When the thermometer hits 60 degrees for at least 3 days, it’s high season for spring allergies.
That’s when all those beautiful flowers, trees and weeds to jettison tiny grains of pollen into the air to fertilize other plants. Since pollen can travel for miles, it’s not just about your neighborhood plants and your allergy misery begins.
Your immune system can mistakenly see harmless pollen as a threat (like a bacteria), and releases antibodies to attack the threat. Your system release a chemical called histamine into your blood, which then triggers the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms that are all too familiar if you have allergies.
Of course, OTC (Over the Counter) Meds can help alleviate the symptoms – but they can have unwanted side effects that include dry mouth and drowsiness, and can impair driving ability and cause a mental disconnect that many users find irritating.
Natural remedies fight a natural problem, well, naturally! Better yet, they often have few or NO side effects.
Menthol, in lozenges, nasal sprays, vapo-rubs, inhalers, and cough syrups, is widely used as a treatment for rhinitis that is associated with acute upper respiratory tract infection and allergy. Menthol as a plant extract has been used in traditional medicine in Asia for the treatment of respiratory diseases for hundreds of years, but it was only introduced to the West as a medicine at the end of the 19th century. With the recent discovery of a menthol receptor on the sensory nerves that modulate the cool sensation, menthol has graduated from the realms of herbal medicine into the field of molecular pharmacology.
Oil from fresh eucalyptus leaves is colorless and has a distinctive odor. Many people find at least minor relief for itchy eyes and a runny nose. This oil is used in many medicinal products for good reason – it acts as an antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and decongestant in nature.
It is known for treating wounds, as well as a number of respiratory issues, including cold, cough, sinusitis, runny nose, asthma and bronchitis.
A 2004 report** shows its effect in treating non-bacterial sinusitis – patients showed quicker improvement when treated with eucalyptus oil.
Next week: Why do some people have allergic reactions, and others don’t?