Herbs for Swimming & Chlorine Allergy
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Lorna Cairns
Posted on: April 6, 1998

I go swimming regularly and I think the chlorine affects me. When I come out of the pool I find that I am all blocked up and stuff running down the back of my throat. It feels as though there is a bad across my forehead and someone is squeezing my sinus. Which herb(s) would be best to ease this, or eradicate it completely, and in which form, liquid, or tablet?

It sounds as though you have an allergic reaction to chlorine or possibly some other chemical in the water. In this case, you should stop swimming in chlorinated pools, and strengthen your system with herbs such as chamomile (Matricaria recutita) which i s anti-inflammatory, eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis), anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine and anticatarrhal, and plantain (Plantago lanceolata) which is anti-histamine, lymphatic and strengthens the mucous membranes. You can take these herbs in the form of a tea, one teaspoon to a cup of boiling water, infused for 15 minutes, three times a day.

Often when the body’s resistance has been built up and mucous membranes healed, you can slowly reintroduce the allegen (swimming pool water) without getting the allergic reaction. The length of time estimated for healing is 3 to 6 weeks for every year th at you have had the allergy. In your case, after your healing period, you could begin by swimming one day a week for a short time to see if the reaction reappears.

You may want to experiment with the following suggestions found on www.life.ca, the Web page for Natural Life magazine:

If you are an allergy sufferer, here are four natural alternatives to help you get relief.

Fenugreek has a soothing effect on the respiratory system. Drinking one cup of fenugreek seed tea a day may help hay fever sufferers.

The Japanese have a passion for wasabi, a form of horseradish. The belief is that a spoonful every day prevents allergies, especially hay fever. Horseradish can be substituted. A daily dose is necessary only until the symptoms of your allergy subside. Thereafter, you need only a few teaspoons each month to prevent another allergy attack.

For centuries the Chinese have been using the ginkgo plant to treat allergies. Both its bark and its leaves are used. Ginkgo can be found in all health food stores, most commonly in tablet form.

Honey has long been used to prevent hay fever. The small amounts of flower pollen found in the honey will often desensitize the honey eater to the allergic effect of local flowers. For this reason, it is best to eat local honey.

The above information is from Natural Health Secrets From Around the World: 1,200 Proven Remedies You Can Use at Home, published by Shot Tower Books, 320-150 East Palmetto Park Rd., Boca Raton FL 33432 USA.

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