Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is a condition that causes cold-like symptoms, but it is not caused by a virus. Hay fever is actually triggered by an allergic response to indoor and outdoor allergens. Some of the common causes of hay fever include tree, grass, and ragweed pollen; spores from fungi and mold; and dander from cats, dogs, birds, or other pets. Just because it is called “hay fever” does not necessarily mean that “hay” is the problem. Natural remedies like apple cider vinegar, herbs and vitamin C are among the many potent home cures for allergies.
While many people believe that the only way to find relief from allergic rhinitis is to avoid the substances that cause irritation or take prescription or over the counter medications, natural remedies work quite well to treat hay fever safely and effectively. Often hay fever remedies are inexpensive and many can be found in the kitchen.
Natural Remedies for Hay Fever
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a simple natural cure for allergies. Apple cider vinegar contains minerals and enzymes. It also helps to balance the pH of the body, which allows it to work optimally.
Apple cider vinegar, preferable raw and organic, can be added to a tall glass of water a couple of times a day. Start with just 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Some people use as much as a tablespoon per glass of water. Apple cider vinegar capsules are on option for those who do not like the taste of apple cider vinegar.
Don’t miss Earth Clinic’s video about apple cider vinegar for allergies!
A neti pot can be purchased at health food stores and larger pharmacies. Using a sea salt solution in the neti pot will rinse out allergens in the nasal cavity and be soothing to the sinuses. A popular remedy at Earth Clinic is to add 1/2 teaspoon 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 6 ounces of boiled cooled water to a neti pot and rinse the sinuses once or twice a day.
Hydrogen Peroxide Inhalation Method
Popularized by the late Bill Munroe, this method is simple and inexpensive. 3% hydrogen peroxide is inhaled into the lungs through the mouth, using a simple nasal mister. This has helped many people with asthma, allergies, chronic coughing and a host of other ailments.
Water and Sea Salt
A cheap and easy hay fever remedy is to mix a pinch of good quality sea salt into a glass of water and drink it. To figure out the ideal amount of water for yourself, take your weight in pounds and divide this number in half. Drink that number of ounces of water each day. This helps to keep the body well hydrated. The salt helps the water to get into the cells. Sea salt also contains trace minerals. Plenty of water helps the body to flush out toxins. Chronic low grade dehydration is a common problem causing a host of health problems, including allergies.
To practice oil pulling, one to three teaspoons of quality oil are swished around in the mouth to draw out toxins and infections. Practiced daily, oil pulling can relieve a variety of health concerns including hay fever. Coconut Oil is the most commonly used oil for oil pulling. For more information on oil pulling, please see our oil pulling pages.
A process as simple as filtering the air in your home can also help relieve allergic rhinitis. This practice functions to remove allergens from the air and prevent them from entering your body.
What are the Best Herbs for Hay Fever?
Turmeric is an inexpensive and effective anti-inflammatory and it is also a blood purifier. Some find relief from allergy symptoms with as little as 2 capsules of turmeric a day. Others find it takes a teaspoon (or 4-5 capsules) a couple of times a day to treat allergies. Turmeric can be mixed in a cup of milk (cow, soy, almond or coconut) and consumed warm or cold. Turmeric should always be taken with plenty of water as larger amounts of turmeric can be constipating for some. Golden milk is a delicious way to take turmeric.
Nettle Leaf, like turmeric, is a blood purifier. In times past, fresh nettle leaves were collected in the spring, cooked, and eaten as a “spring tonic.” Nettle is a great herb to use for spring allergies. Nettle can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsules. (3-4 cups of nettle tea, daily, or 1/2 teaspoon of nettle tincture three times day, or 2-4 capsules of nettle leaf taken 2-3 times a day.)
Garlic is also a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. It contains sulfur compounds that help relieve congestion and treat underlying infections. Garlic can easily be added to food or garlic supplements can be taken.
Mullein Leaf is a gentle but powerful herb. It is a popular remedy for hay fever, especially when it is accompanied by a cough. Mullein is easily taken as a tea. It can also be taken in capsule or tincture form.
Herbal Teas for Allergies
Chamomile tea is a mild tasting and pleasant tea that is useful for allergies. (But it should be avoided by those with a ragweed allergy.) If your eyes are bothered by allergy symptoms, place a warm and damp chamomile tea bag over each eye for ten minutes.
Ginger naturally relieves the chest and nasal congestion associated with hay fever. It also helps loosen phlegm, strengthens the immune system, and functions as a natural antihistamine.
Yerba mate tea contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Because yerba mate contains caffeine, it should be avoided late in the day and by those sensitive to caffeine.
Supplements for Hay Fever
Vitamin C is great for the immune system. It is also a natural antihistamine. Sodium ascorbate is easiest on the digestive system. Some people take 1,000 mg of vitamin C as often as 3 times a day or more. If it should cause loose stools, cut back a little.
Quercetin with Bromelain
Quercetin is a plant flavonoid. It is a natural antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory. It is common to find quercetin supplements with bromelain added. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that is also an anti-inflammatory. One or two capsules of quercetin daily can bring relief to hay fever symptoms.
Dietary Changes for Hay Fever
Adding a probiotic food to the daily diet may reduce hay fever symptoms. Milk kefir, water kefir, Kombucha or sauerkraut would be good natural sources of probiotics.
Reducing sugar and processed foods is helpful for many health problems as these foods tend to depress the immune system and make the body more acidic.
If you are struggling with a lot of mucous production, reducing dairy should help. Ice cream especially can increase sinusitis symptoms, perhaps as much if not more because of the additives it usually contains.
Do you have a favorite natural remedy for hay fever? Please be sure to send us some feedback! And keep reading to see what natural remedies our readers have used to treat their hay fever.