More than 10 million Americans suffer from allergy and hay fever symptoms. Spring, summer and fall produce a wide variety of tree, flower and grass pollens. These pollens in turn create a wide variety of symptoms ranging from nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, headaches, insomnia and depression. Complications can also arise such as bronchitis, sinusitis and earaches. There are many home remedies that you can use to relieve your symptoms as well as various homeopathic remedies that are available over the counter.
Five basics to consider if you have severe allergies
1. If possible, avoid the outdoors from 5-10 a.m., which are peak times for high pollen counts.
2. Have a set of indoor and outdoor shoes, so you don’t track dust and pollen in your home.
3. Shower and change your clothes after being outside. Be sure to wash your clothes immediately, so no pollen remains in your home.
4. Use a neti pot after being outside to rinse away any pollen in your nasal passages.
5. Use an eye wash cup with a saline solution to rinse your eyes.
Home remedies and supplements
Hay fever inhaler: Make a simple inhaler by adding 1/2 ounce of thyme to a one pint canning jar. Cover with boiling water. Close the jar tightly and let steep and cool for thirty minutes. Remove the lid and breathe in the vapors. Inhale as needed. Thymol reduces swelling in the bronchial tract as well as offering antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.
Local raw honey will contain various pollens from your area. When it is consumed on a regular basis it helps to desensitize your immune system to pollen. This can reduce the severity and number of allergy attacks.
Horseradish is a natural decongestant. Try spreading some jarred horseradish on crackers or toast.
Lemon tea with honey: Steaming tea rouses the nasal cilia so that you’re not coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose first thing in the morning. You can add anise, fennel or sage to stimulate the cilia even more.
Saline solution: Mix a 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Place the saline solution in a neti pot, and tipping your head to one side, pour the solution in one nostril. It will run into the other nostril and down the back of your throat. Drain by spitting out the remnants and blowing your nose. This treatment is a great idea to remove any lingering pollen from the outdoors.
Quercetin in lab studies has been shown to prevent immune cells from releasing histamine. Quercetin is also available in foods such as apples, garlic, onions and tea.
Vitamin E: In a study of allergy sufferers who took 800 IU of vitamin daily, a noticeable decrease in allergy medications was achieved. Since some studies are cautious about taking more than 400 IU get the rest from your food sources such as wheat germ, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts and pistachios.
Individual homeopathic remedies can be chosen based on your symptoms. Many homeopathic companies make multi-symptom remedies for allergies and hayfever. Here’s a partial list of some common remedies, with their related symptoms:
Allium cepa: Violent sneezing and acrid watery nasal discharge. Burning, sensitive, watery red eyes.
Ambrosia: Swollen red nose and acrid watery discharge. Stringy mucous and pus discharge from the eyes. Wheezy cough.
Arsenicum iodatum: Sneezing, watery discharge if acute, thick and green if chronic. Post nasal drip, hoarse cough.
Napthalium: Sudden allergy attacks, constant sneezing, acrid discharges. Sinusitis with a frontal headache. Spasmodic cough, asthma, difficult mucus to expel.
Sabadilla: Sneezing, runny watery discharge, itching and tingling in nose and mouth. Sinusitis with a frontal headache.