Allergy Remedies from the Plant Kingdom
Since time immemorial man has turned to the environment for possible answers to his many questions. Despite the growing advances in pharmaceutical technology and more extensive understanding of allergic responses, more and more people are still finding use in what nature has to offer. As such, the use of herbal remedies for certain forms of allergies has formed the backbone of alternative therapies. And while the scientific community is struggling to provide proof of effectiveness of all herbs currently used in allergy symptom management, there is increasing scientific evidence that some herbal products are indeed effective.
The Allergy Mystery
What makes allergy incurable is the fact that it is a normal body response that has been heightened to levels that are considered unsafe. The immune system is designed to protect the body against foreign invasion through the detection and immediate removal of the invading substance from the body. However, in certain individuals, the immune system is overprotective such that even mundane things that are otherwise harmless are viewed as very threatening. Thus, the immune system mounts an inflammatory response in order to eliminate the threat.
Health and allergy experts agree that the best way to manage allergies is the avoidance of known substances or things that can stimulate an allergic response. While it may take a while before you can come up with a complete list of known allergens specific to your allergies, it is recommended that you have a ready supply of emergency allergy medications.
Herbal supplements for allergies
The long list of herbal products used in the management of allergy symptoms all point out to striking similarities with the more established pharmaceutical symptomatic treatment regimen for allergies. Many of these herbs are known to mimic the action of many antihistamines, decongestants, leukotriene inhibitors, mast cell stabilizers, and corticosteroids in the management of the many symptoms associated with allergic reactions.
Being all-natural, the allergy herbal remedies come with the added benefit of having no harmful side effects. However, their effectiveness may only be limited by the severity and extent of the allergic response in that herbal preparations may only be effective in the management of mild to moderate allergy symptoms. Nonetheless, the following herbal remedies have been proven to be particularly effective in allergy management.
- Butterbur is found to be effective in the management of the symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis and is largely considered to the herbal answer to leukotriene inhibitors.
- Bromelain, which is naturally found in pineapple, is particularly effective in reducing nasal and sinus congestion.
- The curcumin found in turmeric is known as a very potent anti-inflammatory agent that can be useful in reducing the swelling that is found in most types of allergies. It also has anti-oxidant properties that may serve as a protection against allergic reactions.
- Aloe vera has been shown to relieve skin itching, reduce skin inflammation, and promote better airway clearance to facilitate easier breathing.
- Green tea contains anti-oxidants that may play an important role in the inhibition of allergic responses. Peppermint tea has been known to be an effective decongestant as well as an expectorant.
- Other herbal remedies used in allergy management include Dong quai, eyebright, Ginkgo biloba, milk thistle, red clover, stinging nettles, and yarrow.
The effective management of allergies should not only be limited to the administration of medications. Other alternative therapies exist. It is only a matter of choosing which ones have been adequately proven by science in order to have that peace of mind needed to face the many effects of having to live with allergy.