Kids haven’t always been so sniffly and sneezy; a Swedish study of more than 7,000 school children revealed that between 1979 and 1991, the number of cases of asthma, hay fever, and eczema nearly doubled.
Other ailments also can cause these symptoms. However, any time your child manifests them, call your doctor; don’t try to diagnose the cause yourself.
• Allergic “shiners”—dark circles under the eyes
• Puffy, watery, itchy eyes
• Runny nose
• Chronically swollen glands, especially in the neck
• Recurrent headaches or migraines
• Skin rashes such as hives or eczema
• Recurrent episodes of gastrointestinal distress such as stomachache, gas, diarrhea, sometimes constipation
• Bedwetting and incontinence
• Chronic or recurring infections of the ears, bladder, or sinuses
• Hyperactivity or poor concentration
• Anxiety, irritability, depression, or persistent insomnia
A good holistic practitioner with training in nutrition and allergies can help you identify and eliminate allergens and correct any underlying factors such as poor digestion. Several of your child’s body systems may need nutritional and herbal support. Continued exposure to histamines and other inflammatory substances can tax the immune system, exhaust the liver’s detoxifying powers, and overwork the adrenal glands’ anti-inflammatory capabilities. Herbs and other nutritional supplements can help heal these systems, in addition to relieving allergic symptoms.
Herbs to Ease Allergy Symptoms
Eyebright has anti-inflammatory and astringent actions and helps decrease excess secretions from nose and eyes.
Bayberry contains tannins, the same astringents found in black and green tea. It helps dry excess respiratory secretions. If your child’s throat is dry and scratchy, choose a different herb; but for sneezing and runny nose, bayberry tea or capsules can be helpful.
Rose hips make great-tasting herbal teas, syrups, and glycerites; they’re also among the highest sources of vitamin C and bioflavonoids on the North American continent. These nutrients have natural antihistamine and immune-boosting properties.
Adapted from Kids, Herbs, and Health by Linda B. White, M.D. and Sunny Mavor. Copyright © 1999, Linda B. White, M.D. and Sunny Mavor.
Reprinted with permission of Interweave Press.