According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (2017), nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States each year. That is as many as 30 percent of adults, and 40 percent of children. They have also determined that asthma is the fifth leading chronic disease in the US in people of all ages. Seem like a lot? It absolutely is, and numbers are on the rise. In 2010 alone, Americans spent an estimated $17.5 billion dollars on treating allergy symptoms and allergy related infections.
So what can we do to prevent and reduce the harmful effects of every day allergens? While there is no cure for common allergies, there are steps that we can take to decrease allergy sensitivity and improve our overall health.
Suggested methods include:
- Herbal Supplements
Many over the counter herbal supplements have natural allergy fighting effects. Licorice root, for example, will help build up your bodies naturally produced steroids. This gives your body an extra boost in knocking out the allergen, while also loosening mucus for easier breathing. Green tea, another common household herbal remedy, is a natural antihistamine and can help to avoid congestion.
Make sure you speak with a doctor before testing out herbal treatments, particularly if you are taking other medications or are pregnant.
- Change What You Eat
Food can have a huge impact on allergies, on not just from peanuts or other common food reactions. Melons, cucumbers, bananas, sunflower seeds, and chamomile can make weed pollen allergies even more severe according to Kathyrn Bolig (Web MD 2015), a family medicine specialist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.
Some cheeses, milk, and other dairy products can also increase the severity of allergy symptoms by causing the blood vessels in the nose swell. This increases congestion and decreases the body’s ability to naturally fight off allergy related symptoms.
Food isn’t all bad though – spicy foods like ginger, fenugreek, and cayenne help to clear the nasal passages and ease pressure caused by allergy symptoms. Onions and garlic have the same effect, while also being deliciously good for you.
Many individuals have found relief at the hands of an acupuncturist, particularly when used in correlation with other allergy treatments. While more research is needed, studies into the effectiveness of acupuncture for allergies (particularly nasal allergies) has been extremely positive.
- Nasal Rinses
The Neti pot and similar products have been all the rage in mom circles, as of late. These little teapot shaped devices are used to gently cleans the sinuses and wash away pollen and other allergens that may be stuck inside of the nose.
When using these products, always remember to use distilled or sterile water and rinse one nostril at a time.
Allergies, at their most base form, are the body’s immune system reacting to a potentially harmful substance. It has been theorized that, when the body reacts to a harmless substance (like pollen or dust), it is because the body is misinterpreting signals from the brain. Chiropractic, with its focus on improving the nervous system, has been shown to treat some types of allergies.
While chiropractic may not instantly resolve allergy problems, it is a step in resolving possible underlying causes for the irritation. Like acupuncture, it is worth consideration and can complement other allergy treatments.
Do you have tips or tricks for treating or removing allergies naturally? Let us know in the comments below!
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. March 2017 http://www.aafa.org/page/allergy-facts.aspx
Relieve Allergies the Natural Way. Web Md. October 2015 http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/relieve-allergies-natural-way#1
Can Allergies Be Treated With Chiropractic? University Park Chiropractic. 2017 http://www.upchiro.com/allergies-treated-with-chiropractic.html