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  • Writer's pictureBritta Van Dun

Treat Allergies + Hay Fever Naturally

Holistic remedies and immune boosting strategies for seasonal allergies.

Honeybee flying toward flower

Considering allergies from a Chinese Medicine perspective, we take into account the symptoms (branch) as well as the causal pattern (root). Immune system imbalances are often at the root of allergies, affecting the whole and more specifically the lungs, large intestine, spleen and stomach. Supporting your protective field and internal organs through a healthy diet, movement and seasonal self-care strategies can greatly improve your health and well-being this spring.

A few recommendations to alleviate symptoms and strengthen immunity:

  • Eat fresh, seasonal foods in their natural state - vegetables, whole grains, fruits and proteins that are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Dark leafy vegetables and summer greens are a perfect transition into the season. Avoid inflammatory foods, such as fried foods and those high in refined, processed sugars.

  • A glass of room temp spring or distilled water with a squeeze of lemon** - supports liver functioning.

  • Exercise - all kinds bolster the immune system.

  • Reduce stress through breathing exercises, moving the body, meditation and deep sleep.

  • Enjoy a small teaspoon of locally harvested honey is thought to inoculate against native pollens

  • Safely use a Neti Pot or Saline spray - used daily and as directed helps rinse pollens, molds and mucus from the nasal passages. If Netis aren't your jam, perhaps a sterile bulb aspirator ("snotsucker"**) is.

  • Take brief, hot showers - washes away allergens from the skin and hair and clears the passages.

  • Enjoy steam baths and facial steams - the steam helps open and clear the airways and with a drop of Eucalyptus oil- a natural anti-inflammatory - helps heal the mucus membranes.

  • Change clothes after being outside for several hours and before sitting on furniture.

  • Avoid swimming in chlorine pools or hot tubs - can exacerbate allergy symptoms

  • Deep clean the home & consider a HEPA air filtration system. Research shows that cleaning home air ducts has minimal effect on allergen counts, making air filtration devices a much better investment.

  • Turn off your cell phone - research shows that one hour of continuous cell phone use can exacerbate peoples’ allergic responses to dust and pollen.

  • Massage the medial wrists and stimulating immune boosting acupressure points.

  • Utilize acupuncture to vitalize the immune system, address underlying conditions, and reduce inflammatory responses to allergens.

  • Check with a healthcare practitioner to identify a hormone imbalance, chronic stress responses, and food sensitivities.

Since we're all different, treatment strategies and remedies are individually tailored. If you decide to go the supplement, herbal or homeopathic route, I strongly suggest consulting a naturopathic doctor, Chinese Medical practitioner, herbalist, or homeopath, respectively. Integrating one remedy at a time to observe any positive or negative reactions is also key. It's tempting to believe that supplements labeled natural are always good or beneficial. They are not. Even if remedies are high quality they may not be indicated for the person or the condition. Please take it slowly and remember that more is not better. Ultimately, harnessing the body's own wisdom is perhaps the most potent medicine available. That said, below are a few supplements, herbs and remedies commonly used to assist in the treatment of hay fever and seasonal allergies.

Supplements. There are so many different types and brands of vitamins and supplements available. Our best options are food-derived, allergen-free, non-GMO, and organic (when possible) from reputable companies (I like TwinLab, Pure Encapsulations, and New Chapter), and sold at established Health Food Stores.

  • Food Derived vitamin C - a gentle antihistamine.

  • Organic, sublingual Vitamin D - reduces allergic reactions to mold

  • Quercetin - flavonoid that prevents histamine release

  • Refrigerated Probiotics -reduces antibodies that trigger allergic reactions

Herbs in capsule, tincture or as a loose tea. If you are in Tucson, I highly recommend visiting the locally owned and operated Tucson Herb Store on 4th Avenue.

  • Stinging nettle

  • Chrysanthemum flowers and cassia seeds

  • Eyebright

  • Butterbur (do not take if allergic to ragweed)

  • Peppermint

Homeopathic Remedies. Homeopathy takes a whole-person approach. While one-off remedies for acute situations are helpful in the moment, a certified homeopath can help identify constitutional remedies that clear deeply held patterns that otherwise inhibit immunity and optimal mental and physical functioning. Two of my favorite remedies that help relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies and hayfever are:

  • Histaminum hydrochloricum - for general allergy symptoms such as sinus pressure, post nasal drip, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, sneezing. Can also be helpful for food and environmental allergies.

  • Sebadil - a combination formula that helps relieve itchy, sneezing, runny noses and itchy, watery eyes. Made for kids, great for adults too.

  • Click link for more specific Primary and Secondary Homeopathic remedies for Hayfever and Seasonal Allergies.

Now get out there and enjoy this gorgeous weather!*

*Not a directive : ) . Content from Essence + Acupuncture articles and posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Please do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Essence + Acupuncture site. If you'd like the schedule an appointment with Britta Van Dun, LAc, you can book online, text or call +1(917)519-2432 or email

** Thank you Mary Swiergol for these tips!

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