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Homeopathic remedies could offer relief from oak allergies

SAN ANTONIO – With pollen at record-high levels, allergy sufferers are looking for a fix at doctors' offices and stores.

In some cases, the best treatment might not be an antihistamine.

Dr. Lawrence Cohen, medical director at the Center for Complementary Medicine, said to start with removing what pollen you can with a nightly shower.

"All the pollen's all over your body and everything, so you want to, before you get in bed and rub all your hair and stuff in it, you want to clean up," he said.

He also suggests irrigating the sinuses with a neti pot to clear the pollen from the nose.

Joan Speer manages Cost Plus Nutrition. She also suggests diffusing essential oils.

"You can put different essential oils in there that are known to help boost your immune system," Speer said.

She said that could help ease breathing.

Speer and Cohen both suggest oral doses of the allergen itself.

"Homeopathic is the law of similars. 'Like cures like,'" Speer said. "By giving a little bit of what is ailing you, can actually bring you back into homeostasis."

"We also have actual remedies made from oak," Cohen said.

Another way he advises easing your reaction to pollen is Vitamin C -- and lots of it.

"It's best to take a little bit almost every hour, because your level gets up, and it stays up," Cohen said. "You can start out with 500 milligrams every hour. See if your body tolerates it. You can go up to 1,000."

Both Cohen and Speer said over time bodies can stop reacting so strongly to allergens, but they also offer homeopathic medicine that they said treat symptoms quickly, sometimes within a day.

"It's not interfering with the body's reaction. It's empowering it to overcome," Speer said.

However, Cohen said helping a body make peace with pollen can take time, so sometimes an antihistamine is needed.

He also suggests avoiding foods that cause histamine reaction and avoiding congesting foods like sugar, bread, dairy and high fat.