If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know you’ll try almost anything to find some relief. Most often, when seasonal allergies strike, people head to the pharmacy for Claritin or Allegra, but you can save yourself a trip and try natural supplements to keep the sniffling, sneezing, watery-eye symptoms away.
Supplements have been shown to help provide allergy relief. They can be taken daily to help relieve symptoms without taking over-the-counter medications, which can cause drowsiness and nausea. Preliminary research also suggests that some probiotics can reduce allergy symptoms.
Types of supplements
While there haven’t been a ton of studies on supplement treatment of allergy symptoms, the following alternative treatments may provide relief:
Quercetin, an antioxidant flavonoid found in many plants and foods, is known to inhibit the release of histamine and antigen-specific antibodies (IgE) that can cause allergy symptoms. They work most effectively on people with an allergy to cedar pollen, but studies continue to see what other allergies the supplement may help.
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme extracted from the core of a pineapple and has been shown to reduce swelling and tissue edema.
Vitamin C, which replenishes and repairs cells, is another natural remedy that has been studied in treating allergies. According to a 2018 study, oxidative stress plays a key role in allergic diseases, and vitamin C’s anti-inflammatory properties may help reduce that stress.
Butterbur is a plant extract from a shrub that can be used to treat migraines and hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, holding antihistamine properties.
The skinny on probiotics
Probiotics are microorganisms that have been shown to provide health benefits by helping the body maintain a balance of gut bacteria. Probiotics can also boost a person’s immune system, which can help a person fight off allergy symptoms. The NCCIH noted that the evidence for probiotics is mixed and that further studies need to be done to determine their effectiveness in providing allergy relief.
Other natural remedies
The NCCIH states that there is not enough evidence to suggest these products can help with allergy symptoms, but many people have had luck using products like astragalus, grape seed extract, omega-3 fatty acids, stinging nettle, and spirulina. Because the jury is out, it’s best to do your research or talk to an allergist or primary care physician before taking anything so you know any side effects.
Seasonal allergies that result from exposure to airborne substances (like pollen) may only appear during certain times of the year, but they can wreak havoc on your life. They can cause itchy skin, a runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and make it miserable to be outdoors. If you happen to also suffer from asthma, seasonal allergens can trigger an asthma attack, and many people require inhalers to deal with severe symptoms.
For any of the supplements above, make sure you read the package carefully and take only the recommended dosage on the package so you don’t suffer any adverse effects. Seasonal allergies are bad enough; you don’t want to compound the issue further.
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