7 Natural Allergy Remedies
Spring & summertime bring warm weather, sunshine & blue skies, but they also bring pollen, dust, mold, & ragweed/hay fever-all of which are responsible for allergies! Whether you suffer from sneezing, runny nose or watery eyes, allergies can lead to uncomfortable sinus congestion & if left long enough-the dreaded sinus infection. If you act soon enough, you can nip it in the bud! The good news is you don’t have to take over the counter or prescription drugs to get relief. Here are some natural remedies to ease those sinus blues:
- Natural Antihistamines:
- VITAMIN C – In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine. Although many foods are rich in vitamin C, some foods (like citrus) are histamine triggers. Instead, supplement with a dose of 2,000 mg daily is often suggested
- FLAVONOIDS – Flavonoids are plant chemicals that help create the bright colors in veggies, fruits, and flowers. Quercetin (found in cruciferous foods like broccoli or cauliflower) is one such flavonoid that fights allergy symptoms. It’s available in supplements and found in many foods.
- OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS – In addition to other well-known benefits, omega-3 fatty acids reduce allergic reactions. Good sources include salmon, walnuts, grass-fed meat and flaxseed oil.
- STINGING NETTLE – It’s hard to imagine how someone long ago figured out stinging nettle was actually a very useful plant. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to handle stinging nettle to reap its benefits. A University of Maryland study reported:
- 57% of participants found nettle capsules relieved sneezing and other allergy symptoms
- 48% found nettle was even more effective than allergy medications
The researchers used a 300 mg daily dose of freeze-dried nettle. Other studies have
corroborated benefits of using nettle as a highly effective natural antihistamine.
- BROMELAIN – Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. It’s commonly used for swelling reduction in the nose and sinuses. For treating allergies, one study suggests taking 400-500 mg three times a day.
- SALTWATER – A saline nasal rinse using a spray or neti pot helps lower symptoms by clearing allergens from nasal membranes. A saltwater gargle 1-2 times a day can also help soothe a scratchy throat.
- GINKGO – Most known for its energy-boosting abilities, ginkgo is a powerful antihistamine as well. It’s great for things like seasonal allergies, bronchitis, asthma and more.
- Eat an anti-inflammatory, alkaline diet – this will help reduce your risk of allergies & other health problems.
- Local Raw Honey (Bee Pollen) – The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article in 2011 that tested how pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey affected people with birch pollen allergies. They discovered that patients taking honey “reported a 60 percent lower total symptom score, twice as many asymptomatic days, and 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms.” And they used 50 percent fewer antihistamines compared to the control group that took conventional meds. I recommend taking one tablespoon of RAW local honey daily, such as by stirring some into tea, adding some to oatmeal along with cinnamon, or putting some in your smoothies.
What makes raw honey so powerful at reducing allergies? One reason is that it has bee pollen, which is known to ward off infections, allergies & boost immunity. The bees living in your area go from flower to flower collecting pollen that you are suffering from. It would make sense then that eating local raw honey will help build up your immunity to local pollen. Honey also has many enzymes that support overall immune function.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – At the first sign of an allergy attack, put one teaspoon of ACV in your neti pot solution for a natural “sinus flush.”
- Neti pots – neti pots are a natural remedy for allergies and many respiratory conditions because they help to clear the sinuses and remove congestion. Use of neti pots helps improve quality of life in sufferers of respiratory illnesses and cause little to no side effects. Clearing the nasal passages of allergens and irritants, this form of “sinus irrigation” originated in the Ayurvedic medical tradition hundreds of years ago. People living in India have received astounding results from using neti pots for centuries, and now you can, too.
- Essential Oils – One interesting study evaluated the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mites and found that eucalyptus oil ranked among some of the most potent. Essential oils for allergies work by reducing inflammation and improving detoxification of harmful bacteria, parasites, microorganisms and toxins that can trigger an attack. You can use eucalyptus oil for seasonal allergy relief in many ways: inhale using a diffuser, put into your neti pot, or add to coconut oil & use as a chest rub.
Another powerful essential oil for managing allergies is frankincense oil. The almost unbelievable cancer-killing capacity of Indian frankincense has been well established in the scientific literature for several years, but its life-giving power doesn’t end there. Frankincense is used just as described above for eucalyptus oil.
- Probiotics – 80% of our immune system comes from our gut. One way to keep it healthy is to take a probiotic daily. Probiotics are beneficial “good bacteria” that live inside your GI tract and help defend you against infections, viruses, allergies and more. They are so effective that a study published in the journal Pediatrics discovered that women who regularly take probiotics during pregnancy significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies.
Next time your allergies flare up, try these natural allergy remedies for effective relief without the side effects associated with over-the-counter meds.
Dr. Jessica Eckman
June 6, 2018
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians