You know spring has arrived in Atlanta when everyone shopping at vitamin stores is looking for allergy remedies. Our allergy season can be pretty brutal. Even newcomers who have lived here for a couple years allergy-free sometimes find that they eventually start reacting to the pollen. Unfortunately conventional allergy medicine has some bad side effects. So before we head into full-on allergy season, prepare yourself with the best natural allergy remedies!
“One preliminary human study suggested that nettle capsules helped reduce sneezing and itching in people with hay fever. In another study, 57% of patients rated nettles as effective in relieving allergies, and 48% said that nettles were more effective than allergy medications they had used previously. Researchers think that may be due to nettle’s ability to reduce the amount of histamine the body produces in response to an allergen.“ Freeze-dried nettles are the form that has had the most successful results in clinical trials. You can take 2 capsules twice daily, but you may need to increase your dose to 4 capsules at a time.
Quercetin comes from the skin of onions and apples and acts like a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory. It can relieve allergy symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and facial swelling. It is available alone and in compounded formulas. If you’re taking plain quercetin, try 300 mg three times a day without food.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C can help prevent the formation of histamine, which is responsible for many allergy symptoms. Take vitamin C with bioflavonoids to enhance the effects. Vitamin C is water-soluble, so if you take too much it will just be removed in your urine. While it is very safe, extremely high doses of vitamin C can cause loose stools, so go with the dose that works best for you (a few thousand milligrams is usually fine).
NAC is an antioxidant that is a precursor to glutathione, a free-radical scavenger. Not only does it aid detoxification, it also helps thin mucus. Try 200-400 mg per day.
5. Neti Pot
Nasal irrigation with a neti pot can help clear out mucus and relieve facial and sinus pressure from allergies. Clearing the cilia, which are tiny, hair-like structures in your nose, can help move mucus so it can be expelled. To use a neti pot, heat some purified water and dissolve either a pre-packaged solution or ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt in two cups of water. Add the water to the pot, stand over a sink, hold the spout to your nostril and lean to the side as you pour the solution through your nose. It will come out the other nostril. To avoid water running down your throat, lean forward a little bit. Blow your nose, then switch sides to do the other nostril. Once you are done, blow your nose again and enjoy breathing freely! You can rinse a few times a week to a few times a day; experiment to see what gives you the best allergy relief.
L-histidine is an amino acid which is especially essential for infants, but which adults usually produce. L-histidine is a precursor to histamines, which are what cause itchy, red tissue in allergic reactions. Although it is a precursor to histamines, it helps regulate histamine production since a higher concentration of histidine in the blood slows the release of histamines from mast cells. A typical dosage is 3,000 mg of histidine split into three doses. While taking L-histidine you should also take zinc, since L-histidine chelates zinc, removing it from circulation. About 10 mg of zinc for every 1,000 mg of histidine is the proper dosage.
More tips for Atlanta’s allergy season
In addition to these allergy remedies, give your house a thorough cleaning. Remove as many rugs and upholstered pieces of furniture as possible, since they harbor allergens. You can also get an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove toxins while you are at home. Reducing your exposure to the many allergens you come in contact with every day can reduce the challenge on your body’s immune system.
Also improve your immune system to help your body handle allergies, without overstimulating your immune system. Since allergies are basically the result of your immune system overreacting to common substances, if you increase immune function too much, it could make your allergies worse. Instead, take medicinal mushrooms, probiotics, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and get plenty of sleep to modulate immunity.