Hay fever is the immune system's exaggerated reaction to tiny airborne particles of pollen and dust. Millions of people across the world suffer from the itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose that are caused by allergies. Although research is still ongoing and far from conclusive, these three natural remedies can help give you some much-needed relief from your symptoms.
Omega 3: Eat more fish
Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that can be found in fish, nuts, and flax seeds. Research shows that a diet rich in omega 3 may help the body regulate its production of the inflammatory chemicals cytokines and prostaglandin E2. A study of 568 people in Germany established a connection between individuals with a high level of omega 3 in their red blood cells and a reduced risk of hay fever
Butterbur: Natural antihistamine
The shrub-like herb butterbur (Petasites Hybridus) is thought to relieve hay fever and allergies by blocking the action of symptom-causing histamines. A study group of 186 people with allergies were given one of the following three: a low dose of butterbur (one tablet twice per day), a high dose (one tablet three times per day), and a placebo. After two weeks, both groups given butterbur reported a reduction in their symptoms when compared to the placebo group. Those given the higher dose reported significant benefits.
Acupuncture: Allergy relief and more
Acupuncture has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, treating allergies and a host of other maladies. There have been several smaller studies into acupuncture as a treatment for hay fever and other allergic symptoms. The journal Allergy published a study of 52 people where half of the participants were given acupuncture treatment once per week and asked to drink a traditional Chinese herbal tea used to cure allergies. The other group went through inauthentic acupuncture and were asked to drink regular green tea.
At the end of the six-week study, the people given the real acupuncture and herbal tea treatment revealed an 85-percent improvement in their general feeling of well-being compared to 40 percent of the group given the sham acupuncture treatment. However, both groups failed to report any difference in their symptoms.
In another study, a sample of 72 people that suffered from hay fever was given either real acupuncture treatment or fake acupuncture twice per week. Eight weeks later, the real acupuncture proved to be better at relieving symptoms with participants reporting more days without allergy symptoms.
Although the research is still far from conclusive, these three natural remedies could provide relief from an irritating runny nose and itchy eyes caused by allergies. Try a natural cure instead of reaching out for the powerful antihistamine tablets the next time your hay fever is aggravating you.
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