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Natural Treatments For Hay Fever and How to Use Them

Updated on June 24, 2015
ChristinS profile image

Christin is a natural health and wellness advocate with 20 years of experience studying and working in the health and supplement industry.

Natural Hay Fever Remedies and How to Use Them
Natural Hay Fever Remedies and How to Use Them | Source

Do you have seasonal allergies, but hate to take medication because of the side-effects like drowsiness and mind fog? Autumn is the worst for hay fever in my area. The trees are doing their thing, the farmers are harvesting corn and beans and the air is full of dust, pollen and even mold spores when it's wet and warm.

I have horrible seasonal allergies in both the late spring and throughout the fall months. I cannot take antihistamines because they knock me out cold. Even “non-drowsy” formulas seem to mess with me and I feel groggy and like I can't think clearly.

For several years, I worked in a natural health and wellness center. During that time I learned a lot about natural medicine and alternative remedies. It was during this time, that I discovered many different remedies for allergies and sinuses. Some work better than others – here are my favorite remedies, how they work and where to find them.

How Quercetin Stops Allergy Attacks

Quercetin is my absolute favorite. If you find yourself sneezing, with itchy, watery eyes, one dose stops the symptoms in their tracks within about 20 minutes.You can take it to stop an acute attack, or to prevent them before they happen, without any bothersome side-effects.

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid, a completely natural substance that gives plants their color. Thousands of these pigments exist and many of them provide the same health protective benefits to us as they do to plants. In the body, allergens cause the white blood cells to produce the allergic antibody IgE. These molecules travel throughout the bloodstream, combining with Mast cells. Mast cells serve as the body's storage unit for histamine, when IgE attaches to the cell membranes, it causes them to release histamine leading to the typical allergic responses: itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion etc.

Quercetin stops this process in its tracks. Quercetin acts on mast cells, stabilizing the cell membrane and preventing them from releasing histamine. Without the release of histamine, allergy attacks don't happen, even with exposure to the allergen. Taking quercetin prevents these reactions by acting as a 100% natural anti-histamine.

Quercetin is not easily absorbed by the body. The best way to take it is combined with bromelain, a natural digestive enzyme found in foods like pineapple. As a supplement a quercetin/bromelain combination is very effective. It is also inexpensive. You can take it daily to prevent allergic reactions, or during an attack to ease the symptoms.

My favorite brands are the Doctor's Best brand or NOW foods. They seem to be the most potent at the best price. Purchase it online and save a great deal of money.

Tea can be made from stinging nettles or alternatively it can be used 3 times daily as a tincture.
Tea can be made from stinging nettles or alternatively it can be used 3 times daily as a tincture. | Source

Stinging Nettles Tea Stops Seasonal Allergies

If you love herbal teas, this next remedy may be ideal for you. In order to work effectively, you need to drink the tea daily starting several weeks prior to allergy season. “Stinging Nettles” is an herb that grows wild. It gets its name from the series of painful stings it produces if you rub up against it.

Stinging Nettles work in a few different ways. The leaves of this plant are a good source of quercetin, a natural anti-histamine. Nettle leaves also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are used to treat chronic inflammation in the body often caused by repeated exposure to allergic triggers.

You can purchase nettle tea, or make your own infusion by picking it (carefully) and pouring boiling water over the leaves and allowing them to steep for several minutes. The infusion or tea should be consumed twice daily for the entire allergy season for best results.

Many of our customers loved nettle tea and swore by it. I personally do not use this method because I am not a big fan of tea and I know I wouldn't be likely to drink two cups per day for several weeks. The sheer number of people who reported enjoying it though makes it worth a mention.

Studies have also been done worldwide that show the effectiveness of Nettles as an allergy remedy. People have been using it since the 10th century for a reason! Learn more about human clinical studies of Nettles here.

Local Organic Raw Honey - the best natural form of immunotherapy.
Local Organic Raw Honey - the best natural form of immunotherapy. | Source

Local Raw Organic Honey

As bees feed, they move from blossom to blossom, picking up pollen on their legs. These spores are then returned to the hive, where small amounts are deposited into the honey produced by the bees. When you eat unprocessed, local honey it is a form of natural immunotherapy.

If you've ever had “allergy shots”, they function on the same principal. Regular exposure to minute amounts of allergens help the body to build resistance. Eating local honey regularly throughout the season will help your body to build up tolerance to native pollens common to your region.

The very low concentration of spores in honey triggers your body to produce antibodies, without triggering an allergic response. Stir a bit into your tea every day, or have a bit of toast. It's a tasty way to help your body fight off hay fever.

Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps give off a soft, lovely glow in different shades of orange, yellow, or pink.
Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps give off a soft, lovely glow in different shades of orange, yellow, or pink. | Source

Fight Allergies with Salt Lamps

Have you ever taken a walk next to the ocean and noticed how easy it is to breathe deeply? Salt is a natural air purifier that attaches to pollutants and neutralizes them. This can help stop allergies and asthma naturally. The release of negative ions in the air from the sea salt neutralizes positive ions.

If you've ever noticed how the air pressure changes just before a thunderstorm – that is due to the buildup of positive ions. Once the rain comes, negative ions are released and this brings that calm, clean atmosphere.

Negative ions neutralize pollution in the air. A salt lamp is an inexpensive way to purify the air in your most commonly used spaces. These are not as powerful as commercial air purifiers, but they are very beautiful and soothing and they can help in small spaces. Place the lamps near your bed, or in your living room – wherever you spend a great deal of time.

These lamps come in all shapes and sizes. You can purchase them online and many natural health type stores carry them or can order them for you. If you have asthma, you can also order natural sea salt inhalers. You breathe on them daily for several minutes and they reduce inflammation in the airways.

These are my personal favorite remedies for natural allergy relief. I hope you will try one or more of them and that they give you the same great results.

Potential Side Effects and Interactions

Side Effects or Precautions
minimal. considered safe. Women taking HRT should use caution. quercetin may increase estradiol, possibly reducing the effects of estrogen
Pregnant women should not use this herb. Nettles can reduce blood sugar levels so those who are diabetic should use caution when using this herb. It may also lower blood pressure and enhance the effects of certain blood pressure medicines.
Safe in everyone except children under 1 year old. Infants should not be given honey due to risk of botulism.

Have you tried any of these remedies for seasonal allergies?

See results

© 2013 Christin Sander


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    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks annart, the quercetin works extremely well for me. Amazon carries it. I'd get the version mixed with bromelain because it's faster and easier to absorb. Hoping you find relief for next season :)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      This is very interesting. I suffer from hay fever from around May to September and I've tried natural and antihistamine remedies. The natural ones seem to wear off after a while as though their effects diminish with use. I know about honey helping and it does (but it has to be local, to counteract local pollens etc) but I hadn't heard of Quercetin. I'm not sure if it's available here in Britain but I can no doubt get it online. It's something I'll try next season if I can get some. I've always preferred being by the sea to alleviate symptoms but didn't realise why! A salt lamp was also unknown to me. Thanks for all the invaluable information. Up, useful & interesting.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      Awesome tebo - so glad it works as well for you as it does for me. I love how quickly it works and unlike antihistamines I don't end up all sleepy and foggy minded. So glad you found relief with it too and thank you for the update! :)

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 4 years ago from New Zealand

      HI ChristinS. I got some Quercetin yesterday and it does seem to have stopped the symptoms in their tracks. Thanks for the advice!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      Hi tebo, salt lamps are effective in small areas. You might want to get a HEPA filter air filter if your hayfever is bothering you a lot indoors. I have a large salt lamp in my office and it helps a lot. the Quercetin though is amazing for stopping symptoms without the benadryl induced lethargy.

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting hub. I seem to be suffering from hay fever type allergies this year. Quercetin sounds interesting. I did not realize salt lamps could be helpful. I do have one, but the bulb has gone and I have not replaced it, however I will do so very soon.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks Casey hope the quercetin works well for you. I really enjoy it

    • caseymel profile image

      caseymel 4 years ago from Indiana

      I have used local honey, apple cider vinegar, the neti pot and tons of allergy and asthma medicine. I will have to try Quercetin. I have tons of allergy relief Hubs if you would like to check out my profile. (-:

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      Thank you for pinning and sharing Sue. Glad you don't have these seasonal allergies - they can be so miserable.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I don't personally suffer from seasonal allergies but it's always useful to know these things. Voted up, pinned and shared

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 4 years ago from Midwest

      We have a neti pot too. It's good especially for sinus congestion.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      Although I have heard of salt lamps, I've never heard of Quercetin or Nettles. Very interesting. I also use the neti and swear by it. It definitely is an acquired thing, but it works.