"When asthma is controlled, look for: sign of a cold, coughing at night, symptoms interfere with exercise, exposure to triggers (sudden changes in temperature). Normal stage rescue treatments include 20-minute steam shower, tablespoon of local Maryland honey, Vicks vapor rub, Ibuprofen or Tylenol every six hours. Additionally, take asthma rescue medicine every 4-6 hours for 1-2 days (listed below)."
This is an example of just ONE of my children's asthma and allergy medicine routines, which I must provide to daycares, schools, sitters and immediate family members. I must ensure that they all can identify signs my children might be having an asthma attack. The example is also the normal stage rescue treatment (green zone), so you can only imagine how involved the next two escalated stages are.
Nowadays, it seems like everyone has eczema (or atopic dermatitis), allergies, and asthma, and with good reason. Global warming is causing pollen counts to increase year after year and prolonging pollen-producing seasons, intensifying seasonal allergies, Vox reports. I didn't have any of these as a child, yet now as an adult, I have my own allergy and asthma routine.
Kerry M. Pittman, ND is a Los Angeles celebrity naturopath, energy medicine practitioner, and author of The Tequila Diet. Kerry specializes in whole health makeovers at her private practice. She describes environmental allergies as a misguided reaction in your body by an overloaded or overstimulated immune system in response to substances that really shouldn't bother it.
The economic cost of asthma in the United States is nearly $82 billion a year and asthma results in 5.2 million lost school days a year. Eczema is a type of allergic disease, and last year a study published by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggested that Black people have greater treatment challenges with allergic diseases (eczema, increased atopy and asthma) and require higher doses of some medications to get relief.
My children have prescribed medications to handle their respiratory issues, but whenever I can, I do try to integrate natural remedies and solutions. For example, the use of raw, local honey to combat asthma and allergy issues is not an urban legend, the honey reduces throat irritation for my children after persistent coughs. It contains natural vitamins, enzymes, powerful antioxidants, and other important nutrients and can strengthen the immune system.
Here are four other ways to address your child's allergies naturally:
1. Eliminate the worst offenders in your home.
If your child is constantly exposed to an allergen trigger, it can make improvement much more difficult. For dust mite allergies, do your best to eliminate dusty surfaces and encase your child's pillow and mattress with allergen protection covers. If pollen is an offender, keep windows shut, take shoes off at the door, and consider an air cleaner. In addition, if you think you might have mold in your home triggering symptoms, you can purchase a mold petri dish such as Pro-Lab Mold Test Kit to test your home for toxic and allergenic mold. Contact a mold remediation company if necessary.
2. Try homeopathy.
Homeopathy supports the body's innate healing capacity. It is based on the paradoxical theory that "like cures like." In other words, the same substance that causes a set of symptoms in a large dose can relieve those symptoms in an extremely diluted dose. Homeopathic mixtures targeting allergy symptoms are available in both liquid tinctures and quick dissolving pellets.
3. Add a probiotic.
Probiotics can help improve the health of the intestinal flora in the digestive tract, support the immune system and may be beneficial in the treatment of asthma and allergic rhinitis (runny nose). Lactobacillus GG and L. gasseri in particular are believed to be two of the best probiotics for allergies, along with L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis. Try introducing sugar-free coconut Kefir or yogurt to your child or add a chewable probiotic such as Culturelle Kids Chewables Daily Probiotic.
4. Consider herbal remedies.
The practice of using herbal supplements dates back thousands of years. One of the best herbs for allergies is stinging nettle. This plant reduces inflammation and lowers histamine production which is the culprit behind that runny nose and itchy eyes. For children, you can make a tea of it or take as a tincture. Another age-old remedy is ginger, which is a powerful antioxidant and one of the most effective remedies to reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract caused by allergies. Try making ginger root tea with a touch of honey or stevia to make it more palatable.
As always, any adjustments to medical routines should be first discussed with your child's pediatrician or your healthcare provider. And although herbs are considered safe, it's a good idea to consult with a naturopathic doctor or an herbalist first. But the important thing to keep in mind when healing allergies naturally is to have patience. Natural therapies may not be as quick acting as certain pharmaceuticals, but there also may be far fewer side effects and even the possibility of unexpected positive results for other body systems such as digestion, energy, and mood.
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