Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Three weeks into allergy season it started late this year, I am sitting here enjoying my favorite seasonal remedy: coffee. Although it is still considered a folk remedy and is debated hotly on the internet, I will always stand by this tried and true favorite. Nothing clears up the seasonal sickies like a mug of hot coffee. Oh, there are herbs that do the job and I have a recipe for allergy tea that works like a charm, but for minor symptoms coffee cannot be beat. It works quickly, is easily accessible, inexpensive, and as a dietary supplement, I am completely comfortable taking it while pregnant. Even the nutritionists I spoke to recently said that two cups of coffee a day during pregnancy is completely harmless. In this instance, I go a step further and say that it can be beneficial.
I know I keep saying "coffee," but the beneficial element that we are really talking about here is caffeine. For someone who has not built up a tolerance by using this stimulant regularly , it can be just what the doctor or the naturalist ordered when the cottonwood pollen is flying and the rag weed is blooming. For many people, like myself, minor allergic reactions to these natural substances can include congestion, headache, fatigue, itchy eyes, runny nose, etc.... Caffeine helps by relaxing the swelling in the airway allowing congestion to leave the body and relieving the headache caused by sinus pressure. Also, since fighting off threats is exhausting the caffeine gives a little jolt of energy that facilitates the body in it's fight against it's otherwise harmless invader. Some studies, like this one published by BBC News, even suggest that caffeine goes a bit further and acts as a natural antihistamine. Of course, the study has it's nay-sayers, but conventional medicine is always slow to accept a natural or folk remedy.
Now, I'm not advocating that anybody throw out their Epi-pens. The Changeling carries an Epi to combat severe reactions from bee/wasp stings. What I am suggesting is that before running out to buy a box allergy caplets, try drinking a hot cup of coffee. You may find that you can cross that trip to the pharmacy off your to-do list with out even leaving the house.