Relieve Allergies the Natural Way
If spring and fall send your seasonal allergies into a spin, many experts say look to Mother Nature for relief that can be as comforting and easy as a day at the beach.
Seasonal Allergies From the Inside Out continued...
Though many nontraditional treatments can be extremely helpful, allergist
Marianne Frieri, MD, cautions that natural doesn't always mean better -- or
safer. She points out that it's possible to overdose on even the most seemingly
mild preparations, and it's important to remember that almost anything in
nature's pharmacy could cause a toxic reaction if you use too much.
More important, she says, is never to mix alternative treatments with
traditional drugs without your doctor's approval.
"If, for example, you are taking the allergy drug Allegra -- an antihistamine -- at the same time you
decide to try a natural substance with antihistaminic properties, you can end
up with far too much antihistaminic activity -- which can result in some
significant problems," says Frieri, chairwoman of the department of allergy and
immunology at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, N.Y.
In addition, both Hardy and Frieri caution that if allergies are moderate to
severe, you should not self-treat -- even with seemingly benign natural
products -- without checking with your allergist first. When you are ready to
try some alternative care, Hardy says one key to success is starting treatment
before allergy symptoms kick in. The ideal time to begin, she says, is "three
weeks before allergy season is scheduled to start."