Allergic reactions have the power to trigger or bring on asthma. For those who suffer with allergic asthma, inhalation of substances such as pollen, mildew, dust mites, and animal dander sets off the inflammation and swelling of the air passages, leading to symptoms of asthma. The lining of the nose and airways are very similar and are affected in a similar manner by the allergic inflammatory process.
Studies suggest that treatment of allergic rhinitis (also called hayfever) can actually improve asthma. Allergen immunotherapy is a type of allergy treatment that can significantly improve asthma. For people who experience allergic asthma, reducing the exposure to the allergic substance can also reduce asthmatic troubles and in some cases, completely control it.
Medicines aimed at cutting down inflammation are also good for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, and non-allergic asthma. Corticosteroids serve to reduce inflammation while intranasal corticosteroids are sprayed into nostrils, reducing inflammation which results from hay fever. Topical corticosteroid creams applied to skin are shown to reduce the inflammation associated with eczema. Additional medications are more effective for one condition over another. Antihistamines are generally employed to treat allergic rhinitis, but have a very small benefit for asthma.
A family history of allergies is the most substantial risk factor for people who deal with allergic asthma. Anybody with allergies is much more likely to develop an asthmatic condition. Allergic asthma is the most common form of of this disease, however, there are additional types and triggers of asthma including exercise-induced asthma and non-allergic asthma which is triggered by infections or cold air or food such as ice cream. Realising the relationship between the body’s immune system and how the airways respond has helped to improve treatment of asthma symptoms for many people who live with allergic asthma.
Although scientists do not completely understand why allergies develop, it is thought that a combination of factors produce the immune system confusion, from genetic predisposition to environmental elements. There are two primary classes of risks which can add to the development of allergies, those that can be altered and those which can’t. Numerous things which may prevent allergies need to happen at a very young age.
Family history is believed an uncontrollable risk factor as is age and immune response. The responses of the immune system are beyond anyone’s control. Once the body becomes sensitive to a substance, the immune system creates large amounts of antibodies to battle the allergy.
It is possible to reduce allergy symptoms by limiting exposure to known allergies. Healthy eating habits and exercise can further fortify the immune system and help head off unwanted allergic reactions.
But, now that we understand what allergies are and how they relate to asthma, is there anything natural we can do to help prevent or help allergic symptoms? Yes, there are.
One natural allergy remedy which is highly recommended is apple cider vinegar. Frequently, the only complaint most have with apple cider vinegar is the taste. Most people who use apple cider vinegar to address allergies recommend taking two tablespoons a day, mixed with juice or water.
Carefully selecting foods you eat is an added natural way to cut down or address allergy symptoms. A whole lime, squeezed into water, has been known to help allergy sufferers. Vegetable juices and bananas are highly recommended.
To flush nasal secretions, mix one teaspoon of non-iodized salt or sea salt with 2 cups of warm water and just a pinch of baking soda. Pour the mixture into a shot glass, tilt your head back, close one nostril with your thumb, and sniff the solution with the open nostril. Then blow your nose gently. Repeat on the other side.
To clear excess mucus from sinus cavities, combine the juice from one root of horseradish with the juice of three lemons. Take a 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture between meals for several months until the mucus in your sinuses clears.
There are many plants used all across the globe, that are used as treatments for histamine (allergy) attacks. Here are some of the most accessible and reliable:
Chamomile is rich in Anti-Histamine properties. The flowers of the plant can be crushed and used in a poultice for inflammation. Brew a tea and drink 2-3 times daily. Chamomile can cause histaminic allergic reactions in some really sensitive individuals. If this happens, simply discontinue.
Papaya is known to inhibit the secretion of histamine. Juice of the papaya can be ingested and applied topically to help curb a histamine attack.
Stinging Nettle – The same plant which will bring on hives if its hairs shoot their histamine into you can act to cure the problem. Freeze-dried Nettle leaf extract, taken in capsule form, will address hives and allergies. The plant doesn’t contain adequate histamine to cause a problem when taken orally. Stinging Nettle tea can be brewed from the leaves or you can cook the plant as greens. The plant’s stinging hairs lose their sting once the plant is cooked.
Echinacea is a widely utilized remedy for infections of the upper respiratory tract. Echinacea has also been shown to have antihistamine properties.
Fennel is abundant with the antioxidant flavonoid “Quercetin”. Quercetin is a substantial natural antihistamine demonstrated to be very helpful for allergies as well as histamine-related inflammation. Make as a tea and drink 2-3 times per day.
Ginger works very well on allergic reactions such as hives and wheals. Boil one sliced-up ginger root in eight cups of water for 30 minutes. Allow the root to steep for an additional 30 minutes and drink 2 to 3 cups daily. You may also add this brew to a hot bath and soak for 20-30 minutes.
Thyme is another natural antihistamine, in addition to having antiseptic properties which help purge infections.
Vitamin C is thought to be a natural antihistamine when used at high doses of around 3,000 mg to 5,000 mg daily.
Wild Oregano, aka Wild Marjoram, contains a minimum of seven different antihistaminic chemicals. This herb helps fight allergies as well as fungus and infection.
There are also several essential oils which are beneficial for combating allergies and their symptoms.
Essential oils should always be blended in a base oil in order to avoid irritation and then massaged into the skin. Never use essential oils internally.
Caraway Seed Oil has both antihistamine and antimicrobial properties and is very good at treating mild allergic reactions.
Clove Oil also features antihistamine properties and is helpful in the treatment of dermatitis brought on due to allergic reactions.
Lemon balm (also known as Melissa) has antihistamine properties and is known to help with allergies as well as being useful to treat both eczema and headaches.
Some good herbal and essential oil recipes to help relieve your asthma and allergy symptoms:
Hayfever Oil Blend
Put 1 drop each of Chamomile and Lemon oils onto a tissue and inhale. Hay Fever usually affects people in different ways. Treatment is often a case of trial and error. Experiment with the oils.
Add the following combination to baths:
* 2 drops Chamomile
* 2 drops Lemon
* 1 drop Lavender
Massage the neck, chest and back with the following:
* 2 drops Chamomile
* 1 drop Geranium
* 1 drop Lemon
* diluted into 1 teaspoon Base Oil
For asthma, make a tea of equal parts decocted vervain (verbena), horehound, and elcampane roots. Simmer for about 20 minutes, strain, and cool. Drink about 1 pint 3 times a day.
The proper British treatment for prolonged bouts with asthma is thin onion slices soaked in honey. The resulting syrup is administered four times a day until the condition improves.
Elecampagne Respiratory Tea
Elecampane is used for chronic lung conditions, Asthma, Bronchitis, colds and pleurisy. Simmer 1/2 ounce of dried root in one pint of water for 20 minutes. Drink after meals.
Recipe to stimulate the immune system:
For children, pour 30 mls of Carrier Oil such as sweet Almond, Grapeseed, or Evening Primrose into a smaller container. Add to it 5 drops of Orange, 5 drops of Grapefruit, and 5 drops of Lavender. Massage into the skin, including the feet and legs. Also add 3 drops of the mixture to a diffuser. For adults, double the amount of each essential oil to 10 drops.
Allergy Relief Soak:
Fill a bowl, basin or bathtub halfway full with lukewarm water and let it set several minutes.
Combine 2 tablespoons of sea salt or bath salts with the following essential oils:
3 drops Lavender
1 drop Rose
1 drop Geranium
Soak your feet for 20 minutes (or longer). Pat feet dry and put on a pair of socks.
(Allergy Relief Soak recipe comes from Valerie Gennari Cooksley, aromatherapist and author of “Aromatherapy: A Lifetime Guide To Healing With Essential Oils”.)