WebMD's Allergies Health Center examines several natural allergy relief methods:
Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) – Dr. Hardy says that butterbur ‘has had some very impressive clinical trial results.’ In one study, this European herb was just as effective as a popular antihistamine drug in controlling hay fever symptoms – without any symptoms of drowsiness.
Saline (salt water) – ‘The saline works to wash out pollen and reduce or thin mucus,’ says Dr. Hardy. Popular saline treatment methods include:
- Breathe-Ease XL Nasal Wash System
- Narial Nasal Cup Neti Pot
- NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit (easy flow bottle)
- NeilMed NasaFlo Saline Rinse Kit (neti pot)
- SaltAire Nasal Sinus Wash (pump bottle)
- Grossan Hydropulse Nasal Irrigation System
- Ayr Allergy & Sinus Nasal Saline Mist
- Ayr Saline Gel Swabs
- Ayr Saline Nasal Gel No-Drip Sinus Spray
Goldenseal – Dr. Hardy recommends adding a goldenseal tonic to the saline because goldenseal has astringent and local antibacterial properties which can aid in the process of washing out nasal passages.
Hot, Spicy Foods – Experts say hot, spicy foods help to thin mucus secretions. And now your nose can experience the direct benefit of capsaicin derived from hot peppers! Sinol products may sting a bit at first, but they definitely clear your sinuses:
‘Using nature-based products can be a very useful way to handle mild allergies and a useful adjunct for more significant allergies, and there are many types of treatments you can safely try,’ says Dr. Mary Hardy, MD, of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
New York University Allergist Dr. Clifford Bassett says that if you suffer from pollen allergies, ‘you should avoid eating melon, banana, cucumber, sunflower seeds, chamomile, and any herbal supplements containing echinacea, all of which can make symptoms much worse.’
You should always consult your physician before mixing natural treatments with medication. Allergist Dr. Marianne Frieri of Nassau University Medical Center in NY points out, ‘If, for example, you are taking the allergy drug Allegra — an antihistamine — at the same time you decide to try a natural substance with antihistaminic properties, you can end up with far too much antihistaminic activity — which can result in some significant problems.’