Our Educational Content is Not Meant or Intended for Medical Advice or Treatment
With allergy season in full swing, chances are that you're looking for some effective, fast-acting allergy remedies.
And you may not be too keen on using prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine therapies. We don't blame you! They don't work for everyone, and for some people they can actually cause troublesome side effects like sleepiness and irritability.
That’s why we’re offering some alternatives and breaking down the best natural remedies to relieve your common allergy symptoms.
In this article:
Here are our top 4 natural allergy relief choices:
1. Stinging Nettle Root
Stinging nettle root is indigenous to North America, Europe, and Africa, and it has been used as a go-to herbal remedy for thousands of years. Specifically, it's used as an anti-inflammatory, and many believe that it can help with everything from joint pain to prostate problems.
As an antihistamine and allergy support supplement, it may reduce general allergy and hay fever symptoms like:
- Runny nose and sinus congestion
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Mucus build-up
And there’s science to support the claims: a global study actually found that it was more effective than placebos at allergy relief.
There are two main ways to take stinging nettle: you can either brew the leaves in boiling water to make a tea, or you can find it in pill form at your local pharmacy or health food store.
2. Betaine Hydrochloride
Betaine hydrochloride is a dietary supplement that has often been used as a supplemental form of hydrochloric acid.
Now, I know what you may be thinking: acid? But I don’t want too much acid - it can give me heartburn or ulcers. But that’s not how it works. We need a healthy level of acid and a balanced, slightly alkaline pH - between 7.35 and 7.45 - to properly digest food and to maintain homeostasis.
And when this doesn’t happen, or when the body is in an overly alkaline state, we're going to develop more allergy symptoms. This happens more often than we would expect (remember, the optimum pH window is very small, and it's easy to go too far in either direction).
Betaine hydrochloride can help prevent this from happening and acidify the body. This can reduce allergy symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, fatigue, and tiredness. It may also help activate the immune system so it can work a lot faster.
You can easily get betaine hydrochloride in a pill form, and it is safe to take on an empty stomach.
3. Spanish Black Radish
You sometimes find radishes in your salad, and you may even be tempted to leave them on your plate when you do. But did you know that taking a bite may help with your allergy relief?
Radishes have often been used to help with a variety of ailments and symptoms, including:
- Stomach and intestinal disorders
- Loss of appetite
- Pain and swelling
- Inflammation or excessive mucus of the respiratory tract
- Cough and cold
They help, some think, by stimulating digestive juices and bile flow while also fighting bacteria and other harmful pathogens.
So how can they provide allergy support?
Well, this natural antihistamine can be really good for clearing mucus in the nasal passages. This even applies to deep mucus that might be impacting your sinuses with more severe allergy symptoms.
Incorporating Spanish black radish into your day-to-day regimen is easy: you can either consume them directly in your salad or juice them (if you can handle some spice)!
4. Vitamin C
Most people know that vitamin C is good for cold support, skin brightening, and the immune system. But not everyone knows that it can also be helpful for mucus and allergies.
The reason is twofold:
- 1. According to a recent study, a big cause of allergies is oxidative stress on the body. As a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, vitamin C can possibly combat that oxidative stress and relieve allergy symptoms.
- 2. We know that many allergic reactions come from the body’s immune response to allergens, including plant and tree pollens, molds, dust minds, ragweed, and dander. Vitamin C has been shown to lower histamine response to these seasonal allergens in the blood, thereby easing many of these symptoms.
Keep in mind that the best vitamin C is found in natural sources. This includes fruits and veggies like red peppers, broccoli, red cabbage, cantaloupe, guava, orange, and papaya.
That said if you’re going to take a synthetic version, make sure that you also take a whole food complex at the same time. Vitamin C is not meant to be consumed on its own, and taking too much alone can possibly do more harm than good.
Finally: A Few Helpful Extras
Keep in mind that fighting your seasonal allergies isn't just about what you ingest. It's also about your environment.
You can help support your fight against allergens with a few at-home tools:
A high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter :
There are a lot of allergens inside your home, including dust mites, mold spores, and pet dander. These can compromise your immune system and cause many of your day-to-day symptoms. A HEPA filter can trap these particles and provide some relief. Remember, though, that you should have them in all of the rooms that you use heavily in order for them to be effective.
A neti pot:
Many people dealing with nasal congestion don't want to use nasal sprays or other prescription solutions. If you fall into this camp, we recommend a neti pot. It's not expensive and it can provide quick, lasting homeopathic sinus relief.
Essential oils :
Many essential oils may help you relieve your seasonal allergy symptoms:
- Frankincense and lavender may quell inflammation
- Peppermint and eucalyptus can ease respiratory symptoms
- Lemon oil was shown, in one study, to treat seasonal allergic rhinitis
- Tea tree oil is known to have strong antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Applied topically, it could reduce histamine-induced swelling.
Mind the fuzz :
Remember - allergens love anything cozy that they can nestle into. If you find that you're very symptomatic inside the home, you can take a few steps to make your home less comfortable for them. Encase pillows, box springs, and mattresses in dust mite-proof covers. Remove carpet if possible, or shampoo frequently if not. Consider replacing anything with thick fabric, including upholstered furniture and curtains.
And remember to make sure that you're truly educated about your seasonal allergies and which allergens may cause an allergic reaction for you. The more you understand the problem, the more you can do something about it.
Here’s to an allergy-free spring!