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. Marly Avatar

    I’m in my 50s, but I’ve suffered from horrible seasonal allergies since I was a small child. I relied on OTC antihistamines for relief. As an adult, I’ve learned it’s best to use natural treatments. I’ve tried a few natural treatments, but they never seemed to work as well as my “go to” OTC allergy medications. I really regret that I didn’t continue to search for a natural treatment that worked for me as I have recently learned that my OTC allergy medication is an anticholinergic drug. Some anticholinergic OTC allergy medications are now linked to dementia in a study done in 2015. This study reflects “the higher the use of anticholinergics, the higher the risk of dementia, regardless of whether the drugs had been taken recently or years ago.” Alzheimer’s stole my mother from me over a 12 year period, and she took OTC allergy medication frequently. After reading this study, I have thrown out all OTC allergy medication as I am very active in researching how to prevent Alzheimer’s. I am writing this post as I want others to understand the seriousness of possible consequences of using some OTC antihistamines or any drug that is an anticholinergic. I also want to believe that it is possible to detox the brain of these chemicals any suggestions for detoxing would be appreciated. Although many natural treatments are helpful with allergy symptoms, I have learned that people are successfully being cured of their seasonal allergies with homeopathic treatments which is a path I intend to try.

  2. Julie Avatar

    Hi! I love your blog, thank you for sharing so much great information! I was wondering, are any of these remedies safe to try on a 18 month old? Specifically the Quercetin and Nettle Leaf? How would you recommend giving them to a young toddler? My daughter had a constant runny nose, coughing, sneezing, and eczema throughout all of Fall/Winter last year. She was fine all summer! Then since the beginning of Oct. the symptoms started back up again and have been going on for several weeks with no signs of letting up. We already give her daily probiotics, vitamin C, vitamin D, elderberry syrup, and a liver support supplement. She has a dairy allergy/intolerance so she does not eat any dairy and we do not consume gluten either. Her diet is very clean, organic, and very low sugar coming only from natural sources of fruit. We try everything to keep her healthy and we’re at such a loss! Her doctor just wants her on Zyrtec indefinitely (beginning when she was like 4 months old! We did not comply with those recommendations but are getting desperate!) I would love to find a natural fix to help her!

  3. zia Avatar

    I have seen 55 springs of my life healthy and happy. Only last year, one fine morning, I felt sudden irritation on my lips area and fallowed by swellings on both lips. Since then I’ve to face this ailment on weekly basis, I have consulted many experts in the fields and done every kind of medical tests, from ex-rays to blood tests. But nobody could give me a permanent solutions to my problem. I am living on anti allergies some time it works and other it fail to response. I am reaching out to you through this forum, to advise me on the subject, as how to tackle this grave issue of my life.

  4. jen Avatar

    Quercetin is by far one of my favorite ways to deal with allergies naturally. Glad to see it on the list!

  5. Michelle Avatar

    Nettles are my go to herb for allergies! I’ve had allergies for years and used a nasal spray that tasted crummy. Once I learned more about herbs I started drinking a tea made with nettles and peppermint and I haven’t touched that nasal spray in years!

  6. Ruth Avatar

    thank you for this post. I really have the allergies had this year a r I don’t use pharmaceuticals…so all these will surely be of great benefit.

  7. sandra Avatar

    Lots of helpful information. thank-you terrific advice for autoimmune sufferers that can not take medicine from doctor anymore very limited

  8. Joan Avatar

    Great suggestions overall, Katie. For some of us, we have to be careful incorporating fermented foods during allergy season. If one has a histamine intolerance (which many allergy sufferers do), adding in fermented foods increases the histamine burden on the body. A probiotic capsule is a better way to go. There are some types of probiotic bacteria that will even reduce histamine load (I’m forgetting them now but a quick search would reveal those types).

  9. Tanya Reeder Avatar
    Tanya Reeder

    I can attest to the local honey portion of this article. My son presented with hay fever for the first time in his life last spring (he was 7). Red, itchy eyes, sneezing, constant draining nose, he was miserable. I am always so suspect of pharmaceuticals, I don’t want him going down that path if we can avoid it (and I certainly don’t want him hooked on something he won’t be able to stop taking), and I happened upon an article which stated that local honey could eliminate allergy symptoms. It seemed to be worth a try so I found some that was sourced within about 20 to 30 miles of our home. Sure enough, a teaspoon or two each day wiped out ALL his symptoms! As long as your child is over 1 year old, there’s no reason not to try this. It works.

  10. Lorraine Bergen Avatar
    Lorraine Bergen

    I found a battery operated sinus irrigation devise which works great! plus I have a salt lamp and essential oil diffuser next to my bed to which I add eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil and I found that it makes a huge difference. If I forget to turn it on at night I definitely notice a difference in the morning.
    I still have to use allergy pills because I do have A LOT of allergies and I also make my own saline nasal spray and add eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil to.

  11. Mickey Avatar

    I recently found a recipe for horseradish, vinegar, and salt. Put a cut piece of horshradish…some vinegar and some salt in a jar…keep in fridge. Up to 3 times a day…take a teaspoon…HOLY MOLY !!! I had a small sniffle this morning…and after the 1st teaspoon? OMG !!!!! The snot is literally POURING OUT OF MY NOSE LIKE A FIREHOSE !!! I had NO idea I had so much mucus…..and now? I feel SO clearheaded !!! Fantastic !

  12. Karen Avatar

    It all starts in the gut. Colloidal silver, or ionic silver which I found works better for me, in a mister bottle. Use as a nasal spray. Since I’ve been doing this, and some of your other tips no more problems.
    If you smoke, use air fresheners, scented candles, incense, anything other than a diffuser or dehumidifier, divorce them!!

  13. Melitta Campbell Avatar
    Melitta Campbell

    Great tips, thank you. For the last three years I’ve taken a quality Aloe Vera Gel and Bee Pollen tablets every day and I haven’t experienced any allergic symptoms. I used to suffer daily from some mysterious allergy. It’s great to find natural cures.

  14. Olivia Wills Avatar
    Olivia Wills

    The best way to open a door is with the handle but the handle has a lot of germs so that’s why you should clean them regularly.

  15. Bagzsaidi Avatar

    I have spent 4 yrs with allergy and I have tried all that but it has refused , what should I do?

  16. Taz Avatar

    If you carefully put one tiny drop of tea tree oil into your nasal solution you can use the metro pot any time you actually remember that it will help. Kills infection while flushing debris

  17. Debra Adams Avatar
    Debra Adams

    I put a few drops of apple cider vinegar into a wal mart saline nasal spray and use as often as I want. It clears my sinuses within minutes, and I’ve gone from 2 sinus infections every year for 10 years… to none since I started doing this about 3 years ago. Cost= about 2.00. Time to treat= 30 seconds. Side effects= none. Results=Amazing!

  18. Rita perera Avatar
    Rita perera

    I am having a allergy of swollen face .i am a diabetic too what is your answear for it

    1. sandra Avatar

      sometimes liver problems like fatty liver can only be diagnosed with ultrasound. it does not show up in bloodtests. most people have it and do not know it everything from sugar and processed foods etc. beet pills and apple cidervinegar are good go to. also if you have one it puts stress on kidneys pancrease etc. allergic reactions and check your bloodpressure and heartrate and get under control organically because those meds from the doctor are extremely dangerous and can cause drops dehydration and rob of potassium. yes it happened to me and my mom had a drop from metoprolol. read 10 most danderous blood pressure meds you can look it up on line as it is a book from a doctor in Texas. hydrate and be watchful of symptoms everything from thyroid to autoimmune disease. it is a condition to keep record of everyday and have someone close to you be watchful when this occurs and when it goes away. god Bless

  19. Serenity Avatar

    The pediatrician recommends Flonase for my 7 year old son’s bad nasal congestion. I don’t want him on it anymore though. I’ve tried the above remedies but he still gets congested. Any other tips? And can someone please tell me if the prolonged use of Flonase is “bad” or not?

  20. Loney Avatar

    I have had allergy problems since birth. Daily prescriptions only worked for a few weeks and the never again. I even had allergy injections for about a year and then my insurance changed and I couldn’t afford them. Usually I get a sinus infection a couple times a year or more until I started taking vitamin D-3. I think I read on this sight about cavity healing. I don’t have bad teeth so I haven’t notice a difference in my teeth, but I did notice I stopped sneezing. Normally I sneeze a couple hundred times a day, five-ten times in a row, but I can’t remember the last sneezed more that ten times in a day. I have had a sinus infection in over a year, maybe I was very deficient. I take 10,000 mg a day with K-2. I don’t know if would help anyone else, but I am so thankful. God bless you!

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