Q: What can I do when my allergies flare-up?
A: An allergy is your body’s abnormal immune reaction to a substance that is typically harmless. These triggers [“allergens”] can range widely from pollens and moulds to animal dander and chemical additives in processed foods. Your initial contact with the substance in question doesn’t promote an allergic response. It’s during subsequent contact, after your body has developed specific defence molecules [“antibodies”], that you’ll notice unpleasant symptoms.
When this happens, a specialised defensive substance [“histamine”] is released by immune cells, and the results can vary: swelling of the skin or mucous membranes, narrowing or inflammation of the airways, dilation of capillaries, a decrease in blood pressure, or a combination of these symptoms. Natural treatments can successfully reduce your body’s allergic overreactions.
Vitamin C can act as an anti-histamine by inhibiting the release of histamine in the body. So, loading up on foods rich in this vitamin during allergy season can be especially effective at preventing a flare-up. Try eating more red bell peppers, kale, citrus fruit, broccoli, papaya and strawberries. Otherwise, take vitamin C supplements [1,000] mg daily.
If you’re suffering from allergies presently, look to a trained homoeopath for relief. Specific homeopathic remedies such as Apis mellifica, Rhus toxicodendron and Sabadilla can readjust the immune system and alleviate symptoms. You might also try a steam facial using eucalyptus, thyme or rosemary essential oils to relieve congestion. Or, take ginger capsules [1,000 mg; three to four times daily] to reduce allergic inflammation.
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