If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies, then you are aware of the toll it takes on your energy and immune functions. Seasonal allergies are no fun! The sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, and sinus pressure can really become hard to tolerate.
Although there is an abundance of both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications available to treat allergy symptoms, each of these medications carries long and short-term side effects like nausea, drowsiness, dependency, and even tissue-damage. Although there are instances where the short-term use of prescription decongestants is warranted, the use of these medications for chronic seasonal allergies is more likely to cause harm than good. As a result, many people are opting in for natural alternatives without the dangerous side effects.
Many foods and herbs possess anti-allergenic qualities and make great alternatives to OTC and prescription allergy medications. Here are a few of our favorites!
Bromelain is a natural enzyme found in the pineapple. It possesses incredible anti-inflammatory qualities especially in relation to respiratory distress making it an excellent natural choice for congested sinuses. It is recommended to consume the fresh pineapple fruit or juice for optimal efficacy but Bromelain is also available in the form of supplement capsules that can be purchased at health food stores.
Butterbur is a plant from the daisy family that grows mostly in Asia, Europe, and also in some parts of North America. Butterbur is mostly known for its effective use to treat migraine headaches but it has also shown to be an effective treatment for sinus congestion. We recommend using Butterbur in the form of oil extracts or pills which can be purchased online or at health food stores.
Quercetin is a natural antioxidant found in apples, berries, and onions amongst other produce. Research has shown that Quercetin is effective for reducing inflammation especially related to respiratory distress. Studies suggest that a large dose of Quercetin (~1000 mg) is needed to experience the anti-allergenic results. It is hence easier to get the proper dose from supplements rather than produce. Quercetin supplements are often mixed with Bromelain and Vitamin C to boost delivery and efficacy.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) is one of the most ancient natural remedies dating back to ancient Greece. The grape seed extract is made from the crushed seeds of grape plants. Amongst a long list of various healing qualities, GSE is also believed to reduce the production of histamine making it a great natural remedy to treat and prevent nasal allergies. GSE can be purchased as a stand-alone concentrate or in natural nasal spray formulas like Clear Revive.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that help promote a healthy gut which is directly linked to our immune functions. The stronger our immune system, the less likely we are to experience intense allergy symptoms. Although probiotics are not considered antihistamines or decongestants, they are indeed a smart investment for preventing the root cause of allergies vs treating the symptoms. When choosing a probiotic formula, we recommend refrigerated varieties of 50 Billion or more units with as many strain varieties as possible; the more strains are present, the better the results.
Eucalyptus essential oil is an extract from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree. Eucalyptus oil has long been used to treat allergies. The extract has strong anti-inflammatory qualities that help with congestion and the cooling aroma helps relieve the discomfort associated with blocked nostrils. Eucalyptus oil is also known for its mucus clearing and antiseptic qualities. For the purpose of allergy relief, Eucalyptus oil is mostly used in a diffuser as an aromatherapy treatment, or in an all-natural nasal spray formula like Clear Revive.
Although seasonal allergies can be difficult to manage, we’ve found that combining two or more of the remedies above works best in helping us treat and lower the intensity of allergy symptoms. We recommend you try a combination of these remedies and find the perfect fit for your personal needs or use an all-natural formula that contains one or more of these ingredients. As always, please consult your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an ongoing health challenge that might prevent you from taking certain supplements.