Sneeze Patrol: How to Stifle Seasonal Allergies
Natural Treatments That WorkVitamin C
How It Can Help: Vitamin C acts as an antihistamine, according to Glenn Rothfeld, MD, medical director of WholeHealth New England in Arlington, Massachusetts, and author of Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale Press, 1996). "It inhibits the histamine response, which makes your blood vessels swell and produce fluid, causing itching, wheezing, and swelling," he says. You can safely get up to a total of 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily through food (citrus fruits and red peppers are good sources) and a supplement.Vitamin B5
How It Can Help: B5 is also a natural antihistamine. You can take up to 500 mg of vitamin B5 daily.Quercetin
How It Can Help: An antioxidant found in plants, quercetin may help reduce inflammation in the airways and prevent the release of histamine, which causes congestion, according to Dr. Rothfeld. Quercetin comes in pill form, and you can find it at most health-food stores. (It's also found in plant-based foods, including apples, red and purple grapes, cherries, and onions.) Dr. Rothfeld suggests that people with acute allergies take 300 to 600 mg three times daily. Those with milder allergies can take 100 to 200 mg.Acupuncture
How It Can Help: The theory behind acupuncture is that an imbalance in the body causes symptoms, and acupuncture restores equilibrium. Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts; acupuncture may balance the immune system to prevent this response, says Dr. Rothfeld. You'll probably need to do a series of about 6 to 10 sessions.
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