Allergy season has arrived

We are now coming to the part of the year where in the northern hemisphere many people have a problem with allergies.  Indeed, depending on where you are, it might already have started.  Sneezing, itchy eyes, headaches and difficulty breathing are unpleasant at the best of times, if you are driving then they are potentially very dangerous.  Until quite recently over the counter medicines would cause drowsiness however more recent medicines do not have this problem and you can drive after having taken them.  However before resorting to pharmaceutical methods, you could try some natural remedies.

In most cases, as we age, our allergies are less severe - which is just about the only thing positive I can think of about aging!  However there is an important caveat here.  As we travel in our motorhomes, we are at risk from pollen which may cause allergies which we have not been exposed to before.  Therefore we can enjoy the scents of the flowers in bloom in the Mediterranean but there is an allergic price to pay for it!

One of the most successful natural remedies is honey - but it must be local honey from a farmer's shop or directly from the producer.  Honey bought from a supermarket will have no effect unless it is local. 

Another natural cure is stinging nettles which can be freeze dried.  Nettles work as well as antihistamines in most cases and cause no drowsiness.

Dairy products unfortunately can cause immune-system irritation and if possible need to be avoided.  On the other hand you need to increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids which combat inflammation caused by allergic reactions. Fish oil or fish oil capsules are the best source.  We also need to eat foods rich in anti-oxidants such as berries which in southern Europe are plentiful.

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid can help prevent the release of histamine and can be found in the fruits and vegetables of southern Europe such as citrus fruit, garlic, parsley, apples and broccoli.  Tea also contains quercetin, so drinking it instead of coffee may help.

Water is the cure for everything, for allergies it will keep your nasal passages hydrated.

If all that fails, I found that the prescription drug Aerius worked wonders for me. It is widely available in Europe, except the UK.

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