[S]neezing, runny nose, wheezing, and itchy, watery eyes…yeah, spring’s here. Seasonal allergies have the ability to steal the joy of the season and with the mild winter that most of the country experienced, they seem to have come early this year! We all know that allergies are mostly aggravated by the pollen in the air that comes from a variety of trees, grass, flowers and shrubs. Sadly, this often prevents those who suffer from venturing outdoors.
But what if there was an solution?
Over-the-counter and/or prescription antihistamines are the most common treatment given for seasonal allergy sufferers, but they only block the symptoms — sometimes causing horrible side effects — and they don’t really treat the underlying cause.
Learning to resolve the symptoms of seasonal allergies with powerful and effective vintage folk remedies, herbs, essential oils, and working to build a strong immune system are all natural ways that allergy sufferers can find empowerment, relief, and not to mention…save tons of money in the long run!
8 Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies Naturally
1. Local, raw honey. Yum! Who doesn’t like the idea of taking a spoonful of honey daily!?! Local, raw honey has the greatest ability to reduce allergies or get rid of them all together. If you know what it is that causes your allergies to flare up, your body can build a tolerance to it if you consume local honey from that specific plant source. Many local farmers markets usually have a vendor that sells local honey. Ask them to name the plant source of the honey and purchase the one that causes your symptoms. If they don’t have it…it’s totally fine, just buy the honey that is produced as locally as possible. It will contain pollen from several plants thereby providing a broadspectrum coverage. Note: Local, raw honey is generally considered safe to administer to anyone over the age of one. Find a source for local honey in your area HERE.
2. Raw, organic apple cider vinegar. Taking a tablespoon of raw, organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) every morning — before going outside — works by blocking our body’s histamine reaction and it reduces inflammation. Mix 1 tablespoon of ACV with a cup of warm water and a spoonful of local, raw honey and you’re good to go! Note: If you are able, I strongly suggest making up a batch of this Master Tonic and taking your daily dose of ACV in this form. It’s an incredibly powerful boost for the immune system! ACV can be found in most grocery stores along with the other vinegars or in a health food store. This is my favorite brand.
3. Build your immune system. There are so many effective ways we can build our immune systems, and when it comes to seasonal allergies here are a few that have helped a majority of folks:
- Drink plenty of pure water throughout the day. I have heard that many allergy sufferers have experienced relief from symptoms almost as soon as they drink 2 or more glasses of water.
- Eliminate highly processed and sugar-laden junk foods from the diet.
- Eat simple meals, minimally processed, and in as natural a state as possible.
- Switch to raw dairy, as much as possible. If raw dairy is not available to you, reduce your intake of pasteurized dairy products.
- Use probiotics. By eating yogurt, drinking kombucha and taking good-quality probiotic supplements you are sure to get the daily recommendation! Learn more about making your own through Gnowfglins ecourse on homemade lacto-fermented foods.
- Be sure to consume lots of organic beans, nuts, seeds, and a variety of fresh fruits and veggies. This benefits your immune system as it will increase your intake of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, the B vitamins, vitamin A, iron, and vitamin C.
- Make your own Elderberry Syrup, with local honey, and take it daily.
4. Support your respiratory system with herbs. Herbs are an extremely effective, gentle, and natural way to treat seasonal allergies. The number one herb — in my opinion — is the nettle. When taken internally, the nettle leaf works to reduce inflammation and congestion. It can be consumed as a tea or tincture and is considered safe to use daily throughout the duration of your symptoms.
A simple tea made from nettle leaves is very effective, and really all that is needed. However, you can create your own herbal tea blend with herbs that work together to act as natural antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, and nourishing respiratory system builders. Here’s a simple recipe that has been very effective in our home:
- 4 parts nettle leaf
- 2 parts peppermint leaf
- 2 part alfalfa leaf
- 1 part astragalus root
- 1 part elder flowers
- 1 part licorice root
- 1 part yarrow
To use: Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and store. Infuse 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea in 8 ounces of water for 10 minutes and drink up to 3 cups daily. Note: Looking for products mentioned in this recipe? For the herbs that I can’t grow myself, Mountain Rose Herbs is my go-to for all my organic and fair trade herbal needs!
5. Essential oils. Essential oils such as lavender, Melissa (lemon balm), peppermint, blue tansy (or roman chamomile), lemongrass, and eucalyptus are great for relieving allergy symptoms. Diffuse a few drops of essential oils in a humidifier or cold air diffuser. You can also apply essential oils to the feet, wrist, face, and chest by mixing 1 drop in a tablespoon of oil (i.e. olive, coconut, almond, or jojoba). Note: You may also receive benefits from the essential oils by apply a few drops to the new air filters of your home when replacing them.
6. Netti Pot. Using a Neti Pot is a natural way to cleanse your nasal passages from pollens, pollution, dust, and a variety of allergens. Note: Not appropriate for young children.
7. Don’t line dry your clothes. At least not outdoors. Line drying your clothes outdoors during times of high pollen count will allow the pollen to collect on your clothing. It may be best to keep your line drying efforts indoors for the spring.
8. Homeopathic remedies. Homeopathic remedies have also proven to be very beneficial in the treatment of seasonal allergies. However, because everyone’s issues are so diverse, it’s best to see a qualified practioner for an exact recommendation. Just know that it is a good option.
What about you? What do you do to naturally treat seasonal allergies?
Some useful thoughts – thank you!
I’m happy you found them useful 🙂
my husband has miserable allergies and cannot take any of the “regular” antihistamines or he ends up with prostatitis. what to do?
Thank you! This is much needed advice – as you know I have a young one that struggles with allergies so this will be greatly beneficial in helping him…..again, thank you for sharing your knowledge!
Thank you for your email and the inspiration Alyssa:)
By far the best thing to do for seasonal allergies, and one of the frugalest, is to get at least half an hour of cardio exercise every day, allergy season or not. That should be done anyways.
YES! Great tip!
Mrs. Z says
Due to the crazy warm winter this year, allergy season is already beating me down this year. I am thankful for any and all advice!
I hope you are able to find some relief!
Rose Petal says
Thanks for the informative post. Whenever I see uses of apple cider vinegar I always wonder if there is something (like lemon juice perhaps?) that would be an equal replacement for those of us living in the south where there are no apples. It’s easy to buy vinegar in the store, but in learning to be sustainable, and thinking what I would do if I couldn’t get apple products for some reason, I would love to know a good substitute.
Thanks so much!
Excellent question Rose Petal! I have wondered this myself, however our family farm is in an area where apples abound…so I haven’t been forced to researche alternatives. I would think, no scientific proof here, that lemons would help with the pH issues in the body. But ACV contains so many other benefical compounds (such as natural pectin, specific phytochemicals, and tons of vitamins and minerals) that are lacking in lemons. Great topic for discussion though!
My daughter is drinking ACV and her allergy symptoms are not nearly as bad as past years. I’m going to tell her about the local honey.
Mira Dessy says
Great tips, thanks for sharing. I hadn’t thought about using essential oils directly on the air filters. Living in TX where we change the filters A LOT this is a great idea. Also makes the house smell nice.
I’ve been giving my 3yo 3 drops of Allergena, a homeopathic med from Whole Foods that is a different combination depending on the region that you live in. i think you’re supposed to take it every day to build up your immunity, but I’ve just been giving him 3 drops when he’s having a bad allergy day and within 30 minutes, he’s normal again! We gave him over the counter antihistimines last year and really felt like they altered his mood and barely helped his symptoms. I know it’s only the beginning of allergy season, but we’re hopeful! I need to be more regular with the honey for him, too…
Allergies have hit me HARD in the last week. I usually try to avoid taking medicine, but it got so bad I’m now taking Allegra and Sudafed twice a day.
Thanks for this post, I can’t wait to try some of these. Think I’m going to purchase some honey and Apple Cider Vinegar later today 🙂
I just wrote a similar post on my blog, as our family suffers from seasonal allergies, too. However, I was not aware of using ACV as an allergy treatment. Thanks for the tip! Gonna be trying it this week. Love your blog!
Naomi Frank says
I love these tips – thank you! Frequent acupuncture also helps manage allergy symptoms. For lasting improvement, it’s best to begin regular treatment some weeks before the usual allergy flare-up. For affordable community acupuncture clinics near you, check out the Locate a Clinic tab at https://www.pocacoop.com/
POCA stands for the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture, a growing group of clinics that charge on a sliding scale of $15-40 per visit.
Naomi Frank says
And here are some acu-points that can help. http://acutakehealth.com/7-acupuncture-points-that-can-save-your-life-this-spring
Acupressure requires more time and frequency than acupuncture, but they can give temporary relief from congestion and runny noses!
Andrea- do you know if bourbon added to the cold and cough will be of the same benefit as the brandy? Thinking it will but wondered what you thought. Thanks!
Hi Alyssa! You’re good with either bourbon or brandy 🙂 I’ve used both before.
An herb better than nettles, try Ragweed leaf. Also Goldenrod leaf, two of the most allergic plants give the best results. I relate it to, mother nature takes care of itself. For example nettles and Jewel weed grows in the same area, the jewel weed takes the sting out of the nettle rash, it also works for poison ivy.
Oh…don’t you just love it Dave! Everything just flows in nature. We’ve taken the simple and complicated things haven’t we!?!
A good rule of thumb for water consumption is one ounce for every 2 pounds of body weight. You should also add 2 ounces for every ounce of caffiene you consume. Just drinking the water your body needs everyday can eliminate many health problems. A friend with a child with learning disabilities started requiring him to drink his required water everyday and he is a totally different child. My husband and I have done this for about 16 months now and it has really changed how we feel everyday.
Thanks for another great post! I knew about the honey (we are hoping to start keeping bees next year) but I hadn’t looked into anything else really. I will need to keep all these ideas in mind!
Oh, your timing is just perfect! I immediately went to the pantry where I had about half of the ingredients I needed to make your tea mixture, and I picked up the rest at the health food store today. I couldn’t find yarrow, however, and since my garden is full of yarrow, I’m wondering what part of the plant should be used: roots, leaves or flowers?
I’m a newcomer to your blog, and am so grateful for all the wisdom and expertise you are sharing!
I have the same question about yarrow – what part do you use for the recipe? Darlene
Hi Miriam! You are so blessed to have a garden full of yarrow 🙂 For this, and generally all recipes that call for yarrow, it is the leaves, flowers, and stems that can be used. Great medicinal properties that plant has!
This is definitely a timely post! 🙂 I have started the nasal rinse from the same doctor that has the neti-pot and it is wonderful! I was getting sick earlier this week and was doing the rinse every morning and evening and my sickness cleared up (it was a cold or something…) and my allergies have been kept at bay with using regular sinus rinses. Sure beats taking the drugs that make me all loopy!! Thanks for your post.
This is great! I didn’t know that there were natural remedies for allergies! I am trying to go as organic as possible, and this is just what I need. I use honey everyday, so just buying at the farmers market instead of Trader Joe’s will be an easy change. So glad I found your website (I found you via Pinterest)!! Thanks!
What an awesome post! I definitely support the notion of using natural treat remedies to treat allergies. According to Natural Standard (a great resource to look up information of natural remedies!), many of the therapies mentioned actually do have a robust body of evidence to support their use in prevention and/or treatment of seasonal allergies, which is especially satisfying to know.
Thanks for your post!
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acupuncture books: Shopping Cart says
Excellent post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!
bio oil before and after says
what is the value of bio oil?
I’m simply amazed at how often I just end up on your page.
I love, love, love comin’ here!
When talking about ragweed leaf and goldenrod leaf are you referring to making a tea from these? I’m new here and want to make sure I’m following you correctly 🙂
Hello. My main problem during allergy season is Vertigo. (dizziness). Do you have a remedy for that? Nothing seems to be helping.
Going to try the above remedies tonight!
Lisa Peters says
I have a kind of motion sickness that I believe is an equilibrium upset. I get a feeling like my brain is sloughshing around and my head just doesn’t feel right. It happens when I fly or when I am a passenger in a car on back roads. I recently flew and took ginko biloba leaf extract. It worked like a charm. Maybe check into that. 🙂
In my case, lots of juices from juice extractors at breakfast have been of help.
I have added kale most of the times, and I’ve skipped pineapple. But every reaction is too personal to be valid for everyone, so you have to do some experiments yourself.
Hope it helps. 🙂
With all the desert plants in full bloom right now, I have been sneezing and sniffling quite a bit. My remedy is to place 3 drops each of lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils in a gelatin capsule and swallow with a glass of water. This is an all-natural antihistamine without any side effects. doTERRA essential oils are 100% pure certified therapeutic grade meaning they can safely be ingested as well as used topically and aromatically. It’s worked for me and my family.
Stop That Runny Nose blog post
The only thing I would not recommend are essential oils. The mucoses of nose and throat being already irritated, the strong impact of these oils can worsen the problem.
From my personal experience.
Anyway, everyone is different, so it also depends from individual response.
Could you please tell me why the essential oils help with allergies?
Things that help me the most are:
Apple cider vinegar (organic of course) in water all day
Bee pollen with pro biotics and yogurt in the morning.
Love this post and thank you!
Stacey Hudson says
This is really great post. Just in time, I’ve just run my new blog. and I really appreciate your time for writing this post
Always Sick Chick says
Do these remedies also work for prevention? I have year round allergies, and I’m reliant on antihistamines every day of the year.
Natural Alternative Remedy says
They should. Especially boosting your immune system, but then again that’s good for most things. The herbs and netti pot would likely work well for prevention as well. Try some out and see how well they work for you.
Every September I am hit hard with seasonal allergies. For the past 3 days my nose has been running, my head is pounding and I ache all over. This morning after breakfast I was ready to craw back to bed… I’ve tried just about every over the counter product and Claritin is the only thing that seems to help… But I didn’t feel like running to the store. Then my daughter handed me a bowl of almonds that still had the brown skin.I immediately felt relief. Has anyone else nada similar experience?
I see remedies for spring time allergies and see how raw honey etc would help, but what about fall allergies where the pollens associated with honey and whatnot are not prevalent?
I remembered reading this a while back. I ran out of Allegra D and decided to try using the store brand ACV and honey I have on hand. That is working well enough that I plan on getting better ACV and searching out local honey next shopping trip.
By the way, this time of year I’m treating mold and dust and cat allergies.