Allergy: How to Reclaim Your Mojo Naturally

With everything you need to deal with each day, do you really need allergies slowing you down?  Whether it’s hay fever, pet dander or some other U.F.O. (Unidentified Frustrating Offender), the suffering caused by chronic allergies can make you either mildly slower-than-usual or downright miserable.  Unfortunately, relying on any one of the allergy medications lining the shelf at your local pharmacy can leave you with any number of undesirable side effects that may be even worse than the allergies they’re meant to treat.  So, if you want to steer clear of all the OTC and prescription drugs that will either zap your energy or leave you buzzing like you’ve just downed a quad espresso, then take a look at some of the natural remedies and preventive measures available for allergy relief.

Start at the Roots. Root Causes, That Is…

Butterbur. As with everything that ails you, it is always recommended to start your treatment by identifying the root cause of your symptoms.  If you suffer from sinusitis brought on by pollen, pets or other environmental irritants, one of the best natural remedies is Butterbur.1Man, L.X. “Complementary and alternative medicine for allergic rhinitis.” Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery ...continue Also shown to have benefits in the treatment of migraines, this herbal supplement is derived from the root of the butterbur plant and has shown strong scientific evidence of its ability to fend off the most common – and most miserable – of allergy symptoms: swollen nasal passages.  The best part is, butterbur works without the troublesome side effects of sedation and listlessness caused by many conventional treatments, so you can breathe freely and stay focused throughout your day.

Isoquercetin. Another natural antihistamine, isoquercetin has shown promising results when used as a preventive measure.  With a function similar to that of an OTC nasal spray, isouercetin is an effective and well-tolerated alternative to the anticholinergics like Zyrtec, Claritin, and Benadryl that have recently been associated with dementia.2Gray, S. L., et al. “Cumulative use of strong anticholinergics and incident dementia: a prospective cohort study.” JAMA Internal Medicine ...continue Although it is found in many fruits and vegetables, it’s not possible to absorb enough through digestion to have any histamine-blocking effect, so if you want to be proactive, check out options such as this supplement on Amazon, or this one.

Acupuncture. As with most alternative allergy remedies, the study results are mixed, but many people who experience chronic allergy-related sinusitis find that acupuncture can offer them significant relief.  With repeated preventative acupuncture treatments, you may experience reduced symptoms and more symptom-free days, without any of the dreaded side effects of medicinal therapies.


Clean Up Your Environment – Inside and Out

Nasal Irrigation – Start Using a Nettipot. To some people, just the idea of pouring water into their nose is enough to make them wince in discomfort, but to others, the proven relief they derive from their neti pot is a seasonal reason to rejoice.  The simple flushing of the nasal passages with a salt-water and baking soda solution (avoid table salt because of it’s iodine content, and opt for sea salt instead), removes the things that are irritating your nasal passages and causing the uncomfortable inflammation.  Add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to the mixture to constrict the blood vessels inside your nose for even greater results.

HEPA Filters. As with most environmentally instigated ailments, protection and prevention are the best way to avoid suffering.  HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters can significantly reduce the allergens circulating in your home, especially when used in your vacuum cleaner, which is a major re-distributor of the offensive particles that cause sneezing and congestion.  Protecting yourself while cleaning by wearing a respirator mask and, most importantly, eye goggles (because many allergens enter the body through our eyes!), can also help stave off an allergy attack.

Get Rid of the Gluten + Dump the Dairy. Common food allergies can bring about symptoms similar to those experienced by seasonal sufferers.  Eliminating the offensive foods from your diet can free you from nasal congestion, skin rashes and hives. Avoiding all foods containing wheat or cow’s milk can have numerous health benefits beyond eliminating allergies, including reduced bloating, diarrhea, or recurring eczema.

If you’re inspired to learn more, check out my brand new course for mindbodygreen, How to Balance Your Hormones for Glowing Skin, Deeper Sleep & Better Digestion.

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References   [ + ]

1. Man, L.X. “Complementary and alternative medicine for allergic rhinitis.” Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery 17, no. 3 (2009): 226-231.
2. Gray, S. L., et al. “Cumulative use of strong anticholinergics and incident dementia: a prospective cohort study.” JAMA Internal Medicine 175, no. 3 (2015): 401-407.
Sara Gottfried MD About Sara Gottfried MD

Sara Gottfried, MD is the New York Times bestselling author of the new book, Younger: A Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years. Her previous New York Times bestsellers are The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet. After graduating from Harvard Medical School and MIT, Dr. Gottfried completed her residency at the University of California at San Francisco. She is a board-certified gynecologist who teaches natural hormone balancing in her novel online programs so that women can lose weight, detoxify, and slow down aging. Dr. Gottfried lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two daughters.