8 Most Effective Natural Remedies for Allergies
Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose, and the inability to breath drive many sufferers of hay fever back indoors seeking refuge in the medicine cabinet. Before you reach for that expensive box of over-the-counter anti-histamine, take a look at these natural remedies for allergy symptoms.
Referring to a number of plants of the genus Petasites in the daisy family, Butterbur roots and foliage have long been used as herbal remedies for inflammation, headaches, and to alleviate symptoms of grass pollen allergies, also known as hay fever. While a proven effective remedy, Butterbur should be used with caution as the plant also contains highly toxicpyrrolizidine alkaloids which are damaging to the liver and may cause cancer. Use only Butterbur extracts certified to be PA-free
An anti-oxidant and bioflavonoid or plant pigment naturally-occurring in onions, green tea, red wine, apples, berries, and many other foods, quercetin prevents the immune system from releasing histamines in response to allergens. Quercetin also possesses anti-inflammatory properties which can help relieve nasal congestion and sinus pressure. Try this quercetin supplement from Irwin Naturals for excellent natural allergy relief which also contains Bromelain – the next item on our list.
Extracted from pineapple juice and stems, Bromelain is an enzyme which reduces inflammation caused by histamines in the nasal and sinus cavities – a common discomfort experienced by allergy sufferers. Bromelain is most helpful to allergy sufferers when taken in conjunction with an anti-histamine.
Also known as Amrit – the Sanskrit word for ‘imperishable’ – Guduchi is revered in the Ayurvedic pharmacy as one of the most useful plants in existence. Only recently catching on in the western world, Guduchi has been used in eastern medicine for thousands of years to relieve inflammation, heal the immune system, prevent colds, cure stress-related illness, treat skin ailments, reduce toxins in the liver and blood, and as an anti-arthritic. To boost your immune system and relieve symptoms of hay fever, this supplement has been proven to be effective.
5. Stinging Nettle
Despite its unfriendly name, Urtica dioica – the stinging nettle plant has many herbal uses that can benefit human health including the reduction of hay fever symptoms. Stinging nettle should be taken at the first sign of seasonal allergies for maximum benefit. This herb should always be handled with care and ingested only in prepared form as the unaltered leaves and stems – the parts of the plant which are used to treat allergy symptoms – are covered in tiny hairs which deliver a chemical ‘sting’ when touched.
6. Timothy Grass
Phleum pratense, commonly known as Timothy Grass has long been used as a remedy for grass pollen allergies. Timothy grass is also safe for children and for people with asthma. When taken in small doses either under the tongue or subcutaneously, the pollen of Timothy grass acts like a vaccine, gradually immunizing against hay fever. A homeopathic preparation of Phleum pratense in tablet and liquidform are available from bioAllers. For additional information about subcutaneous immunotherapy for seasonal allergies, consult with a physician.
7. Local Honey
Though there haven’t been enough clinical studies to prove why it works, a majority of seasonal allergy patients will attest to the effectiveness of local honey is lessening or preventing symptoms. Because it contains a wide sampling of local pollen carried on the bodies of the bees who make it, one can hypothesize that locally-produced honey works much the same as grass pollen immunotherapy. By gradually exposing your immune system to tiny amounts of pollen gathered from local flora, you eventually desensitize your immune system to its effects. Plus, honey contains complex carbohydrates in addition to simple sugars, putting it a step above other natural sweeteners on the health scale. Check your local farmer’s market for honey producers in your area.
8. Neti Pot
Last but not least on our list of natural allergy remedies is the Neti pot. This handy little device is used to cleanse allergens from the nasal cavity using a saline rinse. Recommended use for Neti pot cleansing is twice per day.
Keep in mind that everyone’s immune system is different. What works for one person, may not be effective for the next. Experiment with these natural allergy remedies until you find a combination that provides optimum relief for you.