April is often the beginning of allergy season. Wherever you live, many people suffer from “seasonal” allergies. Here are some suggestions for natural methods to alleviate your symptoms, whether they are itchy, watery eyes, sinus congestion or drip, mild cough or more fatigue, the following should be of some help to you.
The first and most important thing to use on a daily basis would be a nettie pot. For those of you who don’t know what a nettie pot is, it looks like a small ceramic teapot (you can find one in drugstores or health food stores). You would fill it with a saltwater solution, then pour the mixture into one nostril of your nose while bending over a sink. Tilt your head to one side while pouring the water into the opposite nostril. At first, you may feel like its running down your throat, but once you get the hang of it, your nostril should get a good flush. Change to the opposite side will tilting your head the other way and repeat. There will be directions in the box too.
The reason we use a nettie pot is that it will irrigate and clean the nasal cavity from bacteria and allergens and help prevent those pesty sinus infections. During peak allergy times, you can use it in the morning and at night.
Now looking at supplements for allergies and boosting the immune system, I recommend the following:
Quercetin (an anti-inflammatory and histamine blocker) — this property is found in apples, especially Granny Smith Apples and their seeds which hold a lot of its power, so eat the seeds too. In capsule form take 500 mg./twice daily. It will increase immunity and decreases reactions to certain foods, pollens and other allergens.
MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane - Has anti-allergenic properties equal to or better than those of antihistimines. Take as directed on the label of the bottle. Found in health food stores.
Vitamin C with Bioflavanoids — 5,000 mg. /daily in divided doses with meals- Protects the body from allergens and moderates the inflammatory response.
Proteolytic Systemic Enzymes — Follow label directions and take on an empty stomach — I like a type called Wobenzyme (found in health food stores). When in allergy crises mode you can take 3 in the morning 30 minutes before breakfast, 3 (30 minutes before lunch) and 3 (30 minutes before bed). These work to remove the inflammation of the body, destroy free radicals, aid digestion and even help heal scar tissue of the sinus. After 2 weeks of this regime, you can go down to label directions.
Aller Bee-Gone or Bee Pollen — Start with a few granules at a time and work up to 2 teaspoons daily. This strengthens the immune system. Use raw crude pollen preferably produced within 10 miles of your home which will address the allergens in your area. Of course don’t use this if you are allergic to Bees.
Vitamin A — 10,000 i.u./daily — Necessary for proper immune function, eyes that may seem scratchy, and all eye disorders.
Be careful about not using natural feather bed pillows, and switch to anti-allergen type that won’t hold allergens as well as not using down comforters. Keep your bedroom as well dusted as possible too. As always, drinking lots of pure filtered water (8-10 glasses per day), will help keep your sinus cavity from producing thicker mucous, and flush the kidneys of bacteria.
Linda Wolschlager, Certified Nutrition Counselor
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