Allergies can really throw a wrench into your life. These herbs and remedies can help bring relief, encourage the prevention of future attacks, and build the body’s immunity against allergies. Coupled with a healthier lifestyle, regular exercise, and an avoidance to vices these supplements can greatly improve your symptoms.
Coordinate with a medical expert to see which of these alternatives work best for you:
- Neti Pots – The use of these pots may sound unpleasant, but many people swear by its efficacy in relieving allergy problems. Neti pots flush out debris and mucus that have pent up in the nose, an act also known as nasal irrigation. The practice originated in the ancient Indian healing system Ayurveda and is also part of the Yogic body purification practice Shatkarma. Neti pots are the main containers used for nasal irrigation. It is done by sticking the spout in one nostril, inhaling the water or solution stored in the pot, and then letting it flow out of the other nostril. Studies attest to the efficacy of neti pots, however long term use is not recommended as it can weaken the nasal shield against foreign substances. Make sure that the water you use in the pot is sterile, as you do not want to exacerbate your allergy by using tap water. You can also use essential oils (more on that below) in your neti pot. Here is the one I use, it’s a great option from Amazon.com for less than $13. Can’t really go wrong at this price and it’s great quality.
- Essential Oils – Many oils derived from various herbal sources are teeming with health benefits, and they also work wonders in treating allergies and other nasal problems. Here are a few that you can use:
- Eucalyptus – This oil contains a strong scent that ensures a smooth flow of secretions that plague your respiratory tract. It also relieves headaches that come along with allergy attacks as it enhances the flow of blood in the brain. Always dilute it with a carrier oil first (like coconut oil) prior to use with a steam inhaler or neti pot.
- Lavender – Simply drop some lavender oil on your palms or a cotton ball then inhale. In case of blocked sinuses and chest congestion, rub the oil on your chest and cheeks. The oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties that can remedy your allergies while helping you relax with its calming effects.
- Lemon – A known disinfectant that both cleanses and refreshes. Lemon encourages better blood flow and unclogs the airways, and it works better in conjunction with other essential oils. The oil can be rubbed on your forehead and chest, and it can be stirred in both cold and warm drinks for it to work internally.
- Oregano – Regarded as a powerful natural antibiotic thanks to its wide variety of medicinal uses that range back to ancient Greece. Carvacrol and thymol, two oils found in the herb, are effective bacteria fighters with antioxidant activity that shield the body from free radical damage. Rub your nose with the oil or drop it in boiling water for steam.
- Peppermint – Mainly used as a digestive remedy, peppermint’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties make it a good relief for allergy and the pains that come with it. Peppermint contains menthol, a volatile oil that helps clear the respiratory pathways. Like eucalyptus, this must be diluted first with a carrier oil before using. Peppermint can also be added to tea to relieve allergies triggered by food.
- Garlic – Sulfoxides, thiosulfinates, and dithiins are three compounds that give garlic its unique smell and its legendary health benefits, ranging from cardiovascular health protection to cancer prevention. It has anti-inflammatory properties that thin out nasal clogs and help with allergy relief. Garlic can be eaten raw or cooked, although the former is better as subjecting it to extreme temperatures actually makes its properties weaker. Alternatively, toss in the cloves in a pot of boiling water and inhale the fumes so its effects go straight into the nose. If you are lazy like myself you can take advantage of odorless garlic pills which will have the same effect as the above (and potentially even better as there is no heat to break it down). I use these from Amazon as they are highly rated and they only cost around 4 cents a day to add it to your regimen. At this price it doesn’t make sense to not use them with all the benefits they provide.
- Stinging Nettle – Available in powder, dried leaf, and dried root forms, stinging nettle contains a lot of nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used to treat allergies and relieving symptoms associated with it like irritated eyes and sneezing. Its other effects include reducing levels of blood pressure, encouraging urine which helps eliminate salt in the body, and minimizing pain. Tincture made with stinging nettle is one good way to preserve the herb. This is done by putting chopped leaves into a jar then fill it with 100 proof vodka (or any other alcohol). Store it in a cool, dark place for up to six weeks then strain it in a different container afterwards. Alternatively, boil the leaves with your favorite cup of tea and make it your daily morning drink especially during allergy seasons. Click here to view our recommended stinging nettle supplement for the value.
- Quercetin – A flavonoid that give color to certain fruits and vegetables, and also act as antioxidants that destroy pent up toxins in the body. Quercetin prevents the release of histamines, or chemicals that can trigger allergies. It can also help in cancer prevention, maintaining cardiovascular health, and boosting the endurance of physically active people. The best fruit sources of quercetin include apples, citrus fruits, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, and dark cherries. For vegetables you can choose among buckwheat, onion, and leafy green vegetables. To get more quercetin, you can also take supplements in capsule or pill form. Some people experience minor side effects with the flavonoid like stomachache and nausea. For a little more than 10 cents a day you can add Quercetin to your allergy prevention regiment. Here is our recommended Quercetin with Bromelain supplement. The Bromelain helps with the uptake of the Quercetin while also providing it’s own little boost to your immune system.
- Alfalfa – Rich in vitamins and minerals, amino acids, fiber, and chlorophyll. Alfala lowers bad cholesterol, detoxifies the body, aids in proper digestion, and relieves joint and muscle pains. For allergies, alfalfa has antihistamine properties that works by calming the immune system. The herb also helps with the regeneration of mucus members that have been irritated. Unfortunately, alfalfa does not work for everyone, as some people may suffer from allergic reactions with use. Small increments should be used first to test if you will not have any reactions with the herb. Supplements and dried leaves of alfalfa are also available on Amazon.com, here is our recommendation.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is touted for its many health benefits, from relieving the simple hiccups to preventing cancer and heart problems. Antibiotic and antihistamine properties in apple cider vinegar help with allergies, and since it actively boosts metabolism you can lose some weight when taking it. The best variant of apple cider vinegar is the one that is unrefined, unfiltered, and unpasteurized. Double check if there is a cobweb-like substance known as “The Mother”; it is believed that this substance is the source of the vinegar’s incredible medicinal benefits. You can easily drink a “shot” of apple cider vinegar, or mixed with a teaspoon of water and taken three times a day. Try to juggle the mixture until you can handle the taste. If you experience problems with your stomach after drinking apple cider vinegar, take a half teaspoon of baking soda to calm it. Here is the most popular apple cider vinegar on Amazon.com.
- Vitamins and Minerals – There is no doubt that a regular intake of vitamins and minerals promotes better health, and being healthy enhances your protection against allergies. Here are some that you should take (all of which can be purchased on Amazon.com as well):
- Vitamin A – Enhances the immune system, making you more resistant to disease and allergies. Good sources include fruits and vegetables that are orange, yellow, and red in color, along with egg yolk and milk.
- Vitamin B12 – Works similarly to vitamin A in improving immunities. The vitamin also remedies headache, and restores lost oxygen and energy wrought by allergies. Clams, cheese, liver, red meat, tofu, and crab meat are rich in vitamin B12.
- Vitamin C – Known as a potent antihistamine and relieves many health conditions. Broccoli, citrus fruit, bell peppers, and red chili peppers are some of the sources of vitamin C.
- Omega-3 – Effective in keeping the heart healthy and maintaining mental acuity. The fatty acid strengthens the body’s immunities, protecting against future allergy attacks. The excellent source of omega-3 is seafood, followed by almonds, avocados, flaxseed, and legumes.
Have you tried any of the ones mentioned above? If so how was it? Let us know in the comments.