10 Ways to Reduce Your Child’s Allergy Symptom, Naturally!
Now that you’ve figured out what your child is allergic to and how to lower their allergy bucket as I talked about in my last blog post, Allergies 101: Lower Your Child’s Allergy Bucket, it’s time to learn how to manage your child’s allergy symptoms, naturally!
There are a variety of natural treatments that can significantly reduce allergy symptoms, without the drowsiness that many over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications can cause, or the problems that long-term steroid use can create.
- Clean up your child’s diet!
- Ensure that your child’s diet is rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods. Try to have your child “eat a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Eat Omega-3 rich foods, like wild salmon or other “safe” seafood. You can download a consumer guide for “Best Choices” of seafood through the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (Monterey Bay Seafood Consumer Guide)
- Encourage fermented foods or supplement with probiotics as a powerful way to strengthen the immune system and help relieve allergy symptoms. If you need help picking the right probiotic supplement, be sure to download my free Guide to Choosing Your Child’s Probiotic.
- Eat foods that are rich in Quercetin.
- Quercetin is a “natural anti-histamine” with powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Quercetin is found in many foods, such as raw onions, apples (especially the skins!), red grapes, kale, spinach, capers, watercress, cherries, green and black tea leaves, bee pollen, and chili peppers.
- Avoid foods that are rich in histamines or that cause histamine release.
- Unfortunately, chocolate, wine, and strawberries top this list! Other foods that can cause histamine release or are high in histamines include avocados, bananas, dairy, eggs, oranges, peaches, pineapples, raspberries, spinach, and tomatoes. Yes – some of these foods are also on the high quercetin list, so you’ll have to see how your child reacts.
- Fermented foods, which have tons of health benefits, can potentially cause increased histamine release and may need to be avoided during high-allergy season.
- Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives can increase histamine release. Yet another reason to stick with WHOLE, unprocessed foods!
- Avoid foods that may cross-react with pollens you are sensitive to. This is known as Oral Allergy Syndrome – you know that itchy mouth you get after eating cantaloupe – it could be due to your ragweed allergy! What are other examples of cross reactivity?
- Ragweed Pollen – bananas, zucchini, cantaloupe, sunflower seeds, cucumber.
- Grass Pollen – melons, oranges, swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, wheat.
- Alder Pollen – almonds, apples, cherries, celery, hazelnuts, parsley, peaches, pears.
- Birch – apples, plums, carrots, cherries, fennel, walnuts, pears, potatoes, peaches, wheat.
- Avoid dairy products during allergy season as dairy can thicken mucous secretions, making unpleasant allergy symptoms even less tolerable, in addition to triggering histamine release.
- Eat local honey!
- Local honey has been shown to reduce allergy symptoms. Local honey contains pollens from all the local plants, flowers, trees, and grasses that your child is allergic to. So why take it? Small frequent doses can “desensitize” you if taken before allergy season starts, similar to the concept of allergy shots. This is best taken 2-3 months before allergy season starts.
- Take 1-2 teaspoons daily for several months before pollen season begins.
- Take natural allergy supplements that contain Quercetin.
- As mentioned above, Quercetin is a powerful natural “anti-histamine.” It reduces histamine release from cells when exposed to an allergen, so it works better as a preventive. When your child already has a ton of histamine floating around, then overlapping Quercetin to prevent further histamine release while taking a medication anti-histamine like Claritin for a few days to mop up the histamine that has already been released, can work wonders!
- Quercetin can be difficult to absorb from the gut and be delivered in a form that our body can use. Various forms have better absorption and bioavailability. My current favorite is Alpha-glycosyl Isoquercetrin by Integrative Therapeutics.
- When combined with other supplements, Quercetin can pack even more allergy punch. Concurrent vitamin C supplementation helps to activate quercetin. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples that has anti-inflammatory properties and can help thin mucous, along with N-acetylcysteine. Stinging nettle is another anti-inflammatory herb that blocks histamine production and supports healthy nasal passages. Our favorite product that contains all four of these supplements is Orthomolecular Products D-Hist and D-Hist Jr – these work best when first taking a “loading dose” followed by a maintenance dose.
- Use homeopathic medicines to provide immediate relief from those annoying allergy symptoms.
- Homeopathic medicines are my first go-to for any type of ailment. No side effects, no drug interactions, safe for infants and pregnant/breastfeeding women, AND they work!
- Homeopathic medicine work best when tailored to your child’s individual symptoms. Consult with one of our doctors to figure out which homeopathic medicine(s) is best for your child’s specific allergy symptoms.
- If you don’t have access to an awesome integrative pediatrician, then you can always try combination homeopathic medicines. Boiron’s Sabadil is a combination homeopathic medicine that can combat the most common allergy symptoms. When eye symptoms predominate, Boiron’s Optique eye drops can work amazingly well.
Be sure to download my FREE guide to The Top Homeopathic Medicines for Allergies. This guide will help you know exactly which homeopathic medicine to give for your child’s allergy symptoms!
- Acupuncture is a powerful option for both prevention and treatment of allergies. Acupressure can be used at home, on you or your child, along with various essential oils that can help keep allergy symptoms at bay.
- Acupressure uses your gentle, loving, yet firm massage on specific acupuncture points to stimulate healing
- Points that can be massaged specifically for allergy include:
- “Large Intestine 4” – located in the webbing between the thumb and index finger
- “Liver 3” – located in the webbing between the big toe and second toe
- Take a look at www.wikihow.com/Do-Acupressure to see exactly where these points are located.
- For another AMAZING resource on the healing benefits of acupressure and Chinese pediatric massage, get this FREE Acupressure 101 Guide from my dear friend, Robin Ray Green – pediatric acupuncture expert extraordinaire and author of “Heal Your Child From the Inside Out: the 5-Element Way to Nurturing Healthy, Happy Kids.”
- Use essential oils.
- Essential oils can be diffused or massaged into specific acupressure points. Some essential oils that are particularly helpful for allergies are chamomile, eucalyptus, lemon, lavender, and peppermint.
- When using essential oils for acupressure, you can add 5 drops of essential oil to a tablespoon of “carrier” oil like olive oil or jojoba oil, and use this to massage into the specific acupressure points mentioned above.
- Be sure to buy essential oils from a reputable manufacturer to ensure that they have the intended therapeutic qualities. Some of my personal favorites are Elizabeth van Buren, DoTerra, Vibrant Blue Oils, and Young Living.
So, put away that tissue box, take control of your allergies, and feel great outdoors again!
How will you use holistic allergy treatments for you or your child?
I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below. As parents, we all learn so much from each others’ experiences and stories.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share in your journey to take charge of your child’s health, naturally! If you found value in this, please share it with your friends, family or colleagues – anyone who may benefit from an integrative approach to their or their child’s health care.
xo Holistic mama doc – Elisa Song, MD
(Updated on April 3, 2017 from a previous post with even more awesome information!)