Note: When suffering from food allergies, make sure to consult your doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Use the home remedies as an adjunct treatment.
Food allergies affect 4 to 6 percent of children and 4 percent of adults every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When you suffer from a food allergy, your immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food or substance as something harmful for your body.
In the face of a perceived threat, your body releases antibodies to neutralize the foreign substance. This leads to a number of allergic symptoms.
The symptoms can range from mild to severe and involve the skin, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system and respiratory tract.
You can experience symptoms such as vomiting, stomach pain, hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, repetitive coughing, rashes, swelling of the lips or other parts of the body, a runny nose and dizziness. Most symptoms occur within a few minutes to an hour of eating.
While any food can cause an adverse reaction, there are certain common foods that cause allergic reactions most commonly. Such foods include eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, wheat, corn, soy and strawberries.
Anyone can develop food allergies. Heredity, environmental factors, a young age and a history of food allergies may put you at a higher risk.
Food allergies are a cause for concern and you must take necessary steps to prevent reactions and treat them when they occur. To help treat allergy symptoms and even cure your sensitivities, there are many natural options.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to treat food allergies.
1. Avoid Food Allergens
A key part of relieving the symptoms of food allergies is identifying the foods responsible for the distress and eliminating them from your diet.
To identify food allergens, write down everything you ate or drank in the 2 to 3 days prior to allergic symptoms appearing. Then, look for foods that were new to your body. Avoid such foods completely until your condition improves.
You can re-introduce the food allergen slowly into your diet, but only after you recover completely. If the allergen causes symptoms again, it is best to avoid that food completely.
Before buying any kind of food, read the labels carefully to look for ingredients to avoid. Also, when ordering food in restaurants, ask for the ingredient list.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Due to its antihistamine and other medicinal properties, apple cider vinegar can help fight many of the symptoms of food allergies.
It helps restore several nutrients in the body, which in turn regulates the body’s immune response. Moreover, it helps restore an alkaline pH in the body.
- Add 1 tablespoon of raw, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon each of raw honey and lemon juice.
- Drink this 2 or 3 times daily until you feel better.
3. Probiotic Foods
To ease symptoms like stomach pain and diarrhea, eat more probiotic foods. They contain a high amount of ‘good’ bacteria (lactobacilli) that help restore the natural balance of your gut bacteria and treat digestive problems. Such foods also boost your immune system.
- When it comes to probiotic foods, the best option is yogurt with ‘live’ or ‘active’ cultures. Try to eat 2 to 3 cups of plain, unsweetened yogurt daily.
- Other good probiotic foods are kefir, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, tempeh and so on. Include 2 or 3 probiotic foods in your diet for 1 to 2 weeks.
Ginger is effective for treating various gastrointestinal discomforts associated with food allergies. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties can curb digestive spasms, nausea, vomiting, indigestion as well as diarrhea.
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea. To make the tea, simmer a few slices of ginger in 2 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey for taste and drink this warm tea.
- Also, mix together 1 teaspoon each of freshly extracted ginger juice and honey. Have it before eating your meals to improve your digestion.
Lemon is an excellent immune-boosting citrus fruit that can prevent food allergies as well as treat the symptoms. It even works as an antitoxin product to help flush toxins from your system. It also keeps your body alkaline.
- Add the juice of 1 lemon to a cup of warm water.
- Add some honey and mix well.
- Drink it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and a few times during the day.
- Continue daily until the symptoms are gone.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the best home remedies for treating stomach symptoms associated with food allergies. In addition, it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. It also helps your digestive system function properly as well as boost your immune system.
- Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of good quality green tea in a cup and pour hot water over it.
- Cover and allow it to steep for a few minutes.
- Strain, then add some honey and lemon for taste.
- Drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea throughout the day.
Garlic contains quercetin, a natural antihistamine that can be very effective in treating food allergies. In addition, its anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties will help reduce the symptoms and promote a quick recovery.
- Chew 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves daily to combat the various symptoms.
- You can also take garlic supplements after consulting a doctor.
8. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle contains antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat different types of allergies, including food allergies. It can provide relief from symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, skin rashes, nausea and stomach pain.
- Put 1 tablespoon of dried stinging nettle leaf in a cup of hot water. Cover and let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain, add a little honey and drink this herbal tea 2 or 3 times daily until your symptoms go away.
- Alternatively, you can take nettle capsules, but only after consulting a doctor.
9. Castor Oil
Castor oil is another helpful treatment option. It can improve the strength and resistance of the stomach to various food items. This in turn eases the gastrointestinal discomforts associated with a food allergy.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of castor oil in a glass of fruit juice, vegetable juice or plain water.
- Drink it on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Use this remedy daily for a few days until your condition improves.
10. Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C foods help provide antioxidant and immune-boosting benefits. This vitamin also prevents the formation of histamine and aids in the removal of toxins from the body.
- Include more fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C in your diet. Some good sources of vitamin C are lemons, oranges, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, bell peppers, strawberries, sprouts and tomatoes. However, make sure that you are not allergic to any of them.
- You can also take vitamin C supplements daily, but only after consulting a doctor.
- For localized, mild skin reactions, take cool showers or apply cool compresses. Wear light clothing that does not irritate the skin.
- Keep your activity level low for a few days. Get plenty of rest and adequate sleep for a quick recovery.
- Expose yourself to early morning sunlight to help your body produce vitamin D, which helps modulate immune responses.
- Vitamin E can boost your body’s immune system, so eat foods rich in vitamin E like tofu, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, shrimp, rainbow trout, olive oil and broccoli.
- You can take an Epsom salt bath to treat skin rashes.
- At regular intervals, drink water to keep the body hydrated.
- Acupuncture and acupressure can help improve your immune system responses.
- Various asanas in yoga can reduce allergic reactions. Always learn yoga from a trained instructor.