Allergies are more than just a nuisance – They can be downright painful and disruptive. And according to statistics, the number of people who suffer with allergies is only going up.
According to webmd.com, the percentage of American adults who endure some manner of allergy onslaught is a whopping 30%.
On top of that, the percentage of American children who have allergies is even higher - an astounding 40%!
In total, more than 50 million Americans report allergy challenges annually, with an estimated annual cost to the healthcare system of about $18 billion.
So clearly, allergies are nothing to sneeze at.
And certainly, nobody WANTS to struggle through a chronic or seasonal allergic episode. That’s why the average consumer runs straight for an over-the-counter and/or prescription medication to find relief.
These solutions, while occasionally effective, can quickly rack up considerable out-of-pocket costs – AND – they’re often a package deal with a number of difficult side effects such as drowsiness, medicine-head, brain fog, and even blurred vision.
Fortunately, nature has equipped you and I with a number of natural solutions that can offer less stuffy days and congested nights. Below, you’ll find 12 of my favorite natural remedies to help you fight the good fight against allergies...
1. LOCAL Raw Honey
Honey produced in and around the area where you live works better to relieve allergies because it contains traces of your local pollen. Over time your body will start to build an immunity to the pollen, which can eventually lead to relief. In concept, this is similar to the idea of getting allergy shots. Make sure to check (and double check) where the honey is produced so you know you’re getting something truly LOCAL.
Aim to have a couple tablespoons per day (it’s sweet, so, that shouldn’t be too much of a stretch).
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is known in natural health circles for its many immune supporting properties. It can help balance the bodies’ PH, break up mucus, and even support lymphatic drainage. Experts recommend mixing one to two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water.
That makes for a pretty ‘stiff’ drink. Unless you have a palette of steel, I recommend added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a half tablespoon of local raw honey.
Pro Tip: Drink the mixture through a straw to protect the enamel on your teeth.
3. Vitamin A
Apart from immune support, Vitamin A is also an important nutrient for vision, growth and reproduction. Vitamin A also has antioxidant properties, which helps protect the cells of your body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are nasty little buggers and are responsible for a whole host of health challenges, including allergies.
Vitamin A is naturally found in many foods, such as spinach and liver. If you’re not too keen on those less-than-delicious food choices, supplementation could be an option for you. The Mayo Clinic recommends 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women.
Zinc is an important trace mineral, and is renowned for the role it plays in immune function. But did you know? It also assists with wound healing, and many natural health practitioners believe that it can offer excellent allergy support. I’ve also found that supplementing with Zinc helps me to address adrenal fatigue caused by stress.
For immune support, the Mayo Clinic recommends 8 milligrams (mg) for women and 11 mg for adult men (though your naturopathic doctor may have you on more.)
5. Drink Water
People think of histamine as the cause of allergies – And rightly so! This, of course, is the reason why people reach for antihistamines to relieve allergy symptoms. What most people don’t know is that histamine is also in charge of water regulation in the body. It is less active when the body is fully hydrated and it becomes increasingly active when the body becomes dehydrated. So – Moral of the story is that drinking more water (aim for 8 glasses a day MINIMUM), can positively impact your sensitivity to allergies!
Bromelain is an enzyme found in papaya and pineapple. I remember years ago when I had my wisdom teeth removed, my dentist told me to eat a half of a pineapple two nights before surgery, and the other half the night before. Clearly, she was onto something.
Homeopathic doctors have long since known bromelain to be an effective anti-inflammatory, and research has shown that it's effective in addressing allergy-related respiratory distress.
For allergy support, a 2000 study suggests taking between 400 to 500 mg three times daily.
7. Vitamin C
We all know that Vitamin C helps support your immune system. But it’s also been proven to act as a natural antihistamine. According to a 2018 study found that oxidative stress (cell damage from free radicals) plays a key contributing role in the body’s allergic response. Because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant (a natural free radical fighter), it most certainly can have a positive impact on allergies.
Most major media outlets will tell you that the optimal daily dose to address health challenges is 750 mg, but in my experience, more Vitamin C is better. That said, please do check with your health professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
8. Organic Veggies
Your mother was right - Eat more veggies! Organic (please, please, please eat organic) veggies such as, cabbage, beets, carrots and yams can do wonders in the allergy department.
And my personal fave – watercress – is a very potent antihistamine that can easily be used in salads or sautéed in coconut oil and garlic.
Also, let’s not forget to include horseradish, onions, and ginger. Ginger can be particularly helpful because it helps to warm the body and break down toxins.
9. Essential Oils
Essential oils are a great solution as an alternative or complementary treatment for allergy relief. They’re derived from plants and can be used in a variety of ways: Diffusing them into the air,
using them in bath, and/or applying them (diluted) directly to the skin.
My personal allergy go-to’s that go directly into my diffuser are eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint oil. I’ve found that they really help to open up my nasal passages and increase circulation.
10. HEPA filters
Ok - Maybe this one isn’t “natural” in the strictest sense, but I felt it had to be included on the list. Running a high-quality air purifier in your home can really help with allergy symptoms. If you’re in the market for a filter, make sure to look for a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that traps airborne irritants such as pollen, dust, and pet dander. This is a great way to help reduce all sorts of allergens in your home and make everything more comfortable.
11. Keep Your Windows Closed
We as humans need fresh air - There’s no two ways around it. And when it starts to warm up, it's tempting to open your windows at night, right? But iIf you’re in the middle of a big and nasty fight with some seasonal allergies, resist that urge! When your windows are open, it lets all that pollen into your home. As much as I can stand, I like to keep my windows closed during problematic allergy months to keep the air in my house clean.
After the birth of my youngest child, I started to get seasonal allergies. Having never had allergies before in my life, this was quite the unexpected and unwanted gift!
As any mother can attest, pregnancy can do crazy things to the body… As far as your internal system is concerned, one of the biggest areas that gets thrown out of whack is the bacteria in your gut (the gut microbiome). The rise in estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can disrupt the balance of the good and bad bacteria, increasing vulnerability to pathogens.
Once I learned how my gut was being impacted, I began my quest for the best researched brand of probiotics available on the market. That’s how I found Just Thrive. The proprietary strains in Just Thrive Probiotic are custom designed by nature to arrive 100% alive in the intestines - This is huge because if a probiotic can’t survive past the harsh stomach acid (and 99% of brands on the market can’t), their ability to create positive change is minimal.
Within a few weeks of taking Just Thrive, I felt fantastic! It’s truly amazing what can happen when you focus on supporting the health of your gut
Remember - Over 70% of your immune response lives in your gut, so it’s no stretch to say that gut health can have a dramatic impact on your overall health!
Fortunately for us, there are many natural ways to address and garner relief from allergies. I hope you’ve found my list useful, and I very much hope one or all of these solutions work for you! Good luck!
Brook from Moms on the Clock