At least 50 million Americans suffer from allergies in the spring, summer, and fall, and most of them use antihistamines or other prescription medications to ease their symptoms.
However, these drugs are often linked to many negative side effects, like blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth and throat, impaired motor function, liver injury, or sedation.
Fortunately, there are natural substances that can also relieve your symptoms, minus the side effects.
Most seasonal allergies are usually caused by blooming plants in the spring, summer or autumn, as well as the weather.
If you have allergies, you may experience the following symptoms:
If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or currently taking medication for allergies or other conditions, check with a physician to determine if any of these foods or supplements could have side effects.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples and papaya. The enzyme is often used to relieve inflammation and swelling, especially due to allergy symptoms triggered by excess histamines.
Bromelain is particularly effective at minimizing swelling in the nasal passageways. Take bromelain in capsule form to relieve allergy symptoms.
Alternatively, you can take supplements that combine bromelain and other beneficial enzymes. (Related: Natural remedies for allergies.)
Butterbur is a shrub that works like antihistamines, but without any side effects. Butterbur helps relieve coughs, hay fever, and headaches.
It can also decrease the inflammatory mechanisms that cause post nasal drip symptoms. Purchase butterbur in capsule or tablet form at health food stores.
Fermented foods are full of healthy probiotics that strengthen your immunity. Probiotics help relieve both food and seasonal allergies as well.
Eat fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut to prevent allergy symptoms. Another option is to take probiotic supplements every day.
Studies suggest that two strains are particularly effective at relieving allergy symptoms: Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s are found in foods such as mackerel, salmon, flax,and walnuts. These fatty acids reduce inflammation and relieve stress.
Omega-3s are also used to lessen the severity of allergies since stress can aggravate symptoms. Eat foods rich in omega-3s every day or take an EPA/DHA supplement such as fish or krill oil.
Quercetin, a compound naturally found in some foods, is a flavonoid with antioxidant effects on the body. The flavonoid helps slow and reduce the release of histamines that are involved in allergic responses.
Quercetin isn't as effective as an epinephrine autoinjector (e.g., EpiPen), but the long-term use of quercetin helps decrease the body’s response to allergic triggers.
Fruits and vegetables like apples, citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables, green tea, and onions contain quercetin. You can also take quercetin supplements.
Take note that you need to take the supplements regularly for around two weeks before they have a noticeable effect on allergy symptoms.
Stinging nettle is a medicinal herb used to treat allergic rhinitis or hay fever. The herb lowers histamine levels that trigger allergy symptoms.
Stinging nettle is available in either tea or capsule form. Take stinging nettle at least several days or even a couple of weeks before prime allergy season for best results.
Before seasonal allergies ruin your day, try these natural supplements to address your symptoms.