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Allergy, Asthma: Clobber Your Allergies – the Natural Way  Previous Next

Clobber Your Allergies – the Natural Way

by: Deanna Blanchard

50 million Americans are suffering from allergies right now – and they're just as desperate for relief as you are.

You could turn to allergy medications – like antihistamines – to ease your symptoms. But they come with side effects. Drowsiness is the most common, but these lesser-known side effects may surprise you …

Vanishing sex drive: Any allergy medicine that has a depressive effect – like antihistamines - can make you lose that lovin' feelin' …
Increased appetite: Antihistamines stimulate your appetite, so you eat more – and gain weight …

Depression: The sedative in some allergy drugs with antihistamines can make existing depression worse – or aggravate underlying depression …

Anxiety: Pseudoephedrine has an effect similar to drinking several cups of coffee. It could give you heart palpitations … insomnia … and anxiety …

Altered taste and smell: The preservatives and fragrances added to some allergy nasal sprays might cause your favorite foods to lose their flavor, and …

Fuzzy thinking: Antihistamines that cause drowsiness can also make you feel sluggish … less mentally sharp than usual … and impair your ability to drive.

Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on allergy medication to get relief. Researchers have found that all-natural alternatives can help your allergies – often without the troubling side effects …

Quercetin
This bioflavonoid has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities. It stabilizes your cell membranes, preventing them from spilling their pro-inflammatory histamine into your surrounding blood and tissue. And if the histamine is not released, your allergy symptoms never occur in the first place.

Studies like the one done at Chung-Ang University in Korea in 2008 show that quercetin is a safe and effective way to decrease symptom-causing histamine – and works as well as many allergy drugs.

It's important to note here that quercetin alone is barely soluble in water, so it doesn't absorb well in your body. However, you can improve its absorption by taking quercetin with bromelain, a natural protein-digesting enzyme derived from pineapples.

Butterbur
Butterbur leaf extract has been traditionally used to treat asthma and bronchitis, but researchers are finding that it also works wonders to help hay fever.

In a study done in Romanshorn, Switzerland, 580 patients were given butterbur to treat their allergies – and their symptoms improved a whopping 90%!

Another study of 125 people found that butterbur extract was as effective as Zyrtec™ at treating allergy symptoms.

Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle has been used for centuries to treat a number of conditions – including hay fever. In a study done by the Herbal Science Group, stinging nettle extract prevented several key inflammatory causes of seasonal allergies. It appears to work as an anti-inflammatory and has the ability to reduce histamine in your body – giving you allergy relief.

Grape Seed Extract
This potent antioxidant packs quite a punch. When it comes to pure, immune-boosting power, grape seed extract is 50 times stronger than Vitamin E and 20 times stronger than Vitamin C!

It's actually the proanthocyanidins in the grape seed extract that help ease your allergy symptoms. They inhibit the enzymes that produce histamines – and help keep your allergy symptoms from rearing their ugly heads.

Vitamin C
High doses of vitamin C – 1,000 mg or greater – can help tame allergic reactions.

One study done by the researchers at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn found that people who took 1,000 mg of vitamin C every day for three days had significant reductions in blood levels of histamine.

Because vitamin C is not a histamine receptor blocker, it's not fast-attacking relief. What it does, though, is help prevent or lessen allergy symptoms over the long term.

Hot, Spicy Foods
You can find allergy relief in your kitchen by whipping up spicy dishes – the hotter, the better. Hot, spicy foods thin mucous secretions, which in turn can clear your nasal passages and help you breathe easier during allergy season.

The most beneficial spices are: cayenne pepper, hot ginger, fenugreek, onion and garlic.

So check with your doctor before taking natural supplements for your allergies. For more information and the full article, visit http://www.newsblarg.com/node/1366.

Deanna Blanchard is a health writer for NewsBlarg.com.

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