Natural Ways to Help With Seasonal Allergies

Dreaming of the summer months ahead? Although the transition from cold to warm temperatures can add a little pep to our step, these changes are also accompanied, unfortunately, with the pesky allergy season. These frustrating symptoms can last for a few weeks and nag at us with itching, sneezing, running noses, and low energy, putting a damper on our plans to be outside more enjoying the weather!

There are always ways to suppress these symptoms, however most over-the-counter drugs or prescriptions come with a plethora of side effects, not to mention sometimes even worsening the symptoms themselves. The good news is that there are natural, safe ways to help ease the discomfort of seasonal allergies, that won’t leave you feeling sluggish, hypersensitive, or weaken your immune system. (1)

Avoid Triggers

This one might seem obvious, however do you truly know what is causing your allergies or worsening your symptoms?

The top culprits that can make your seasonal allergies worse include:

  • Dust mites
  • Food
  • Insect stings/bites
  • Medications
  • Mold spores
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen

So if you are trying to avoid triggers for your onset of symptoms, you will want to consider a few things:


  1. Make sure to clean your home often. The accumulation of dust, pet dander, and tracking outside pollen inside can build up in your house quickly! Try to clean and vacuum where dust and dander can accumulate easily like blinds, curtains, in the corners of the room, and underneath your sofa.


  1. It may benefit you to get a food sensitivity test done. When our immune system is compromised, it can sometimes lead to food sensitivities due to inflammation. When we have high amounts of inflammation within the body, it makes it harder for our antibodies to fight off outside invaders (allergens). There are many food sensitivity tests you can now get delivered straight to your door, allowing you to easily swab and send back for analysis!


  1. Easier said than done, but try to avoid common seasonal allergy medications. These can suppress your immune system, resulting in a longer recovery time in fighting off your allergies. So although you may be masking the pain of your symptoms, sometimes these medications can make it last longer and feel worse. Always consult with your health practitioner first before making changes to any medications.


  1. Until your allergies calm down, it is best to avoid being outside with high amounts of pollen. Staying indoors while the transition of seasons is happening can really help relax your symptoms.

HEPA Filters and Dehumidifiers

By stripping the moisture from the air, as well as trapping airborne irritants such as dust, pet dander, and pollen, these external home appliances can help reduce allergens and limit the growth of mildew and mold.

Honey

Although scientists are still researching this approach, many naturalists and holistic practitioners recommend taking in local honey. It is thought that by exposing yourself slowly over time to local allergens within your community, you will then begin to strengthen your immune’s resistance to these allergies. (2)

Probiotics

A 2015 review of 23 studies found that probiotics can help improve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. (3) This good bacteria is thought to help your microbiome become more diverse. Once your microflora is enhanced, more good bacteria help to balance the bad, resulting in a stronger immune system better equipped to fight off immune suppressing invaders. The frustrating symptoms of seasonal allergies are caused by an overactive immune response to foreign substances within the body. By focusing on your immune system health and increasing the good guys within your gut, it is possible to alter your immune system’s response and lower the severity of your symptoms. Taking a probiotic supplement may be the answer you need in order to support your immune system and lower your symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Essential Oils

Eucalyptus, frankincense, and peppermint essential oils are all known to help with seasonal allergies when applied to the skin alongside a carrier oil or diffused in the air. One study from 1998 showed that peppermint oil treatments have enough anti-inflammatory effects on the body to lower the onset of bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis. (4) Another study in 2016 found that frankincense oil, when inhaled, relaxes the immune system, allowing it to calm down and repair itself. (5)

Saline Nasal Irrigation

This procedure helps to rinse the naval cavity with a saline solution; making the mucus in the passageways thinner and easier to remove. This handy tool resembles a small teapot with a longer spout, commonly called “neti-pots”. You can also use bulb syringes or squeeze bottles. You want to always make sure you are using distilled or sterile water (which you can purchase in stores), boiled and then cooled tap water, or water passed through a filter. (6) If you do not wish to make your own saline solution, you can purchase it online, however, it can be cheaper and quite easy to research how to make your own.

Takeaway Message

Instead of feeling stuck with a seasonal condition that limits you for a few weeks out of the year, focus on building your immune system and implementing healthier tactics in order to fight off any onset allergies coming your way! If you’re “nose deep” in a sinus problem, try one of these natural ways to help ease your symptoms and aid in your discomfort this allergy season.

Sources

  1. Hamilton, Susanna M. “New Study Suggests Antibiotics Can Weaken the Immune System.” New Atlas, 4 Dec. 2017, newatlas.com/antibiotics-counteract-immune-system/52457/.


  1. Asha'ari ZA, Ahmad MZ, Jihan WS, Che CM, Leman I. Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Saudi Med. 2013 Sep-Oct;33(5):469-75. doi: 10.5144/0256-4947.2013.469. PubMed PMID: 24188941; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6074882.


  1. Zajac, Alexander E, et al. “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Probiotics for the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis.” International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25899251.


  1. Juergens, U R, et al. “The Anti-Inflammatory Activity of L-Menthol Compared to Mint Oil in Human Monocytes in Vitro: a Novel Perspective for Its Therapeutic Use in Inflammatory Diseases.” European Journal of Medical Research, U.S. National Library of Medi


  1. Choi, et al. “Effect of Inhalation of Aromatherapy Oil on Patients with Perennial Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 13 Mar. 2016, Commissioner, Office of the. “Is Rinsing Your Sinuses With Neti Pots Safe?” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/rinsing-your-sinuses-neti-pots-safe.

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