Top 9 Natural Allergy Relief Home Remedies
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, one in five people, or an estimated 50 million Americans, suffer from some type of allergies. The chances are high that you or someone you know deals with ongoing allergies, whether seasonal allergies, food allergies or another type, and could use allergy relief at least from time to time.
Most people who struggle to find allergy relief go to the doctor to be treated and/or are routinely given pharmaceuticals ranging from acetaminophens to antihistamines, both of which may actually further aggravate the symptoms they were given for. If you prefer not to take prescriptions to keep your symptoms under a control, what can help allergies at home?
Home remedies for allergies — including symptoms like congested sinuses, headaches, and watery or itchy eyes — include using frankincense essential oil, eucalyptus oil and quercetin. Below you’ll learn about nine amazing, all-natural home remedies for allergies that can help provide fast allergy relief.
What Are Allergies?
An allergy is defined as a type of “bodily reactivity (hypersensitivity) to an antigen in response to a first exposure,” or an “exaggerated or pathological immunological reactions (as by sneezing, difficult breathing, itching, or skin rashes) to substances, situations, or physical states.”
In other words, allergies are due to hypersensitivity of the immune system that causes damaging responses that can affect the whole body. Some of the most common causes of allergies are things like pollen found outdoors, animal fur, dust or particular foods.
Allergy symptoms occur when your body responds to allergens by producing a chemical called histamine, which works by helping to counteract the allergen. The immune system causes allergic reactions by producing immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that cause widespread symptoms.
There are several broad categories of allergies, which include:
- Seasonal allergies (also called rhinitis or hay fever), usually worsening when pollen levels increase or change, such as during the spring or fall
- Perennial allergies, occurring year-round
- Food allergies, such as shellfish allergies
- Drug/medication allergies
- Indoor allergies, such as to mold or dust
- Skin or eye allergies
- Pet/animal allergies, such as to dogs/cats, insects, etc.
- Anaphylaxis, which is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction in response to a number of different allergens
Symptoms caused by allergies vary from person to person, depend on what causes the allergic reaction, and vary depending on how severe the allergy is. Common symptoms associated with allergies can include:
- Runny nose, itchy nose, congestion and stuffiness
- Skin rash, redness, hives, dryness, peeling or itchiness
- Tingling or itchy sensations in the mouth and on the lips
- Swelling of the tongue, lip, throat or face
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and abdominal cramps
- Coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing (asthma symptoms can sometimes be triggered by allergies)
- Dizziness, lightheadedness and in severe cases loss of consciousness
What Causes Allergies?
There are so many different things that can cause allergies that it can be hard to pinpoint which are contributing to your symptoms. Some of the most common causes of allergies include:
- Pollen from trees, plants and grass
- Dust, including the kinds found around your home
- Certain foods, especially those known to cause the most food allergies like gluten, dairy, tree nuts (especially peanuts), eggs, soy and shellfish
- Insect bites and stings
- Animal fur and dander
- Certain medications, such as antibiotics
- Latex, such as the kind used to make latex gloves or condoms
- Fragranced personal care or beauty products (cause of so called “fragrance sensitivities“)
- Smoking, including cannabis, which is associated with asthma in some cases
Conventional Treatments for Allergies
Allergies are typically treated in the following ways:
- Over-the-counter products that serve as decongestants
- Antihistamines, which are drugs that prevent the release of the chemicals that cause allergic reactions
- Immunotherapy drugs
- Eye drops
- Skin creams, including those containing antihistamine or steroid compounds
- Corticosteroids to control inflammation
- Elimination diets (such as gluten-free or dairy-free diet) to manage food allergies
- Someone with severe allergies might also carry an emergency epinephrine auto-injector (Epipen) in case of an attack
Some experts feel that the conventional treatment approaches above (besides an elimination diet) are not the best ways to manage allergies because they don’t fix the underlying causes.
When it comes to allergies, what’s important to understand is that when your immune system produces an allergic reaction to something it’s because it senses that something is not right within your body. Instead of only addressing the symptoms of allergies (itchy skin or watery eyes, for example), you need to uncover the root cause and build your natural defense system for true allergy relief.
When we take prescribed medications or over-the-counter products for allergies, these can disturb natural processes of your immune system and have other deleterious effects like altering our pH balance. To keep symptoms at bay, you will always have to take a drug because your body doesn’t learn how to adapt to allergens.
Allergy drugs, drops, creams and other products can alleviate and hide symptoms, but they don’t address the fact that the problem still exists.
Natural Allergy Relief Options
What helps relieve allergies fast? Watching what you eat, getting plenty of fresh air and drinking enough water are some of the natural remedies that can relieve allergies by improving functions of the immune system.
It may take several weeks for your symptoms to subside, but they are likely to be better kept under control when you tackle the root causes. Here are nine ways to get natural allergy relief.