Home remedies for allergies

Here is a primer on three categories of allergic reactions and a few common household cures

By Shahin Ashraf Ali

There are several home remedies commonly resorted to for allergies. However, professionals in the medical field spoken to advice, “Understanding the allergic reaction and its cause is mandatory for an effective cure and prevention of the same.”  So here is a primer on three categories of allergic reactions and a few common household cures.

External irritants
Smoke, dust, feathers, animal hair, pollen, plants, mould, ingredients in cosmetics, perfumes, washing and cleansing products, air fresheners, and other pollutants in the air can cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, rashes, wheezing, running nose and soreness, irritation and inflammation of the eyes, nose, throat and mouth.

Ingested substance
Certain foods, ingredients in edible items and even antibiotics can result in an allergic reaction in some people who consume them. The reaction may not occur instantly and can manifest after some time in the form of diarrhoea, flatulence, heartburn, giddiness, sweating, skin irritation, headache or sore mouth and throat. 

Emotional triggers
Nervousness, emotional upheavals, stress, tension, worries, anxieties can create allergic reactions as stated for the above two categories.

Popular home remedies
If you can identify the allergen bothering you, either by yourself or with professional help, then all you need to do is take care to avoid the things you are allergic to. Meanwhile here are some home cures for allergic reactions on the skin.

Mint juice
Applying the fresh juice of mint leaves is believed to be an effective antihistamine in cases of contact dermatitis, eczema and insect stings.

It is said applying buttermilk compress on skin allergies controls and heals the irritation.

Bengal gram
There are folks who vouch for the efficacy of Bengal gram in soothing and healing skin allergies. Simply washing the skin using Bengal gram flour is very beneficial in cases of eczema, contact dermatitis and scabies.

Cucumber-carrot combo
Fresh cucumber, carrot and lettuce juice is said to be an effective antidote for allergic reactions on skin. You may apply it externally and even consume it.

Holy basil
Some naturopaths recommend applying basil juice for treating skin allergies. It is even suggested that consuming a few holy basil leaves daily will strengthen your immune system and help fight the allergens from within thus protecting you from experiencing the discomfort of a reaction.

Boiling a bunch of neem leaves and using the water to have a bath is said to comfort and heal skin allergies.

Walnut tea
Herbalists sometimes recommend walnut tea for treating skin allergies. Soak walnut and its leaves (approximately two teaspoons) for ten minutes or so in one cup of water. Strain and drink the liquid. It is a long term treatment necessitating one cup two times a day for a couple of months.

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She is a consultant gynaecologist at Jaslok and Lilavati Hospital.

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