Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
The old adage “prevention is the best medicine” can be a good practice when seasonal allergy season is near. It’s best to start your therapies three weeks ahead of the expected onset of the season, but if you haven’t done that, you can start today.
An allergy mattress cover and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for your furnace, air conditioner and vacuum will lessen indoor pollens. Reserve your outdoor activities to evening time, because trees release their pollens with the early morning light and ragweed pollens are most dense in the midday air.
Taking Small Steps
When you come in the house, change clothing and rinse off in the shower if you were in a high-pollen exposure situation.
Some people swear by masks and goggles in high allergen exposure situations; they will decrease the allergen load and your reaction. You can use daily irrigation of the nasal passages and increase it up to three times daily if you have more allergy symptoms; this will cleanse the pollens from your mucous membranes in the nasal passages.
Try adding two of eucalyptus or frankincense to the nasal rinse solution to decrease inflammation and prevent infection. Likewise, diffusing frankincense or eucalyptus while you sleep at night will benefit allergy symptoms and prevent infection.
Eating for Allergy Relief
Supplements can ease mild allergy symptoms or add benefit to patients with severe symptoms that are not completely abated on prescription therapies.
Butterbur has the most studies that support its benefit with seasonal allergy symptoms, and it blocks the chemicals that trigger swelling in nasal passages. It’s generally well tolerated and doesn’t add sedating side effects.
Quercetin works best when applied for prevention of the allergy symptoms; it helps block the release of antihistamines, but it will have less effect if you start it when your allergy symptoms are high.
Several fruits and vegetables contain quercetin, including:
- Apples and dark cherries
- Peppers and tomatoes
- Blueberries and broccoli
- Cabbage and leafy greens such as spinach and kale
Stinging nettle leaf extracts also are commonly used to treat allergy symptoms. There are some studies with probiotics taking place, and the early word on them is they can benefit you buy thwarting allergic symptoms.
Researchers theorize the good bacteria probiotics provide can help rebalancing your immune system response.
Relief Has Many Forms
Allergies can be a root cause of chronic sinusitis, and other studies have found that Bromelain is effective at reducing swelling in the nasal passages. It also thins mucous.
Sinupret is another supplement used for chronic sinusitis, and this blend of five herbal extracts has helped many who suffer from the sniffs and discomfort of the season.
Acupuncture is another effective treatment for seasonal allergic nasal inflammation. We treat several patients in our clinic during this season, and most find significant reductions to their allergy symptoms.
Most patients get 6–12 treatments and that’s adequate, and they often get ongoing benefits that last through allergy seasons down the road. In fact, many of our patients are able to live without allergy issues – and no longer need their allergy medications.