5 Surprising Home Remedies for Allergies
Allergic reactions can change a day from good to bad in a few minutes. What makes them even more annoying is that there doesn’t seem to be a cure.
Many medications have been made to try to combat these reactions, but not everyone is comfortable with using drugs.
In this post, you’ll learn about simple home remedies you can use for your allergies. Let’s dive in.
What are allergies?
An allergy, or allergic reaction, is a reaction that occurs when the immune system of a person is hypersensitive to specific substances.
In other words, it is the immune system overreacting to foreign substances that are typically harmless.
The foreign substance that instigates the allergic reaction in the body is known as an allergen.
And it could be anything really, but common examples of allergens are pollen, dust, bee venom, pet dander, some food substances, some medications, etc.
Examples of allergens are:
- food substances like wheat, milk, egg, etc.
- venom and stings from insects like bees, wasps, etc.
- animal products like cockroaches, pet dander, etc.
- plant products like pollen, resins, etc.
Related: 8 Common Types of Food Allergies You Need to Know
What are the causes of allergies?
Allergies aren’t outrightly bad. You’ll find out why.
The immune system of the body is concerned with destroying harmful substances and invaders in the body. It is your body’s natural defense mechanism.
The immune system produces antibodies that fight against these invaders, all in a bid to protect the body. But when the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance, allergic reactions occur.
Researchers do not know the exact cause of allergic reactions. But they know what happens during one.
During an allergic reaction, allergens bind to the antibodies – immunoglobin E (IgE) that the immune system produces.
Upon binding, some cells, including mast cells, release certain chemicals. It is these chemicals that trigger an allergic reaction.
The commonest of the chemicals it releases is histamine. Histamine is responsible for the tightening of muscles in airways and blood vessels.
Histamine also causes the production of more mucus by the lining of the nose.
All of these are done to protect the body. So, the immune system during an allergic reaction can be likened to over-protective parents; they don’t mean bad, but they can be pretty annoying.
Examples of common allergies
There are different types of allergic reactions. An allergy will cause irritation and inflammation in some parts of the body.
The type of symptoms the individual will observe depends on the allergen. Below are some of the symptoms people observe and their triggers.
Dust and pollen
- Nasal blockages and congestion
- Nasal discharges
- Irritation in the eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itchy mouth
- Swelling of tongues, lips, and face
- Abdominal cramps
- Swelling around the region of the sting
- Itchy rash
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of face, throat, lips
Home remedies for allergies
1. Saline solutions
Saline sprays and other saline nasal irrigations can be used for stuffed-up sinuses. Also, saline sprays and irrigations aim to rinse the nasal cavity with a saline solution.
According to a 2012 review, saline solutions are useful in children and adults with hay fever (allergic rhinitis).
You can make your own saline solution by mixing salt and warm water. The water you use must be pure, so only distilled and boiled water are acceptable.
You can administer the solution with a Neti pot or a saline spray. The latter is more comfortable and accessible.
2. Local honey
Honey, the nectar of gods, localized to a region, may help to relieve allergic reactions. Scientists cannot pinpoint the exact way it does this.
Although it is generally believed that since honey is made by bees and bees transfer pollen from flower to flower, taking pollen-adulterated honey will protect you from the allergic reactions that can be caused by pollen in that region.
While there have been little studies to back up this claim, a 2011 study in Finland showed promising results of using pollen-adulterated honey and using unadulterated honey.
3. HEPA filters
HEPA, High-Efficiency Particulate Air, filters trap airborne allergens like pollen, pet dander, etc. You can ‘clean’ the air in your house by using HEPA filters.
Even better is the fact that they are portable, although HVAC systems, which are less portable, are more effective. HVAC means Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning.
4. Essential oils
Various studies show that some essential oils can help relieve the symptoms of allergies. Examples of such oils are peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, and frankincense essential oil.
The oils can be applied topically or by spraying into the air. If you are going to use them topically, then you should dilute them in carrier oils first.
A hot shower is one of the best ways of removing stuffiness in the sinuses and nasal cavity. This is particularly useful in many allergic reactions.
But there’s even more benefit in people with springtime allergies. Showers help to rinse off allergens from the skin, hair, and nails.
This prevents the allergens from getting on your clothes, bed and pillow covers, furniture, and other parts of your house.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, you should shower after working in a garden.
Allergies are never nice, but they should not be the reason you are not having a nice day.
You will find these home remedies particularly useful for allergies, but do not hesitate to visit a doctor or use medications if the symptoms become severe.