Despite improvements in outdoor air quality, there’s been an increase in asthma and allergy attacks across the United States. Interestingly enough, you know the reason some researchers think this is happening? They believe children are spending a considerable amount of time — honestly, too much time — indoors, where they’re exposed to allergens. The National Institute of Environmental Health neatly describes allergens as “proteins that originate from cockroaches, mold, pets and dust mites.”
“Allergens cause allergies,” says NIH. They add that while most people are aware that allergens can trigger cold-like symptoms such as sniffling and sneezing, they can also trigger asthma attacks. “Allergic asthma affects about 3 million children (8 to 12 percent of all children) and 7 million adults in the United States each year”!
Thankfully enough, amidst the overwhelming amount of chemically concocted commercial remedies to counteract allergies, there are natural alternatives you can use to help alleviate children’s allergies. No one remedy is the cure-all for everyone, so you may need to mix, match and play around until you find something that works best for your child.
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Apple Cider Vinegar
An age-old tonic for a variety of things from skin and hair beautification to weight loss, apple cider vinegar reduces mucus and cleanses the lymphatic system. Mix organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar — like Bragg — into a glass of water three times per day. Organic and unfiltered brands contain “the Mother,” strand-like enzymes of connected living nutrients that make this remedy effective.
These natural bioflavonoids help inhibit histamine release and reduce inflammation. They are best applied as long-term allergy remedies. From my research, most people begin taking quercetin supplements about 4 to 6 weeks prior to the start of allergy season.
Probiotics boost positive gut bacteria. You may be wondering why I’m telling you to give your children bacteria for their allergies, but that’s because allergies are the byproduct of your immune system overreacting to stimuli and studies suggest building up your immune system with probiotics can reduce allergy attacks. You can supplement your child with probiotics in the form of fermented foods or drinks in the event you do not want to give them a high quality probiotic capsule.
This is one of my least favorite remedies. It’s kind of intimidating for me, but your child might be geeked/excited by the gross factor of it all. Neti pot use involves pouring a saline solution through your nasal passages to flush your sinuses from allergens. Both conventional and alternative doctors recommend this treatment; it has become more and more mainstream in recent years. You can purchase a Neti pot at your local health store and either purchase pre-made sterile saline rinse, or make your own at home by mixing 1 teaspoon of Himalayan or sea salt into a quart of boiled distilled water.
Dietary changes can also be applied to your child’s health. Some parents, such as blogger Wellness Mama, attribute changing nutritional profiles for their children in aiding allergy relief. Wellness Mama specifically talks about the GAPS Diet, stating it helped “relieve many allergy symptoms” her family experienced. Again, I can’t make any promises to you; all I can tell you is that every person has their own personal biological profile and it’s all about research, experimentation and of course, consultation with your family medical professional.