Allergy fighter: Essential oilsInTop 5 Essential Oils for Allergies, Christine Ruggeri, CHHC, outlines how these natural gems can offer relief. "One of the most amazing benefits of essential oils is their ability to fight inflammation and boost the immune system," Ruggeri explains. "Essential oils for allergies will help to detoxify the body and fight infections, bacteria, parasites, microorganisms, and harmful toxins. They reduce the body's susceptibility to outside sources and reduce the overreaction of the immune system when it is faced with a harmless intruder. Some exceptional essential oils even work to relieve respiratory conditions and increase sweat and urination—helping with the elimination of toxins." On Ruggeri's list: eucalyptus oil, basil oil, peppermint oil, lemon oils, and tea tree oil.
Allergy fighter: Butterbur"It just so happens butterbur is a natural antihistamine and also inhibits leukotriene receptors," shares Stacie Stephenson, DC, CNS, inNatural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies. "Leukotriene is one of the chemicals the body produces that causes allergy symptoms and inflammation, so blocking the receptors keeps it from causing symptoms. Studies have shown that butterbur is just as effective in reducing nasal allergy symptoms as the allergy medicines fexofenadine and montelukast, without the troubling side effects.
Allergy fighter: QuercetinWhat makes this antioxidant so powerful? InTop 9 Natural Allergy Relief Home Remedies, Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN, credits the fact that it's a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the release of histamines, which may prevent or reduce allergy symptoms. "According to a 2020 study, quercetin has anti-allergic functionsthat are known for inhibiting histamine production and pro-inflammatory mediators," Dr. Axe reports. "Another study found evidence that quercetin is effective at reducing congestion because it helps calm down hyperactivity of the airways." He suggests that people prone to seasonal allergies begin to take quercetin when trees and plants start to bloom, a few weeks before the arrival of spring.
Allergy fighter: Anti-Histamine foodsIn6 Tips for Fighting Seasonal Allergies Naturally, Kara Fitzgerald, ND, suggests eating a colorful array of vegetables that are high in flavonoids and antioxidants and incorporating herbs and spices rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. Anti-histamine foods are also important, she adds. "Specific foods also contain quercetin or anthocyanins, which have anti-histamine or mast-stabilizing properties. Quercetin-containing foods include apples, broccoli, citrus, fennel and red onion. Anthocyanin-containing foods include berries, cherries, grapes, red cabbage, red onion and wild rice. Anti-histamine properties are also found in parsley, thyme, turmeric, ginger, chamomile, nettle and Holy Basil (Tulsi).
Allergy fighter: Apple cider vinegarACV helps break up mucus and drains the lymphatic system.Dr. Axe suggestsmixing a teaspoon of vinegar with lemon juice and a glass of water, first thing in the morning.
Allergy fighter: ProbioticsAnother tool for battling seasonal allergies, probiotics defend against infections, viruses, allergies, and more, Dr. Axe says. For a deeper dive into probiotics for allergies as well as for asthma, the International Probiotics Association (IPA) outlined findingsthat support the possibility that prenatal probiotics supplementation may prevent allergies and asthma, mostly in children at high risk of allergy development. IPA acknowledges that the grade of evidence is still slight, and further studies are needed. Read their reporthere.
Allergy fighter: Local honeyTaking local honey is said to help build a tolerance to local pollen. In a study published in International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, researchers found that subjects who took honey had a 60% lower symptom score. Dr. Axe says taking a tablespoon a day could provide some relief.
Allergy fighter: TCM herbsIn Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), frequently used herbs that help battle seasonal allergy symptoms include cordyceps mushroom extract and reishi mushroom full composition extract, grape seed extract, propolis, and spirulina, shares Jing Struve, inHow TCM Can Help Relieve Your Spring Allergy Symptoms. "In addition to herbs and formulas, acupuncture can be used to reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. An acupuncturist can evaluate an individual’s unique symptoms and touch on specific therapeutic acupoints that are known to improve a person’s exact symptoms. The use of TCM and natural methods to treat allergies and other ailments are on the rise."
For more on relief from allergies, read additional coverage on www.WholeFoodsMagazine.com, including:
- Seasonal Allergy Assists
- How TCM Can Help Relieve Your Spring Allergy Symptoms
- Why Allergies are Getting Worse