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Gesundheit!

As a kid I counted myself lucky. The only time I suffered from allergies was when I was near a cat. I happend to own a cat, and I loved my sweet “Baby” (that was her name!). I could pet her and love her up, but I would have to wash my hands immediately after, or my eyes would be red, puffy, itchy along with my throat and lots of sneezing.

My siblings, on the other hand, all had terrible allergies. So bad, as a matter of fact, they actually received shots twice a week from our Pediatrician for them.

Well, my good luck has apparently run out! I moved to St. Louis from Los Angeles five years ago, and everyone said “Oh, you’re in for it now! The Midwest is AWFUL for allergies!” I didn’t believe them. Until NOW! According to a new report, this year is the worst we’ve had for allergies in over 100 years! And I have not been left behind!

I thought I had a flu, or cold or something. Come to find out, I was suffering from allergies! Some of my symptoms? Headaches. Itchy Throat. Watery Eyes. Tiredness. Stuffy nose. Breathing issues and even some slight vertigo all have been contributed to…you guessed it…allergies!

I have been taking Zyrtec during the day and if it’s really bad, I’ve been taking a benedryl at night as well. But BOTH make me so sleepy! And they don’t always work! So I have looked up some alternative medicines and thought I’d share with you what I found.

Obviously, I’m no doctor and this is my disclaimer (and WIL’s..!) always see your Doctor, and these are just things I found! Good luck and let me know your tips! I sure ***SNEEZE*** could use them!

Basically, an allergy is a catch-all word for a wide variety of reactions to substances that the body determines to be foreign. Anything that it does not recognize as itself can be considered an allergen.

Symptoms can include: itching and watery eyes, runny and congested nose and sinuses, sneezing, respiratory symptoms, headache, skin reactions and rapid heart beat. Other symptoms may include fatigue, intestinal gas or pain, abdominal bloating and mood changes.

Drink lots of water. Some vitamins that might help: Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, Vitamins A & E, and Zinc.

Get a good colon cleanse (not my thing, but…hey, if it works for ya!)

Drink some Green Tea

The amino acid Selenium, papain, licorice root and calcium (in health food stores, as your Doc first ALWAYS!)

According to WebMD there is a natural remedy causing quite a stir: it is the European herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus), which, says Hardy, “has had some very impressive clinical trial results.” In one study, published recently in the British Medical Journal, a group of Swiss researchers showed how just one tablet of butterbur four times daily was as effective as a popular antihistamine drug in controlling symptoms of hay fever — without the traditional symptom of drowsiness that sometimes occurs. I’d be willing to try it, if I could find it!

Also from WebMd.com: In addition to herbs, many naturopathic doctors also believe certain nutrients can be helpful in quieting seasonal symptoms. Among the most popular are grape seed extract and a flavonoid compound known as quercetin. Although both occur naturally in many foods — and are especially abundant in red wine — when used in supplement form they can be extremely helpful in reducing allergy symptoms, particularly in conjunction with vitamin C, says James Dillard, MD.

My mom used to take us down to the beach when my siblings allergies got bad, saying that the salt air was good for them. We don’t have a beach here, unfortunately, but I have taken a very steamy shower and that really seemed to help!

Good luck and Gesundheit!