Jen Oh

Allergy Relief

Seasonal allergies are annoying, and so are the drugs you pop to relieve sneezing, sniffling, and itchy, red eyes. (They tire you out! They’re expensive!) While you can’t reduce the pollen in the air, you might be able to limit the number of drugs you take in response and try some natural allergy relief. “The biggest trend we see in allergies isn’t technology and it isn’t medicine—it’s the tendency to go for a more natural treatment,” says Brunilda Nazario, MD, medical editor at WebMD. Here are some natural remedies for allergies to keep your symptoms at bay.

Don’t leave home without a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses


This is an easy way to protect yourself from pollen blowing into your eyes. Covering your hair helps reduce the amount of pollen you take home.

Move outdoor activities to dusk

Most pollen peaks between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. each day, and can also be high around midday when it’s warm and windy. Anytime you garden or clean the garage, wear a dust mask or hat and sunglasses to keep allergens out of your nose, mouth, and eyes.

Saline sprays

Spritz a saline rinse into your nose daily to wash away pollen. In one study, participants who rinsed their sinuses twice a day for three to six weeks reported less nasal congestion than those who didn’t.

Allergy proof your home

You can’t stop pollen from blowing outside. But you do have some control over what happens inside your home. Keep your windows shut when pollen is in the air. Run the air conditioning or central fan instead. If you can, change your clothes before coming inside (or as soon as you get in), remove your shoes, and shower.

Try Butterbur


Some studies have shown butterbur — specifically an extract called Ze 399 — to be at least as effective as antihistamines for relieving things like runny nose and congestion. Never use butterbur that has not been processed into an extract. Butterbur may cause liver damage, so do not take long term.


When a person eats local honey, they are thought to be ingesting local pollen. Over time, a person may become less sensitive to this pollen. As a result, they may experience fewer seasonal allergy symptoms. A teaspoon can soothe your throat, if it gets irritated from coughing all day. Children under a year old should never be given honey.

Cook with Tumeric

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and analgesic properties that are excellent for combating allergies and other health problems. Studies show that turmeric has natural antihistamine properties that limit the release of histamines in the blood, reducing allergic reactions.