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Natural treatments for seasonal allergies

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may feel like you practically live on antihistamines and other medication. But there also are many natural ways to treat allergies, including a HEPA air purifier that can provide cleaner air. While these treatments probably won’t eliminate the need for conventional medicine, they generally can provide some much-welcome relief.

Herbal remedies for allergies

There are lots of them. For example, if you’re allergic to pollen, butterbur has been shown to help. A type of marsh plant that grows throughout Europe and parts of Asia and North America, it’s long been used for medicinal purposes. Research suggests that a butterbur extract called Ze 339 may be particularly effective for relieving nasal symptoms, without the sleepiness of conventional antihistamines, though the safety of long-term use has not been studied. Two other options include plant-based phleum pratense (better known as Timothy-grass) and pycnogenol (pine bark extract). Researchers think that very small doses of phleum pratense desensitizes the body to grass pollen allergies.

Food and eating habits

For starters, chicken is a better bet than beef. A study of 334 adults with hay fever and 1,336 without found those who ate food with the largest levels of trans-oleic acid, a form of monounsaturated fat in meat and dairy products, were almost three times as likely to have hay fever as those whose diets contained the least amount. Another option is turmeric, a spice common in Indian food, that contains

curcumin. It may act as a decongestant and help reduce allergy symptoms.

Rinse your nose

A nasal rinse cleans mucus from your nose, thereby easing allergy symptoms. It also can clear out bacteria, thin mucus, and cut down on postnasal drip. You can use a rinse kit or make one using a neti pot or a nasal bulb. Mix a half teaspoon salt with a pinch of baking soda in eight ounces of warm distilled or sterilized water. Lean over a sink and flush one nostril at a time. Or spritz a saline rinse into your nose daily to wash away pollen.

Try acupuncture for allergies

Research shows acupuncture might help relieve hay fever. In one study, allergy sufferers who were randomly assigned to acupuncture sessions had more symptom relief and used less antihistamine medication than those who got a “sham treatment” or did not use acupuncture. Researchers suspect the process reduces inflammatory immune-system substances involved in allergic reactions.

Clean your home

You can introduce pollen into your home when it has settled on your clothes and hair. To help, leave your shoes by the door, do your laundry with every wear and wash your hair. You can also use a smart air purifier with a HEPA filter, like Coway Airmega, to remove pollen and other allergens from the air. Visit the Coway Airmega shop here. And as always, be sure to consult with your doctor before changing your regularly prescribed medications.