Birch Allergy Cure

Each spring, millions of people suffer from allergies to the pollen being newly generated by various trees and grasses in their first flush of growth. Pollen from birch trees is among the most common triggers for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), with its classic symptoms of a runny or congested nose, watery and itchy eyes, and more.

Birch allergy, like many other seasonal allergies, is often aided by drugstore antihistamines---but these commercial preparations often have unwanted side effects. Fortunately there are also a number of natural, drug-free ways of treating birch allergy.

  1. Hair of the Dog

    • One of the most effective treatments for many allergies, including birch allergy, is called desensitization. Desensitization involves repeated exposure to small amounts of the allergen (the substance triggering the allergic reaction) until the reaction no longer occurs. Tongue doses of Betula 30c, a homeopathic preparation made of the compound in birch pollen that triggers allergic reactions, brought significant relief to birch allergy sufferers.

      An alternative and more homegrown way to try this same approach is to drink a daily cup of pure sap from a birch tree, if you happen to have access to one. Surprisingly, this usually does not trigger an allergic reaction.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine

    • Another promising treatment for birch allergy, and many other allergies, is TCM, or Traditional Chinese Medicine--which usually combines the use of herbal preparations and acupuncture. A double-blind, controlled study published in the September 2004 issue of Allergy magazine found that TCM provided significantly more relief for seasonal allergy sufferers than a placebo.

    Controlling Exposure

    • If no treatment is available or effective, one last way to bring some relief---at least when you're indoors---is to control your exposure to birch pollen in your home. Use a HEPA air filtration system at home, in your bedroom if nowhere else, and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. And try to keep your windows closed during the birch pollen season, particularly during the peak pollen hours of 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. An air conditioner can help with this. Frequently bathe any pets that go outside, and dry all your linens indoors, not on a clothesline. With careful attention to controlling the amount of pollen in your home, you should be able to find some relief.

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