Bimo Al-Ghozali Sr. is a licensed pharmacist and a lecturer at the School of Pharmacy of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta.
How to Get Rid of Allergies Naturally?
Taking pharmaceutical allergy medicine, such as decongestants and antihistamines, is not the only way to get rid of annoying allergy symptoms.
Some natural alternative remedies, in fact, do not require your doctor's prescription. The remedies are easily available and can be done right at your home in addition to any medical treatment option that your doctor or allergy specialist has recommended.
Below is a list of the top 9 home remedies for allergies that can provide all the relief you need. However, please keep in mind that you should consult your doctor, allergy specialist, pharmacist, or other qualified practitioners before trying a new remedy.
#1 Saline Nasal Rinse
Saline nasal rinse (also known as saline nasal irrigation) using isotonic solution is considered as a well-tolerated, safe, natural allergy relief therapy. This home remedy helps remove allergens out of your nose, thus easing clogged airways.
A good systematic review published in 2012 in The American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy concluded that saline nasal rinse improved the allergy symptoms and quality of life without causing any undesired side effect. This home remedy also reduced the consumption of conventional allergy medicine.
Neti pot is one of many forms of saline nasal rinse. It is commercially available from a number of suppliers.
The video below will guide you how to do a saline nasal rinse for the treatment of an allergic reaction. Please ask your doctor or allergy specialist for more details.
What Do You Think?
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-histamine properties. This substance is naturally found in many fruits and vegetables, such as onion, garlic, okras, apple, kale, broccoli, grapefruit, etc.
It is believed that quercetin helps retard the release of histamine from mast cells and basophils, making it useful for the treatment of allergic reactions.
How to treat allergies with quercetin?
- You can try 250 – 600 milligrams of quercetin supplement three times a day (10 minutes before meals).
- You can also add more foods rich in quercetin to your diet.
A warning word: Avoid any quercetin preparation if you are currently pregnant, breastfeeding, or allergic to this substance.
The use of butterbur (Petasites hybridus) extracts for natural allergy relief becomes a trending topic among big fans of herbal and alternative medicine.
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Several preliminary studies reported that the active compounds in butterbur extracts, called petasines, helped inhibit the release of histamine and leukotriene in the body. Both substances are known to serve as hay fever allergens.
Another study showed that both butterbur and cetirizine (a standard allergy medicine) was effective in reducing allergic rhinitis symptoms but without a sedative effect.
You can try 50 – 75 milligrams of standardized butterbur extracts per day. (However, please keep in mind, be sure to pick up products with the label Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids free or "PA-free."). For more details, ask your herbal doctor or pharmacist.
A warning word: Don't use butterbur directly from the plant. The active compounds in this herb, if unprocessed properly, can be fatal or toxic for your heart health. Also, avoid this herb if you are currently pregnant, breastfeeding, or allergic to ragweed.
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that is found in pineapples (Ananas comosus). For thousands of years, people in Central and South America have traditionally used this fruit to reduce inflammation and relieve digestive problems.
A study published in 2000 in the Journal Alternative Medicine Review had concluded that taking 400 – 500 milligrams of bromelain three times daily reduced swelling and inflammation associated with perennial allergic rhinitis.
A warning word: Avoid any bromelain preparation if you are allergic to pineapples or taking blood-thinning medicines.
#5 Stinging Nettle
Dried leaf of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine agent. Like commercial Over-The-Counter (OTC) allergy medicine, the active chemicals in nettle leaf could inhibit the release of histamines thereby reducing allergic reactions and prevent them from occurring.
How to use stinging nettle for eliminating allergy symptoms?
- Put one tablespoon of dried nettle leaves into a cup of boiling water.
- Cover and then let it steep for about 10 – 15 minutes.
- If you need a better taste, you can add one teaspoon of raw local honey – Note: a few herbal doctors do not recommend it.
- For a greater healing effect, you can mix your nettle tea with peppermint leaves.
- You can also try 300 mg of freeze-dried nettle leaf extracts a day. The extracts are commercially available from a number of suppliers.
A warning word: Avoid any nettle preparation if you're allergic to the herb, currently pregnant, breastfeeding, or have kidney problems.
A research published in the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology concluded that taking 2,000 milligrams of spirulina was clinically effective on allergic rhinitis (hay fever) when compared with dummy treatment (placebo).
Unfortunately, how it relieves allergic rhinitis symptoms is still unclear.
Spirulina is a blue-green alga and available in the form of dietary supplements. You can buy the supplements at health food stores.
A Warning Word: Avoid any spirulina preparation if you are allergic to seafood or iodine, or you have auto-immune diseases (such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
Probiotics may be beneficial because of the interleukin-10 (or IL-10), which probably can help your body tolerate allergens. You can find these good bacteria in particular foods, such as live and active culture yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and supplements.
#8 Aromatic Oils
An inhalation of blended aromatic oil from sandalwood (Santalum album), ravensara (Ravensara aromatic), and frankincense (Boswellia), according to one trial published in the Journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, reduced perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) symptoms, improved the quality of life, and helped allergy patients sleep better.
#9 Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a potent natural anti-histamine with no known adverse side effects, except diarrhea. This vitamin can be found in many fruits, vegetables, and in supplement form.
A study published in the Journal Alternative Medicine Review had found that taking at least 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day significantly helped treat stuffy nose and other annoying seasonal allergy symptoms.
You can try 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day or 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C with bioflavonoids three times a day. You can also add more vitamin C rich foods (such as bell peppers, guava, cayenne pepper, Chinese bitter melon, etc.) into your diet.
Note: There is no serious side effect of vitamin C, except diarrhea. If you develop the condition, just cut the dose.
Top 9 Home Remedies for Allergies
Saline nasal rinse
Use a Neti pot (follow the package directions).
Be sure to use distilled or sterile water.
Take 250 - 600 milligrams of quercetin of supplements, or eat foods rich in quercetin.
Avoid use if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or allergic to it.
Take 50 - 75 milligrams of "PA-Free" standardized butterbur extracts.
Avoid use if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or allergic to it.
Take 400 - 500 miliigrams of bromelain supplements.
Avoid use if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, allergic to it, or taking blood-thinning medications.
Make a tea or take freeze-dried leaf extracts (300 mg per day).
Avoid use if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, allergic to it, or have kidney problems.
Take 2,000 milligrams of spirulina.
Avoid use if you are allergic to seafoods or iodine, or have autoimmune diseases.
Ask your health care provider for advice.
Avoid use if you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, weakened immune system, or are taking immunosuppresants.
Mix aromatic oils of sandalwood, ravensara, and frankincense, and then inhale.
Never ingest the oils as they can be toxic.
Take 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C (or 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C with bioflavonoid).
Don't go overboard! Overdose may cause diarrhea.
How to Prevent Allergies?
- The best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid all possible allergens.
- Track your allergy symptoms by keeping a diary.
- Wear a N95 filter mask to keep pollen out of the nose and mouth.
- If possible, use air conditioners added with HEPA filter.
- Practice meditation for a few minutes a day.
- Give a Traditional Chinese Acupuncture a try.
- Wear an allergy medical alert ID Bracelets.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 MT Ghozali