7 Natural Ways to Reduce Allergies

It’s that time of year again!

Just as the weather is getting warm and you’re ready to spend more time outside, itchy, watery eyes, a runny, stuffy nose, and sinus congestion have you cursing Mother Nature and heading back inside. Good ol’ allergy season.

I’m no stranger to allergies. I developed them around age 15 and went through the gamut of allergy medications — first Claritin, then Allegra, then Zyrtec and nasal sprays. Somehow, my allergies pretty much disappeared three years ago, and now I really only suffer from some red eyes in the spring.

I can’t pinpoint exactly what cured my allergies, but I’m positive a healthier diet and supplements helped. I also used a neti pot daily (see No. 7).

A couple of you wrote in asking about treatments for allergies, so here are seven natural ways to help get you through this spring.

  1. Vitamin D

Is there anything this crucial hormone isn’t good for? (Yes, it’s actually a hormone!) Vitamin D plays a key role in the immune system, and research has linked low D levels to allergies and asthma.

Now that it’s getting warmer out, be sure to get outside and expose your arms for 15-20 minutes every other day or so. If you can’t get outside much, or live in the north, you will probably need to take a high quality vitamin D supplement to get optimal levels.

  1. Butterbur

Butterbur has been shown in multiple human studies to be effective for reducing allergy symptoms. One study of 125 allergy sufferers found that in as little as two weeks, butterbur was just as effective as Zyrtec, but didn’t cause drowsiness like the drug did.[1] Butterbur also shows promise to help prevent migraines.

  1. Local Honey

Local honey is thought to act as a “natural vaccine” against allergies. By eating honey that was produced by bees in your area, you ingest trace amounts of pollen. The amount of pollen isn’t enough to invoke an allergic response in most people, but helps prime the immune system to not overreact to the pollen in the environment.

The one study I could find that examined whether local honey helped treat allergy symptoms found that it had no effect. However, many people swear by the effectiveness of honey for allergies.

Whether it’s placebo effect, coincidence, or it really does work, it might be worth a shot. Just don’t go crazy — honey is sugar, after all. One tablespoon a day is all you need.

  1. Vitamin C and Quercetin

Though convincing human research is lacking, these nutrients have been shown in test-tube research to stop the production and release of histamine.

Bell peppers, kale, broccoli, and strawberries actually all rival oranges for their vitamin C content.

Quercetin is found in high amounts in apples (with skin), cocoa powder, peppers, cranberries and onions. Add these fruits and vegetables to your springtime diet and see if it helps.

  1. Aller-7

This patented blend of seven herbal extracts was shown to be effective against allergies in a rather large two-part study.

In one part of the study, 171 people we given Aller-7 or a placebo for 12 weeks. In the other part of the study, an additional 374 people were given Aller-7 (there was no placebo in this part of the study). Sneezing, runny nose, and congestion were significantly reduced by Aller-7, and no serious adverse events were reported.[2]

Aller-7 is available in several different products, which you can find here.

  1. Beta Glucan

Beta glucan, a type of polysaccharide (carbohydrate) from brewer’s yeast, has been shown in at least two human studies to reduce ragweed allergy symptoms.

The branded ingredient used in the studies is called Wellmune, and it was shown to reduce the severity of allergy symptoms up to 52% compared with a placebo. It also helped improve the quality of sleep and overall well-being of the study participants.

Wellmune seems to benefit the immune system in other ways as well. In a couple of human studies, it’s been shown to help reduce the duration and severity of colds, flu, and upper respiratory infections.[3]

Full disclosure: Wellmune is not a cheap supplement. But if you have severe allergy symptoms and a or a weak immune system, it might be worth it. You can but it online here.

You can also get beta glucan from eating mushrooms, which makes sense considering there is a boatload of research emerging that shows mushrooms have powerful immune boosting properties.

  1. Neti Pot

Using a neti pot (nasal irrigation) is not for the faint of heart. By gently pouring warm salt water through your nasal passages, you wash out pollen and bacteria that contribute to your allergy symptoms.

I love my neti pot, it’s really effective for clearing a stuffed nose, and I do believe it helped cure my allergies. You MUST use distilled water, though. There have been a few reports of people contracting a deadly brain parasite after using tap water in their neti pot. Neti pots can be found at your local pharmacy.

Have you tried any these remedies and had success? Do you have another recommendation for your fellow Living Well Daily readers?

Let me know! livingwelldaily@lfb.org.

To living well,

Jasmine LeMaster

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC64514/

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15689054

[3] http://www.wellmune.com/research/clinical-research/

View More Free Articles

MAILBAG: Slow Dementia Down with THIS “Sugar Fix”

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, My wife has recently begun showing signs of dementia. Her doctor has put her on medicine to try and “slow the progression” but, if anything, she seems like she’s just getting worse. Is there anything we can do? –Martin from Durham, North Carolina Hi Martin, Some medications claim to slow...

Read This

Common Weed Killer Causes IBD?

It always puzzles me how anyone thinks we can spray toxic chemicals on our crops and NOT have them affect our health! Because despite what food manufacturers may claim, chemical residues from pesticides and herbicides show up on (and IN) the conventionally grown food we eat. And research makes it clear that these creepy chemicals...

Read This

All-Natural Solution FIGHTS Vision Loss

I think you’ll agree that aging should come with some perks. And chief among them is FINALLY having the time to relax and enjoy the retirement you earned. But that’s awfully hard to do if you’re losing your eyesight due to macular degeneration. Instead, your golden years become tarnished by having to focus on learning...

Read This

Dodge Diabetes with THIS “Barnyard” Secret

How does that old saying go? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We all know it’s easier to STOP something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it’s happened. And with all of its complications, including shortening your lifespan, type 2 diabetes is well worth preventing!...

Read This

Gut Trigger Causes Arthritis? (WEIRD)

I’ve had patients make some pretty strange claims about their arthritis. Many folks swear they can “feel a storm coming” in their joints. And I’ve heard this one so often (and had them be spot-on about that storm) that I believe it’s true. Other patients claim their joint pain gets worse when eating tomatoes. And...

Read This

Common Heart Condition Sends Dementia Risk SOARING

If you’re “of a certain age,” I bet you remember that iconic old slogan from the late 70s, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” It always springs to mind when I see a sharp person’s memory start to fade away. They soon become unable to make decisions for themselves. Eventually, they even have...

Read This

MAILBAG: Protect Yourself Against New COVID Variants

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, “Most of my family has been hit with COVID. We’re thinking it’s the latest variant. Are there any extra, new recommendations for protecting yourself against the variant? (Aside from washing your hands?) My husband and I have tested negative so far, but we want to be careful.” –Tammy from Lancaster,...

Read This

Dial Down Blood Sugar Naturally [RIVALS Metformin!]

If you have diabetes, it’s almost certain that your conventional medical doctor put you on a blood sugar-lowering drug. And there’s ALSO a strong possibility that the drug makes you feel terrible. Common side effects include gas, bloating, upset stomach, kidney issues, and fatigue. Even worse, over time, these drugs become less effective. So even...

Read This

“Happiness Method” Slows Aging

Okay, I’ll admit it. There have been times I’ve found it tough to maintain an optimistic outlook these last few years. And I’m not alone. Studies show that unhappiness and loneliness are on the rise. That’s TERRIBLE news for our health. Because when you combine the two, it can deliver a devastating blow to your...

Read This

Belly Up to The Bowl for THIS New Nut Benefit

It’s the nuttiest time of year. And I’m not just talking about the decorating, shopping, and holiday chaos… I’m literally talking about NUTS. Sure, we eat these tasty treats all year round. But when the holidays approach our nut consumption goes through the roof. We eat more nuts from October through December than any other...

Read This