Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

10 Drug-free steps for treating allergies naturally September 4, 2009

This is an article from my Green Living column on the national edition of

Along with Fall’s cooler air and changing leaves,  allergans linger—Pollen, ragweed, and mold are still taking their toll on allergy sufferers. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, roughly 20% of Americans suffer from allergies and another 20% suffer from hypersensitivities to food, environmental substances, or stimuli. 

So what can you do to alleviate Fall allergies? Practitioner, Dr. Wahl, DAc, LAc, CH is a Doctor of Acupuncture and herbalist who specializes in the treatment of children and adults with allergies and hypersensitivities. Here are Dr. Wahl’s 10 tips breathing easier this season:

1) Take a whole food based Vitamin C.  Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine. Dr. Richard Podell, author of When Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Best: Errors That Even the Best Doctors Make and How to Protect Yourself, recommends 1000 milligrams of vitamin C (Ester-C) twice daily to help with allergies and asthma.

2) Magnesium eases breathing Some immunologists suggest taking 400 milligrams of magnesium daily helps with nasal allergies and breathing problems. Taking more than that can cause diarrhea. If you want to supplement your diet with magnesium–rich foods, the best sources are nuts, beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and bananas.

3) Wear sunglasses when going outside Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, creates a certain amount of photosensitivity. Wearing sunglasses helps reduce your sensitivity to light and thus helps your eyes from excessive watering.

4) Bring a cold pack When you are at an outdoor sports event, periodically place a cold pack over your eyes and on your face to reduce inflammation and help relieve some of your symptoms. 

5) Drink a lot of cool water Rehydrating is one of the best ways to eliminate toxins from your body. It cools you down and provides some symptom relief.

6) Stay away from dairy If you have hay fever, eating dairy will produce even more phlegm and make you feel worse.

7) Use your bathroom exhaust fan when taking a shower This will help prevent to growth of mold in the shower. Replace your liner every month or two, if you have mold sensitivities or asthma. 

8) Keep your dryer vent clear Build-up of lint in the dryer vent will cause an excess of dust in your house. Have your vents cleaned regularly to avoid aggravating your allergy symptoms.

9) Get rid of clutter Allergy sufferers need to be especially careful about controlling dust in their homes. Clutter is a major source of dust and dust mites. 

10) Get tested for food allergies Many people who have allergies are also sensitive to different foods. These multiple sensitivities build on each other and stress the immune system. Find out what foods you are sensitive to and either eliminate them from your diet or get treated for them so you can eat those foods symptom-free.

For more info: Contact the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

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