodate your needs.
If you have a child that is allergic, teach him or her how to respond in emergencies. Tell their teachers and other adults who care for them too.
Know what you are consuming
Manufacturers are legally obligated to list common food allergens on product labels. Wheat, eggs, fish, soy, shellfish, nuts and milk account for the majority of food allergy cases according to data of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Pollen allergies are not limited to what people call hay fever because the allergen can come from many different types of flowers and plants. If you have to open the window in allergy season, at least do not open it wide so less pollen will get in.
Sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and a runny nose are the most typical symptoms of a pollen allergy.
What should I do?
Possible means of preventing pollen allergies, apart from the home remedies above, include nasal sprays (decongestant or steroid), salt water nose rinses, antihistamines and therapy targeted at enhancing the immune system. The last one typically involves tablets or allergy shots.
Do consult your doctor before you settle on a preventive treatment, however, not the least because of the fact that many of these medications cannot be obtained without a prescription.
There is more you can do though. First of all, stay indoors when pollen counts are unusually high. This means especially on windy days when the wind is blowing the pollen around and it is flying all over the place, including in your eyes, nose and mouth. On these days, open the window only when you really, really have to. Otherwise, use an air conditioner.
When pollen fills the air, hang clothes only indoors to try and not outside. Line drying can exacerbate allergies because the pollen will stick to the clothes and to you as a result.
You can’t see dust mites without a microscope because they are just so minute. You will, however, feel your reaction to them! Symptoms are like those of pollen allergies, the only difference being is that they are worse. Why? They will happen over the whole year, not just in allergy season. To combat them, your doctor will prescribe a decongestant or steroid nasal sprays or antihistamines.
This won’t make the problem go away, however. And it won’t as long as you have dust mites in the house.
What should I do?
Dust mite allergy prevention is as simple as washing sheets weekly in hot water – around 60 degrees Celsius would be great. You should also cover mattresses and pillows with dust mite covers and keep your home free of objects that gather dust. Clean the curtains and carpet regularly.
To protect yourself from insect stings and bites, make yourself as unappealing to insects as possible. Avoid scented lotions and perfume and do not wear bright clothes. Wear shoes outside and always have insect repellant at your side.
Wear a bracelet to inform others you have a latex allergy and, of course, avoid anything made of or containing latex. Yes, this includes latex condoms – buy polyurethane or nitrile ones instead.
Did you find anything on our list of home remedies that you would try? You might have found a simple, healthy and inexpensive cure for your allergy! Please tell us what you think in the comments and share this article so you can help other people out there who also suffer from allergies.