An allergy is what happens when your body detects a foreign substance it doesn’t like. Asthma is often triggered by allergies. Allergies come in 3 categories, contact, food or inhalant, inhalant being the most common. The 4 biggest airborne troublemakers are house dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold. We could go into what is in house dust that will cause the allergic reaction but I find it too gross! Lets just call it house dust and try not to think about it.

Some basic things to try:

Air condition your house. This can alleviate pollen problems and help with 2 other inhalants, mold and dust mites. Air conditioning keeps humidity low, which discourages mites and molds and they filter the air. But just having air conditioning and dont have the windows open that is the biggest help. Also air condition your car, same effects.

Use a dehumidifier, wipe down humid areas with fungicides, keep your house clean and vacuum with a vacuum that has a hepa filter. Wear a face mask while cleaning or vacuuming or mowing lawns, this keeps all the dust and pollen away from most areas that would cause a problem.

Pet dander, well you could give away your pets! However for most people having control of pet dander means, short haired animals, keeping pets well groomed and clean, and don’t sleep with your pets, you have to have 1 room that is dander free.

Replace the carpets in your house with tile or wood. Carpets feel good on the feet but are a collection plate for dander, mites, dust, a whole host of allergy causing things. Throw rugs could be an alternative, just get them small enough to be able to throw them into the washing machine and give them a complete cleaning when needed.

Now some simple remedies:

Salt: dissolve 1/2 tsp salt into 8oz warm water, load it into a bulb syringe, lean over the sink, and spray the saline into your nose. This can also be done with a nettie pot and other things like that. It’s hard to do at first but it does work and seems to have no adverse effects so it can be done often.

Hot Peppers: these are natural decongestants because they contain capsaicin, a substance that helps loosen mucus, offering temporary relief from stuffiness and sinus pressure.

Cold water fish: these contain Omega 3 fatty acids, and really, what aren’t these things good for? In this case they help reduce the inflammation involved in both allergies and asthma. Try tuna, salmon, or mackerel at least twice a week. Don’t like fish? Flaxseeds are another great source of omega 3’s. Add one tbl ground flaxseeds to juice or yogurt a day.

Tumeric: great Indian cooking spice is also a first rate anti inflammatory. The compounds it contains inhibit the release of hormone like substances involved in inflammation. Mix 1 tsp turmeric powder in a cup of warm milk and drink this up to 3 times a day.