What is allergic rhinitis?
From the brief explanation of your symptoms it seems likely that you may have allergies or hay fever (allergic rhinitis). This problem is caused by hypersensitivity of the mucus membranes and immune system, inflammation and irritation which results in irritation and dryness of the mucus membranes of the nasal passages. Airborne allergens such as dust, moulds, pollens, pollution and chemicals will aggravate these symptoms and trigger this allergic immune response. When these allergens enter the nose they initiate an inflammatory response via histamine production in the mast cells (immune cells), this histamine raises the production of inflammatory mediators and an immune response and leads to the symptoms of a runny nose, itchy nose and throat, itchy watery eyes and sneezing.
Alternatives to anti-histamine medications
There are some alternatives to these medications which can give better long term results so that you don't rely on pharmaceuticals for management of your symptoms. Herbs such as Pinella, Skullcap, Albizzia, Ginger, Bupleurum, Nettle, Olive Leaf, Licorice, Korean Ginseng, Chinese Red Date and Perilla are anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine in action. A good herbal combination to soothe the mucus membranes is Fenugreek and Horseradish which should be easy to find in a tablet form supplement at a Health food shop.
Diet tips for allergic rhinitis
- Reduce dairy, refined wheat and sugar in your diet (three common allergens). This will lighten the load on the liver and lymphatic system and also help to reduce acidity in the body
- Drink plenty of water to ensure that you are well hydrated (at least two litres/ day) to help flush the kidneys and lymphatic system of wastes
- Herbal teas such as fenugreek and rosehip, ginger, chamomile, peppermint, elderflowers, licorice may help to soothe mucus membranes and decrease allergies
- Eat fruits such as red grapes and berries as these contain powerful antioxidants to help combat any external pollutants
- Start each day with a small glass of warm water and add some lemon juice to it. Lemon juice has an affinity for cleansing the body
Lifestyle factors for allergic rhinitis
- See a Health care professional and have an allergy test to determine what you are specifically allergic to and then reduce exposure to these
- Do a liver detoxification to help the immune system be less sensitive and able to cope with foreign particles (allergens) better
- Try to get out of the city now and then. Go swimming and walking in the fresh air. Breathe deeply and take advantage of the healing power of nature
Natural remedies for allergic rhinitis
- Cod Liver oil is high in Vitamins A & D which are natural anti-inflammatory's to reduce inflammation of the mucus membranes
- Natural anti-histamine herbs are Perilla, Albizzia, Scutellaria and Cats Claw may be taken in conjunction with Echinacea, Golden Seal, Licorice, Marshmallow, Zizyphus, Garlic or Fenugreek
- Vitamin C and bioflavinoids (especially hesperidan) as this reduces inflammation and allergic responses
- Fish oil may help to help decrease the dryness of the lining of the respiratory tract and retain moisture in the the nasal passages