Ahh spring! Warmer weather is upon us and that means more time spent outdoors–especially when you have children! For many of us, the thought of spending time outdoors is downright painful because spring means it’s prime time for allergies.  If the thought of loading yourself up with over the counter allergy meds makes you cringe, read on for eight ways to relieve your allergy symptoms naturally.8 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies


While over the counter allergy remedies may provide relief, they can also come with a host of uncomfortable side effects, like drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, and nervousness. The good news is that there are many natural ways to combat the itchy eyes, runny noses and sinus pressure. Experts say that using natural remedies can be a great way to completely eliminate symptoms for those with mild allergies and they also aid in providing relief for those suffering significant allergies–more than just medicine alone.

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1. Butterbur

Butterbur is a green leafy plant that grows in Europe and parts of North America and Asia, and historically it has been used to treat a variety of health issues from headaches to anxiety.  The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that Butterbur was just as effective as a commonly used oral antihistamine for allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and can also decrease the symptoms of nasal allergies! How can you take Butterbur? Butterbur extract in capsule form is the easiest and most convenient way.

It is important to note that the raw, unprocessed butterbur plant contains chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). PAs can cause liver damage and can result in serious illness. Only butterbur products that have been processed to remove PAs and are labeled or certified as PA-free should be used.
Product Recommendation

We suggest this Butterbur Extract because it’s certified free of PAs.

2. Quercetin

Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their color.  It’s found in food like apples, onions, teas,vand red wines, to name a few. Some studies have suggested quercetin has antihistamine properties, and therefore it may help control allergies. Like Butterbur, Quercetin is also available as a dietary supplement, making it easy to take.

Bonus: Quercetin is a natural antioxidant that helps scavenge molecules called free radicals that cause cell damage, which can lead to cancer.
Product Recommendation

We recommend this Querceitin, because it doesn’t have any added supplements.

3. Nettle

If you’re constantly taking over the counter antihistamines, try nettle! Nettle (sometimes called stinging nettle) is a plant that, when taken in capsule form or ingested by drinking it as a tea, can help combat allergy symptoms by inhibiting your body’s production of histamine without all the nasty side effects of medication.

Nettles have diuretic properties, so drink plenty of water when taking this herb.

 

Product Recommendation

We recommend this Nettle Tea because it’s organic. If you’re looking for the capsule form, try this supplement because the nettle is organically grown.

4. Euphrasia

If you suffer from red, itchy eyes as a result of allergies, Euphrasia might be for you! Sometimes called eyebright, Euphrasia is a plant that has been used to cure eye irritation for hundreds of years. Euphrasia, in eye drop form, works very quickly and it can provide immediate relief when when you’re suffering from burning, inflamed, red and itchy eyes due to hay fever, allergies or even a cold!

Product Recommendation

We recommend these eyedrops because they can be used directly in the eye. If you’d rather try the supplement form of eyebright, try these capsules that include other calming herbs such as raspberry leaves.

Many of the plants used for allergy treatment — such as butterbur and many others – are distant cousins to ragweed. So if you’re suffering from a ragweed allergy, beware! Some of these supplements could make your symptoms worse.

5. Acupuncture

Acupuncture — when tiny needles are inserted just under the skin in particular areas on the body — has long been used to treat a variety of maladies. And studies show that acupuncture can provide relief for allergy sufferers. Specifically, acupuncture is said to help nasal allergies, reducing the likelihood of a runny nose and reducing the amount of other medications needed to treat allergies. 812874290_d270d6f59a_z

Looking for an acupuncturist near you? Search for a certified acupuncturist through the National Certification Commission for Acupcture and Oriental Medicine.

6. Honey

Although there isn’t any scientific data to back this one, many allergy sufferers say ingesting local honey has provided them with allergy relief.  Because pollen causes allergies for many people, and bees are responsible for cross pollination, the theory is that honey contains a small amount of very thing that causes allergies. As is the case with other allergies, introducing the allergen into the body in small amounts can allow the body to become accustomed to it, therefore  decreasing an immune system response. People who ingest honey to help with allergies say that the honey must have been produced very close to where you live — within a few miles.

Want to give it a try, but you’re not sure where to get local honey? Check local farms or farmers markets!

7. Protect your indoor environment

  • Keep windows closed.  You might have to crank the air conditioner sooner than you’d like, but by keeping the “fresh air” outside, you’ll reduce pollen inside. The same goes for your car too! Drive with the windows closed. 
  • Invest in an air purifier to keep the air in the house as pure as possible.
  • Take a shower at night. Pollen clings to your clothes and hair, so showering at night and rinsing off any residue from time spent outdoors can help.
  • Vacuum regularly to get rid of any lingering particles.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, as many allergens enter the body through the eyes. And if you’re going to spending a lot of time outdoors, consider covering your nose and mouth.

 

Product Recommendation

Honeywell Compact Air Purifier is compact and has a permanent, washable filter that’s easy to clean. (No need to constantly buy new filters!)

 

8. Neti Pot

Flush away the allergens that are irritating your nasal passages by using the Neti Pot. Not familiar with Neti Pot? The Neti Pot is a little ceramic pot that, when filled with a saline solution, is used to irrigate and cleanse the nasal passages. How do you use it? Breathing through your mouth, tilt your head sideways and insert the spout of the pot into your nostril.  Pour the saline solution into the “upper” nostril and allow it to flow out the lower nostril. Use half the pot on one side and then switch the way your head is tilted and repeat. The sensation may be funny at first, but the results will be worth it!

Netipot

 

Product Recommendation

We love this Neti Pot because it’s made with lead-free ceramic and glaze.


If you’re suffering from allergies, give these supplements a try! You may find that they work just as well as any over the counter medicine without any side effects!

 Are you suffering from the flu this season? Check out this post on 4 Ways To Stop The Stomach Bug

Sources: CNN.com WebMD

Photo Credit: 1. & 2.  Dreams to Do 3.Lars Plougmann  4. Sara T.

1 COMMENT

  1. Unfortunately consuming local honey isn’t an effective remedy for many people because it takes some work to get it right. The honey does not have to be produced close to where you live – in fact, sometimes it should not be. It is important to make sure that your farmer (or whoever you buy your honey from) has tested the honey to make sure the pollen for the seasonal allergens you’re looking for is present in the honey. Bees don’t pollinate lots of things that give us allergies – ragweed, grass, juniper, oak, etc. The pollen for flowers is heavier than the pollen for grasses and trees, so bees have to carry flower pollen whereas grass and tree pollen can just blow around in the air. Plus, in most metro areas bees are spending more time in dumpsters than in flowery fields, so it is beneficial to get honey from the place that the pollen is coming from (in some cases, that can be over 50 miles away – wind is powerful!). The important thing is to make sure that you aren’t just buying “local honey” – make sure you’re getting honey with the allergens you are looking to combat.

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