Seasonal allergies have become increasingly an issue for many people in the recent years. There are many prescription and over-the-counter medications to choose from, but a lot of them have side effects, and work only for certain situations and not others. Some may work for a while, and then stop working. Some make you drowsy. Steroids are used for extreme cases – but they weaken the immune system and are definitely not safe for use during pregnancy. Antihistamines inhibits mucus secretion – which can have an impact on fertility by altering the quality of cervical mucus.
Although there are a handful of allergy medications that are generally safe for use during pregnancy, many choose to avoid the use of medication altogether. There are some foods and herbs that can help with minimizing allergies or alleviating some of the discomforts in a safe and natural way without posing any risk to the growing baby:
Herbs and spices
Cinnamon – it can help clear congestions.
Cumin – it is an important medicinal herb in many Arabian, Asian, and African countries. Its oil is used as a natural remedy for reducing symptoms of allergies.
Ginger – it is a decongesting herb.
Nettle – it has been used for treating allergies and hay fever. Besides, it is a great tonic herb that contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that are particularly beneficial for pregnancy.
Onions – they contain powerful antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral. They are a great source of quercetin, an anti-inflammatory compound. The class of chemicals that quercetin belongs to – flavonoids – have anti-allergic properties and quercetin is often used in treatment of allergies with natural substances. Quercetin is also available as supplements.
Apples – they are a great source of quercetin.
Apple cider vinegar – for centuries, a combination of apple cider vinegar and honey has been used to relieve hay fever. Add some hand grated horseradish root to this mix to relieve sinus congestion.
Raw local honey – it helps relieve allergies triggered by pollen. Do not feed honey to infant under 1 year of age.
Antioxidants – vitamins A, C, and E, beta carotene, selenium and zinc help fight free radicals
Amino acids – cysteine or glutathione help increase resistance. Methionine, combined with calcium, is an antihistamine.
Vitamins B6 and zinc – balance histamine level and strengthen immune system.
Vitamin B5 – help relieve symptoms
Foods to Avoid
Dairy products – they generally encourage mucus production
Wheat (modern strains that are high in gluten) – gluten can irritate the digestive tract and stimulate mucus production