If you’re considering herbs, teas, essential oils, and other natural products to manage your allergies, it’s crucial to tread carefully. Natural doesn’t always mean safe, and when it comes to allergic disease, knowing the safety of these popular natural products overrides their potential benefits.
If you have allergies, visiting an allergy specialist is the best place to start in effectively treating and managing your symptoms. At Riviera Allergy Medical Center, Dr. Ulrike Ziegner specializes in allergy and immunology, and she provides individualized treatment for allergic disease.
Take a moment to find out why it may be better to steer clear of popular natural products that are often promoted for managing allergies.
Potential for adverse reactions
Over 90% of patients who take natural products have a desire for natural interventions. However, natural products can and do cause adverse reactions.
In fact, 60% of allergists report seeing adverse reactions in patients using natural products, according to a survey by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. It’s essential to remember that natural doesn’t mean harmless.
Natural products that are commonly used for allergy relief, such as curcumin, pine bark extract, and butterbur, aren’t free of side effects. For example, butterbur needs careful processing to remove substances that harm the liver, and curcumin can cause nausea and headache.
Interactions with medications and conditions
Natural products can interact with over-the-counter or prescription medications in various ways. They can reduce the effectiveness of medications or cause serious problems if you take medications to control chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.
It can also be a problem if natural products interact with medications such as antibiotics. Certain herbs, for instance, can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications.
Regulatory oversight and quality assurance
Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, most natural supplements don’t have strict regulation or oversight by agencies like the FDA. This lack of oversight can lead to discrepancies in the strength and purity of products, which may affect not only their effectiveness but also their safety.
A lot of unsubstantiated claims surround natural supplements. If you’re considering adding a natural product to your allergy management routine, scientific validation is a must. It's essential that products and ingredients are backed by strong clinical research specific to allergic diseases.
Potential for allergic reactions
Ironically, natural products themselves can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. Essential oils, commonly used to soothe allergic symptoms, can cause contact dermatitis or other allergic reactions.
Similarly, certain herbs and supplements might exacerbate existing allergies, emphasizing the need for personalized advice from an allergist specialist.
The journey to allergy relief through natural products is not without its risks. The best way to manage your allergies is with the guidance of a health care provider who specializes in allergy and immunology.
With the right care, you can gain control of your symptoms and reduce their impact on your daily life. Dr. Ziegner has extensive experience helping patients reduce their allergy symptoms and improve their quality of life.
If you’re dealing with allergies, trust Dr. Ziegner to help you get on the path to optimal management. Reach out to our Redondo Beach, California, office by calling to schedule your visit.