Australia and New Zealand have some of the highest hay fever rates in the world (good to know, huh 😫), so when time comes for the change of seasons to begin, those who are prone to allergies may find themselves overcome with these sinus-clogging, eye-watering, itchy-throat causing symptoms.
But this isn’t just a common occurrence here in the land down under, ohhhh no. It can be a problem faced by many around the globe.
So what to do about it?
My brother has recently been on struggle street with hay fever and seasonal allergies, and came to me asking for some natural remedies that would help give him some relief. At the time I only knew that placing a tablespoon of coconut oil into some tea may help to relieve some of the symptoms due to its immune-boosting properties, but it got me thinking, what else could help in stopping, and hopefully preventing, these unpleasant allergy symptoms?
Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
These simple natural remedies may prove to be very effective at relieving allergies caused by the seasonal changes. Different people may benefit from different remedies depending on which allergens they’re reacting to and also certain genetic factors, so feel free to try different ones until you find one that works for you.
Just something to keep in mind, these won’t be as immediately effective as a medication, but over the long-term these remedies have helped many to lessen their seasonal allergies.
Cleanse Your Nostrils
The idea of this remedy is it helps to prevent as much of the allergen as possible from entering your airways.
This may help to flush out the sinuses of any allergens and irritants. It’s recommended that you use distilled or previously boiled water, not water straight from the tap (as it may contain parasites. Not something you want to be putting up your nose).
How to use: Either use a pre-made saline rinse or you can make your own by dissolving 1 teaspoon of Himalayan or plain sea salt in a quart of boiled distilled water. Wait for it to cool completely, then spray saline into nostrils a few times a week, or daily of you prefer, regardless of whether you have symptoms or not. Alternatively, you can use a Neti Pot which may do more of a thorough job at flushing out allergens.
This wonderful herb is a natural antihistamine that can be very effective at naturally blocking the body’s ability to produce histamine. Nettle leaf can be combined with other herbs to make a tea that provides some allergy relief. Peppermint leaf and red raspberry leaf are often combined with nettle leaf to make a soothing allergy relief herbal tea.
How to use: You can include nettle in a homemade herbal tea during allergy season and take capsules for more acute allergy symptoms.
Raw Local Honey
This theory doesn’t have much scientific evidence to back it up, but there are many anecdotal recounts from people who have tried it. The idea is that consuming local honey from the area in which you live may help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment there. Like a “natural allergy hit”.
How to use: Consume a teaspoon or more of raw, unprocessed local honey from as close to your area as possible. It is recommended to start this a month or so before allergy season. Have the honey one or more times a day to help relieve symptoms.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The theory behind using apple cider vinegar is it may help in reducing mucus production and assist in cleansing the lymphatic system, making it great for allergy relief!
How to use: mix a teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, that contains “The Mother” (this is essential) into a glass of water and drink around 3 times a day. “The Mother” is just a colony of beneficial bacteria present in some ACV brands. It will generally list it on the bottle if it has it. This is the one I use.
Allergies tend to result from an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to overreact to a certain stimuli. Balancing gut bacteria and consuming more beneficial bacteria may help to counteract allergy symptoms. More research is showing that by consuming probiotics, it can help boost the immune system and reduce allergies!
This natural bioflavonoid found in plants may help stabilise mast cells and keep them from releasing histamine. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce inflammation.
As with any herb, it is advised that you check with your doctor before using, particularly if you’re pregnant, are taking hormonal contraceptives, or have a liver problem.
How to use: Quercetin is naturally found in foods like broccoli and citrus, but generally not in the amounts needed to help relieve allergies. Taking a quality quercetin supplement can be helpful in relieving acute symptoms and preventing allergies. For best results, start taking quercetin 4-6 weeks before allergy season.
Changes in Your Diet
Dietary changes may also help improve allergy symptoms. Consuming plenty of homemade bone broth can help ease respiratory problems, assists in expelling excess nasal mucus, help reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system. Conducting an elimination diet can help as well.
What to do: Following the GAPS diet for several months can prove to be very successful in improving seasonal allergies.
What Causes Seasonal Allergies?
Allergic responses have everything to do with the immune system. Any time something enters our body, whether it be from food, water, air, etc. our body reacts. This is completely natural, and very essential, as it helps keep our body in a state of balance.
However, if too many foreign invaders are entering our bodies (i.e. toxic-overload), the body becomes overloaded and overstimulated which can result in the immune system responding to otherwise would-be harmless substances the same way it would to that of a harmful foreign invader.
What Causes Allergy Symptoms?
Allergy disorders may occur when the body starts reacting to what would previously have been a harmless substance with an increase IgE (a type of antibody) attached to mast cells (these release histamine) in the body and Type 1 T helper cells (Th1 – these are immune cells). Reactions like mucus secretion, constriction of the bronchial tubes, and increased vascular permeability (an inflammatory response) may occur within minutes.
If the body’s first immune response isn’t able to “correct” the problem, this reaction will start to trigger further responses, where leukocytes and Type 2 T helper cells (Th2) will be called in to help. This is a stronger immune response which is usually activated by the body to fight off parasites and other foreign invaders. Symptoms may vary depending on genetics and where about’s in the body the perceived invasion is. Some of the symptoms may include:
- Hay fever (blocked sinuses, congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose)
- Excessive production of nasal mucus, resulting in nasal drip
- fatigue (can be extreme)
- nausea and upset digestive system
- potential anaphylaxis
Allergy testing may help to determine what the triggers for some are, but typically, treatment will tend to involve taking an antihistamine or corticosteroid routinely which can have unwanted side effects. Some ways to help stop allergies naturally are:
- Supporting a strong healthy immune system (like reducing the toxic-load on the body)
- Limiting exposure to potential allergens
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products.
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What are some natural remedies you use for allergies? Have you tried any of the ones above?
Wells, Katie. (January 23, 2019). 9 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergy Relief. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/8370/allergy-relief-remedies/
How Probiotics Can Help You Prevent and Fight Allergies According to New Research. Body Ecology. Retrieved from https://bodyecology.com/articles/how_probiotics_help_prevent_allergies.php#.UV3ap6uUPVQ
McCoy, Kathleen, BS. (August 9, 2018). Hay Fever: 9 Natural Ways to Treat Seasonal Allergy Symptoms. Dr. Axe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/seasonal-allergy-symptoms/
The Worst Places To Live With Allergies. (September 11, 2018). Health & Wellness Australia & New Zealand. Retrieved from https://naturalallergytreatment.com.au/the-best-and-worst-places-to-live-for-hay-fever-sufferers/