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Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Allergies

This year seems to be especially bad for allergies. I'm not suffering (yet), but I've been collecting people's remedies. Sure, you could just take pills for it, but think of what they may or may not be doing to your liver! Here are the remedies I've heard of.

RemedyDoes it work?How?NegativesSummary
Eating local honeyI dunnothe bees collect pollen from local plants and use it for honey. somehow this is supposed to helpnone, unless you're allergic to honey, a really hardcore vegan or mistakenly hate carbs. Honey is healthier than refined sugar.Honey in tea is yummy
Taking vitamin CAnna, Jamilla's wife, swears by itgot meTaking too much vitamin C over a long periodof time is supposedly bad for you. But hey, it's water-soluable and you'll piss it out.I'd try it
Air purifiersome doremoves allergens from airProbably incompatible with open windows, increases electricity usage.this works really well in cars with high-quality air filters installed.
Nessie pot: pouring (sea)salt water in one nostril and letting it run out the other.Seems toclears gunk like pollen and dander out of your sinuses. A good way to start your day.Feels like getting water up your nose. Especially annoying the first few times you do it (that burning means it's working.) Remember to keep your mouth open while you do it.I've done this. It helped

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8 comments:

uncola said...

I had been eating tons of local honey in the last year or so. And my allergies were much less horrible. Correlation is not causation, though. So I don't know if that was really helping. I should go back to eating honey in plain yogurt again and see what happens.

Crinis said...

Vit C doesn't work and in high enough doses (ie, above the RDA) it becomes toxic. There is measurable placebo effect, but you can get that from positive thinking.

cf http://quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/colds.html
and
http://quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/pauling.html

cxjo said...

wait... according to your 1st link, it can work as an anti-histamine (good for allergy)

"Antihistamine Effect of Vitamin C

Histamine in varying amounts is almost always released in the tissues of the respiratory tract by an allergic-type response to the stress of common cold infections. Perhaps the first clue that animals and humans might use vitamin C to combat stress that involves histamine release came in 1940 from the research team led by the co-discoverer of vitamin C, Professor Charles Glen King of Columbia University. Dr. King's group showed that stressing rats with certain drugs stimulated their bodies to synthesize extra vitamin C [29]. Later, evidence was presented to support the belief that animals, such as the rat, who can make their own supply of vitamin C, react to histamine by producing extra vitamin C. In 1974, two other research teams found that rats given vitamin C along with histamine-releasing drugs had a reduction in stress symptoms and reduced histamine in the urine [30,31]. They concluded that vitamin C can act like an anti-histamine drug. However many physicians believe that reducing infection-caused inflammation (nature's defense reaction) slows recovery."

Crinis said...

"However many physicians believe that reducing infection-caused inflammation (nature's defense reaction) slows recovery."

There is inherent and obvious folly of assuming that furry, four-legged rodents with brains the size of a pea are just like humans for all intents and purposes. Rats produce their own Vit C! people don't! (Unless we mutated the rat, hehehe) There is no single study done on humans that demonstrates the same anti-histamine effect.

cxjo said...

many physicians believe AIDS is transmitted thru sweat! :P

anyhoo.. i believe that it's worth trying since taking allergy pills sucks balls and vit c is cheap and readily available (in the form of copious fruits and veggies)

otoh.. i've only had 1 bad attack this year, and it seems to have correlated with the time my neighbour was re-sanding his hardwood floor, using an exhaust fan pointed at my bedroom window....

Les said...

Don't I remember that Vince won some sort of award for an anti-vitamin C speech?

There are only two mammals that don't make their own vit C and I can't remember what the other one is.

I ate like a pint of raspberries yesterday and today I woke up sniffling. I demand my money back.

I don't have an opinion on whether or not vit C works for allergies, although it seems that working as a histamine blocker in other animals is evidence in its favor. Do rats have significantly different histamines than we do? Also, we do studies on rats all the damn time. Instead of a Planet of the Apes, we could have a Planet of the Rats, like a combo of the movie where the medical experiment apes get smart and take over and the Rats of NIMH where the rats get smart.

Anyway, I do know, however, that high doses of vit C don't stop cancer. But caffeine does. So coffee and OJ every morning for better health!

cxjo said...

another remedy i tried before with some success was nettle leaf... it stopped my sneezing but it gave me some bad stomach problems..

Crinis said...

Alright, I'll be productive now. Here are the strategies that I employ that seem to work (anecdotally and scientifically):
Flonase (ahhhh!)
HEPA air-filters
vacuuming
Washing the sheets in HOT water, frequently
Long, hot showers (ahhh!)

Here is a list of things that I've noticed that agrievate my allergies:
Rugs and carpet
Pollen season
pollution
family members
some other animals not included above.