Sneeze season

6 natural allergy remedies, supported by science

Sniffle season is upon us.

Originally Published: 

A heavy-duty antihistamine isn’t the only option for this year’s pollen explosion.

Here are 6 natural remedies that might help relieve your sniffles, pill-free.

(Note: These are for seasonal allergies — not serious allergic reactions like anaphylaxis.)
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6. Butterbur

It’s also known as “pestilence wort,” “bog rhubarb,” and “devil's hat.”

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Never heard of it? You’re not alone.

A 2002 study published in the journal International Immunopharmacology suggests this flowering plant is effective at relieving rhinitis, AKA hay fever.

5. Essential oils

Specifically frankincense, eucalyptus, and peppermint.

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A 2001 study found peppermint oil effective at relieving allergic rhinitis in rats.

Meanwhile, frankincense and eucalyptus oils both contain compounds known to have anti-inflammatory effects.

This suggests they may help with reactions linked to seasonal allergies, like swelling and blocked passages.

4. Nasal irrigation
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This one may seem obvious, but washing out the passageways helps.

In a review of studies, hay-fever sufferers who irrigated cleared their mucus more effectively and took less medication compared than those who didn’t use nasal irrigation.

A 2015 systematic review of 23 studies suggests probiotics, particularly Lactobacillus, can decrease nasal symptoms.

Lactobacillus is found in fermented foods, yogurt, and supplements.

Two grams of the green powder were actually more effective than Zyrtec in a 2020 controlled trial.

1. Honey?


Getty / Yuji Sakai

This one is a maybe.

An idea persists that ingesting honey made from the same local flowers whose pollen plagues you may cure those allergies.

While some studies on honey have shown impressive outcomes, a 2020 review of studies determined that the evidence is both promising and inconsistent.

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