Throughout history, civilizations have compiled natural remedies for health and healing. But where should you begin sifting through this flood of possible solutions to solve the problem plaguing you? From supplements to herbs and plants to “kitchen cures” straight from your fridge and pantry, Meredith Hale’s book Home Remedies (Wellfleet Press, 2015) is a collection of the best cures for common ailments. Whether you’re plagued by fever, toothaches, insomnia, or anything in between, this book contains a comprehensive and unique list of natural fixes for your illness.
Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to substances that most people’s bodies find harmless, such as pollen, ragweed, or dust. Symptoms can include sneezing, itchy eyes, and rashes, among other, more serious reactions. Allergies may be triggered by food, medications, or matter absorbed through the skin or air, such as detergents or pet dander. Common treatments for allergy symptoms include over-the-counter antihistamines and prescription nasal sprays. Severe allergies should be managed by a doctor, and may require lifestyle changes and medication.
Minor allergy symptoms can be treated with easy-to-find plants and oils, as well as some simple modifications in the home.
Also referred to as “stinging nettle,” this plant functions as a natural antihistamine that can be taken as a tea or in capsule form. To make the tea, place the herb in a mug, pour boiling water over it, and steep for five minutes. Capsules of the freeze-dried leaf can be found in health food stores; take 300 milligrams twice a day.
Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammatory responses. Flaxseed is available in capsule form, or you can add 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily to a cold beverage such as juice.
Fight the Mites!
One of the most common triggers for allergy sufferers is dust mites. Dust mites are tiny insects residing in house dust, and the fecal matter they leave on bedding, carpets, and upholstery can plague allergy sufferers year-round.
To ease the distress caused by these bugs, try these tips:
• Air condition your home. This both lowers the humidity and filters the air in your home, making it less hospitable to dust mites.
• Use a dehumidifier. Again, dust mites thrive in humid air. Keeping your home dry will greatly reduce the dust mite problem in your home.
• Change your sheets frequently. Washing your sheets in hot water will help kill the mites.
• Vacuum carpets and rugs. Use a model with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, and consider hardwood floors or tile if possible.
While dust mites may seem to be all around you, with a little work, it’s possible to fight back, get some relief, and make yourself more comfortable in your own home.
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Reprinted with permission from Home Remedies: An A-Z Guide of Quick and Easy Natural Cures by Meredith Hale, published by Wellfleet Press, 2015.