Seasonal allergies affect millions of Americans each year. Symptoms can occur anytime from early spring through late fall and include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and wheezing. It’s virtually impossible to avoid the offending allergens, such as pollens, grasses, flowers and fungi. They're nearly everywhere and can trigger an immune-system response in susceptible people.
There are many traditional medications that can help with allergy symptoms, however they can often cause unwanted side effects. More and more people are looking to natural methods to control their seasonal allergies. Here are eight natural treatments that you may want to try:
This plant has long been used for allergy relief. It grows naturally in Europe and North America. Stinging nettle is especially good for relieving itchy, watery eyes and sneezing. It can be brewed as a tea or taken in capsule form. Some mix it with a saline solution for use as a nasal spray.
Echinacea (purple cornflower)
This immune system-enhancing herb has been shown to increase the production of T-cells in the blood. Echinacea is best taken intermittently for up to seven days at a time.
Known to have anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, garlic is best taken as coated tablets to experience its full immune system-boosting effects. Eating garlic on a regular basis may also help treat allergies.
This is a natural herb that has been used in Chinese medicine for 5000 years. It’s often used to treat bronchial disorders and inflammation. Ephedrine is the synthetic version of the main alkaloid and can be found in many traditional medications.
This European herb has shown impressive results in clinical studies for the treatment of allergy symptoms. One tablet taken four times a day has been shown to be as effective as a commonly used antihistamine for controlling hay-fever symptoms.
This flavonoid is commonly found in many foods, such as garlic, onions and citrus fruits, as well as in tea and wine. It’s known to be helpful in controlling allergy symptoms. There is some evidence that quercetin may control the release of histamines in the body.
Grape Seed Extract
Grapes have been used for healing since early European times. Grape seed extract has powerful antioxidant properties that have been shown to help relieve airborne as well as food allergies.
This small devise that looks like a tea pot has been used in India for thousands of years to keep the sinuses clear. Salt water is used to flush the sinuses and free them from troubling allergens.
It’s important to check with your doctor or healthcare provider before using any remedy. Even natural treatments can have unwanted side effects in certain people--especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions, such as high-blood pressure or diabetes. Also, keep in mind that children often react differently to herbs than adults. Therefore, it’s especially important to consult with a professional when treating the little ones.