- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Natural Treatments For Hay Fever and How to Use Them
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.
Quercetin Soothes Allergy Symptoms Without Side Effects
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 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.
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.
My Favorite Salt Lamp
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?
© 2013 Christin Sander