The All Natural Way to Beat Seasonal Allergies

by Dr. Josh Axe

natural allergy remedies

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
  • Ragweed
  • Pollen
  • 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

1. Garlic

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.

2. Lemons

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.

4. Butterbur

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.

Sources:
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI.)
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db10.htm
http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=4&sub=82
http://www.aaaai.org/patients/jaci/content.asp?contentid=10471

About the author...

 has helped thousands of people transform their health and life through his strategies in advanced nutrition, burst training, weight loss, superfoods, healthy recipes and anti-aging. Dr. Josh is a go-to physician for professional and Olympic athletes. He traveled to London as a member of the Wellness Advisory Council for USA Wrestling and Weight Lifting team. For a high intensity workout you can do in 20 minutes a day, check out his burstFIT DVD program .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Angie April 16, 2013

Even better than butterbur is stinging nettles. Use dried as a tea. Blend with dandelion roots and leaves and add hibiscus and you have a delicious healthy tea for allergies. At the same time the liver and kidneys will be cleansed. Hibiscus for vitamin c, flavor and many other health issues (lowers blood pressure).

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Kim April 23, 2013

Re: Butterbur, you need to add something to the effect of the following caveat: “People who have a ragweed allergy should avoid butterbur, which is related to ragweed. ‘It may cause an allergic reaction in a ragweed-sensitive person,’ says Julie McNairn, MD, an allergist/immunologist in Cincinnati. I pulled this quote from an article.

I did that b/c I bought Butterbur supplements after reading your article. I took the recommended two/day for two days. On the second day, the PollenCast according to Weather.com for my area was to be No Activity. However, by the end of the day, my allergies were bothering me so badly despite not only my regular allergy medicine PLUS a little extra antihistamine & decongestant throughout the day, that at bedtime I had to take TWO full brand-name Benadryl just to get them to calm down enough to be able to sleep. No more Butterbur for me! I do have a ragweed allergy, & from what I’ve heard, I believe that is fairly common. Perhaps you didn’t realize that potential problem w/Butterbur, but you should be reporting it, too.

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Brad April 24, 2013

Kim, SO sorry to hear about your reaction to butterbur! You’re right, some people who are sensitive to ragweed can also react to butterbur since they are in the same family. We’ve added that caveat to the article. That said, don’t give up on the other natural allergy relievers. Long term they’ll be much more beneficial than antihistamines and sleep aids.

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Kim April 26, 2013

Oh, I definitely won’t! I did encounter one other slight issue, though. I was having the garlic regularly, but it seemed like after a month or so of having it raw everyday, it was starting to bother my stomach a little. I still cook w/it when it goes w/the dish, but of course that’s not everyday. If you know of a natural way to counteract that, I’m open to suggestions…

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Brad April 26, 2013

Were you taking it on an empty stomach? Perhaps taking it after a meal would help.

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Naomy April 26, 2013

Do you know if it’s safe to do the ACV/lemon/raw honey mixture while breastfeeding. I’m not sure if the cleansing will affect breastmilk and baby?? Thank you in advance!

Reply

Brad April 27, 2013

We’d say it’s generally safe. The health benefits are fantastic obviously, but shouldn’t be done with extended periods of heavy doses while breastfeeding because of the detoxification effect. A little daily for the allergies would be ok, but detoxing while breastfeeding wouldn’t be a good idea. As always trust your gut and perhaps check with your pediatrician.

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