It seems like more and more today people are complaining of allergies. Years ago when I was a kid allergies were rare. Today all that has changed.
An estimated one in five Americans suffers from all types of allergies, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. The annual cost of allergies on the United States health care system is a whopping $7.9 billion.
According to the Allergy UK, in England the rates of asthma, rhinitis, and eczema have tripled in the past two decades. That’s a lot more people living day to day as if they’re suffering with a miserable cold.
Why the Increase?
There are certain trends seen over the past years that seem to be the main culprits of increased allergies and asthma. As with many ailments, allergies are part nature and part nurture. In other words your genetic makeup will contribute to whether you have allergies or asthma but so will your environment.
With the right strategies in place to deal with variable environmental factors, you don’t have to succumb to a life of sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes.
There are some common causes of allergies:
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Air pollution
With the exception of air pollution, these other common allergy causes have been around for hundreds of years, so why the dramatic increase in allergies now?
Consider the immune system and inflammation. The body responds in a certain way to an allergen. When the body is already inflamed from poor diet, stress, and environmental toxins, an allergen sets off an increased reaction. That means that when the body’s immune system is overworked, when an allergen is introduced it just can’t handle it and ‘overreacts.’ Gesundheit! If the immune system was balanced the reaction to the allergen would be normal.
How to Reduce Allergies
When it comes to allergies a visit to the doctor will undoubtedly end with a prescription in your hand. What’s important to understand is when the body is trying to combat an allergic reaction to something it is because something is not right within your body. When we take prescribed medications for allergies they disturb the natural process and PH balance of our body. What’s more is these allergy drugs and toxic creams only mask the symptoms without correcting the real issue. I urge you to first eliminate certain things from your diet and surroundings, and secondly, make it a point to eat certain things in the fight against allergies.
Aside from pets and foods, avoidance isn’t really an option so what I suggest is balance your immune system. With a balanced immune system you’ll get the appropriate response to allergens, not overly exaggerated ones.
The first step is to check your diet. Eliminate highly processed and refined foods. Replace those with fresh, whole foods grown seasonally in your local community as much as possible. These foods will provide your body with what it needs when it needs it.
It’s also important to determine if you have a food allergy. Some of the most common food allergies are to gluten and dairy. Consider removing these from your diet if you suspect a food allergy.
Increase your intake of vital omega-3 and keep it in the proper balance with omega-6. The best source for omega-3 is cold water fish like salmon and sardines, as well as high quality fish oil supplements. It’s also important to be sure you’re getting enough vitamins C and D. Vitamin C is in many plants and vitamin D is best obtained through safe sun exposure on a daily basis.
Here are More Natural Allergy Fighters
Garlic is a natural antibiotic that wards off infections, viruses and allergies. Two raw cloves daily, juiced or whole, literally keeps the doctor away! Some people go for the supplements because they don’t want to smell like garlic, but the supplements do not work as well as the real herb does.
Lemons are excellent immune boosting little fruits loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants. Drinking lemon water throughout the day detoxifies the body and calms inflammation. Don’t confuse lemon water with lemonade. Go for pure lemon water without refined sugar. Healthful Food Tip: Mix the juice of one or two lemons or limes with olive oil to make a wonderful tasting dressing for salads and veggie sandwiches.
3. Raw Local Honey
Raw honey is known to ward off infections and allergies, and to boost immunity. The bees in your neighborhood are going from flower to flower collecting pollen that you are suffering from. It would make sense that eating local raw honey in your neighborhood made from those same flowers will build up your immunity to the pollen allergies where you live.
Butterbur is a big leafy green plant used for generations to alleviate migraine headaches, stomach ulcers, coughs, allergies and asthma. Butterbur in its natural form as a tea or extract is the best way to use it for allergy symptoms.
In a study, published in the British Medical Journal, a group of Swiss researchers showed how just one tablet of butterbur taken four times daily was as effective as a popular antihistamine drug in controlling symptoms of hay fever – without the traditional symptom of drowsiness. In a second study butterbur worked effectively in relieving symptoms of grass allergies. Who needs drugs when you can find what you need naturally in nature?
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used for numerous medicinal purposes such as boosting immunity, controlling weight, and caring for the skin and hair; it promotes alkalinity and PH balance of the body. Unfiltered and unpasteurized ACV contains the amazing Mother of Vinegar which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules.
The best way to use apple cider vinegar for your allergies is on a consistent basis. Mix 1 tablespoon ACV with 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon raw honey and drink three times a day. Let it go to work in your body. It may take several weeks before you see any positive results. Be patient as this mixture of natural ingredients begins to balance out your GI tract and build up your natural defenses to fight off all types of allergies.
If you have allergies don’t rush out to buy the newest allergy medicine just yet. Take a look at your diet, eliminate the possible inflammation culprits, and eat plenty of the right foods to fight that inflammation first.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI.)