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 allergy treatments. Here are some you may want to try the next time your allergies flare.
Nasal irrigation -- Flushing out your sinuses with a neti pot or nasal washes may help break up thick mucus and ease swelling of your sinuses. Follow directions and keep all equipment clean. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to 8 ounces of boiled, then cooled water.
Try these tips for allergy relief when you’re on vacation or traveling on
Travel Insurance: Check pollen counts at your destination. Pack your
own hypoallergenic pillow cover and allergy medicine in a carry-on bag.
No Venting: On road trips, keep the air vent closed. You'll breathe
recirculated air, not pollen or pollution.
Smart Car: Take a vacuum to your car. Pollen and dust mites can
easily cling to clothing, bringing more allergens into your home.
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 foods such as teas, onions, red wine, and apples. It can also be purchased as a supplement.
Butterbur -- Some studies have shown butterbur -- specifically a butterbur extract called Ze 399 -- to be at least as effective as antihistamines for relieving allergy symptoms, such as runny nose and congestion.
Acupuncture -- Some people with severe allergies find that it can help reduce pain, ease swelling, and lessen the amount of mucus they have.
Honey -- A teaspoon can soothe your throat if it gets irritated from coughing all day. Children under 1 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 the pineapple plant. For some people, 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, always check with your doctor before trying any type of supplement.