Hay Fever - Alternative Treatment

A number of alternative therapies can help with symptom control and as preventive measures.

Aromatherapy

Inhalations of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), peppermint (Mentha piperita), or hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) may help to ease sinus irritation and pain.

Chinese Herbs

Ephedra (Ephedra sinica) has a long history as a hay fever and allergy remedy. Chinese herbalists believe it loses its effectiveness over time and so is best used for short periods in combination with other herbs. An herbalist may combine ephedra with licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis), which is thought to have antiallergy and anti-inflammatory properties. In some people, ephedra can produce side effects such as palpitations, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is another herb that's compatible with ephedra and may be especially effective when combined with herbal expectorants, which promote the expulsion of mucus. Commonly used expectorants include pinellia (Pinellia ternata), cynanchum (Cynanchum stautoni), and polygala (Polygala tenuifolia). Consult an herbalist special-izing in Chinese medicine for more information.

Herbal Therapies

The following mixture may prevent some symptoms. Infuse in 1 cup boiled water for 10 minutes: 2 parts elder (Sambucus nigra), 1 part ephedra (Ephedra sinica), 1 part eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis), and 1 part goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Drink 1 cup of this tea three times a day during the two months before hay fever season begins. Be aware that ephedra may be too stimulating for children. Regular doses of parsley (Petroselinum crispum) may help with hay fever; it is thought to work by reducing your body's production of histamine.

You may be able to slow down your body's mucus production with goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea), garlic (Allium sativum), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), or agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria). Bathe irritated eyes with compresses soaked in either eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) or chamomile (Matricaria recutita); make a tea from the leaves and dilute it by 50 percent with water or saline solution before using to soak the compresses.

Homeopathy

For watery, hot eyes, a burning nasal discharge with sneezing, and symptoms that feel worse late at night, try Arsenicum album. If your eyes feel inflamed and very watery, your nose is blocked at night but has a watery discharge during the day, and you have a headache, consider using Euphrasia. Pulsatilla can help if your symptoms-thick, yellow mucus accompanied by a loss of taste and smell-are made worse by warm rooms but are better outdoors. If your watery, itchy eyes and sneezing, runny nose with a burning discharge become worse in a warm room, try Allium cepa. Consult a homeopathic practitioner for proper doses of these remedies.

Nutrition and Diet

Nutritionists believe that refined sugar and casein, the protein in dairy products, are mucus-producing substances that are best avoided during hay fever season. Taking a commercial preparation of the mineral dolomite, which contains calcium and magnesium, may help regulate histamine production.

Some researchers believe that honey has a desensitizing and antiallergic effect that may relieve some hay fever symptoms. Two months be fore the season starts, begin eating 2 tsp daily of raw honey that comes from a nearby hive. You can also try chewing a bite-sized piece of honey-comb for 5 to 10 minutes twice a day (but don't swallow it) or taking five tablets of pollen extract supplements every day beginning several weeks before hay fever season. Check with your doctor first to avoid potential allergic reactions.

Many people with hay fever are also allergic to certain foods and may experience symptoms as a result of eating allergy-triggering substances in such foods as eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, chocolate, dairy products, wheat, citrus fruits, or food colorings or preservatives. To determine whether food allergies might be at the root of, or perhaps compounding, your hay fever problems, try an elimination diet. Stop eating all the suspected foods, including those mentioned above, as well as prepackaged or prepared foods, for 10 days. If your symptoms disappear or diminish, reintroduce one food at a time and see whether your symptoms recur. If they do, eliminate the offending food and all its by-products from your daily diet.

At-Home Remedies

The best way to combat the allergens that are assaulting you is to avoid them. Stay indoors between six and ten o'clock in the morning and on days when the pollen count is high. The pollen count drops on rainy days and climbs when it's hot, sunny, and windy outside. If you must go out-doors, wear protective glasses and hold a hand-kerchief over your nose and mouth or wear a dust mask with a filter for pollen. Resist the temptation to rub your eyes.

Keep windows- in your home and car-closed and the air conditioning turned on. Change ventilation system filters in your home once a month. Remove allergens from the air with ionizing air cleaners. Prevent mold in damp basements by using space heaters and dehumidifiers.

Avoid mowing your lawn or raking leaves since these activities stir up pollens and molds. However, try to keep your grass no more than an inch high in the spring and summer so as not to allow polfation. If you must do yard work your-self, wear a filtered mask and protective glasses: Wash your face, hands, and hair and rinse your eyes when coming in from outdoors to avoid leaving traces of pollen on your pillow.

Mites live in household dust and are impossible to get rid of entirely, but measures can be taken to minimize them:

Remove thick carpeting, heavy drapes, and upholstered furniture; put plastic covers on mattresses and pillows; keep floors clean; avoid down (feathers) in comforters, clothing, sleeping bags, and pillows; and wear a mask when vacuuming.

Prevention

Although a tendency to develop hay fever could be in your genes, you may be able to avoid symptoms by taking preventive steps and being alert to the signals. If you have eczema or asthma, be aware that you may be more likely to develop hay fever.

Consult an allergist or try the elimination or raw honey diets mentioned above. Strengthen your immune system with a healthful lifestyle including wholesome foods, exercise, vitamin supplements, and herbs. Cut down on environmental pollutants and toxins as much as possible by keeping your home clean and your yard neat. n

Magnesium Supplement

Magnesium can help certain respiratory problems : it is believed to help reduce spasm in the muscles that line the airways, and some parctitioners claim that intravenous magnesium can relieve an acute asthma attack.

In addition, magnesium intake has been associated with a reduced rick of conditions including heart disease and osteoporosis. Importantly, there is some evidence that magnesium levels are declining in foods such as fruit and veg.

Also, statistics show that the average intake of magnesium in women is below the recommended daily amount (270mg), and the situation for men is only marginally better.

Ensuring a good intake of magnesium is important. Very good sources include nuts and seeds. You might also like to supplement with a dose of 150-200mg a day.

Homemade Decongestant

Make your own decongestant by boiling grapefruit orange, or lemon peels, including the pith, in water mixed with honey until the peels are spongy, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to overcook you don't want candied fruit Eat one piece when symptoms start and one piece each evening at bedtime during hay fever season. Substances in the peel and white rind act as anti-inflammatory agents and will dry mucous membranes. Lemon is considered a stimulant expectorant that may help release mucus from your lungs.

Source : Alternative Medicine

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