Struggling with seasonal allergy symptoms? Here are 8 natural remedies for allergies that can drastically reduce your symptoms.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’re not alone. 50 million people suffer from allergies each year, and seasonal allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. Hay fever alone affects 7.8% of the adult population in the United States, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.
When symptoms hit, it can make daily activities unbearable. Luckily, there are a variety of natural remedies for allergies that actually work to improve symptoms.
These home remedies for allergies address the root cause, which can provide long withstanding relief. In short, you’ve got to support your body and immune system so your allergy symptoms subside.
Common Allergy Symptoms
Seasonal allergies are allergies that happen at certain times of the year, usually when there are more outdoor stimulants such as mold spores and pollen. Seasonal allergies are sometimes called “hay fever” or seasonal allergic rhinitis. The most common symptoms include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy mouth, nose or throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Postnasal drip
- Temporary loss of smell
Why Do Seasonal Allergies Occur?
Seasonal allergies occur because your immune system thinks otherwise harmless substances, such as dust, pollen, or pet dander, are harmful. To protect you, your immune system triggers white blood cells to create antibodies. It also releases a chemical called histamine to counteract allergens and get them off of your body.
Histamine is responsible for all of those lovely symptoms, including runny nose, watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, scratchy throat, and generally feeling like garbage.
How Can I Treat Allergies Naturally?
Treating allergies naturally includes lowering your baseline reactivity by reducing your exposure to allergens, and supporting your body’s elimination of allergens so your immune system stops responding to them. This can drastically reduce symptoms, especially if you have a good understanding of what’s causing them.
8 Natural Remedies for Allergies
1. Support Gut Health
Did you know that 70% of your immune system is located in your gut? Unfortunately, many things in our modern world negatively impact gut health. Chronic use of antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, inflammatory foods, chronic stress, poor sleep, and even cesarean births have all been shown to harm gut bacteria.
Studies show people with seasonal allergies have a low diversity of bacteria in the gut. Lack of diversity is associated with all types of allergies, especially seasonal and/or nut allergies. Low diversity of gut bacteria is also associated with many chronic diseases, including autoimmune disease.
To improve gut health, the first place to start is diet. Get in lots of leafy greens, grass fed meats, cold water fish, and egg yolks to nourish the gut and support the liver’s detoxification of histamine. Make sure to eat both probiotic and prebiotic foods, and supplement with a good probiotic. Research shows probiotics can help reduce symptoms of hay fever.
And what you don’t eat is just as important as what you do. Reduce foods that can trigger inflammation, including vegetable oils, gluten, and processed sugar.
When symptoms get bad, try a low-histamine diet or reduce high histamine foods like cheese, alcohol (especially wine), fermented foods, citrus fruits, and preserved meats. For kids, pay special attention to things like strawberries, bananas, and avocado which are high in histamine.
2. Vitamin D + Zinc
Nutrient deficiencies can play a powerful role in seasonal allergies. Studies show deficiencies in Vitamin D and Zinc are linked to seasonal allergies. Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system, and vitamin D deficiency was a strong correlate for asthma, allergic rhinitis, and wheezing.
The best way to address nutrient deficiencies is to improve the nutrient-density of your diet. Eat lots of high quality eggs, meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits.
3. Nasal Irrigation
This is one of the most powerful natural remedies for allergies and the #1 thing that has reduced my husband’s allergy symptoms. Nasal irrigation not only clears up congestion, it also flushes out the allergens from your nose and sinuses. We love the Nasopure. Do this at the end of the day, especially when spending time outdoors. For a slightly quicker and more convenient option throughout the day, try the Xlear Nasal Spray.
4. Air Filtration At Home
Filtering the air in your home, especially in your bedroom, can make a huge difference in allergy symptoms. Make sure to choose true HEPA filtration, which removes 99.99% of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns—including allergens, dust, mold, and viruses. I personally use the AirDoctor 1000 in my bedroom, and the AirDoctor 3000 in the livingroom and kitchen. You can also wash your hair at night to remove pollen and wash pillowcases frequently.
5. Support Liver Detoxification
Your liver’s main job is detoxification. It neutralizes the toxins you’re exposed to, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, solvents, hormones, food additives, endocrine disruptors, and more. The liver also helps to eliminate things your body produces like histamine.
When your liver is working overtime metabolizing your stress hormones, alcohol and processed foods, air pollutants, or medication, allergy symptoms can flare because your body isn’t able to properly detoxify allergens or histamine. This excess means more symptoms.
You can reduce the load on your liver by eliminating things from your life that the liver must process and detoxify. Also, eat high quality protein (like grass-fed and pasture-raised meats and eggs) and leafy greens, which are rich in B vitamins. And you can support detoxification with supplements, including milk thistle and NAC.
6. Local Raw Honey
Supplementing with local, raw honey daily can help your body build a tolerance to local pollen. Studies show that patients who consumed local honey regularly experienced a 60 percent reduction in allergy symptoms. Look for local raw honey at farmers markets.
While it may be hard to exercise when you’re symptomatic, studies show regular exercise improves allergies long-term by reducing airway inflammation. Opt for indoor workouts if your allergies are flaring, and adjust your workout intensity as needed depending on how you’re feeling. Follow up with a visit to the sauna or hot shower to clear your sinuses.
8. Supplements For Allergy Symptoms
There are several supplements that work to improve allergy symptoms. Essentially, these help the body to eliminate histamine and support the immune system. While a simple compound supplement may do the trick, you might need a bit of trial and error to see what is most effective. Here are some options:
- Seeking Health HistaminX – Fantastic probiotic without histamine-producing strains
- Designs for Health HistaEze – My favorite compound supplement with nettle leaf and quercetin. Treat this like an antihistamine.
- Quercetin and Vitamin C – Both are powerful at reducing histamine, and my favorite combo to boost immune function when sick!
- Nettle Leaf – one of the most popular natural remedies for allergies, nettle reduces allergy symptoms, especially hay fever
- Vital Proteins Beef Liver – Packed with nutrients that support the liver and liver detoxification.
- Vitamin D3 + K2 – Studies have shown that children who live farther from the equator are more likely to develop allergies and suffer higher rates of hospital admissions due to allergic reactions.
- Spirulina – research suggests that supplementing with 2,000 mg of spirulina significantly reduces allergy symptoms.
The Bottom Line
Seasonal allergies are super common and awfully annoying. But arming yourself with a combination of prevention and support will make springtime a lot more enjoyable! If one of these natural remedies has worked for you, share below! I’d love to hear about your experience.