Seasonal allergies affect more than 35 million Americans and if you’re one of them, you know the changing of the seasons can also signal the start of seasonal allergies.
For many, relief is just a drugstore counter away — with a wide array of traditional medications available to help ease the pain. However, an increasing number of allergy sufferers are turning to Mother Nature for relief.
Here is a list of natural herbal remedies for seasonal allergies:
Nettle (Urtica dioica): Nettle has a long history of being a natural treatment for seasonal allergies. Nearly every resource for natural allergy symptom relievers lists nettle as one of, if not the top choice for allergy sufferers. Both the leaves and the roots are frequently used, though roots more frequently. According to The Herbal Drugstore, by Linda B. White, MD, and Steven Foster (Rodale, 2003), “One study found that nettle may offer some relief to people with hay fever [allergies]. Of the 69 patients who completed the study, 58 percent rated the freeze-dried preparation of nettle effective; 48 percent said it worked as well or better than their conventional medications.”
Garlic and Onions: According to James A. Duke, PhD in The Green Pharmacy (St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 1998), both garlic and onions contain “high concentrations of compounds such as quercetin found in these plants. These compounds retard inflammatory reactions.” Garlic and onions, and the quercetin they contain, are spoken of almost as highly as stinging nettle for providing seasonal allergy relief, so load up the daily diet with garlic and onions when allergy season is impending and pollen is on the rise.
Butterbur(Petasited hybridus): This herb contains an active chemical ingredient called Petasines, which sooths inflammation. It also works to block or limit the effects of the histamine that are released by the immune system during an allergic reaction. It is quite popular in Europe.
Horseradish: Several sources cite horseradish, as well as Japanese horseradish, wasabi, as not only clearing the sinuses, but reducing the duration and severity of seasonal allergies, and even prevent future bouts if consumed regularly.
Ginkgo Biloba: According to The Green Pharmacy, ginkgo leaves contain substances known as ginkgolides, which reduce substances in the body that “play a key role in triggering allergies, asthma, and inflammation.”
The next time your seasonal allergies act up, try one of these herbal options. Before taking any herbs always learn about the herb you are taking to be sure it is compatible with you and check with a knowledgeable herbal health care provider.