Is There a Home Remedy for Allergies?

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Dear Granny, I have a wonderful cat, but I am allergic to her. Most of the time I can solve this by keeping her clean and brushed. However, in the spring when my other allergies kick in, I find myself sneezing and wheezing with red puffy, itchy and irritated eyes. Is there a home remedy for this? I don’t want to feel like a drugged out zombie all spring.

Well, we can’t have you stumbling around like a drugged-out zombie!! You’d be no use at all to anyone, and frankly, I haven’t heard of any casting calls for zombies in upcoming movies, so you’d be unable to even get a job. Let’s see if Granny can help you.

 Now, I don’t know where you live, but out here in the sticks allergy season starts in March and doesn’t end until the first good, hard freeze. Since you seem to be able to keep your kitty allergies at bay most of the time, it sounds to me like the culprit to blame for your itching eyes and snotty nose is most likely pollen.

I’m sure that you already know this, but it bears repeating: your body is overreacting to cat dander, pollen, and who knows what else by sending your immune system into high gear to attack these ‘invaders’, creating histamines. There are plenty of fine homeopathic remedies you can try to ease the symptoms of an allergy attack. The thing is, you really need to take most of these before an attack if it’s possible.

One of the most prevalent herbal remedies for allergy symptoms is nettle. That’s right, nettle, that nasty sticky pointy stinging weed is actually good for something. Nettle contains a natural form of antihistamine. You can usually find capsules of freeze-dried nettle leaf in health food or whole food stores. You should take 500 milligrams of nettle three times per day during allergy season.

Or, you may also try ginkgo biloba; it’s such a friendly and useful natural remedy, good for so many things! Although it was first touted for its memory-boosting properties, ginkgo can also stop allergy symptoms. And good news: because of the memory boost, you won’t forget to take it for your allergies, too! Your dosage of this can vary, but anywhere between 60mgs and 240mgs per day should work.

Before we could dash out to the health food store for remedies, we used to use local honey to prevent allergies. What you’re actually doing is helping your body become accustomed to the pollens in the area. Find some locally produced honey in the comb, and take about two tablespoons of the honey per day. Also, scoop out some of the beeswax, and just chew it for a little while ten minutes should suffice. Do this throughout allergy season, and start it again next year right before allergy season begins. Prevention never tasted so good!!

Now, let’s help your symptoms. To ease irritated nasal passages, there’s no better remedy than simple salt water, what folks like to call a saline solution. A rose by any other name  Although you can buy saline nasal sprays, there are a couple of things I don’t like about  ’em. First off, companies usually add a preservative, and I don’t like unnatural things going into my nose. Secondly, the spray is very fine droplets, and it’s forced too far into the nasal passages; this can cause dependence on the spray, and can even aggravate your symptoms. So don’t rush out and buy spray; make your own salt water (or saline solution, if you want to sound all fancy-schmancy) at home. Take one cup of warm water, stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and voila! Saline solution! Take either a bulb syringe (what you use to suck out tiny babies’ snotty noses)or a plain old turkey baster, suck up some of the salt water, lean over a sink with your head to one side, and GENTLY squeeze the bulb into one nostril. You’ll want gravity to do the work for you. Blot, blow, and then repeat on the other nostril. Truly, keeping your mucous membranes hydrated is one of the best things you can do year-round.

Breathe steam. That will also keep moisture where it needs to be, and will loosen congestion. You may add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil to some boiling water, remove it from the heat, and breathe the steam. Of course, you can also make yourself a cup of hot tea, breathe the steam from the mug, and get to enjoy the tea as a bonus.

As far as your poor itchy eyes, nothing beats a cool damp washcloth for instant relief. I feel as strongly about eyedrops as I do regarding nasal sprays; unless your doctor prescribes them, steer clear.

Well, I’ve once again taken a simple answer to a simple question and turned it into Granny’s rendition of a novel. Please pet that kitty for me. And come on back anytime; Granny’s always glad to see you.



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The answer to "Is There a Home Remedy for Allergies?"

Question asked on June 2, 2008at 10:42 am:: Comments (0)

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