This hot dry summer has been tough on a lot of my clients dealing with allergies. The heat and dryness relieves those suffering with mold allergies but with no rain the particulate matter in the air is very high, leaving many allergy sufferers inside in the air conditioning.


The pharmaceutical companies have come up with several new drugs that seem to be helping those who suffer with more severe allergies but just as with all medications the body will adapt and the medication will become less than effective over time. If you suffer from severe allergies you may also be dealing with some hidden allergies to foods or chemicals. So, before we get started talking about natural remedies that help relieve allergic symptoms, I want to stress the importance of removing any unnecessary perfumes, dyes, or chemicals from your home, and either with the use of a food journal or professional testing uncover any dietary allergies.


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 fifteen to twenty 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, if you are still suffering from allergic reaction to that particular food, you will know, as you will not feel very well. The more severe the reaction to the food, the more relief you will have by avoiding it and, the worse you will feel when you retest.


Mold allergies, allergies to grasses and weeds are certainly harder to control. Chemical exposures can severely increase sensitivity to molds, grasses and weeds. Use an air purifier and keep the air conditioner and furnace filters clean. Keep the basement clean, use a dehumidifier during the warm weather and don’t store paper or other natural materials in the basement that may grow molds.


When using natural remedies to control allergy symptoms start in advance of the allergy (or your allergy) season. Even if you are not allergic to dairy avoid it during the time of your worst attacks.


Here are some favorite allergy remedies I have used and recommended.


Fenugreek tea acts like an antihistamine and reduces mucous formation. Fenugreek will not cause drowsiness like over the counter antihistamines.


Quercitin a member 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 allergy are dandelion, burdock and goldenseal. If you are particularly sensitive to ragweed, choose dandelion or burdock. Goldenseal is a member the ragweed family.


Homeopathic remedies available in health food stores are very useful for allergic 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 B-vitamins and minerals. Natural remedies work with the body and if taken appropriately do not upset its delicate balance. Till next time, Rebecca.