THE TOP 7 SUPPLEMENTS FOR SEASONAL ALLERGIES
Known as an adaptogen— an herb that protects the body from physical and emotional stress— astragalus is traditionally used in Chinese medicine to treat allergies by supporting the immune system. In one study, an astragalus supplement signifi cantly decreased the intensity of allergy symptoms, especially in weed pollen allergy. Other studies have found that astragalus appears to work by modulating the immune response to allergens, and by reducing airway infl ammation.
Made from a shrub native to Europe and parts of Asia and North America, butterbur is traditionally used for a variety of health issues, including migraines, general pain, cough, colds, and fever. It’s also very eff ective in treating allergies. In one study, butterbur was just as eff ective as an over- the- counter antihistamine for reducing allergy symptoms. Butterbur is especially helpful in improving airflow through the nose by inhibiting the activity of leukotriene, which causes constriction of the airways. Choose “PA- free” butterbur supplements. They’re free of compounds called pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can damage the liver.
Beneficial bacteria are a safe, eff ective way to ward off hay fever and other airborne allergies. They work by fi ghting harmful pathogens in the gut and supporting the immune system, lessening the chance of an adverse response to pollen or other allergens. Studies show probiotics improve nasal symptoms and overall quality of life in people with allergies, and some research suggests that women should take probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding if the child is at high risk of developing allergies ( based on hereditary factors).
4 Stinging nettle
The roots and leaves of the perennial flowering plant stinging nettle have been traditionally used for thousands of years to treat symptoms of allergies and other ailments. Modern studies show that extracts of stinging nettle can reduce sneezing, itching, and watery eyes in people with hay fever, and can be more eff ective than over- the- counter allergy medications. Nettles work in much the same way as over- the- counter antihistamines, by blocking the body's natural ability to produce histamine.
5 Vitamin C
This potent, immuneboosting antioxidant also has antihistamine properties, and can reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies. In one study, children with increased vitamin C consumption had fewer symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Other studies suggest that vitamin C supplements work by blocking the body’s production of histamine, the compound that triggers allergic reactions.
An antioxidant found in apples, tea, onions, red wine, and grapefruit, quercetin helps prevent mast cells from releasing histamines, and reduces the body’s infl ammatory response. In one study, people who took a quercetin combination supplement showed a 70 percent reduction in sneezing, stuff y nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms. Other studies have noted signifi cant anti- infl ammatory eff ects of quercetin.
This blue- green alga is well known for its immune- supportive actions, and recent studies show that it’s highly eff ective in lessening allergy symptoms. In one study of people with airborne allergies, spirulina signifi cantly reduced runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, and itching. Additionally, spirulina seems to reduce levels of histamines and cytokines, small proteins involved in the immune response.