If you suffer from seasonal allergies such as hay fever, then you know how often they can turn a fun and sunny summer day into an absolute misery. Seasonal allergies affect everyone differently — one person might have itchy, watery eyes, while another will have a runny nose or sinus headache. As a result, remedies for seasonal allergies come in all shapes, sizes, doses, and chemical compounds. Nevertheless, these seven remedies should provide natural relief from most seasonal allergies.
How to get natural relief from seasonal allergies:
In general, most seasonal allergies are treated with over-the-counter medications like Claritin, Zyrtec, or Benadryl. Effective though they might be, these medications often come with unpleasant side effects like dehydration, drowsiness, or brain fog. Luckily, there are many natural and homeopathic allergy remedies that do the job just as well, without any unpleasant side effects.
Most people understand that citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, pineapples, and grapefruits contain high amounts of vitamin C, but few people know that this immune-boosting response might also provide relief of seasonal allergy symptoms. According to Advanced Health of San Francisco, the antioxidants, bioflavonoids, and vitamin C in citrus fruits might even prevent allergy symptoms from occurring in the first place.
That said, it’s unlikely that eating an orange in the midst of an allergy attack will make you feel much better. Like many natural remedies, the healing power of citrus fruits are best seen over time. Advanced Health of San Francisco suggests adding a splash of citrus juice to a daily shot of apple cider vinegar to boost your immune response.
Apple cider vinegar
Speaking of apple cider vinegar, that’s right, it’s good for allergies too! According to Sedera, the sour and nutritious compounds found in apple cider vinegar can boost your immune system and break up mucus. This modern “miracle elixir” can also support lymphatic drainage, which can help to filter out mucus and lower the histamine reaction.
Saline nasal rinses
For congested sinuses, many experts recommend using saline sprays or other over-the-counter commercial products. However, saline nasal rinses, like those used with neti pots, are a much more natural method for unclogging stuffy sinuses. According to Advanced Health of San Francisco, you can even add a few splashes of your favorite essential oil to the warm, saltwater rinse to provide extra lubrication.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but good hydration is key when it comes to soothing seasonal allergies. According to Lipsey Spring Water, drinking more water can help prevent an increase in histamine production, thereby reducing seasonal allergy symptoms. Properly hydrated respiratory and digestive systems will also enable a better immune response, so plan to drink a good deal of water throughout the day.
According to Sedera, stress management is key to keeping seasonal allergies at bay. Stress hormones can wreak havoc on the body’s immune system, which ultimately weakens its histamine response. There are many ways to avoid stress, be they medication, yoga, or taking time to read, relax, or just soak in the tub.
For those looking for a more interesting form of stress relief and natural healing, there is always acupuncture. Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine that uses small, strategically placed needles to manipulate the body’s negative energies. It sounds unusual, but it might help relieve allergy systems by getting to the root of what is causing the allergic reaction in the first place.
Probiotics are live bacteria that are consumed or administered to the body to provide health advantages. They're in yogurt and other fermented foods, as well as dietary supplements and cosmetics. Research indicates that probiotics may help improve the immune response to allergies that affect the nasal passages.
There are dozens of homeopathic remedies out there that claim they can stop everything from IBS to seasonal allergies. According to Yoga International, these remedies can involve taking unusual plants like Sabadilla to soothe runny, itchy noses and eyes. Another example would be a plant called Arsenicum album, which is used to relieve stuffiness and soothe that burning sensation caused by allergy-induced post nasal drip.
Besides the unusual, alien-sounding plants available through homeopathic medicine, one could always reach for an over-the-counter remedy such as Genexa Allergy-D, an organic blend of homeopathic ingredients meant to fight back cold and allergy symptoms without any of the side effects caused by conventional allergy medications.
There are rumors that eating locally-produced honey can theoretically lower your immune reaction over time. The theory is that since the pollen it’s made from is collected from local flora, slow ingestion will eventually remove the histamine response entirely. It’s sort of like building up an immunity to poison by taking in a small, nonlethal dose each day. According to Healthline, there is no evidence to prove this, so it’s unlikely that it will work for everyone.