Seasonal Allergy Natural Treatment Options
Updated: Oct 6
Fifty million Americans suffer with indoor as well as outdoor allergies. Here are some natural treatment ideas for all ages, including capsules, tablets, liquids and acupucnture.
Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. Asthma and allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), food allergy, and eczema, are common for all age groups in the United States. Asthma affects more than 24 million people in the U.S., including more than 6 million children. If a child has one parent who has allergies, they have a one in three more likely chance of dealing with allergies within their lifetime. So this topic is certainly worth taking a moment to review.
Nutritional Supplements for Allergy Support
Combination nutraceutical products often include several ingredients that are well researched and have an established history of use. Some of your better products, like Xymogen's AllerDHQ, will certify as being free of potential allergens like wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, animal or dairy products, fish, peanuts, tree nuts, egg as well as artificial additives. Many of these ingredients provide fast-acting, natural support for hypersensitivity reactions, including watery, itchy eyes and runny nose, as well as other manifestations of histamine release. Liquid homeopathics may address some of the same symptoms but work in a very different way, attempting to not just mitigate the unpleasant affects of allergies but seek to reorient the immune system to be less reactive in the first place.
Allergy Support Drops, are one such combination of homeopathics that seeks to ease symptoms while addressing the hyperactive immune system at its source. Like all homeopathics, they should be taken away from food or other medicines, with the exception of similar homeopathic remedies, which they can be combined with . Read about them here.
Bromelain, which comes from the stem of pineapples, has been shown in studies to be anti-allergic by stopping some of histamine's release. It is a proteolytic enzyme with well documented modulation of the inflammatory response and is recognized to exert a beneficial effect in combating hypersensitive immune reactions. A peer-reviewed publication from 2021 stated: "It is supposed that the anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and anti-coagulatory activity of bromelain may become a complementary therapy for COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 patients. During the irrepressible spread of novel variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, such beneficial properties of this biomolecule might help prevent escalation and the progression of the COVID-19 disease."3
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), which is an amino acid that supports detox pathways in itself, also breaks up mucus. It was originally approved as an inhaled drug way back in 1963 to be used for obstructive lung disease. NAC plays a significant role in detoxification and antioxidant protection. NAC also functions as a natural mucolytic; reducing the viscosity of mucus commonly produced during hyperimmune response. At this writing, after nearly two years of contention, the Food and Drug Administration has signaled that it will not enforce a ban on the use of NAC in dietary supplements. Yet, at the same time, the agency refuses to reverse its position that NAC is a "pharmaceutical ingredient" which, by definition, excludes it from the supplement category.
Cough Support Drops, another liquid homeopathic available from Northeast Natural Medicine, these drops are well suited for bothersome symptoms of post-nasal drip, which often contribute to a cough. They can be combined with other homeopathics for a broader synergistic effect. Read about them here.
Quercetin, one of the bioflavonoids, has extensive research used in animals in the treatment of asthma, as well as allergies. Quercetin shows anti-inflammatory action but its direct antioxidant action and inhibition of inflammatory mediators and enzymes, such as lipoxygenase. Studies have shown an improved lung function and lower risk of certain respiratory disease in people with high apple (rich in quercetin) intake.6
Sinus Throat Support Drops, seek to relieve symptoms for several areas in the head and neck. Like other liquid homeopathics, they can be combined and dosed at varying amounts based on symptoms. They are also well suited for helping mitigate inflammation that comes from infections in the sinuses or throat. Read about them here.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), is essential to humans and must be obtained exogenously, from external sources. While most mammals are able to synthesize ascorbic acid, humans lack one of the enzymes required for this process and can quickly become deficient if dietary or supplemental intake is inadequate, especially given the number of environmental stressors that demand the use of this antioxidant. However, Vitamin C also plays a lesser-known role in the deactivation of histamine.8,9
Allqlear, is a chewable tablet made mostly from powdered quail egg and sweetened with
xylitol. Proteins in the quail eggs, specifically ovomucoids and ovoinhibitors, are the primary constitutents active upon respiratory function, acting as protease inhibitors, and thereby decrease the allergy response.10,11,12 Later double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical trials supported these findings.13
Mucous Drainage Drops, are another homeopathic option which can be very supportive during the allergy season. It is particulary indicated in cases of stubborn congestion which is unrelenting. Read about them here.
Probiotics, for example, Probiomax Daily DF, is a dose of 30billion CFU probiotics using a combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are two types used in a 2011 study on probiotics used as a treatment for allergic rhinitis.14 It is suspected that probiotics help modulate the immune system response by dampening the dominant TH1 response suspected to be overactive in many allergic patients.14
Acupuncture for Allergy Support
Support for seasonal allergies is not all pills and potions! Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which builds upon a framework of ancient philosophy and theory that has origins in pre-history, before writing was developed. It involves the insertion of fine needles, thinner than a strand of human hair, into the body at specific points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health conditions. Our clinic uses individually packaged, disposable needles. Unlike many drugs, it is non-toxic, and adverse reactions are minimal. Read about acupuncture at Northeast Natural Medicine here!
Acupuncture is well known for being a helpful intervention for chronic pain disorders and routine conditions but is also effective in patients with allergic diseases.15 This is not just case reports but systemic reviews and meta-analyses of clinical trials; for example, a 2020 meta-analysis concluded "...for patients with allergic rhinitis who are unresponsive to conventional western medicine or cannot tolerate the side effects, acupuncture ... is an effective alternative therapy".16 Other authors of similar literature reviews went so far as to conclude "it is evident that acupuncture therapy is not inferior to pharmacologic therapy".17
So this allergy season, explore your options!
1. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. https://acaai.org/allergies/allergies-101/facts-stats/
9. Strohle, A. Micronutrients at the interface between inflammation and infection--ascorbic acid and calciferol: part 1, general overview with a focus on ascorbic acid. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2011. February.
13. Bruttmann, G. [L'omogenato di uova di quaglia "ovix": Valutazione clinica.] La Medicine Biologica (MB) 1995 April- June;2:25-29 [in Italian].
The content and any recommendations in this article are for informational purposes only. They are not intended to replace the advice of the reader's own licensed healthcare professional or physician and are not intended to be taken as direct diagnostic or treatment directives. Any treatments described in this article may have known and unknown side effects and/or health hazards. Each reader is solely responsible for his or her own healthcare choices and decisions. The author advises the reader to discuss these ideas with a licensed naturopathic physician.