9 Natural Ways to Treat Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Part 2
Best Supplements for Allergy Symptoms
- Vitamin A
- Stinging Nettles
In addition to avoiding certain foods, and incorporating the foods mentioned above, allergy sufferers can benefit from the addition of high-quality natural supplements. It’s best to start supplements 30–60 days in advance of allergy symptoms for the best results.
Recent research shows that spirulina, butterbur, and phototherapy hold promise in treating the symptoms of seasonal allergies. (16)
Spirulina — 1 teaspoon per day: Spirulina is one of the most researched supplements, and the results are promising. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, spirulina stops the release of histamine that causes symptoms. (17)
The consumption of spirulina has been proven to significantly improve symptoms including nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion and itching in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. (18)
Quercetin – 1000 milligrams per day: Research shows that quercetin, the flavonoid that gives fruits and vegetables their rich color, stops the production and release of histamine. (19) Please note that quercetin may interfere with certain medications including antibiotics, cyclosporine and other medications changed by the liver. (20)
Butterbur — 500 milligrams per day: Butterbur has traditionally been used to treat bronchitis, excess mucus and asthma. However, in a recent study of hay fever sufferers, it was found to be as effective as Zyrtec/Allegra. (21) However, young children, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take butterbur supplements.
Probiotics – 50 billion IU (2–6 capsules) per day: Probiotics modify the intestinal flora in the gut and help boost the immune system, plus it shows promise in the treatment and prevention of allergies. (22) While studies in using probiotics are still in the early stages, another study from the European Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology support the findings that probiotics can be an effective allergy treatment. (23)
Vitamin A – 2,000 micrograms per day: Vitamin A boosts the immune system, fights inflammation and has antihistamine properties.
Bromelain – 1,000 milligrams per day: Bromelain the enzyme in pineapple helps to reduce swelling in the nose and sinuses, helping to relieve hay fever symptoms.
Zinc – 30 milligrams per day: Zinc helps to heal adrenal fatigue caused by chronic stress. As mentioned above, stress worsens the symptoms of seasonal allergies and helps to regulate how your body stores histamine.
Stinging Nettle – 300-500 milligrams twice per day: Stinging nettle contains an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the body’s production of symptom-causing histamine. If you are taking lithium, sedatives, Coumadin/Warfarin, medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, be aware that stinging nettle can cause adverse interactions with these medications. (24)
Complementary Natural Allergy Treatments
Tackling allergies from multiple fronts is vital. These complementary approaches help to relieve the symptoms and make you feel better when partnered with a healthy diet and supplements.
Neti Pot – Using a Neti pot during allergy season or after exposure to allergens, is a very effective way to relieve nasal congestion and flush out mucus. (25) Once or twice daily, use warm filtered water or distilled water with a touch of salt to flush your nasal passages for relief.
Essential Oils – Diffusing essential oils including menthol, eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint oil helps to open up the nasal passages and lungs, improves circulation and relieves stress. Try my Homemade Vapor Rub when you have excess congestion and mucus.
Acupuncture – In a small study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture reduced the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies in 26 patients and without side effects. Prior to allergy season, meet with an acupuncturist to determine the best course of action.
Lifestyle Changes for Allergy Season
- Stay hydrated. Drink eight to ten glasses of fresh water each day. If you get dehydrated, any mucus you have will become much more difficult to expel.
- Limit exposure. On high pollen count days or days that are particularly dusty or windy, limit your exposure. Wear a mask if you cannot limit your time outdoors.
- Shower before bed. Pollen and dust left on your skin and in your hair overnight can make your symptoms worse.
- Wash clothes and bedding. Freshly laundered bedding and clothes help to reduce incidental exposure to allergens.
- Wipe down pets. Pets that spend time outdoors come into the home covered in pollen. Wipe them down with a damp washcloth to limit your exposure to pollen and dust.
- Replace carpeted areas with hard surfaced flooring. Carpet attracts and keeps dust and pollen that is nearly difficult to remove with a vacuum. If you have significant seasonal allergy symptoms, you could benefit from replacing your carpet with an easy to clean surface.
- De-clutter. Clutter can house dust and allergens which make your symptoms worse. Remove clutter, especially from your bedroom, for the best results.
- Keep doors and windows closed. When pollen counts are high, or on dusty days, keep your doors and windows closed to limit exposure.
Allergic diseases, including seasonal allergies and food allergies, have dramatically increased over the last several decades. In the U.S., allergies are currently the 5thleading chronic disease for all ages and the 3rd most common chronic disease for children under the age of 18.
Medications only relieve the symptoms, and often not as well as natural remedies. Treating allergy symptoms takes patience and a combination of tactics. Start now by removing foods you are sensitive to, eating foods that boost your immune system and incorporating supplements and complementary treatments into your routine. By Dr. Axe