Seasonal allergies arise at various times of the year and, depending on the particular causative agent, it seems like they occur almost year-round. In late winter into spring, tree pollens are the biggest culprits, followed by grasses from spring into summer and ragweed arising in the summer and fall.

For allergy sufferers, exposure to these allergens stimulates an immune response, histamine release and an inflammatory reaction which results in symptomatic hay fever (aka: allergic rhinitis) and the associated symptoms that come with them: Runny nose, itchy watery eyes, sneezing and a host of other upper respiratory symptoms.

At this point, many allergy sufferers tend to reach for over-the-counter allergy medications such as Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec or Flonase. However, there are alternative, natural approaches that can provide relief without the side effects that can be associated with these medications, including nasal saline flushes, herbal medicines and nutraceutical supplements.

The foundation of holistic medicine for any health condition always begins with the basics:

  • A healthy, balanced diet
  • Sufficient hydration
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Frequent exercise
  • Reducing stress levels
  • etc.

If you are an allergy sufferer, it is crucial that your foundations of health are being addressed to provide optimal support for your body.

The following is a short list of natural approaches to quickly relieve seasonal hay fever:

1.) Nasal Wash and Saline Flush

Saline flushing of the nasal passages using a neti pot or similar device can rid the nasal passage of excess mucus, contaminated mucus, decrease irritation to the nasal passages, remove inflammation – causing elements and improve the function of nasal cilia to move mucus out of your sinuses and nasal passages.

Yarrow for allergy relief

2.) Botanical and Herbal Medicines

Herbal medicines can play an important role in addressing symptomatic hay fever. Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) and Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) have been shown to have natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Stinging nettles (Urtica dioca) can inhibit proinflammatory pathways associated with allergic rhinitis. Eyebright (Eurphasia officinalis) can be helpful with eye irritation associated with hay fever. Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) boosts the immune system and reduces the inflammatory response.

nutraceuticals for allergy relief

3.) Nutraceutical Supplements

There are a number of nutraceutical supplements that are important in treating hay fever symptoms. Quercetin is a flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a natural antihistamine. It can help reduce inflammation in the airways and improve breathing. It is found in foods such as onions, apples, and berries, but it is also available in supplement form. NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) is an antioxidant that can work as an antihistamine and facilitates the breakup of mucus associated with nasal congestion. Bromelain (a compound commonly found in pineapples) can provide anti-inflammatory effects that can help with hay fever symptoms.

There are products available that integrate several of the herbal and nutraceutical supplements mentioned above that reduce the need to take a large number of pills. In addition, there are many other herbs, supplements and essential oils, along with naturopathic, chiropractic and acupuncture treatment approaches that can address both the symptomatic phase and long term effects of seasonal allergies.

Contact Siskiyou Vital Medicine to speak with our providers about ways to address your seasonal allergies.

By Raymond Lombardi, NP-C.