Natural Remedies for Allergies & Safety
If you have allergies, there are plenty of medications to choose from. But you may not want to take drugs that make you feel listless or wired. Or perhaps you’re tired of using nasal sprays for allergy treatment. Can allergy supplements offer an alternative with fewer side effects? Some experts say, yes!
Here are a few known to help:
- Stinging Nettle – Often used as an allergy treatment, there’s some evidence that using this herb early-on, right after first signs of any allergy symptoms can help a little. Use extracts of the stinging nettle leaf versus the root (the root is used to treat prostate issues).
- Bromelain – For nasal swelling and thinning mucus, bromelain has been effective in some studies. Therefore, it might make it easier for allergy sufferers to breathe especially if combined with pharmaceutical treatment for sinus infections.
- Phleum pratense – In the form of a sublingual tablet, this remedy made from pollen extracts has been shown to reduce some pollen allergy symptoms in a few studies. Symptoms such as eye irritation and difficulty breathing among asthma sufferers and those suffering with hay fever. Some claim to have been able to reduce their allergy medicine usage with the inclusion of phleum pretense.
- Tinospora cordifolia – This is an herbal tablet from India known to reduce allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and nasal discharge. While there is only preliminary evidence based on one study, it appeared largely effective during the 8-week research study conducted.
Be cautious of bitter orange (also called Citrus aurantium). Sometimes sold promoting its decongestant properties, its compounds are similar to those in the banned ephedra supplement, and it may have similar negative effects such as an increased risk of high blood pressure stroke and other cardiovascular/heart problems.
When using natural remedies just as in the use of pharmaceuticals, safety is essential. First, always follow dosages prescribed by your doctor or recommended by a pharmacist. At the very least, please follow the directions on the supplement label.
These are three tips for allergy supplement safety:
Risks & interactions: The most-used allergy supplements are reasonably safe, but check with a doctor before taking a supplement if you
- Have any allergies or medical conditions
- Use prescribed or over-the-counter medication
- Will be combining supplements with prescribed or over-the-counter mediation
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you are under 18 years old
Long-term use: Avoiding taking these supplements over long periods of time. As with any drug, the longer the duration of taking any supplement, the more potential there is for toxicity. There is little information on the safety of using these supplements for extended periods, so it is important to be cautious and to get your physician’s opinion on any long-term supplemental treatments you would like.
Allergic reactions: Be cautions regarding allergic reactions, and discontinue use if your allergy symptoms worsen or if you notice any additional allergic reactions. If you have difficulty breathing or notice any swelling in your mouth or throat, seek emergency medical treatment.