Do you feel irritated and start sneezing when you come across a fragrance around you? Do you get a stuffy nose in a dusty environment? If you are suffering from this issue for a long, the chances are that you are familiar with your allergies and have tried almost everything to curb them.
The treatment of your allergy depends upon the trigger you are allergic to. First, you need to eliminate exposure to the allergens. The medications include antihistamines, decongestants, lotions and creams, and steroids.
Severe allergies and anaphylactic reactions need adrenaline injections. However, do you know there is an ingredient found in every kitchen that can help alleviate the symptoms of allergies? Well, this article talks about turmeric for allergies that is an ingredient you can use out of your house inventory.
What Happens During An Allergy?
An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system starts to react to things that are normally harmless. These are called allergens and include dust, pollens, fragrance, certain foods and a bee sting.
An allergy begins when you are exposed to an allergen through inhalation, swallowing or direct contact. Your body responds by producing IgE proteins to fight the allergen. Histamine is released into your bloodstream, which triggers symptoms of allergy.
Symptoms of An Allergy
While symptoms can vary depending upon your type of exposure, histamine release triggers mucus production and can cause a stuffy nose. If you have got the allergen through inhalation, your symptoms may include:
- Throat irritation
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Skin rashes
Food allergies may cause stomach disturbances, diarrhea and vomiting.
Allergy caused by insect sting can trigger pain, inflammation, and redness at the site of the sting. Your symptoms may vary from mild to severe.
Some of the symptoms ward off spontaneously as the allergens are removed. You might not even notice if your symptoms are mild, and you just feel a little tired. Moderate symptoms can give you a cold or flu.
How Is Turmeric Beneficial?
Turmeric is a common spice used in households. It belongs to the family of Curcuma longa. The South Asian herb is added to most foods to add flavor and color.
Turmeric is famous for its antihistaminic properties as well as other health benefits. The active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, which is responsible for most of its meritorious properties.
Curcumin is a compound that serves as a strong anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and antioxidative agent. It enables turmeric to fight symptoms of allergy and ease of inflammation. There is substantial evidence available that confirms the efficacy of turmeric for allergies.
How turmeric can be beneficial for allergies is as follows.
The active component of turmeric, curcumin, helps with airway allergies. Curcumin is a phenolic phytochemicals that can cause immune system modulation, inhibiting histamine release from mast cells.
Curcumin helps to reduce nasal symptoms of allergy. Sneezing, congestion and other allergy symptoms are alleviated with the use of turmeric.
Using turmeric also helps to ease inflammation and itching associated with allergies.
What Does The Evidence Say?
Various studies demonstrated the benefits of turmeric for several conditions such as blood pressure, weight loss, arthritis, and more.
Curcumin has also been considered beneficial for treating chronic conditions, including diabetes and cancer.
As of now, new studies report the antiallergic effects of turmeric.
A study that used turmeric to treat allergic mice showed that it had a role in decreasing their allergic response.
It has also been suggested that using oral supplements with curcumin may alleviate symptoms of allergy and asthma. Scientists consider turmeric to be effective in relieving airways' obstruction and combat allergic reactions by palliating the immune response.
Over the past few years, an increase in the prevalence of asthma and allergies in developed countries is seen.
A study explored curcumin's immunomodulatory effects on allergic individuals. Immunomodulation is the adjustment of the body's immune response back to normal. It was found that in subjects treated with curcumin, antiallergic potential was triggered with the inhibition of mast cells to release histamine. This resulted in the limitation of the allergic response, suggesting that curcumin in turmeric has antihistaminic potential.
Another research investigated the effectiveness of turmeric for allergies, particularly chronic inflammatory disease - bronchial asthma. The condition of a total of 77 subjects having mild to moderate symptoms was evaluated. 1000 mg curcumin was given to each patient per day, divided into two doses of 500 mg each. This continued over the 30-day treatment period. It was reported that the group of subjects who received curcumin experienced significant improvement in airway obstruction.
This was considered to occur due to turmeric's anti-inflammatory potential, which caused improvement in lung function. In conclusion, researchers stated that curcumin could be safely used as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of bronchial asthma treatment.
A randomized, double-blinded trial analyzed turmeric's effects on nasal symptoms and airway patency in allergic rhinitis (AR) patients.
The study contained 241 participants. One group received an oral curcumin supplement, while the control group received a placebo for two months. The outcomes of the study revealed significant improvement in symptoms of allergy.
The findings demonstrated that turmeric decreases nasal airflow obstruction and reduced nasal symptoms, including sneezing and congestion. This result establishes a positive effect on immune response modulation for AR patients.
Another study conducted on mice evaluated curcumin's efficacy in suppressing mast cell activity and allergic response to IgE. The patients who received turmeric supplements were found to have inhibitory effects on antigen-mediated mast cell activity. As a result, histamine release was reduced, and allergy-related inflammation was suppressed.
One more animal study tested the immunomodulatory potential of curcumin on mice that were allergic to latex. The results were concurrent to the previous studies, showing that turmeric effectively alleviated lung inflammation and reduced the antigen-presenting cells after treatment.
A study evaluated the effect of curcumin when turmeric is applied topically. It was found that the capsaicin receptor in the sensory neurons of mice, which cause pain and burning sensation, was blocked with the topical application.
This leads to a reduction in histamine-induced itching, establishing curcumin as a powerful anti-itching agent. Hence, both topical and oral use of turmeric can heal your skin and keep it healthy. The spice's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties may help treat several skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, alopecia, and vitiligo.
How Can You Use Turmeric?
Turmeric can be taken orally and applied topically to treat allergies. The route you would choose depends upon the type of allergy you have.
For oral use
1. Turmeric milk
Also called gold milk, turmeric milk has immense health benefits. It is long used traditionally to improve health and give strength to the body. It can also be used to palliate the symptoms of allergy.
Heat a glass of milk and add ½ teaspoon of turmeric to it and drink it before going to bed for a soothing effect or in the morning for energy. You can also use coconut milk or almond milk in case you are lactose intolerant.
Also, you can add honey and cinnamon powder for added taste and benefit. Regular use of this recipe will help you get rid of your allergy and feel an added strength in your body.
2. Turmeric tea
Turmeric for allergies can also be used as a tea. Make turmeric tea by boiling one cup of water and add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, let it simmer for a few minutes, then drain it in a cup. Add honey to it as a sweetener.
Turmeric helps soothe your throat and nose and reduces allergic symptoms. Honey is also found to be beneficial for treating symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
You can drink turmeric tea twice a day. Drink it regularly to see noticeable effects.
3. Turmeric with apple cider
Prepare a mixture of turmeric with apple cider vinegar and store it in an airtight container.
To make this mixture, take ¼ cup honey, add one teaspoon of ground turmeric, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, one teaspoon lemon zest and two tablespoon apple cider vinegar to it.
Mix it well and store it in the refrigerator. Consume a spoonful daily to see the results.
4. Oral supplement
If you don't want to get into the hassle of making turmeric tea or milk, you can also use oral supplementation of turmeric containing curcumin. Organic Turmeric Curcumin Supplement with Black Pepper & Ginger is a supplement that contains black pepper and ginger.
Black pepper consists of piperine, which has an added benefit of enhanced curcumin absorption 2000%. According to another study, ginger consists of 6-gingerol and has been shown to reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis in mice.
For Topical Application1. Turmeric paste
Make a paste of turmeric in chilled milk or chilled water. Add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder to a few drops of milk or water and mix well. Apply this paste to the affected area on your skin for about 20 minutes. Next, wash the paste off with warm water to feel the soothing sensation.
While the chilled paste feels good in an inflamed area, turmeric plays its anti-inflammatory part and further promotes the healing of the allergy. Apply this mixture at least once a day to see obvious results.
2. Turmeric with honey
Honey is a popular ingredient used in traditional medicine for treating inflammatory skin conditions of several kinds. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help treat skin lesions.
A teaspoon of turmeric powder in 2 tablespoons of honey can be applied to the affected area for half an hour before rinsing it off. Apply this mixture once a day before bath.
What Precautions Should Be Taken When Using Turmeric For Allergies?
Curcumin found in turmeric is a well-known ingredient for inhibiting the stimulation of various proinflammatory cytokines as it has been investigated for its anti-inflammatory potential. However, it has also been reported that curcumin may cause contact dermatitis.
Although the therapeutic potential of curcumin is promising, it may cause allergic reactions in some people. Thus, it is essential to test-use turmeric before consuming it regularly and ensure the following things.
- The first thing is to ascertain that you are not allergic to turmeric and its components, particularly curcumin. In case you have a curcumin allergy, avoid using turmeric.
- When using oral supplements of curcumin, consult your doctor or nutritionist for advice on the dose.
- If you are using natural remedies, talk to your doctor to confirm the amount of turmeric you should use. Don't consume more than your prescribed amount.
- Turmeric has a deep yellow color and can leave a stain on your skin or clothes. Although turmeric stains are not harmful and can be washed, be cautious of the stains when applying turmeric topical application.
- Taking turmeric orally may cause diarrhea, nausea and dizziness in some individuals. Be careful of these symptoms and stop using turmeric and consult your doctor in case of severe symptoms.
- Be careful if you are taking turmeric or its supplement during pregnancy or lactation. Taking advice from your doctor is the best option.
- Avoid taking a large dose of turmeric. Although it is not fully understood, it is thought that turmeric may cause abnormal heart rhythm.
- Gallbladder problems may get worse by turmeric, so avoid using it if you have gallbladder issues.
- Turmeric is believed to decelerate the blood clotting process, so avoid using it if you have had surgery.
Consult Your Doctor Before Taking Turmeric
Subsequently, turmeric for allergies happens to be an effective and therapeutic herb. It reduces inflammation and promotes healing, thus, helping to soothe symptoms of allergies and asthma.
There is substantial evidence that proves the efficacy of curcumin to inhibit mast cells from releasing histamine, thereby modulating the immune system response when there is an exposure to a certain allergen.
However, always remember that using turmeric is not a definite treatment for allergies but serves as an additional, alternative treatment to fight an allergic reaction.
Consult your physician and discuss whether turmeric use, either as home remedies or supplements, would be a suitable option for you to avoid any untoward effects.
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