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  1. How to beat allergy season

    The 'other' allergy season

    Forget "spring fever." So-called seasonal allergies can strike all year long -- and for many people, autumn allergy season can bring as much sneezy, wheezy misery as spring, if not more.

    The problem this time of year in many parts of the country is ragweed, and I'm already seeing reports that it's out in force -- especially in the Southeast and even parts of the Midwest.

    And if ragweed hasn't hit your part of the country yet... just wait. Ragweed is common in all 50 states -- and if that's not enough to get your nose running, there are other threats in the air.

    If you had a wet summer, expect mold -- and even mold you can't see can find its way to your sinuses and make you sick.

    Many people buy club-size packages of antihistamines and other medications to make it through allergy season, but that's a habit that can get expensive fast. It can also be frustrating, as the drugs can lose effectiveness over time.

    And many people battle side effects such as dry mouth and drowsiness.

    There are much better ways to breathe easy no matter where you live, what allergy season it is or what you're allergic to. Start with butterbur supplements, which have been proven to be as effective as one of the best-selling allergy meds.

    But I consider that a short-term solution, or a solution for people with only mild allergies.

    For long-term relief, homeopathic remedies can desensitize you to the very allergens that are making you sick.

    I recommend allium cepa and/or nux vomica for classic hay fever symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose, and euphrasia -- made from the eyebright plant -- for symptoms more in the eyes. And for ragweed, try homeopathic ambrosia.

    A holistic medical doctor can test you for common allergens and help desensitize you to them naturally, so you can make it through allergy season without any worries.

  2. Botox injections for allergy relief

    Poisoning your nose isn't the best way to beat allergies

    Pop an allergy pill, and the sniffles and sneezes might stop... for a little while, anyway.

    But since those meds attack the symptoms instead of the cause, the allergies always come back -- often with a vengeance, as anyone who takes them already knows.

    So I get why people with allergies are always looking for something stronger than Claritin or Zyrtec -- I just don't think Botox injections are the answer they're looking for, even if it might be marketed that way soon enough.

    That's right -- Botox injections. The famous nerve poison commonly used to temporarily smooth over wrinkles is now being tested for allergies. Instead of Botox injections, this one is rubbed on the nose. The theory is that it will sink in and freeze the nerves that react to allergens.

    If those nerves lock up the way wrinkles do, the wheezing, sneezing, coughs, and sniffles could get a little better.

    For a little while anyway.

    But just like Botox injections can only remove wrinkles temporarily, they won't provide lasting allergy relief either. In fact, the allergies are guaranteed to come back once the Botox wears off.

    It might take months instead of the hours it takes for an allergy pill to wear off, but they'll come back. And that'll leave you with a choice: more Botox, or more allergy pills. Either way it's a temporary fix... and either way you'll face a risk of side effects every time.

    So let me offer you a better choice -- a lasting and even permanent cure for seasonal allergies: Homeopathic allergy remedies that can desensitize you to the pollens that cause your symptoms.

    The exact remedy that will work best for you will depend on the cause of your symptoms, but I've found that allium cepa and/or nux vomica can help with the classic hay fever signs such as sneezing and a runny nose. For allergies that strike more in the eyes, I recommend a homeopathic remedy made from the eyebright plant, called euphrasia.

    In addition, there's a natural supplement that has shown in studies to be as effective as powerful allergy drugs. It's called butterbur, and you can find it in most vitamin stores, health food shops, or online.

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