Natural Remedies for Spring Allergies

Spring is here … which means allergies might be around the corner! Here’s some at home remedies that can help in a pinch.

Spring allergy. Woman sneezing because of tulips flowers surrounded with pills and drops at home. Seasonal allergy.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases states that 35 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies each year. Imagine runny noses with raw nostrils from blowing, sunken, watery eyes and coughing and sneezing until your throat is on fire. That isn’t fun for anybody and allergy sufferers deal with this daily.  This is while the rest of us marvel at the beauty of blossoming flowers and spring’s re-birth. When that first tulip pops, there is a mad rush to the pharmacy to fill prescriptions of Singulair, Allegra, Sudafed and Flonase among others.

Claritin is popped like Tic Tacs, but these medications, while helping to fight against the allergies, have other side-effects. The active ingredients in these medications could cause blurred vision, drowsiness, a racing heartbeat, constipation, erectile dysfunction and confusion to name a few.

What is one to do in order to avoid these problems? Here are a few ideas:

Flush Your Nose

Neti pots are used by many allergy sufferers for symptom relief. They look like little tea pots and can be purchased at any local drug store or pharmacy. Fill these pots with a warm salt-water solution and pour it up the nostril – there are directions in the box for you to lay on your side as you do this. The saline in the water floods the nasal cavity and thins out mucus which would otherwise hold onto pollen, allergens and allow bacteria to grow. It feels a little weird at first, but can be a very helpful tool. Nasal irrigation is a part of the daily hygiene routine in parts of India and Southeast Asia, just like brushing your teeth.

Add Some Spice To Your Life

Spicy food also helps loosen and thin mucus. This could provide some allergy relief, so add some extra wasabi to your sushi or habanero to some Mexican food.  Horseradish is also great if you are still celebrating Passover!


Having the windows open may be refreshing, but pollen and other allergens do get into the house that way. A HEPA filter running in the bedroom constantly will catch any pollen floating in the air. Changing the filters in central air conditioning units monthly will also help.

The Allergen Is Coming From Inside The House

The average home may contain at least as many inside as outside indoor pollutants. Certain paints, cleaning products and materials that are part of synthetic carpets are some of the guilty parties. They hold onto pet dander, dust mites and pollen.  Air filters can help here, but sometimes it is not so easy. For someone who suffers from allergies, removing the carpets and replacing with wood floors can help tremendously. Vacuuming and mopping twice a week will not remove all allergens, but will help. Dusting all fans and any other flat surface will keep the dust down. A wet paper towel can be used to pick it up. A negative ionizer may also help in that it grounds out dirt particles and sends out negative ions. This is good for the lungs

Go Herbal

It is important to consult with your health practitioner before exchanging a medicine used for allergies to an herb you would like to work similarly with symptom relief to allergies. That being said, two herbs that have shown anti-flammatory and anti-histamine properties are Perilla and Butterbur. You can get the herb and make a tea or purchase the capsule.  Again, always check the medicines you are taking with the herbs you are considering. No matter how “natural” herbs are, they contain strong chemicals and can act even stronger than over the counter or prescribed medication. Contact your local pharmacist to see if there are any contra-indications for taking the herb as you would not want to have an adverse effect while trying to reduce allergy symptoms.

Patience is Key

Natural remedies do not provide immediate relief. It takes time, and an occasional adjustment in lifestyle, to see major results, but it will be a huge benefit in the long run. The key here is increasing the body’s ability to adapt to the stress – in this case, the allergen. The body produces an allergic response when there is a runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing. The body works hard to get rid of the allergy toxin. When an herb is taken, it works with the body to produce the natural response to an allergen as stated above. When a drug is taken, it decreases the body’s ability to respond, so it does the opposite – dry out the nose and eyes and the toxin stays in the system because it was not sneezed, coughed or blown out.   

Obviously comfort is what is sought, but we all must be smart about how we deal with allergens. Improving the immune system will help improve the body’s adaptability to the allergen. When the symptoms get overwhelming, consider the herbs Perilla and Butterber. They will decrease the symptoms by allowing the body to remove the toxin while helping you to feel better.

As always, consult with your healthcare provider before you stop taking your prescriptions or try something new. This may be a situation where you can slowly ween off of the medications to a more natural life.