For many people, seasonal allergies and hay fever are like taxes: unavoidable and really, really annoying. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare says more than three million of us are plagued by those familiar springtime symptoms – runny or blocked nose, sneezing and watery eyes – and women are more likely to suffer than men. If you’re tired of tablets and sick of sprays, there may be other options.
1. Hose Your Nose
Flush the nasties out of your nasal passages with a neti pot, a ceramic container that dispenses a saline solution. A 2008 study by the University of Wisconsin found nasal irrigation, which began as an Ayurvedic remedy in India, can improve congestion and pain by up to 40 per cent “Many people buy saline sprays, but a neti pot is much more effective,” says devotee Jane Pike, 43, from Melbourne.
2. Get in Your Ear
Holistic health coach SJ Culley, of www.consciouslife.com.au, swears by garlic ear oil, also an Ayurvedic remedy. Warm 125ml of organic sesame oil on the stove, add a large garlic clove and simmer until the garlic starts to spit. Allow the mixture to cool, then strain into a bottle with a dropper. Squeeze several drops into the ear canal and leave for up to 20 minutes, then drain and repeat on the other side.
3. Slip into Silver
It sounds like something from a sci-fi flick, but clothes made from silver can reduce eczema and other skin allergies. Using nanotechnology, silver ions are added to cotton fibres, which are then spun into clothing. “The benefits have been clinically proven. NASA even uses the latest silver technology in its garments,” explains Stephanie Holdsworth, from Allerchic, www. allerchic.com.au.
4. Cut out the Chemicals
You may think a squeaky clean home is an allergy-free home, but research suggests chemicals found in many cleaning products make the symptoms worse.† Swap your supermarket cleaners for chemicalfree ones. “The moment allergy-causing chemicals are removed, you will notice relief and, over time, longer-term benefits will be seen,” says Barb de Corti, from ENJO cleaning products, www.enjo.com.au.
5. Get Therapy
Immunotherapy involves exposure to tiny amounts of specific allergens – either via injection or
under-the-tongue drops – so that the immune system gradually learns not to attack them. Once controversial, in 2008, the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care found that immunotherapy can help many allergy sufferers. To find an allergy specialist, visit www.allergy.org.au.