FIND ALLERGY RELIEF IN THESE NATURAL REMEDIES
Story by Jacquie Clancy
Illustration by Madison van Rijn
It’s the time of year again for blossoming flowers, avoiding April showers and…allergies. For some of us, no matter how much you want to love the season it sometimes seems impossible while you are rubbing your itchy eyes and sneezing uncontrollably every time you leave the house.
As a Spring allergy sufferer, I have decided to try some different ways of solving my allergy woes. It wouldn’t hurt to find an alternative to the regular regimen of allergy medication that can sometimes leave me drowsy or feeling a little loopy. As other allergy sufferers know, these side effects do not benefit anyone’s productivity at work.
There are a few all-natural approaches to allergy cures. (There are natural cures for almost everything, so why not allergies, right?) Foods rich in Vitamin C and folic acid are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, so it helps to stock the fridge with extra broccoli and citrus fruits during allergy season. According to Canada’s National Food Guide, adults should eat seven to 10 servings of fruits and veggies every day, so by sticking to these guidelines and trying to incorporate more choices with Vitamin C and folic acid, allergy defence can be upped, all while helping making healthier food choices. (It really seems like a win/win decision.)
Another common natural allergy defence is a plant called Stinging Nettle. The plant is effective as a combatant to allergies when taken through freeze-dried capsules or tea, but direct contact with the plant can result in a bad reaction. Don’t try seeking out the plant in the woods – instead, pick up a bottle of freeze-dried caplets at a health food store and pop the recommended 2-3 daily capsules to minimize allergy symptoms.
And here’s yet another reason to drink green tea – it can curb allergy symptoms! Phil Lempert’s popular blog, The Supermarket Guru, includes the advice that “green tea is high in antioxidants, which help keep inflammation at bay. Green tea also contains a natural compound that helps block one of the receptors that is key in triggering the allergic response.” Adding to the list of benefits that green tea gives us, it shouldn’t be hard to convince anyone to add in an extra cup or two of the comforting beverage to your daily routine.
It seems like there are about as many natural allergy treatments as there are medications in the pharmacy. The trick is finding what works, and giving each option a fair try. It will take a minimum of one to two weeks to determine whether or not the treatment is working, so keeping some of the old allergy meds on-hand (just in case things get too unbearable) isn’t a bad idea.
Here’s the most important advice to take before switching up any medication regimen: See your doctor to find out exactly what it is you’re allergic to. There is little to gain with over-medicating a symptom with the wrong treatment, whether natural or not. A quick visit to your doctor or allergist is definitely worth it in the long run. Good luck with any new remedies you might try this spring!