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Allergy Sufferers Find Help Through Naturopathic Means
American television programs of the 1950s taught simple axioms such as Clear Fences Make Good Neighbors and If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All. In that simple golden era, severe allergies were extremely rare among the population, so something like a potentially lethal bee sting provided more than enough material for a thirty-minute comedic episode.
Since then, television has become less wholesome, ethics and plotlines more complex, and severe allergies more common. In fact, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that 60 million Americans suffer from allergies, and the CDC and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases both report that the number of Americans with allergies has been on the rise for the last ten years.
Various aspects of the modern lifestyle could be to blame. Some say climate change due to global warming has elongated blooming seasons, creating especially intense periods when different species’ pollen release periods overlap. A Harvard University study suggests that trees may also be releasing more pollen in response to increased levels of carbon dioxide. Increased indoor and outdoor pollution, stress, and diets high in processed foods and low in fiber may contribute to higher incidence of allergies. Finally, some follow the “hygiene hypothesis,” that our increased use of anti-bacterial products has worked all too well: everything in our homes and offices is so free of germs nowadays that our bodies are effectively defenseless against newer, nastier bacteria.
Whatever the cause, as the number of allergy sufferers rises, more and more are opting for naturopathic treatments, and turning away from the quick fixes promised by allergy pills or shots. Some choose naturopathy to avoid irritating side effects. Others have found that homeopathic approaches treat symptoms as well as the underlying causes of their allergies. Scientists aren’t yet sure why naturopathic methods can often achieve similar, if not better results, than traditional western medicine, but it may have something to do with the breadth of the naturopathic approach, which considers emotional, mental, and whole-body health, rather than limiting treatment to isolated symptoms.
Unfortunately, without enlisting a professional, it’s not always easy to find naturopathic treatments for specific allergies. To help our readers, we’ve compiled the following treatment information for various allergies.
Whether you know your special pollen allergen or simply explain your rasping cough and red eyes as “hay fever,” homeopathic methods can help. Many naturopathic experts recommend increasing your fish intake because omega-3 fatty oils have been shown to reduce allergy symptoms. Walnuts, flax seeds, and dark leafy greens are alternative sources of omega-3; a daily supplements are also an option. Try naturopathic eyedrops to naturally soothe itchy, red eyes. Many turn to acupuncture and/or herbs, including nettle and green tea, to knock out their allergies. Flushing the nasal passages regularly with a mixture of warm water and a pinch each of baking soda and sea salt is also a common treatment. Use a spray bottle, nose dropper, or neti pot for application. For a special treat, add a drop of soothing eucalyptus or invigorating tea tree essential oil. Finally, a few precautionary steps, such as regularly cleaning and showering after pollen exposure, could reduce your symptoms.
More Homeopathic Remedies: Arsen Alb, Euphrasia, and Pulsatilla. Essential oils and other applications for each may be found online or at natural food stores.
Molds, Dust Mites and Animal Dander
If you suffer from allergies, your home can be your worst enemy. After all, outside pollens and molds are reduced during cold winter months, but indoor allergens can thrive year-round, an especially nasty prospect given that molds, dust mites, and animal dander are the trigger for many symptoms of asthma. Before you medicate, create a clean, dry environment—without skin dander or moisture, allergens can’t survive long. Aim to eliminate as many breeding grounds—such as unnecessary rugs, pillows, and cloth window treatments—as possible. Commit to washing your bedding and remaining rugs in very hot water once a week, along with stuffed animals. Also consider keeping pets out of the bedroom, so that their allergy-inducing dander can’t become embedded where you spend half of your life. Last, mattress covers, sometimes called mattress protectors or mattress encasements, are an impenetrable line of defense against allergens, as they effectively block allergens from reaching you and their food supply (your dead skin). These same encasements can be purchased to protect your pillows and crib mattresses as well.
More Homeopathic Remedies: Homeopaths often recommend Arsen Alb, Sabadilla, American Stinging Nettles or Perilla to relieve symptoms associated with dust mite allergies. If, after a clean environment is created in and around your bed, allergies still seem to persist at home, consider asking your doctor or naturopathic expert about taking these supplements.
~Ben Anton, 2008
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