How To Defend Yourself Naturally From Allergy Attacks
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on September 4, 2009 by Paulina Nelega, RH
The immune system determines that an alien substance is a threat to the body and creates a response which you usually entails itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose.
Most people these days will reach for an antihistamine to block their body’s reaction to a known allergen. Whilst these do work they can have long term negative side effects.
Your best bet to naturally defend yourself from allergens is by reducing your exposure to them.
One of the most important aspects of allergy defense inside your home is to keep the humidity out by using a dehumidifier. Using an exhaust fan in your bathroom will help prevent mold and mildew from forming which can lead to allergy attacks.
Choose The Right Vacuum Cleaner
When looking for a new, or better, vacuum cleaner, look for one that has a “highly efficient particulate air” filter, as referred to as a HEPA filter. These filters have been designed to ensnare dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and other airborne particles from your carpet. Carpets usually hide the most allergens so remember to vacuum your home regularly.
Once you have come inside for the night, place your dirty clothes in a hamper rather than leaving them on the floor. Your clothes attract a multitude of airborne particles such as pollen and dust which can then fall off your clothes and scatter around your house.
Although most people already do this, showering right before retiring to bed is a great way to rid yourself of any pesky allergen. The water will wash the allergens off from your body and hair. If you don’t you are practically sleeping with a dirty film of allergens all over your body.
Protect your bedding with special mattress and pillow covers to eliminate dust mites from living in your bed. Replace your pillow at least once every two years and regularly air your mattress as well. Dust mites eat the particles of your flesh that have fallen off your body whilst you twist and turn at night in your bed.
Sometimes it is the products we use to clean ourselves and our house that we are allergic to. Before switching cleaning products or laundry detergents, ask the company to send you a sample first. Purchase trial sizes of a shampoo or hairspray that you wish to try before spending the money on the larger sizes.
As lovely as they smell, air fresheners can cause allergic reactions in some people; whilst in others they can make allergies seem worse. Scented candles and air fresheners that plug in to an electrical outlet are the worst culprits. Remove these from your house and see if your allergies ease up.
Another leading cause of allergies amongst people is pet dander. A common misconception is that people are allergic to the hair on a cat or dog. The truth is that the proteins that are found in a pets dander, saliva and urine that cause allergic reactions in people. Dander is merely dead skin cells that have flaked off of a cat or dog. Make sure that you bathe and brush your pet’s fur regularly to reduce the amount of dead skin cells that can fall off.
If you find that after following all the above tips, you are still have allergy attacks, then perhaps you should consider the fact that you could be allergic to a particular food or drink. To figure out if a food allergy is behind your allergies, start writing down a list of everything that you eat and drink. Then when your allergies flare up you can remember what it was that you ate or drank. Most food allergies will occur a few minutes to an hour after ingesting an allergen. The most common are dairy products, wheat products, corn, and citric juices.
If all else fails to improve upon your allergy situation, that perhaps it is time that you consulted with a holistic practitioner or homeopathic doctor. They can perform skin tests by placing small samples of various common allergens onto your skin and then waiting to see if a reaction occurs on your skin. Once the cause of your allergens have been figured out, the holistic practitioner can then suggest herbal remedies for you to try to eliminate your allergy attacks.
Photo Credit: babyparentingguide
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan