I have hay fever, and am mostly allergic to weed pollen/Goldenrod. This time of year it's the worst for me, starting at the beginning of August. My symptoms are sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy throat, itchy inner ears, and swollen irritated eyelids from rubbing. I've tried a homeopathic remedy in the past and Quercitin, neither of them helped at all. I'm taking an OTC antihistamine, Chlorpheniramine, which isn't very natural, but does give relief. Here's a forwarded message with some more natural options:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird
Does anyone have any natural remedies for Allergies?
Also, for sinus problems?
Natural Anti-histamine Herbs
Histamine is a chemical, which is involved in our local immune
response as well as regulating physiological function in the gut,
acting as a neurotransmitter. During the time of seasonal allergies,
the body's immune system sees pollen as an invader. In an allergic
reaction, our body produces histamine, as a defense mechanism. This
inflammatory chemical attaches the cells in our body and causes
irritation. It is the deficiency of this enzyme that triggers an
allergic reaction as histamines gathers in the synapses.
An antihistamine serves to reduce or eliminate the effects brought on
by histamine, a chemical mediator released during allergic reactions.
Antihistamines are commonly used for allergic rhinitis, allergic
conjunctivitis, contact dermatitis, urticaria (hives), angioedema and
pruritus (atopic dermatitis, insect bites).
There are hundreds of plants used all over the world, which are used
in herbal medicine as treatments for hystamine attacks. Here are some
of the most accessible and reliable.
Basil (Ocimum sanctum): this great herb has a history in helping
prevent stomach cramps, gas as well as constipation. A poultice of
Basil leaves can can work as an antihistamine to draw out insect, bee
wasp, or snake venom. It helps alleviate acne, heal abrasions and
speeds healing when used on cuts.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): is rich in anti-histamine
properties. The flowers can be crushed and used as a poultice for
inflammatory swelling. Make a tea and drink 2-3 times a day.
Chamomile can cause histaminic allergic reactions in some very
sensitive people. If this occurs, simply discontinue.
Jewelweed (Impatiens aurea): contains a compound called "Lawsone"
that treats uticaria. Jewelweed is used as a natural remedy for
poison ivy, poison oak, okra spines, stinging nettle and acne
treatment. Jewelweed is also used for heat rash, ringworm and many
other skin disorders, as well as bug bites and razor burn.
Papaya (Petroselinum crispum): inhibits the secretion of histamine.
Papaya juice can be taken internally as well as applied topically to
diffuse a histamine attack.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica): The very same plant that will
produce hives if its hairs inject their histamine into you can work
to heal the problem. Some herbs whose pollen can cause symptoms of
hay fever have been used as a way to reduce symptoms of hay fever,
which is the homeopathic theory of "like cures like". The most
important of these are Goldenrod and Ragweed (Ambrosia ambrosioides).
Eyebright and Elder also have a reputation for use as hay fever
remedies. However, an individual allergic to one of these plants
should avoid them unless under the care of a doctor of natural
medicine. Freeze-dried nettle leaf extract taken in capsule form will
treat hives and allergies. The plant does not contain enough
histamine to cause a problem when taken orally. Tea can be made from
the leaves or cooked as greens. The stinging hairs lose their sting
when the plant is cooked.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea): Echinacea is a widely used herbal
remedy for treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. This
purple coneflower has shown to have antihistamine properties.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): In my Chinese herbal practice, fennel is
used for indigestion, spasms in the digestive tract, as well as
expelling phlegm from the lungs. Fennel is rich with the antioxidant
flavonoid "Quercetin". Quercetin is a strong natural antihistamine
shown to be very helpful for allergies and histamine-related
inflammation. Make as a tea and drink 2-3 times per day.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale): another classic herb in the Chinese
Materia Medica, ginger works well on allergic reactions such as hives
and wheals. Slice up a ginger root boil it in eight cups of water for
30 minutes. Allow the herbs to steep for another 30 after you have
boiled it. Drink 2 to 3 cups a day. You may add the tea to a hot bath
and soak for 20 minutes. Dip a wash cloth in the tea once it is at
room temperature and use as a compress.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum): Hailed the "mushroom of immortality", one
of my favorite natural remedies is Reishi (Ling Zhi). Japanese
researchers have found that reishi acts as an antihistamine, making
it useful for treating allergies. "Lanostan", a compound found in
reishi, appears to control the release of transmitting chemicals in
the body, thereby inhibiting the release of histamine. Since reishi
also promotes the adrenal function and immune reaction, it has added
effectiveness in controlling the body's reaction to an allergen.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): is a natural antihistamine, as well as
having antiseptic properties to help purge infections. The essential
oil has been shown to have antimicrobial activity against a host of
different bacteria and fungi.
Vitamin C is believed to be a natural antihistamine agent if used at
high doses, around 3,000mg to 5,000mg a day.
Wild Oregano (Origanum vulgare): aka Wild Marjoram, have at least
seven different antihistaminic chemicals, therefore fights allergies
as well as fungus and infection.
Essential Oils As Antihistamines
Essential oils should be used in a base oil (to avoid irritation) and
massaged on the skin. Never use essential oils internally.
Caraway Seed Oil: has antihistamine and antimicrobial properties and
is very effective in treating mild allergic reactions.
Clove Oil: has antihistamine properties. This essential oil is
helpful in the treatment of dermatitis due to allergic reactions.
Lemon balm (also known as melissa): has antihistamine action and is
useful to treat eczema and headaches. This essential oil has
antihistamine properties and helps with allergies.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac