An estimated 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from seasonal allergies, or more commonly known as hay fever. Conventional treatments typically rely on over-the-counter antihistamine medications, contributing to the roughly $18 billion the U.S. spends on allergy related costs each year. Not to mention, while these medications may offer symptomatic relief, they don’t solve the problem and usually come with unpleasant side effects such as brain fog , sleepiness, and can lead to other more dangerous side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and blurred vision. At Parsley Health, we like to focus on natural remedies for allergies that address symptoms without these unpleasant side effects.
Allergic reactions occur when your immune system identifies an airborne substance that’s usually harmless as dangerous. This causes the body to release a compound called histamine, which in turn produce allergy symptoms.
If you deal with seasonal allergies, you know too well that this can impact your quality of life. Below are some of the most common seasonal allergy symptoms.
So what is an allergy sufferer to do? Trying to find a solution that resolves symptoms while avoiding harsh side effects seems impossible, but there are actually many natural options that can help you find this balance. Try these five natural remedies for allergies that can help keep symptoms in check.
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables. It’s also a natural antihistamine that works without the side effects of other medications. We recommend using quercetin regularly as soon as seasonal allergies hit in order to build up levels in the body and then continuing throughout the allergy season. You can get quercetin in supplement form—consider starting with 1000 mg, taken twice daily on an empty stomach—or by increasing your intake of foods high in this flavonoid. Some natural sources include:
Also known as Stinging Nettle, Nettles get their name from the leaves of the plant which are prickly to the touch and have been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms. Nettles may reduce the amount of histamine that is produced by the body in response to an allergen. You can consume Nettle as a tea or take it as a tincture.
For those dealing with a pollen allergy, local, raw honey can be a great way to resolve symptoms. Local honey acts similarly to a vaccine: by giving yourself a little dose of the local pollen through the honey, you allow your body to begin building a tolerance to the pollen and have a less severe allergic reaction. It’s best to start taking either honey or bee pollen daily at least six weeks before allergy season begins.
You can find bee pollen and raw honey at your local farmers market or health food store. Bee pollen has been shown to decrease the IgE mediated activation of mast cells, thereby dampening the allergic response.
Low vitamin D levels and its inability to be utilized in the cells is associated with an increase in allergies. Consider taking a high-quality Vitamin D3 supplement and increasing your exposure to sunlight to help decrease allergy symptoms such as sneezing and nasal congestion. Vitamin D3 has been shown to naturally support immune system function, and strengthen respiratory health. I recommend our Vitamin D3 with K2 , which comes in an easy to absorb liquid form.
The Neti Pot has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine but is quite popular today as a gentle and effective way to rinse the nasal cavity. By flushing the nasal cavity with a gently warmed saline solution, you clear out allergens and loosen mucus. You can use a Neti Pot two to three times a week to help get rid of your allergy symptoms.
Ashley Koch, a mom of two and a family nutrition advocate based in San Francisco, suddenly found herself dealing with mysterious daily hive outbreaks. After visiting multiple doctors, she was told to take medication until they went away with no investigation into the root cause. This is her incredible transformation story of how she was able to heal drug-free.
Dr. Robin Berzin is the founder and CEO of Parsley Health. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Robin completed medical school at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and trained in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.