part two

Last week I took a look at possible causes and symptoms of allergies; this week I'll explore more tips for the relief of symptoms. Before I get started talking about what remedies work to relieve allergy symptoms, I would like to stress once again that if you have a severe allergy to molds, foods, chemicals or other substances you must do your best to remove that substance from your diet or remove the source from your home or work environment.

If you suffer from some unknown malady of the skin, respiratory system, symptoms of unexplainable exhaustion or fatigue, joint pains, digestive disturbances for which your medical doctor can give no plausible explanation, you may be suffering from allergies. If allergies, asthma or eczema run in your family, you may be suffering from allergies; they do run in families. Or, if you suffer some allergic-like symptoms year round but they seem to become uncontrollable this time of year, allergy may be what's bothering you.

Food allergies can be difficult to detect at first. The experts suggest this simple test to determine food allergy. Take your pulse after resting in a chair for ten minutes. Your pulse should be between 60-80 beats per minute. Consume only the food that you are testing for an allergic reaction. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and take your pulse again. If your pulse rate increased more than ten beats per minute, omit this food from your diet for one month and then retest. During that month's time, note in a journal how you feel without that food. After one month of being without a particular food and then introducing it again you will know if you are still suffering from an allergic reaction to that particular food; you will not feel very well. The more severe the reaction to the food, the more relief you will have had by avoiding it and the worse you will feel when you retest.

Mold allergies and allergies to grasses and weeds are certainly harder to control. Once again, clean diet will help: no milk and limit your exposure to all chemicals including perfumes, dyes, smoking, fabric softeners and air fresheners. Chemical exposure seems to severely increase sensitivity to molds, grasses and weeds. Using an air purifier will help. Keeping the air conditioning and furnace filters clean is very important. Keep your basement clean, use a dehumidifier during the warm weather and don't store paper or other natural materials in the basement that may grow mold.

When using natural remedies to control allergy symptoms, be sure to start in advance of the time of year that you seem to suffer the most symptoms. Try fenugreek tea. Fenugreek has a natural drying agent that acts like an antihistamine and reduces mucous formation.

Quercitin, a bioflavanoid, part of of the vitamin C family, also has natural antihistamine properties. Quercitin is many times coupled with vitamin C or enzymes such as bromelin that work to reduce inflammation.

Other herbs good for allergies would be dandelion, burdock and goldenseal. If you are particularly sensitive to ragweed, goldenseal may not be your best choice as this herb is part of the same family as ragweed.

Homeopathic remedies available in the health food stores can be very useful for allergy-like symptoms. These remedies should be used for symptoms and not taken on a continuous basis.

Over-the-counter allergy medications taken on a long term basis can deplete stores of vitamins and minerals­­ especially B vitamins and several minerals. Natural remedies work with the body and, if taken appropriately, do not upset its delicate vitamin and mineral balance.

Till next time, Rebecca.

Posted to Zephyr Online September 11, 1998
Return to the Zephyr home page: <>