7 Easy, Natural Ways to Cope With Allergies

7 Easy, Natural Ways to Cope With Allergies

Smart, effective, and natural ways to address allergy symptoms year-round.


By: Maressa Brown

As much as we associate allergies with springtime trees and flowers, fall can trigger seasonal allergies just as much or more for many people. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), allergies account for more than 17 million outpatient office visits each year, primarily in the spring and fall, and seasonal allergies account for more than half of all allergy visits. The main culprit in the autumn? Ragweed, the yellow-flowering weed, which usually starts releasing pollen in August and can last into September and October. It affects three-quarters of people who are allergic to spring plants. Mold and dust mites are also common fall allergy triggers.

Thankfully, there are ways to cope at home. Here are seven simple, effective, and natural methods for combating mild allergies any time of the year! (Bear in mind that it's best to consult your doctor before trying any remedy, especially if you take daily medication or have any health conditions.)

1. Butterbur: This herbal supplement, popular in Europe, has been backed by research published in the British Medical Journal. One tablet of butterbur extract taken four times daily (for 8 mg total) was as effective as a popular antihistamine drug in controlling symptoms of hay fever, without drowsiness. And in another study presented at the 60th annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), a group of British researchers approved butterbur's effectiveness in quelling symptoms of grass allergy .

2. Salt water: One of the most aggravating symptoms of allergies can be the buildup of mucus in the sinus cavities, caused by nasal obstruction and inflammation. One go-to natural fix backed by the AAAAI is a saline nasal spray, which can easily be made at home to remove or thin out excessive mucus.

3. Local honey: Eating a bit of honey made from your neck of the woods might help fend off allergies. Finnish researchers found that eating pre-seasonal birch pollen honey, defined as being taken before hay fever season begins, reduced birch pollen allergy symptoms and resulted in less usage of antihistamines when compared to eating pre-seasonal regular honey. Experts say you’ll do best to consume honey that comes from bees that visit the same plants and flowers that produce the allergenic pollen in question.

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4. Quercetin: This flavonoid/antioxidant, which can be taken in supplement form, acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory. In test tubes, it has prevented immune cells from releasing histamines, or chemicals that cause allergic reactions. As a result, researchers think that quercetin may help reduce symptoms of allergies, including runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and swelling of the face and lips. (However, studies have yet to be done on humans, so the evidence is more anecdotal for now.)

5. Probiotics: Getting your daily yogurt fix or taking a probiotic supplement may help to prevent and treat allergies. The healthy bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal tract might strengthen your immunity, making it easier to fight off symptoms like a runny nose and congestion.

6. Acupuncture: The alternative Chinese treatment, in which an acupuncturist gently inserts tiny needles into particular points of the body, has been shown to provide a bevy of benefits, but one recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that eight weeks of acupuncture actually lessened allergy symptoms.

7. HEPA filters: Even though many allergens rest on surfaces like rugs, furniture, and countertops, a HEPA air filter (which will capture fine, pollen-size particles in the air) may help. Studies support that they can help improve outcomes in the treatment of allergic respiratory diseases when added to other methods.

What’s your go-to remedy for allergies?



Maressa Brown is a senior staff writer for The Stir. She loves writing about and reading up on health/fitness, relationships, and pop culture -- preferably on a beach somewhere.

Image ©iStock.com/UygarGeographic

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