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Archive for April, 2010

I’ve been an allergy sufferer forever, it seems, and have only been tracking my symptoms and home remedies for just over 2 years now. My allergy symptoms are the best they have ever been, and I now feel comfortable writing about my regimen here.

A note about taking herbal pills or other OTC medications: Please consult your doctor about the best treatment for your specific allergies. Always try to avoid the allergen before taking any treatments internally. I am relaying my regimen for anecdotal informational purposes only, I am not advising anyone to take these specific herbs or drugs into their bodies unless they have fully researched them throughly first and consulted with their doctor.

With that said, these were my symptoms in the past:

  • itchy, watery eyes
  • sneezing
  • sinus congestion
  • large amounts of clear mucus from sinuses
  • overall irritation and tickling of nose/face
  • coughing, wheezing
  • phlegm around vocal cords
  • itchy throat

And this is what I am allergic to:

Outdoors:

  • the rain and/or high humidity: specifically mold in the air
  • pollen, possibly ragweed and any/all others
  • grass, freshly mown
  • cottonwood tree (this is the worst!)
  • leaf mold
  • smoke (esp. from burning leaves)

Indoors:

  • pets: hair or dander (does it matter?)
  • dust, inc. kitty litter dust
  • dust from the carpet padding
  • feathers (feather bed, down blankets)
  • hay, and hay dust (for feeding Chestnut)
  • perfumes and scented lotions
  • Commercial detergents and fabric softeners

Hmmm, it’d probably be easier to list things I’m not allergic to! The point is that I have allergies all year-round, not just during “pollen season.”

Beginner’s Regimen:

Continue to take OTC medications if needed. I started to notice a difference in 2 weeks, and had no more symptoms with in 3 months.

Intermediate Regimen:

  • Turmeric capsules: 2 a day at breakfast and dinner
  • Yerba Mate capsules: 1 a day at breakfast
  • Yerba mate iced tea: as needed

After my symptoms decreased, I stepped down my herbals. I was able to go outside without having allergy symptoms, even after a rain. I still had an occasional swollen throat while sleeping, so I still kept some turmeric by the bed and took a capsule as needed. The mucus would break up about 30-60 mins after taking the turmeric.

Advanced Regimen:

  • Turmeric capsules: 1 a day as maintenance
  • Yerba Mate iced tea: because it tastes good!

This was about 6 months after I started the regimen. At this stage, I put the featherbed back on the mattress. I had no symptoms. I still had turmeric by the bed, but it just gathered dust.

During the winter, I usually have a relapse, and become hypersensitive to the rabbit’s hay, and high humidity (so I am allergic to snow as well as rain—go figure). I wear a super-duper filter mask while feeding the hay and scooping the cat litter. I always wash my hands thoroughly afterwards. We put an air purifier in the bedroom to help with the air quality. It’s not a fool-proof method. When I have a relapse, I still take an OTC product (generic Zyrtec), and drink Yerba Mate tea (hot or iced).

More Info:
Yerba Mate and Allergies
More Info about Yerba Mate
Turmeric and Allergies
More Info about Turmeric

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Yerba Mate blends well with lots of flavors, including mint

I love to drink iced tea, and when it is made with Yerba Mate (pronounced “erb-ah mah-tay”) it has the extra benefit of alleviating my allergy symptoms. It tastes similar to green tea, and does have some naturally occurring caffeine just like green tea.

Ingredients:
1 yerba mate tea bag
1 tea bag of choice, my favorite is black currant flavored tea, but herbal mint is great too
1 liter of water (4 cups)

Directions: Heat water up to boiling. Turn off the heat, and add tea bags. Yerba mate gets brewed for 5 minutes; brew black and green teas for 3 mins, and any herbal teas for 5 mins.

In a 2 liter pitcher, add ice cubes up to half to three-quarters full. Add sugar to taste (I add 2 tbsp fructose and 1 stevia packet, which is the same as 5-6 tbsp table sugar). Pour hot tea over the ice cubes and stir. Serve over ice in glasses.

Makes 4 servings

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