5 Evidence-Based Natural Remedies for Allergies
If you have allergies and hate taking allergy medication that make you drowsy, you’ll want to explore natural remedies for allergies as an alternative. And the good news is that many natural remedies for allergies actually work, and we’ve got the studies to back it.
Seasonal allergies are the most common form of allergies. Depending on location, seasonal allergies start when plants start to produce pollen. This means seasonal allergies can start up as early as March and last through September.
What Causes Allergies?
Nearly anything can cause an allergy. The difference lies in how your immune system reacts to your environment.
Some common allergens include:
- Pet dander
- Weeds or grasses
- Household chemicals
If your immune system is overworked from stress, improper diet and other factors, it may react abnormally when exposed to allergens. That’s why living naturally, eating well and supporting your immune system is so important.
An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system detects something (that may be harmless to someone else) and attacks if it by making a histamine to destroy the threat. And it’s the histamine that’s responsible for the allergic symptoms you dread.
How Do Natural Remedies for Allergies Work?
There are many ways that natural remedies for allergies work. Some natural treatments have anti-histamine properties that stop or slow down the body’s creation of allergy-producing histamine. Other natural remedies boost your immune system. Others eliminate the allergic reactions like congestion and stuffy nose. Here are five effective natural remedies for allergies and why they work:
1. Local Honey
Raw honey works like a natural vaccination for pollen-related allergies. Much like homeopathic medicine, you’re basically getting a little dose of the pollens you’re allergic to. A study found that patients taking high doses of honey experienced the same relief from allergic rhinitis (sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes) as those taking loratadine after 4 weeks.
Take 1 teaspoon of local honey 3 times per day.
Use local honey for natural allergy relief. For this allergy treatment to work you must dose yourself with the local-area pollen that’s causing the allergy.
2. Stinging Nettle
Nettle is an all-natural antihistamine, which relieves the symptoms of allergies like itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing. Drink a cup of nettle tea or take a capsule of stinging nettle throughout allergy season.
In one study, 58 percent of participants found their allergy symptoms were relieved with the use of freeze-dried nettles.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an excellent natural remedy for allergies. It not only treats allergy symptoms through its antihistamine properties, it’s also an antitoxin and antioxidant, which means it attacks the allergens that create the allergy. A Japanese study found that autoimmune diseases and allergies were successfully controlled using vitamin C treatments.
The best food sources for vitamin C are colorful fruits and vegetables like strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, tomatoes, citrus, bell peppers, papaya and broccoli.
It’s best to keep your Vitamin C levels steady throughout allergy season. If you have severe allergies, eating more fruits and vegetables may not be enough. Take 1000 milligrams a day of Vitamin C for maintenance. During allergy flare-ups, take 1,000 milligrams three times per day for one week.
Ester-C and mineral ascorbate vitamin C supplements are better for your stomach than the generic absorbic acid form.
4. Mint Essential Oil
Mint and peppermint essential oil works wonders to ease nasal congestion by unblocking the sinuses. A study found in the European Journal of Medical Research found that peppermint oil was effective for, “treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders such as bronchial asthma, colitis and allergic rhinitis.”
Have a cup of warm mint tea slowly. Inhale the aromatic steam to ease your airways. Or diffuse peppermint oil in your room.
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory spice. According to the Pediatric Division of the Medical College in Wisconsin, the use of turmeric (which contains the healing curcumin component) shows “a marked inhibition of allergic response in animals treated with curcumin, suggesting a major role for curcumin in reducing the allergic response.”
Supplementing with 500 milligrams of turmeric two to three times per day is helpful for seasonal allergies. But a more enjoyable way to get the benefits is by drinking golden turmeric milk. Holistic nutritionist Mary Vance shares her delicious recipe here.
Like many natural remedies, these natural remedies for allergies may take time before you feel better. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, consult a physician or certified holistic practitioner. As with any advice, this article is intended to offer you helpful information and should not serve as a diagnosis or treatment.