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Allergy is a response of the immune system. It only occurs when a harmless substance attacks the body and it tries to attack it by creating antibodies as a triggering response. While there could be a lot of triggering agents, some of the basic ones include dust, food, and dander. Conventional allergies can be easily treated with medicines and environment changes whereas chronic allergies need medical attention. Either way there exists some great natural supplements which when applied can immediately deal with seasonal and occasional allergies:
- Probiotics: Natural probiotic supplements include kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut etc. They are known to assist the immune system and can alter the course of allergy. The fermentation of probiotic produces good bacteria that assist the immune system.
- Quercetin: It is a bioflavonoid that can be found in beans, onions, red wine, leafy vegetables, apples, etc. They have anti-oxide and anti-inflammatory properties can give allergies a run for their money. Research suggests that quercetin contains certain substances that successfully block allergy creating elements.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays get strokes in fighting allergies and setting the immune system right. They can successfully stop the development of allergies in the body. The body fetches the right level of vitamin D with a 10 minutes walk in the sunlight.
- Stinging Nettle: This is a plant that effectively counters allergy by fighting with symptoms such as a headache, anaphylaxis, migraines etc. The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb fight allergy symptoms instantly.
- Butterbur: This again is a herb that contains medicinal properties and can successfully counter allergic symptoms. A study found that butterbur is as effective as a certain allergic medicine such as Zyrtec. Another good thing about this supplement is the fact that they do not put a person to sleep like other allergic drugs.
- Steam inhalation: When hot steam is accompanied with eucalyptus oil, tea tree, rosemary oil, myrtle oil and inhaled for about 20 minutes, instant relief is expected. For patients with chronic allergy, this natural supplement can be tried twice in a day.
- Lemon oil: Lemon oil is one of the versatile agents for treating allergies. It fixes the immune system, drains lymphatic fluid and detoxifies liver toxins. They can also be used as a disinfectant for washing clothes and home.
- Honey: Honey is one of the most tested agents for countering allergy. They can create greater tolerance to pollens and is widely considered as one of the most effective long-term solutions for chronic allergy patients.
- Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin that is extremely effective for treating cold and allergy. Being a disinfectant, turmeric can instantly arrest allergic symptoms.
- Astragalus: It is a Chinese herb, which has proved to be mighty effective for treating allergy over the years. Its anti-inflammatory properties can arrest allergic symptoms such as sneezing, asthma and itching.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.
Festive season is a time of fun, beauty and indulgence. There is always an excitement when Diwali is around the corner. It is all about fun, mingling with your family and friends, and eating sweets and snacks. But during this mood of elation and celebration, one forgets that what goes inside also shows up externally. There are the endless parties for which you would dress up and style. So there will be the blow drying, ironing, styling, make-up, late nights, and to top it all, the alcohol and cigarettes. This, coupled with the excess smoke and pollution affects the skin and hair to a large extent.
Here are few tips on how can you keep your skin glowing and hair healthy during the festive season. To start with, let me explain what damages your skin and hair and how.
- Sugar – Sugar suppresses the activity of our white blood cells and thus makes us more susceptible to infections. It also worsens allergies and causes damage because of the breaking down of good proteins, leading to the formation of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE). AGE makes the proteins in the collagen and hair stiff and hard; thus speeding up the process of skin ageing and making the hair brittle. One of the main reasons for wrinkles, deep lines, and sagging skin is AGE. So gorging high sugar foods during festivals can lead to fine lines and excessive dryness. So please be mindful of what you are eating during this time.
- Smoke – Smoke and pollution damage hair and skin. It makes the skin dry and scalp irritated or even itchy. Too much exposure can lead to boils/ folliculitis, skin rash, and acne exacerbation. To prevent this, you should wash your hair and body thoroughly the day after the festival to counteract the damage caused by smoke and ash.
- Excessive make-up and styling – You need to dress up and look pretty on festival days. This means excessive make-up and hair styling products, blow drying, and ironing. Not all this is harmful, but what worsens the situation is when you ignore or forget to remove them all off after the party is over. Always remember to follow your night-time skincare regime and cleanse your hair of all the styling products.
- Alcohol and cigarettes – These worsen the condition of your hair and skin. Alcohol makes the skin flushed and dehydrated with broken capillaries. And cigarettes compromise the blood supply to your skin. So cut down on cigarettes and alcohol as much as possible.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Be on a healthy diet always, especially a month before the festivals start.
- Avoid too many sweets.
- Drink plenty of fluids like water, coconut water, and buttermilk.
- Try to cut down on your alcohol intake and cigarettes.
- Apply an anti-oxidant cream which contains vitamin A, C, E or Q10 during the day, underneath your sunscreen.
- Remove every trace of make-up and apply a good nourishing night cream.
- Start oiling your hair with light oils like the ones which are coconut-based.
- Do not use mousse on hair. If you do, then wash it off at night or the next morning.
- Blow drying with low heat is better than ironing. Ironing can lead to hair breakage.
- Avoid harsh surface chemical treatments during the Diwali month – be it for skin or hair.
- Include some cardio exercises in your daily routine.
So, follow these simple steps to look gorgeous and feel gorgeous during this festive season!