Australia has some of the highest allergy rates in the world. Some people suffer allergies chronically, for others they’re a seasonal affliction, with spring often the worst time of year.
Even non-allergy sufferers can experience symptoms of ‘hayfever’ (allergic rhinitis) due to environmental allergens such as pollens, grasses and dust mites. Inflammation of the mucosal membranes in the nasal cavities result in redness, itching, and a clear, serous, exudate (runny nose) in between sneezes. 1 in 5 Australians are affected to some extent.
Over-the-counter antihistamine medications are the most popular treatment option, but many sufferers develop a tolerance that reduces their effectiveness. If you find everyday antihistamines are no longer working, or want to avoid some of the common side effects of these medications — such as a dry mouth, drowsiness and dizziness — you might like to consider some of the ‘alternative’ approaches here.
Perilla is famous for its anti-allergy effect, with the flavanoid compound luteolin inhibiting histamine release.
The mustard oils in Horseradish help decongest, dilate and clear respiratory passages.
Garlic can relieve hayfever and rhinitis through the action of sulphur compounds.
Vitamin C helps to support the immune system.
Other herbs such as astragalus,