If you sneeze and sniffle your way through pollen season, or experience hives, itching or swelling when you eat a certain food or get stung by an insect, then you’re no stranger to allergies.
“An allergy starts when the immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader,” explains the Mayo Clinic. The most common types of allergies include food allergies, respiratory allergies, contact allergies and insect sting allergies.
The following is a list of remedies for these allergies. If you have your own home remedy, leave a comment and let the rest of us know too…
Disclaimer: These home remedies are for academic purposes only. Consult a physician first.
Knowing which foods trigger food allergies and avoiding those foods is the best way to prevent allergic reactions. If you have severe reactions to certain foods, then you probably carry a epinephrine pen (syringe) and antihistamine tablets. While this isn’t a ‘natural’ home remedy, it is highly advisable to stock up with enough of these.
Vitamin B5 and vitamin E apparently prove effective in relieving the sufferer from an allergic reaction or symptom as they contain anti-allergic properties that can control a reaction.
Castor oil. Put five drops of castor oil in half a cup of fruit vegetable juice or plain water and have the solution every morning. This helps in curing the allergies affecting the intestinal tract, nose and the skin.
Lime. Squeeze half a lime in water mixed with a teaspoon of honey and drink it every morning. This solution flushes the system of impurities as it is an anti-allergic and anti-toxic agent.
Banana. One or two bananas everyday can help in warding off the symptoms of an allergic reaction like skin rashes, digestive disorders and/or asthma.
Carrot juice or a combination of carrot juice with beet or cucumber juices can help in curing allergic reaction from any foods.
Hay Fever (seasonal allergies). People with hay fever are usually troubled twice a year, in the spring and the fall (pollen seasons). Pollen is a hay fever allergy that is airborne. When they enter our respiratory system, our bodies may start to develop antibodies to resist the allergens. The allergens can also be something like pet dander which will cause the same respiratory symptoms as well as the same reactions from our bodies.
Chamomile tea. Drinking chamomile tea is supposed to be a big help in relieving hay fever symptoms. It is also beneficial to inhale the vapors from the tea.
Honey added to boiled minced grapefruit and lemon. Have this solution three times a day. To stop irritation in your nose, apply little petroleum jelly inside your nose. Boil chamomile in water and inhale fumes from the water.
Aroma therapy or steam inhalation is known to help. Mixing a few drops of eucalyptus oil to hot warm and inhaling the steam is known to lessen the severity of the conditions.
Garlic also helps clear congestion and is known to be effective against hay fever symptoms.
Quercitin is another natural substance that you can purchase in a supplement form. If you include quercitin in your daily diet, your allergic reactions should lessen in severity. Quercitin is also found naturally in red onions, apples, broccoli, blueberries, red wine and green and black tea. So stock up on these items allergy sufferers!
Plant allergies like poison ivy, poison oak or Sumac, is something that we have all probably encountered ourselves or known someone that has been smitten. These poisonous plants contain an oil called urushiol, which is an allergen. Urushiol is in the entire plant, the leaves, stems, flowers, roots etc. Contact with this oil can cause the allergic rash reaction. That is why it is very important to wash any clothing, equipment or pets you think may have come in contact with these plants. If they have the oil on them, you can get the allergic reaction by touching the oil on these items.
The rash itself can take weeks to go away. In the mean time, there are a few ways to relieve the symptoms.
Cold water compresses can help alleviate the itching.
Hot water. A method that has worked for me has been to use HOT water on the affected area (only after the oils have initially been washed away with cold water and soap). The hot water method comes with a price (initial extreme itching), however it will result in hours of subsequent relief as described in the following article, Poison Ivy Itch Relief.
Calamine lotion. Although it is a pharmaceutical and not a home remedy, Calamine lotion can also help with the itching as well as nonprescription antihistamines such as Benadryl (stock up).
Lemon. For itch relief cut up a lemon and rub the slice over the infected area it will sting but it DOES relief the itching.
Rhubarb. Break open the stalk and, like you do with aloe, rub the ooze that comes from the stem on the area.
Table salt. Just wet the infected area and rub it with table salt for fast relief and to stop the spread.
Salts ‘take-up’ grease from off the skin. The best is hand cleaner (degreaser) from automotive section of your store. Removes GREASE ‘poison’ completely. Immediately skin irritation relief.
The bottom line is that learning how to identify these plants and then steering clear is the best way to avoid having to deal with them.
Insect Sting Allergies
Bee Stings. Pulling out the stinger and keeping the area iced and clean are your first steps.
Epinephrine. If a person has a history of having severe allergic reactions to bee stings, they probably have a supply of epinephrine.
Meat tenderizer and parsley are both supposed to be fast acting on bee stings. Rub either one of these on the bee sting immediately. the pain should go away and the poison should be neutralized in a few minutes.
Paste of vinegar/baking soda/meat tenderizer. Due to the acid/base interaction of the vinegar and baking soda, the concoction fizzes like an Alka Seltzer. The meat tenderizer contains papain, an enzyme found in papaya that supposedly breaks down the toxins in bee (and other) venom. (Though the meat tenderizer and vinegar makes you smell like an antipasto sampler.)