7 Ways to Make Seasonal Allergies Less Annoying


Many of us will be spending time outdoors with our families this summer, but the beautiful blooming flowers and trees producing airborne pollen may put a damper on our plans, as they cause sniffing and sneezing. While seasonal allergies are a reality and affect about 35 million Americans, there are proactive and integrative approaches you can take to lessen your symptoms and fully appreciate summer’s splendor.

Here are 7 ways you can make seasonal allergies less annoying:

1. Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods cause irritation and inflammation in the body, which can make your seasonal allergies worse.

2. Embrace An Anti-Inammatory Diet

Eating a diet rich in​ Omega-3 fatty acids ​such as flaxseeds, walnuts, cold-water fish, fish oils, and leukotriene inhibitors, can help reduce seasonal allergies.

An increased intake of Omega 3 fatty acids decreases the production of inflammatory mediators – i.e. leukotrienes–which are intimately involved in allergic inflammation.

3. Eat Foods Rich in Natural Bioavonoids and Antioxidants

Vitamin C is most notably one of the best for helping with seasonal allergies. You can find it in citrus fruits, berries, dark leafy green vegetables and red or yellow bell peppers.

4. Remove Dairy and/or Gluten From Your Diet

Dairy and gluten are both irritants that cause inflammation. You can actually help reduce your seasonal allergies by avoiding both. Be sure to check with your doctor before you begin an ​elimination diet​.

5. Drink Green Tea

Green tea contains catechins, which serve as natural antihistamines. This is a great drink to add into your day.

6. Take Supplements

Mast Cell Stabilization is the aim with these supplements, as it prevents degranulation and the release of histamine, which causes allergy symptoms. If possible, it’s best to begin taking herbal remedies and supplements before allergy symptoms are present. Here are three of the best:

  • Quercetin—This is best used for prevention prior to allergy season, according to research from Tufts University. It’s superior to medication in inhibiting cytokine release from human mast cells. Take 500 mg, 1-3 times daily.
  • Nettle Leaf (aka: Stinging Nettle)—freeze-dried nettle preparation is essential, as this preparation offers the benefits of antihistamine and mast cell stabilization. It’s safe for pregnant women. Take 300-350 mg of freeze-dried extract, 1-3 times daily.
  • Butterbar/Petadolex—gets its name from a large size leaf that was used to wrap butter in! This provides effective and safe relief of hay fever and is now a first-line recommendation for prevention of allergy-triggered migraines. It’s as effective as Zyrtec, but with fewer side effects. Take 50-100 mg twice daily.

7. Use A Neti Pot For Nasal Irrigation

Using a Neti Pot can improve nasal symptoms and reduce the need for medication when you have seasonal allergies.

To do this you need:

  • Salt, non-iodized
  • Baking soda
  • Distilled (or boiled) water
  • Clean jar to store solution
  • Neti Pot (these are inexpensive and found at most drug stores)

Pour 8 ounces of distilled water (or water that has been boiled for 10 minutes) over 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda. Stir well until salt and soda have dissolved. Solution can be stored for up to 24 hours in a clean jar. Following the instructions included with your Neti Pot, use 1-4 times daily.

Worth Reading

Am J Rhinol Allergy 2012 Sep-Oct 26(5) e119-e125 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3904042/

Brattstrom et al Phytother Res 2010 2495): 680-5 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19140159

Hemelingmeirer KE et al American Journal Rhinol Allergy 2012: 26(5) 119-25

Kelly GS Altern Med Rev 2011; 16(2) 172-94 www.altmedrev.com/publications/16/2/172.pdf

Mittman P Plant Med 1990 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19140159

Roschek B et al Phytoher Res 2009 23(7) 920-6 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19140159

Seo et al Allergy Asthma Immunol Res 2013 Mar 5 (2) 81-7 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23450181

Weng Z et al PLoS One 2012; 7(3): e33805 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22470478

Wu M et al, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25185277