Hay fever is a common condition affecting approximately one in five people. Symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, sinus headaches, sneezing and coughing. To eliminate these symptoms an allergic person must avoid the offending substance. If dust or pollen is your allergy trigger, avoidance is impossible. Fortunately, herbal remedies can offer relief of bothersome symptoms. Use them as an adjunct to other treatments or as a sole remedy for allergies.
Herbal Remedies for Allergies
A variety of herbs might be helpful for treating allergic symptoms. They can be used seasonally, or year-round, depending on when your symptoms flare-up. The following are some herbs you might find useful:
- Echinacea: An immune-system enhancing herb commonly taken for cold and flu relief.
- Golden Seal: Like echinacea, golden seal is also used for colds and other respiratory tract infections, as well as for infectious diarrhea and eye infections.
- Garlic: Although many people use garlic to reduce cholesterol and high blood-pressure levels, the pungent herb is also helpful for relieving a runny nose caused by allergies.
- Fenugreek: Historically used for menopause and digestive conditions, fenugreek may help reduce nasal and sinus congestion.
- Marshmallow: The root and leaf of the marshmallow plant contain a slippery substance called mucilage. This milky element offers allergy, asthma and cold symptom relief. Marshmallow is also thought to help fight infection by strengthening the immune system.
Supplements are also beneficial for allergy sufferers; they work by supporting the immune system and reducing inflammation. Among the many supplements you might use for this purpose, include Vitamin A, Vitamin C and B-vitamins.
Other Remedies for Allergy Relief
In conjunction with herbs, other remedies can go a long way toward reducing your allergy symptoms. Reducing or eliminating exposure to the offending substances helps stop your body from producing histamine, which in turn stops allergic symptoms. You can reduce allergies within your home by removing carpeting, cleaning and vacuuming often, and purchasing a dehumidifier. You might also use over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants. Talk to a trusted health care adviser about your best options.
References: University of Maryland Medical Center: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/marshmallow-000265.htm; Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hay-fever/DS00174