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.
Your home is your castle -- except when you’re allergic to it. A recent nationwide survey found that over half of all Americans test positive for at least some allergens, and many of these are indoor allergies such as dust, mold, and pet dander.
How can you allergy-proof your home to make it a refuge, not a source of sneezes? Take a tour of your house from room to room, find out where the allergens are lurking, and get relief from indoor allergies.
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.