Updated March 29, 2020
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It’s that beautiful time of year again that the days are getting longer, the sun is shining brighter, the birds are chirping, and the pollen is raining down on us.
If you’re one of the millions that suffer from seasonal allergies, these natural remedies will help treat these symptoms from day one.
Do I Have a Cold or Is It Allergies?
The first step of treating seasonal allergies (Hay fever) is ensuring that what you’re experiencing is from allergies and not a cold or a virus.
It’s important to understand the difference between the two so you can treat your allergies at the onset of symptoms.
What Causes Seasonal Allergies?
Seasonal allergies or Hay fever are caused by exposure to allergens (ie pollen). The exposure to an allergen (pollen) triggers a response in your immune system.
Your body releases a chemical, histamine, which causes the typical symptoms associated with allergies.
What are Common Symptoms of allergies?
- Itch or tickle in ears, nose, throat, or even skin
- Clear nasal drainage
- Watery eyes
- Symptoms may be worse in certain settings (ie. outdoors or when exposed to certain pets)
- Typically lasts weeks without getting better or worse
What Causes a Cold or a Virus?
When somebody has a cold or a virus, they have an infection from a living organism.
The symptoms we experience from a cold are related to our immune system trying to fight the infection and kill the organism.
What Are Common Symptoms of a Cold
May ormay not have a fever
- Body aches and pains
- Clear thick nasal drainage
- Sore throat
- Fatigue or exhaustion
If you’re ever in doubt, get checked out!
Always check with your healthcare provider if you’re not sure what is causing your symptoms. Also, if you’re not improving despite trying these treatments, you should see your healthcare provider.
Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
Once you determine that what you’re experiencing is due to seasonal allergies, the next step is managing the symptoms.
The best time to start treating seasonal allergies is as soon as the seasons change.
This helps you stay ahead of your symptoms before they are in full force. Otherwise, you’ll be playing catch up all season trying to manage your symptoms.
Pay attention to when your symptoms are usually worse (Fall or Spring) and prepare ahead of time.
The following tips are adapted from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. These treatments have been proven to be at least mild-moderately effective.
There are other treatments that people use including various oils, herbal teas, and supplements.
Before trying any of these, always check your source and make sure that they are effective and safe.
If you take any prescription medications, check with your healthcare provider and ask for their advice prior to starting anything new.
Acupuncture is a very old practice worldwide, but is still relatively new in Western Medicine. There are so many benefits of acupuncture including managing migraines, pain, digestive issues, and Hay Fever.
Recently, studies have proven the benefits of acupuncture for managing allergic symptoms, especially in people with year-round allergies.
Butterbur is a supplement made from root extract or leaves of a shrub and has been shown to effectively reduce Hay Fever or allergy symptoms.
However, make sure to read the label and only use PA-free (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) butterbur and not raw butterbur. Raw butterbur may put you at risk of liver damage.
You can find Butterbur supplements at a local vitamin shop.
Or, for full sinus relief and added vitamin C, I love Rainbow Lite’s Sinus Blend which contains Butterbur plus Vitamin C.
Neti Pot/ Nasal Rinse
The Neti Pot is a favorite treatment of mine for both colds and allergies. It’s a messy process, but so effective at promoting drainage and relieving sinus pressure and congestion.
I always recommend trying this in the shower the first time so you don’t spill water all over yourself.
One warning with the Neti Pot, do not use tap water. Tap water is not clean and puts you at risk of infection from contaminants and organisms in the water.
Always use distilled or sterile water mixed with saline or salt.
Similar to the Neti Pot,
Normal saline is the same alkalinity as your bloodstream and does not negatively affect your body. When you use this nasal spray, it’s simply using pressure to promote drainage of your nasal cavity and sinuses.
Additionally, if your nose is very dry or irritated from blowing, this is very soothing.
Try to avoid using it more than 3-4 times per day however because it can cause some irritation to your nose.
Honey has powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This helps reduce congestion associated with allergies.
Also, research has found possible benefits from the consumption of local honey on reducing seasonal allergies. This is believed to be related to small amounts of pollen found within the honey.
The small, constant exposure may help dull your immune system’s response to pollen. To read more about honey and its uses, read this article on my favorite natural products.
Humidifiers are helpful for both allergies and colds. They help to increase moisture in your nose which reduces irritation and
Be sure to always read the package instructions for proper care and maintenance of your humidifier. Otherwise, without proper care, you may be harvesting mold!
Probiotics have become very popular supplements and are a hot research topic. They are widely used for a variety of ailments including irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, and colic in babies.
Some studies have also found that probiotics help reduce symptoms of allergies. This is possibly from improving your immune system and the “good” bacteria.
There are many different probiotics available with many different types of strains.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, probiotics with Lactobacilli and
Garden of Life’s Probiotics contain multiple strains and are from a safe, high-quality company.
Essential oils are rapidly growing in popularity in the US. However, they have been used for centuries elsewhere in the world.
Eucalyptus is one particular oil which has been studied for its effectiveness in reducing allergy symptoms. This can be defused or mixed with a carrier oil and applied topically.
If you are new to essential oils and are looking for high quality and affordable oils, check out Simply Earth. Use my code for a $40 gift card with your first purchase: MINDFULMAMAFREE.
The use of air filters, such as this HEPA filter, helps reduce exposure to allergens. This removes the allergen and other pollutants from the air in your home.
It is recommended to change filters every 3 months to ensure the cleanest air and to minimize the
Keep Windows Closed
When you suffer from seasonal allergies, the less exposure you have, the better you will feel. Although it is tempting to open up the windows and let the fresh air in, this will also be letting pollen and allergens into your home.
During the height of pollen season, keep your windows closed in order to avoid constant exposure to pollen.
Nasal steroids (Flonase, Nasonex, Nasacort) are the most effective standard treatment for prevention and management of seasonal allergies. Although they’re not a natural remedy, they’re extremely effective, so I had to include them on this list.
Nasal steroids reduce the inflammation and congestion people experience with allergy symptoms without causing drowsiness or other uncomfortable side effects.
Claritin, Zyrtec, or Allegra are common antihistamines that are available over the counter at the pharmacy. These work by stopping histamine production which is the chemical that makes you produce mucus and feel an itch or a tickle.
These medications are similar to Benadryl, but they do not make you feel as drowsy as Benadryl does. Although antihistamines are not commonly referred to as “natural” treatments, they are very effective at managing symptoms.
If you prefer to go a more natural route for treating your symptoms, try other options first. It is important to keep these medications in your back pocket though if your symptoms are unmanageable.
ALWAYS REMEMBER: When in doubt, get checked out!
Before trying any supplements or over the counter medications, always check with your healthcare provider.
Although these are not prescription medications, they do all come with risks so it’s important to make sure they are safe for you and do not interact with any prescription medications you may be on.
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