Natural Defense Against Inhalant Allergies
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology has some surprising statistics related to inhalant and allergies in general. More than 11 million Americans receive medical treatment for allergic rhinitis. Approximately 13 percent of people aged 18 and older suffer from sinusitis. Inhalant allergy symptoms are the most prevalent outdoors during spring and fall. Indoor allergens can affect allergy sufferers all year-long.
- Allergen Triggers
Individuals with sensitive immune systems encounter allergens in many different environments.
- Grasses, trees, flowering or garden plants and weeds all release pollen in the spring.
- Mold spores and pollen also becomes airborne after a rainstorm. Mold and pollen are released once again during fall.
- Mowing the lawn, raking leaves or even walking across a field may trigger reactions in inhalant allergy sufferers.
Indoors, dust mites, dust, mold spores and pet dander are the biggest threats. Reducing indoor threats involves keeping the home as clean as possible.
- Regular weekly vacuuming of floors, furniture and carpet cleaning eliminate trapped dirt, dust and other particles that can become air-borne.
- Encasing mattresses and pillows in vinyl covers and washing bedding in hot water helps greatly reduce dust mite problems.
- Keeping windows and doors closed during the summer and using air conditioners reduces humidity levels and keeps outdoor allergens from invading.
- Inhalant Allergies
Red, itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose and bouts of sneezing are some of the most common upper respiratory symptoms. Symptoms may progress to include more serious and life-threatening ailments that include asthma. These signs are the body’s way of reacting to an allergen that the immune system perceives as a possible threat. When inhaled, the immune system responds by triggering IgE antibodies to combat the invasion. Histamine and other chemicals are released and inflammation occurs. The battle takes place in the nose, sinuses, throat and ears. In severe cases, the reaction includes the lungs.
- Diet Essentials
There are many different foods that provide welcome allergy relief by providing a wealth of nutrients while minimizing inflammation and calming the immune system. Regular consumption of raw fruits and vegetables along with certain herbs and spices effectively reduces allergy symptoms. Many afflicted with inhalant allergies find that juicing is beneficial. The nearly effortless approach merely requires a list of fresh ingredients and a juicer or blender.
Some may find the nutrient-rich beverage strong on flavor. The juice can be diluted with water if needed.
- 1 cup of parsley
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1 or 2 peeled lemons
- 1 or 2 apples
- 1 ginger knob if desired
- Honey or Stevia to taste
Add all of the ingredients to the juicer with the exception of the chosen sweetener. Strain the juice and sweeten as needed. The recipe makes 16 ounces of juice that are best consumed as one serving to gain the optimal benefits.
Along with a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber, the ingredients encourage natural gut flora health.
- 2 apples
- 2 peeled oranges
- ½ teaspoon of fennel
- 1 knob of ginger
Combine all of the ingredients in the juicer and enjoy this bright orange drink.
Warm Citrus Fire
The bright red color combined with the heat that the ginger provides offers a touch of home fire warmth during the frigid winter months. This beverage boosts natural immunity while reducing inflammation and promoting digestive tract health.
- 1 peeled grapefruit
- 2 peeled regular or blood oranges
- 1 peeled lemon
- 1 peeled beet
- 1 ginger knob
Combine all ingredients in the juicer and enjoy.
Many other foods are thought to help reduce allergy symptoms naturally. These include the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, nuts and seeds. Apples, berries, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and tea all contain quercetin, which reduces inflammation by inhibiting histamine release. Garlic not only interferes with histamine and other inflammatory chemicals but also offers natural anti-microbial properties. The popular Indian curry spice turmeric can be used as seasoning or taken as a supplement for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Better dietary choices also lead to better overall health.