Did you know that around 10 percent of adults and 40 percent of children in America suffer from allergic rhinitis? Also known as hay fever, it’s a common allergy with several triggers ranging from pollen and mold spores to pet fur dander. While most people with a nasal allergy often turn to over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines to fight it, there are many effective home remedies, too.
Of course, the best remedy for allergies is avoidance of your triggers. But sometimes, you can’t help but get exposed to them by accident. To reduce the symptoms of your allergies, you can still use natural treatments you can easily find at home. Here are some examples of those:
1. Allergy-Fighting Food
Proper food intake is a person’s first defense against stimuli that can harm the body. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals is undoubtedly beneficial for your whole body. You may alleviate allergy symptoms and other possible side effects by consuming more foods for sinus infection.
Fresh fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C could help protect your body from allergy triggers and strengthen your immune system. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine that may ease watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. Adding more vitamin C-rich foods to your diet may also reduce the instances of getting an allergy in the first place.
At the same time, try to avoid food and beverage that may make nasal allergies worse, such as dairy products and liquor. The ingredients in these foods might make the blood vessels in your nasal cavities expand, causing short-term congestion that can be irritating for many. So, if you notice yourself getting a stuffy nose after every night out at the bar, it would be wise to restrain alcohol consumption.
2. More Fluids
Drinking more water may help lessen the mucus buildup in your sinuses. Other drinks like juices and hot fluids like tea and soups also aid in nasal allergy relief. The bonus of steam from your hot drinks may loosen up the blood vessels and clear up the mucus.
However, you should not include coffee and soda in your list of beverages to drink when you have a nasal allergy. As most of their varieties in the market contain caffeine, they can cause dehydration and worsen the congestion and inflammation of your sinuses.
3. Nasal Irrigation
Water is also an excellent tool in clearing out your sinuses of mucus without you needing to drink it. Nasal rinses may wash away mucus and any lingering bacteria from your nose while reducing postnasal drip from an allergy.
You can make your own rinse kit at home by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with three teaspoons of non-iodized salt. Store this solution in an airtight container if you won’t use it immediately. When it’s time to do so, put one teaspoon of baking soda and salt solution into eight ounces of boiled or distilled water that has been cooled. Rinse one nostril at a time over a sink using a neti pot or squeeze bottle. You could also use a bulb syringe if you have neither.
Nasal irrigation is one method for those who have consistent postnasal drips since you can do this daily or several times within the day.
4. Natural Cleaners
One main reason why many people experience nasal allergies is that they don’t keep their homes clean as often as they should. Aside from that, the chemicals in your usual surface cleaners may trigger your allergies and aggravate their symptoms. To rectify this, make the switch to natural home cleaning solutions.
Common ingredients in any home, like vinegar and baking soda, make excellent natural cleaners. Otherwise, you can also use commercially-produced green cleaning products without harsh chemicals and strong fragrances. Some of these products may also have reusable or biodegradable containers if you’re concerned about reducing waste.
Suppose you have severe allergy attacks when spring cleaning; ask someone else to do the cleaning for you. If you’re cleaning your home yourself, don’t forget to wear a mask to keep dust and small particles from entering your nostrils.
5. Herbal Remedies
Some plants are excellent treatments for nasal allergies. Herbs like butterbur, yarrow, perilla, and stinging nettle are nearly as effective as OTC medicines. You may find these herbs in extract, tincture, or tea forms. You may even consume some directly by mixing them in your food or drink. Whichever form you prefer, these herbs may relieve the symptoms of nasal allergies.
Remember, always research and check the herbs you plan to take before consuming them. Some, like butterbur, cannot be taken raw. Yarrow is also closely related to ragweed, which some people are allergic to. Also, be mindful of the dosage for each herb since some are too potent for daily consumption. If in doubt, ask your physician for advice on this alternative treatment.
6. Essential Oils
You may also use essential oils for their portability. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and spearmint oil may help suppress allergic reactions and clear up your sinuses. Keep a small bottle of herbal essential oil to take a quick whiff of whenever you feel your nasal allergies coming on.
If you want to be subtle, you could dab some of the oil on your wrists, drop a few in your tea or bath, or use an oil diffuser. Your preferred essential oil scent may keep your nasal passages open throughout allergy season.
Another form of alternative treatment for allergies is this ancient Chinese traditional medicine. Acupuncture may relieve allergy symptoms and some chronic illnesses. According to believers of the benefits of acupuncture, it stimulates your central nervous system if inserted in specific points of your body. The points where the needles are placed activate your body’s natural chemicals that could alleviate certain sicknesses like sinusitis and nasal allergies.
Acupuncture may lessen postnasal drip and nasal congestion if appropriately performed. Thus, this method may work best if done by a professional acupuncturist.
However, don’t put your full faith in this type of treatment. You might not receive all the same benefits as someone who has also tried it. Seek your physician’s advice if you want to try acupuncture and learn what you could expect from a session.
There are several natural remedies to relieve your nasal allergies, so you may not need to rely on OTC treatments all the time. However, some methods may not always work the way you intended. Always check with your doctor first before trying out one of these alternative treatments to ensure you avoid getting any possible side effects from them.