Relief for Fall Allergies
Simple, natural ways to clear congestion and irritants, and keep the air flowing
Natural remedies that can mitigate allergy symptoms and help you breathe easier.
Ifyou’re one of the millions who suffer from the sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes associated with allergies, you know the struggles with pollen and ragweed aren’t just uncomfortable; they bring along some serious physical and mental fatigue. But it’s possible to feel better with natural treatments.
Here’s what’s happening during an allergy attack: pollen granules latch onto the mucous membranes that line nasal passages, stimulating their immune cells, which are loaded with histamines. These cells then rid themselves of those histamines, triggering a series of inflammatory reactions intended to help the body get rid of the intruder—sneezing, runny nose, and itching.
“Allergy” refers to any condition in which the body mounts an attack on a specific substance that is benign for some, such as pollen. It’s a normal immune response gone into overdrive— well-intended, but too extreme. We can interrupt the process at many steps, so there are many natural remedies that can play a role in mitigating the misery and help you breathe easier.
For the past 20 years, natural medicine practitioners have recommended ( Urtica dioica), or nettle leaf, for allergy symptoms. Research points to the anti-inflammatory properties of nettle, and studies show that nettle produces an antiallergy effect. Nettle’s benefits are likely due to its active constituents, which include bioflavonoids and polysaccharides. To retain these constituents, nettle leaf must be processed carefully, so look for a highquality encapsulated product that has been freeze-dried or specially processed to retain the active compounds.
Use nettle the way you would use an antihistamine drug to terminate an acute attack. Many people take up to 3,000 mg per day of nettle leaf capsules to relieve hay fever reactions. Symptoms often begin to improve within 15 minutes, and the effect typically lasts for about four hours.
( Petasites hybridus) is used in cases of acute pain of smooth muscle, such as in the urinary and respiratory tracts. This quality also makes it useful for respiratory disorders involving cough and asthma.
Scientists report that seasonal allergy sufferers who received an extract of butterbur experienced symptom relief equivalent to patients treated with the prescription antihistamine Zyrtec (cetirizine). Patients were treated with either butterbur or cetirizine for two weeks. The patients described similar symptom relief with both treatments.
Butterbur root supplements are commonly standardized to contain a minimum of 7.5 mg of petasin and isopetasin per tablet. Take 50–100 mg twice daily with meals.