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    Natural Allergy Remedies

    If you have allergies, you don't have to rely only on pills and nose sprays. Sometimes natural remedies can replace -- or go hand in hand with -- more traditional treatments. Here are some you may want to try the next time you have a flare.

    Nasal irrigation -- Flushing out your sinuses with a neti pot or nasal washes may help break up thick mucus and ease swelling. Follow directions and keep your equipment clean. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of boiled, then cooled water.

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    Quercetin -- Some experts believe that this natural chemical acts like an antihistamine. It keeps histamine -- a chemical in the body that causes many allergy symptoms -- under control. Quercetin can be found in teas, onions, red wine, and apples. It’s also available in supplement form..

    Butterbur -- Some studies have shown butterbur -- specifically an extract called Ze 399 -- to be at least as effective as antihistamines for relieving things like runny nose and congestion.

    Acupuncture -- Some people with severe allergies say acupuncture can help reduce pain, ease swelling, and lessen mucus.

    Honey -- A teaspoon can soothe your throat if it gets irritated from coughing all day. Children under a year old should never be given honey.

    Spicy foods -- Eating something with a little heat can thin mucus and clear congestion.

    Bromelain -- This natural enzyme comes from pineapple. For some, it helps ease inflammation and swelling in the nose. It also may help thin mucus.

    If you have a chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure, check with your doctor before trying any type of supplement.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on November 03, 2014

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