By Vincent Pedre M.D.
A nationwide survey found that 54.6 percent of all US citizens test positive for one or more allergens. Unfortunately, OTC medications are often either ineffective, or cause untoward side effects.
If you are an allergy sufferer, you know that spring rings in a season of itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, nasal congestion and postnasal drip.
In the worst of cases, spring allergies can turn into a sinus infection. These natural remedies can help to ward off the discomforts of allergy season.
Eight Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
1. Medicine at the tip of your fork: It is as much what you eat, as what you don't eat. This is so dramatically helpful that I have to put it at the top of the list. Eliminate wheat, dairy and sugar and you may be surprised at how your sinuses clear up within a week or two.More...
2. Vitamin C and Quercetin: This powerful combination of two super-antioxidants puts a damper on our allergy superstars - the mast cell. Mast cells release histamine, which is the major cause of allergy symptoms. Take a combination of 1500mg Vitamin C with 500mg Quercetin every four to six hours to help reduce symptoms. Natural D-Hist very effectively combines these two nutrients with stinging nettle leaf extract, bromelain (pineapple enzyme) and N-acetyl cysteine (mucous thinner) to dry out the runny nose and reduce sneezing attacks.
3. Sabadil ® : A homeopathic combination of synergistically active ingredients. Homeopathics can be tailored to individual symptoms, but blended products, like Sabadil ® and Children's Sabadil ® Pellets address a variety of allergy related symptoms. This type of medicine does not produce side effects, such as drowsiness or irritability and work naturally to relieve hay fever symptoms.
4. Stinging Nettle Leaf Tea: Some may find it unusual that a tea from this perennial "weed" with vicious stingers on the tips of its leaves helps relieve allergy symptoms. This mellow tea should be steeped for 10 to 15 minutes for full benefit. This tea also alkalinizes the urine, allowing the kidneys to increase their elimination of toxins.
5. Optique 1 ® : Finally, relief for dry, itchy, burning, red eyes without the rebound effect of all those OTC vasoconstrictors or astringents that only provide temporary relief. Optique 1 ® by Boiron is a safe blend of homeopathic ingredients that work naturally to relieve minor eye irritations caused by airborne irritants, such as pollen, dust or ragweed. It can be used throughout the day without any risk of overdosing.
6. Neti-potting: Ahh, the dreaded neti pot! Simply Saline ® Allergy & Sinus Relief to the rescue! With its easy misting bottle, I find it takes the guess work out of neti-potting. A 3 percent saline solution helps dry out a runny nose and flushes out allergens.
7. Steaming with essential oils: Bring water to a boil in a pot, turn off the heat. Add four drops of eucalyptus oil, two drops of tea tree oil and three drops of rosemary essential oil. Drape a large towel over your head, lean over the pot and inhale deeply. Alternatively, add the oils with water to a mister then spray in the air while taking a steaming hot shower and breathing deeply.
8.Acupuncture: This ancient healing art helps temper an overactive immune system and can provide immediate relief to swollen, irritated nasal passages. Sterile acupuncture needles are applied to the face, while far away points in the hands and feet help rebalance the energy meridians.
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 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). The Allergy Report: Science Based Findings on the Diagnosis & Treatment of Allergic Disorders, 1996-2001.
 Arbes SJ et al. "Prevalences of positive skin test responses to 10 common allergens in the US population: Results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey." Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 116:377-383. 2005