9 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergy Relief

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Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » 9 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergy Relief

Oh, seasonal allergies. They truly can make life miserable. The good news is, there are things we can do! Many people unnecessarily suffer from seasonal allergies when a few simple natural remedies can offer a lot of allergy relief.

Studies estimate that over 25% of the population suffers from allergic disorders and climate change theories suggest the problem is growing. Common allergen triggers include pollen from grass and trees, the fecal particles of dust mites, animal dander, certain foods, air pollution, beauty product ingredients, or even insect bites.

As prime allergy season approaches (at least in our area) I’m sharing the natural remedies that I use and work for us when needed. These won’t be as immediately effective as a medication, but over the long-term these methods have lessened my seasonal allergies greatly.

What Causes Seasonal Allergies?

Here’s the deal:

Diet, strong gut health, and health overall can make a big difference when it comes to seasonal allergies because allergic response has everything to do with the immune system.

I like to describe the body as a bathtub. Every time anything enters our bodies — be it from our food, water, air, etc. — our body reacts. This is good and nature’s way of keeping the body in a state of balance (homeostasis).

At a certain point if too much goes into the bathtub, it’s going to overflow. Overloaded and overstimulated, the immune system responds to normally harmless substances as if against a harmful foreign invader.

How Allergy Symptoms Start

The conception that antibodies, which should protect against disease, are also responsible for disease, sounds at first absurd.

Clemens von Pirquet (1906)

Scientists have learned a lot about allergies since Clemens von Pirquet first coined the term.

Defined as “an abnormal adaptive immune response,” allergic disorders occur when the body responds to a usually harmless substance with an increase in IgE attached to mast cells in the body and Type 1 T helper cells (Th1). Reactions such as constriction of the bronchial tubes, mucus secretion, and increased vascular permeability may occur within minutes.

If the exposure exceeds the body’s first immune response, this reaction begins to trigger further activation of leukocytes and Type 2 T helper cells (Th2). This is a stronger immune response the body mounts to things like parasites and physical invaders. This manifests in different ways depending on the person’s genetics and where the body perceives the invasion. Symptoms may include:

  • fatigue (sometimes extreme)
  • hay fever (runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion)
  • nasal drip
  • digestive upset and nausea
  • eczema
  • asthma
  • even anaphylaxis

When Allergies Become Chronic

With repeated exposure the inflammatory response becomes chronic. A 2008 journal article on the development of allergic inflammation explains this systemic allergic response as:

Persistent inflammation induced by prolonged or repetitive exposure to specific allergens, typically characterized not only by the presence of large numbers of innate and adaptive immune cells (in the form of leukocytes) at the affected site but also by substantial changes in the extracellular matrix and alterations in the number, phenotype and function of structural cells in the affected tissues.

In other words, the misery allergy sufferers feel is very real and more than a case of the sniffles!

Allergy testing may be helpful to determine triggers but typical treatment usually involves routinely taking an antihistimine or corticosteriod which can have undesirable side effects. There are two main ways to help stop allergies naturally:

  1. Limit exposure to possible allergens (like putting less in the bathtub)
  2. Support a strong healthy immune system (like increasing the size of our bathtub)

How to Treat Seasonal Allergies and Get Relief Naturally

We don’t suffer from many allergies anymore after our time on the GAPS diet, but I still occasionally get hit with an allergy attack from dust after cleaning though (a reason not to clean? I think yes!).

These simple natural remedies have been very effective for allergy relief in our family. Different people seem to benefit from different remedies depending on certain genetic factors and which allergens you are reacting to, so it might be worth trying more than one of these to see which works best for you. Some of the remedies are the same as what I do for sinus infections too.

I’ll start with simple suggestions and work up to solutions for more serious allergy problems.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an age old remedy that is often recommended for a variety of health conditions. I’ve personally used it for allergy relief (and heartburn relief) with great success. The theory is that its ability to reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system makes it useful for allergies. It is also said to help digestion, weight loss, and more so it is worth a try!

What I did: When allergies hit, I mixed a teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “The Mother” (that part is important) into a glass of water and drank this three times a day. “The Mother” is simply a colony of beneficial bacteria present in some organic and unfiltered ACV brands. Check the label, it should list if it contains it.

I use this brand but it is also quite simple to make your own. Apple cider vinegar helped me with relief of acute allergy symptoms and seemed to help avoid allergy attacks as well when I do it daily, so if you suffer from allergies at a certain time of year start well before.

2. Wash Your Nostrils

This remedy works by preventing the offending allergen (or at least as much of it) from entering your airways.

Neti Pot

7 Strangely effective home remedies for seasonal allergies

It took me a while to try the Neti Pot simply because I’m a big scaredy cat about pouring things in my nose. I’m glad I took the leap though because it’s not half as bad as it sounds! (In fact, I kind of love it!). The basic theory is that you use a Neti Pot filled with a sterile saline solution to flush out the sinuses of allergens and irritations.

Surprisingly, I’ve heard this recommended by conventional and alternative doctors, and it seems that it doesn’t really have a downside. It is recommended to use previously boiled or distilled water, not water straight from the tap (because, parasites … I don’t really like to think about it!)

To use: Either use a pre-made saline rinse or make your own by dissolving 1 teaspoon of Himalayan or just plain sea salt in a quart of boiled distilled water. Cool completely. Put in the Neti Pot and pour through one nostril and let it drain out the other. Get full instructions here.

Saline Spray

An option for Neti Pot sissies like me: I like this natural saline spray with xylitol for extra help with soothing inflammation and opening airways. We use it for one of our kids with large tonsils as well to help keep post-nasal drip and sore throats away.

To use: Spray saline into nostrils a few times a week or even daily for routine maintenance (whether or not you have symptoms).

3. Quercetin

Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid that is said to help stabilize mast cells to keep them from releasing histamine. It is also a potent antioxidant that is said to help reduce inflammation. It is best used as a long term remedy and many people start taking it about 4-6 weeks before allergy season to help prevent allergy symptoms.

As with any herb, you should check with your doctor before using, especially if you have a liver problem, are pregnant, or are on hormonal contraceptives.

To use: Though quercetin is naturally found in foods like citrus and broccoli, it is very difficult to get the amount needed to relive allergies from food alone. A supplemental dose from a quality source can be helpful for preventing allergies or helping acute symptoms. Start 4-6 weeks before allergy season for best results.

4. Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf is another natural antihistamine that can be very effective as it naturally blocks the body’s ability to produce histamine. It grows in many places and can be made in to a tincture or tea, but for allergy relief, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are the easiest and most effective option.

Nettle leaf can also be used in combination with other herbs to make a soothing herbal tea for allergy relief. It is often mixed with peppermint leaf and sometimes red raspberry leaf to make a refreshing allergy relief tea.

What I do: I often include nettle in homemade herbal tea during allergy season (recipe at the bottom of this post) and use capsules for acute relief of allergy symptoms.

5. Probiotics

Allergies are the result of an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to react too strongly to a stimuli. Many studies link the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with reduced incidence of allergies.

Evidence is even emerging that a mother’s gut bacteria during pregnancy and nursing can impact a child’s likelihood of getting allergies throughout life, as can exposure to overly sterile environments.

While we can’t do much about our mothers’ diets while they were pregnant, balancing gut bacteria now and consuming enough beneficial bacteria can have a positive effect on allergies now.

What I do: I make sure we consume a varied diet that includes plenty of fermented foods and drinks which can help boost gut bacteria. We also take a Probiotic.

6. Local Honey

There isn’t much scientific evidence to back this one, but there seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence from people who have tried it. (Even Mark Sisson weighed in on the subject here). The theory is that consuming local honey from where you live will help your body adapt to the allergens in the environment there. This is supposed to work like a natural allergy “shot” and doesn’t seem to have a downside.

What I do: Consume a teaspoon or more of raw, unprocessed local honey from as close to where you actually live as possible. Do this one or more times a day to help relieve symptoms. It is often suggested to start this a month or so before allergy season.

7. Anti-inflammatory Foods

Foods, teas, and spices with known anti-inflammatory benefits may play a role in reducing unpleasant allergy symptoms. A 2016 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that ginger given orally to mice reduced sneezing and congestion as well as lowered mast cell response. Green tea shows similar effects.

What I do: Serve plenty of herbs and spices with meals, as well as green and herbal teas. Also combine three of these tips in one by making this Ginger Switchel drink.

8. Diet Changes

7 Natural Remedies for Allergy Relief

If all else fails, sometimes dietary changes can be the answer to allergy problems. Lots of healing bone broth and conducting an elimination diet are good places to start.

After our experience, I’d definitely encourage this as an option, especially for severe allergies or those in need of gut healing/rebalancing.

What we did: We followed the GAPS diet for several months and had success improving our seasonal allergies and even healing some rather severe food allergies in one of our children.

9. Gut Testing

If you truly suffer with allergies and suspect a comprised gut at the bottom of it, consider getting testing to get clear picture of what is going on in your gut and how to fix it.

Yes, this literally means mailing poop to a lab but I learned so much from this test and still continue to benefit from knowing specific ways to improve my individual gut. Advances in at-home testing mean you don’t need to go to a doctor or a lab.

What I use: Viome is the company I use and trust. See the results of my gut health test here.

In some cases, finding a clean, natural medication can be the last resort. I recommend Genexa for any over the counter needs.

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Ernesto “E” Gutierrez. Dr. E is a physician by training and an educator by choice. His training background includes an MD degree and additional degrees in Age Management and Regenerative Medicine.As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Do you have allergies? What has helped you the most? Share below!

Get natural allergy relief with these natural remedies including herbs like nettle, supplements like quercetin and remedies like apple cider vinegar, honey and more.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


265 responses to “9 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergy Relief”

  1. Kathy Avatar

    Over 5 years ago an East Indian doctor who saw me at my urgent care recmmended I do a sinus rinse for my sinuses but I resisted until she explained to use a squeeze bottle rathet then the nedi pot. She said I would need a little force behind the rense. This lady changed my life! While I only saw doctors1 to 2 times a year, I was miserable the rest of the time. After using the squeeze bottle I’ve had only two sinus infections in over five years. I’m now learning more sbout my gut and what I need to make my health better through people like you. Thank you for your precious gift that of taking you time to give us natural ways!

  2. Caitriona Avatar

    Try NAET – weird and wonderful technique for eliminating allergies. Look for a practioner in your area. It’s a slow process but worth the effort.

  3. Caroline Barongo Avatar
    Caroline Barongo

    I have found your blog highly informative. I am pleased to now of more ways through which I can handle my allergies. I have been embarrassed on several occasion by my allergies to cold, with instant blocking of my nose on exposure to the cold. You can imagine me trying to pronounce words and make a joke with a congested nose, and people giving up after endless pardoning! I will try some of the remedies you have outlined in the blog. I also found out that the blessed black seed oil is extremely potent in ensuring fast recovery from allergic reactions. This is because it is a natural anti-histamine that lowers the reactions if taken when the symptoms begin to occur.

  4. Amy Avatar

    Neti pots are pure magic!! I use mine and nasya oil daily and no longer have to take regular allergy meds!

  5. Diya Avatar

    I am suffering with this problem for a long time, and tried several medicines but nothing works. Your Apple Cider Vinegar tip is sounds very easy and useful to relieve this problem.

  6. Gary Avatar

    I am trying to find a local honey than to ingest a local honey. Thanks for your advice I am currently taking Goldenseal in pill form and can also try eyebright

  7. JP Avatar

    Elecampane root tea for reducing mucus and magnesium malate for detoxing manmade air toxins. Only thing that helped my stuffed sinuses and nasal drip cough.

  8. Ines Avatar


    I love all the helpful comments. I never got allergies in my life until now. I get an itchy throat and it attacks me out of nowhere.. especially when it is dry. Only Claritin has helped me. Does anyone know of a natural and helpful alternative?

    Many thanks!

  9. Denise Whelan Avatar
    Denise Whelan

    My allergies are year round, and OTC stuff doesn’t work for me anymore! I’m sniffing everyday and and I am so frustrated! I don’t know what to use anymore!

  10. Kimberly Simonian Avatar
    Kimberly Simonian

    First off – be careful when starting raw local honey. Start in low doses and increase gradually. I learned the hard way you can not consume it like regular honey. I was using it in tea for a sore throat and had an over dose which triggered an allergic reaction (and I wasnt suffering from allergies then!)

    Secondly – my teenage son had HORRIBLE seasonal allergies starting from early elementary school. Nothing helped him that was prescribed by his dr. I heard about quercetin and bromelain and he has been symptom free for 3 years now. Interstestingly, me and my youngest son (5 yrs old) suffers also from seasonal allergies and it doesnt work for us (neither does local honey or acv – netti pot is awesome for me, but I cant get him to do it) . Dr wants him on prescription meds (no good! )….anyone try butterbur or turmeric? A friend is urging me to try. Would love some feedback first!

  11. Amanda Avatar

    I use a QBC (quercetin, Bromelain, and vitamin C) complex and it works great for my allergies. I was wondering if anyone has given this to kids though? They want my daughter to take 24hr allergy medicine, literally everyday, forever… I am not OK with that, but whenever we stop, she gets stuffy and then ear infections galore. Her pediatrician siad he didn’t know about QBC, and the ENT said he didn’t either.

  12. Willson Rio Avatar
    Willson Rio

    Honey really makes sense on cold and sneezing.. Good to go..keep posting like this!!

  13. John Avatar

    First of all thanks for your post. It really superb article and a best remedy also.

  14. Levi Avatar

    I’ve heard that oregano oil, despite how fattening it is, is very healthy including reliving some kinds of allergies

  15. Garrett Walker Avatar
    Garrett Walker

    I just tried the apple cider vinagar and i worked and have been using it ever since.It does taste horrible but is very affective

  16. Celine Avatar

    Hi, I want to try the apple cider vinegar for seasonal allergies, but it says to use it with “The Mother”. What does that refer to?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Brands like Braggs have “the mother” which is just an active beneficial bacterial culture still present. Braggs is my go-to brand, but just look at the bottle and see if yours contains this as well.

  17. James Richard Bailey Avatar
    James Richard Bailey

    I have found that the herb belladonna is great for colds and allergies. I bought some seeds online and managed to germinate just one plant. It is not easy to do, but I got it to produce a lone flower, with one berry full of seeds. They germinated well this year. I use a tiny bit of rolled up leaf, just enough to dry up my sinuses. It helped immensely when I had pneumonia caused by infected sinus discharge. Take note that it is highly poisonous, and should only be used in homeopathic doses. But, boy does it dry up the nasal discharges. It also works for migraine headaches and diarrhea.

  18. Carol Avatar

    Would really help if you updated your page to explain what “The Mother” is. It is in the comments, but I had to search the page for other instances of “The Mother” for the explanation. Is shouldn’t be too hard and would really help people to understand what you mean.

  19. Jade Avatar

    I also use a Neti Pot when allergies strike, and it never fails. Just keep flushing it out every couple of hours, and eventually it gets it all out. There really is no downside, but there have been articles stating that it could lead to death causing amoebas that can lurking in contaminated tap water. If this really worries you, just boil the water first, and allow to cool to a warm temperature before using.

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