Friday, 28 December 2012

5 Home Remedies for Allergies

1: Use Saline Solution

Irrigating the nose with saline solution (salt water) may help soothe upper respiratory allergies by removing irritants that become lodged in the nose and cause inflammation. In fact, saline solution may even wash away some of the inflammatory cells themselves.
You can buy ready-made saline solution at your local drugstore, or you can make your own fresh solution daily by mixing a teaspoon of salt in a pint of warm, distilled water and adding a pinch of baking soda. Bend over a sink and sniff a bit of solution into one nostril at a time, allowing it to drain back out through the nose or mouth; do this once or twice a day. (If you also have asthma, however, check with your doctor before trying this remedy.)

2: Wash

If you've spent long hours outdoors during the pollen season, wash your hair to remove pollen after you come inside. The sticky yellow stuff tends to collect on the hair, making it more likely to fall into your eyes.
If you wake up in the middle of the night with a coughing, sneezing allergy attack, a hot shower may wash off any pollen residues you've collected on your body throughout the day. (You might want to change your pillowcase, too.) It may also help open up your sinuses, at least for a while, making breathing a little easier. The warm water may even help you relax and go back to sleep.
If your eyes are itchy and irritated and you have no access to allergy medicine, rinsing your eyes with cool, clean water may also help soothe them. Although not as effective as an antihistamine, this remedy certainly can't do any harm.

3: Beware of the Air

Breathing polluted air can worsen symptoms. In fact, airborne toxins can actually cause allergies in some people. If you suspect that air pollution triggers your attacks, spend as little time outdoors as possible on smoggy days. When you must go outside, wear a surgical mask, especially while exercising. Don't expect miracles (the mask won't screen out all allergens) but it may help you breathe a little easier.
Tobacco smoke is a notorious irritant, either causing or aggravating respiratory allergies. Don't let your friends and family foul the air with cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. And, of course, if you still light up, stop it!
A fresh breeze blowing through an open window on a spring day may sound inviting, but it's bad news for an allergy sufferer, since it can fill the house with pollen. To minimize contact with the powdery stuff, keep windows closed at all times. Air purifiers, especially those with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filters) filters, may help eliminate indoor pollen, but they also tend to stir up dust, which might worsen some allergies.
On a windy day in pollen season, a pair of sunglasses (or your regular prescription eyeglasses, if you wear them) may also help shield your eyes from airborne allergens. For extra protection, try a pair of sunglasses with side shields or even a pair of goggles.

4: Drink Peppermint Tea

Allergy sufferers throughout the centuries have turned to hot tea to provide relief for clogged-up noses and irritated mucous membranes, and one of the best for symptom relief is peppermint tea. Peppermint's benefits extend well beyond its delicious smell; the essential oil acts as a decongestant, and substances in peppermint contain anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial constituents.
To make peppermint tea: Place 1/2 ounce dried peppermint leaves in a 1-quart jar. Fill two-thirds of the jar with boiling water, and steep for five minutes. (You can inhale the steam for added benefit). Let cool, strain, sweeten if desired, and drink. (Note: Peppermint tea should be used with caution in children, as the menthol in peppermint may cause them to choke.)

5: Steam Your Face

Breathing steam refreshes and soothes irritated sinuses, and it helps rid the nasal passages of mucus. While it takes some time, it will make you feel wonderful! Boil several cups of water and pour into a big bowl (or a plugged sink). Lean carefully over the bowl, and drape a towel over your head. Breathe gently for 5 to 10 minutes.
When you're finished breathing steam, use the water for a second purpose: Let the water cool until warm, saturate a washcloth, and hold the cloth on your sinuses (to the sides of your nose, below the eyes, and above the eyebrows).

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