The birds are chirping, the grass is growing, and the pollen is out in full force.
For many, the warmth of springtime weather brings with it the runny nose, sore throat, and itchy, watery eyes of allergy season.
The nagging symptoms of allergies leave some sprinting to the drug store to find an over-the-counter solution, but unfortunately these medications aren’t without their side effects. Whether you call it hay fever, seasonal allergies, or allergic rhinitis, no doubt you’re searching for a way to treat your symptoms as naturally as possible.
If you’re looking for a non-pharmaceutical method for treating your seasonal allergies, read on for a list of five natural methods for treating your allergies.
1 | Boost the Allergy-Fighting Foods in Your Diet
Believe it or not, the compounds in some foods actually reduce the histamine reaction in the body brought on during an allergic reaction. It’s a good idea to increase your consumption of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods like apples, broccoli, turmeric, and ginger during allergy season.
2 | Reduce the Aggravating Foods in Your Diet
There are also some foods that should be avoided during allergy season because they increase the body’s histamine reaction. Reducing consumption of high-histamine and inflammatory foods like sugar, caffeine and alcohol should certainly be coupled with the increase of antihistamine foods in the diet.
3 | Supplement for Allergy Season
When choosing which supplements to use for fighting hay fever, I recommend sticking as close to real plant sources as possible. That means herbs like stinging nettles (Urtica diotica – pictured above), which some studies have shown to be up to 57% effective in treating symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Other supplements I recommend for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties are bioflavonoids like Querecetin, probiotics and Vitamin C.
4 | Stay Hydrated
Proper hydration is vital for keeping overall inflammation at bay. Drinking adequate water also helps to thin nasal mucus and drain sinus passages. One study even shared a link between lack of water vapor in the lungs from dehydration and a predisposition to inflammatory breathing diseases like asthma.
5 | Rinse the Nasal Cavity
Saline nasal rinsing has proven to be a safe, effective, and inexpensive method for treating allergic rhinitis. While you may have heard of the Neti pot—a small ceramic pot resembling a tea kettle—as a way to rinse out the nasal cavity, I usually recommend the Nasopure instead. This is because the Nasopure is easier to use for most people, particularly children.
6 | Allersodes
Allersodes are formulations of very dilute antigens used to decrease the body’s reactivity to the offending organism (Dust, Weeds, Animals, Specific Trees, Foods, Molds, etc). Based on your sensitivities, allersodes can be formulated specifically for you. Most patients that use allersodes report they tolerate their allergens much better, while some no longer have allergic symptoms at all after taking the allersodes.
Bonus: Recommended allergy testing
If you’re feeling the itchy, congested sensations attributed to allergies but you’re not sure if that’s what you’re suffering from, come in to the office and I’ll be happy to walk you through some testing to find out what’s causing your symptoms.
I offer my patients both in-network lab testing—through Quest, Lab Corp, and others—as well as specialized allergy panels through Genova. The testing results will show us exactly what you are sensitive to, and we can then discuss homeopathic desensitization protocols to meet your individual needs.