If spring flowers bring you nothing but itchy eyes, a runny nose and a sore throat, then you’re probably familiar with the irritating effects of seasonal allergies. Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, affects nearly 8 percent of the American population. Worldwide, it’s one of the most common medical problems, affecting between 10 and 30 percent of the population. You may reach for your tried-and-true bottle of over-the-counter medication to clear up watery eyes, but before you do, consider these natural remedies for seasonal allergies instead.
#1 – A Change in Diet
Herbal supplements in different forms can take the edge off allergy symptoms, particularly green tea, which is a natural antihistamine. You can also try making tea with turmeric, an Eastern spice used in Indian cuisine. Turmeric acts as a decongestant, allowing you to breathe more easily. If you’re still stuffed up, try eliminating certain allergy triggers from your diet. Common hay fever culprits include bananas, cucumbers, melons and chamomile. Certain cheeses and dried fruit can also exacerbate seasonal allergies, so talk to your doctor about your diet if hay fever symptoms persist.
#2 – Alternative Medicine
Acupuncture has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, from headaches and migraines to pregnancy-related problems. If traditional medicine isn’t working to relieve your hay fever symptoms, then book an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist. Research suggests that routine acupuncture treatments during allergy season can reduce or eliminate symptoms like puffy eyes and runny nose. Serious hay fever sufferers may need more treatments than a casual observer, but you might see improvements after just one session.
#3 – An Ancient Solution
Modern technology and prescription drugs have helped millions of people find relief from chronic medical issues, but sometimes, the solution to a current problem can be found in the past. Enter the neti pot, a teapot-shaped nasal irrigation system that has just as many avid fans as it does hesitant onlookers. Allergy sufferers benefit from the unique structure of the neti pot, which has a long spout for pouring sterilized water through your nostrils. It’s an effective, albeit somewhat uncomfortable, way to wash away debris, pollen, dust and other allergens that get trapped in your nose hair throughout the day. Just be careful to read the instructions carefully before you use it, and always use sterilized or distilled water.
#4 – Spring Cleaning
Spring cleaning isn’t just a good way to refresh your house. It’s also an opportunity to clear out allergy-inducing particles from your living space. During hay fever season, leave outdoor clothes like shoes and hats outside or in a mud room so that you can’t track in excess pollen. Hop in the shower when you come home, too, to eliminate even more particles. If allergies are a big problem in your home, invest in high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filters for your appliances, which can eliminate allergens as you clean and prevent problems from getting worse. Cleaning up during allergy season can make your home an even better sanctuary from the outdoor threat of ragweed, pollen and dust.