Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from allergies or asthma, so you (or someone close to you) are probably very well acquainted with the sneezing, stuffy dripping nose and itchy, red eyes of airborne allergies. These allergies affect people of all ages and tend to be common within families. Skin allergies and food allergies are common, but the most familiar airborne allergy, called allergic rhinitis, is commonly known as hay fever.
The best way to beat a recurring allergy is by using long-term homeopathic treatment—best done under the care and supervision of an experienced homeopathic practitioner.
Common allergy diagnosis includes allergy testing and often the prescription of allergy eye drops or skin allergy treatment, depending on the allergy symptoms the patient is exhibiting. While conventional medicine uses allergy medicines such as antihistamines, decongestants and allergy shots to treat allergies. Homeopathic medicine offers natural allergy treatments as alternatives to the ingestion of chemicals into the body. A naturopathic approach uses minute amounts of plants, minerals or animal substances to cure a variety of ailments by promoting inner healing to balance the vital force.
Your immune system provides effective and efficient protection against all the bacteria and other foreign invaders that can harm your body. But in the case of an allergy, the system overreacts and begins attacking harmless substances like pollen and dust. The B cells, a part of your immune system that dwell in your lymph nodes, spleen and respiratory tract lining, make antibodies. One type, immunoglobulin E (IgE), normally a parasite fighter, is responsible for allergic reactions.
“There are simple natural remedies that can be very effective for allergy relief and skin allergy treatment,” says Dr. Diana Joy Ostroff. “Different people can benefit from different remedies. I work closely with my patients to assess their symptoms and create specialized programs tailored to their needs.”
Some natural allergy treatments include:
Neti Pot and Saline Rinse
A neti pot filled with a sterile saline solution can flush the sinuses of allergens and irritations.
Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid that has been used to stabilize mast cells to keep them from releasing histamine. It is also a potent antioxidant that is said to help reduce inflammation. As with any herb, you should check with your doctor before using, especially if you have a liver problem, are pregnant or are on hormonal contraceptives.
Nettle leaf is another natural antihistamine (allergy medicine) that can be very effective, as it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine. It grows in many places and can be made into a tincture or tea. But for allergy relief, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are an effective option.
Allergies are the result of an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to react too strongly to a stimuli. New research links the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with reduced incidence of allergies. Balancing gut bacteria and consuming enough beneficial bacteria can have a positive effect on allergies.
The theory is that consuming local honey from where you live will help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment there.
Dietary changes can offer allergy relief. Here are some foods with anti-allergic properties:
- Whole grains, dark leafy vegetables and egg yolks are high in vitamin E.
- Cold-pressed flax oil and evening primrose oil also contain high levels of vitamin E.
- Oily fish such as cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, menhaden and sardines provide the Omega-3 fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
- Spirulina (an alga often used in “green drinks”) also contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
- Pineapple contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain.
- Papaya contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme papain.
- Turmeric (a rich spice often used in Indian and Far Eastern dishes) contains the anti-inflammatory bioflavonoid quercetin.
As with any medical treatment you should contact your local naturopathic physician to receive a treatment plan that fits your individual needs.
Dr. Joy has treated over 26,000 patients in her 27 years of practice. In 1989, Dr. Joy founded the Center for Natural Healing Hawaii in Honolulu, Oahu, to focus on:
- Optimal health for the MIND, BODY, and SOUL.
- Balanced wellness for mothers and children—holistic pediatric care.
- Restorative health for mothers • emotional well-being—freedom from depression and anxiety.
- Nutritional health, digestive health—freedom from eating disorders, weight gain, cravings, and bloating.
- Hormonal balance—freedom from PMS, happiness after menopause, male virility.
Dr. Joy is the author of the Wisdom of Well-Being book series: Your Health is in Your Hands, The Joy of Eating—for Kids and Their Moms, and Get the Skinny of Getting Skinny.
*Results may vary from person to person