Allergies, Horrendous Misery
October 17. 2021
“What is food to one man is bitter poison to others.” Lucretius, first century A.D.
An allergy is the unusual response of the immune system to a sometimes-unknown substance perceived as unsafe, while in other individuals probably the same substance would go unnoticed. Allergies have existed since antiquity, but it was only in the early 1800s that we find a detailed description of hay fever. It just looks as though allergies don’t seem to want to go away any time soon.
These substances, called allergens, vary. They could be nuts, pollen, insect venom, pet dander, certain foods, dust, chemicals, medicine, mold, or plants.
When the body detects these harmful substances, it reacts by creating antibodies and showing symptoms such as inflammation of the skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system issues; body aches, rashes, urticaria, sneezing, excess nasal discharge, cough, postnasal drip, breathing difficulties, itchiness, watery/red or swollen eyes, diarrhea and vomiting, wheezing or difficulty breathing. All these symptoms can seriously disrupt an individual’s quality of life.
In extreme cases the individual might require urgent hospitalization when anaphylaxis (severe, life-threatening allergic reaction) raises its ugly head. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include loss of consciousness, a drop in blood pressure, severe shortness of breath, lightheadedness, rapid or weak pulse, swollen lips, tongue or throat, nausea and vomiting.
According to the CDC, in the last 12 months as many as 19.5 million adults in the US have suffered hay fever in the United States alone and as many as 5.2 million individuals under the age of 18. Also, it shows that only 7 million of these individuals have visited their physician to diagnose and treat their allergies.
What is for sure, is that allergies are mean, could be deadly and need to be carefully prevented and monitored when they happen.
WHAT TO DO to strengthen the immune system:
- Nettle top (Urtica dioica) tea: In a teapot put two nettle tops per cup of boiling water and allow to infuse for 15 to 20 minutes. Drink as often as you like. From the second edition of the Backyard Medicine by Julie Brutton-Seal and Matthew Seal
- Plantain (Plantago major, P. lanceolata) tea: Use a heaped teaspoonful of crumbled dry leaves or one fresh leaf of plantain per mugful of boiling water. Leave to infuse for ten minutes. From the second edition of the Backyard Medicine by Julie Brutton-Seal and Matthew Seal
- Carrot juice: Put two carrots in your juicer; process, boil and drink. If instead of a juicer you use a blender, sieve before boiling. Make sure it is a good temperature for you, so you don’t burn your mouth and tongue.
- Ginger: Add to your smoothies, soups, teas
- Aloe: For skin related allergies, aloe can reduce itchiness and inflammation
WHAT TO DO to strengthen the immune system:
- Garlic water: Take four cloves of garlic and peel and cut in thin slices. Put them in a glass recipient and add ½ a litter of tepid water. Drink one glass before breakfast and one glass after dinner. You may add a couple of teaspoons of honey. From La Farmacia natural de la abuela by Ana Fernández Magdalena
- Apple water: Slice three apples and boil in one litter of mineral water, let boil for ½ hour. Let it cool and then sieve squeezing the apples through the sieve. Put in a glass bottle with a cap and put it in the refrigerator. Drink through the day, dividing into five to six servings. From La Farmacia natural de la abuela by Ana Fernández Magdalena
- Pears water: In a large sauce pan put three sliced pears, bring to a boil and let cook for 20 minutes. Cover and let it rest for a minimum of two hours. Then put through a sieve squeezing the pears and put in a glass jar with a cap. Drink four times a day. From La Farmacia natural de la abuela by Ana Fernández Magdalena
- Investigate natural ways to strengthen your immune system
- Identify what causes your immune system to react and when
- Avoid known allergens
- Keep dust catchers clean
- Consider using a HEPA filter
- Consider lifestyle changes
- Overeating might trigger existing allergies
- Limit dairy
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Photography by: Alexander Mills, Alexandre Debieve, Ben Scott, Coley Christine, and Nora Hutton @ Unsplash