Skip to content

We all catch it this time of year – Spring Fever! For many this also means experiencing another type of fever, hay fever, or seasonal allergies.

The term “allergy” describes an over-aggressive immune response triggered by ingesting, touching, or inhaling an irritant that your system recognizes as foreign, but which do not cause reactions in most people. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies to pollen, spores, mold, and dust (also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis) affects up to 30% of adults and 40% of children worldwide, and is the third-leading cause of chronic disease in children under the age of 18. The associated costs in treating allergic rhinitis is $17.5 billion and with allergies on the rise, these costs are projected to increase significantly.seasonal allergies, natural prevention

The duration, route of exposure, amount of exposure, and type of allergen dictate the degree to which the allergen affects an individual. This is often referred to as the barrel concept.  Imagine a barrel that is half-full of water. The barrel is your immune system and the water is everything you’re exposed to. Then add pollen, dander, mold, chemicals in our environment, medications, poor food choices, etc. There is a point of threshold and the barrel overflows. Essentially, the immune system is overburdened and has difficulty regulating what it was once capable of maintaining. From a naturopathic viewpoint, allergies in an overburdened system, are often associated with deficient adrenal, immune, and digestive functions.

There are many natural treatments used to support and improve those functions and to alleviate hay fever symptoms. To successfully treat seasonal allergies one must adopt a multipronged approach. It is recommended to initiate these natural treatments 1–2 months before the season starts in order to reduce the severity of symptoms.

Naturopathic Treatments for Allergic Rhinitis

#1 Avoid or limit exposure to allergens!

  • Pay attention to pollen counts. Visit to access the pollen report in your area. Exercise outdoors first thing in the morning when pollen counts are generally at their lowest.
  • Improve indoor air quality. Regularly vacuum your home, including furniture, with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner. Use a dehumidifier and/or a HEPA filter air purifier in your bedroom to help reduce circulating dust and pollens from the air.

#2 Address the cause of allergic reactions!

  • Address your gut health. Good gut health can make a big difference when it comes to easing allergy symptoms, and good health starts with nutrition and healthy digestion. The majority of our immune system is in our gut. People sensitive to airborne allergens may also be sensitive to certain foods. Identifying and removing food triggers can greatly improve health and reduce allergy symptoms. This is best assessed by an elimination and challenge diet.

#3 Support your immune response!

  • Neti Pot and Saline Rinse. The Neti Pot has been used for thousands of years in ayurvedic medicine to address sinus irritation and congestion. The Neti Pot filled with a sterile saline solution diluted in distilled water that is poured through one nostril, to be drained out the other nostril. The basic theory is that it naturally cleanses, and reinvigorates the nasal passages, one of our body’s first lines of defense against illness.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Research shows that consuming a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), helps reduce the risk of developing hay fever in adults. Mothers who consume omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and the early post-natal period may modulate the immune system and reduce the risk of allergy development in their offspring.
  • Quercetin is a natural antihistamine. Found in foods like apples and citrus, it is also a potent antioxidant that aids in reducing inflammation. It is best taken before allergy season starts and throughout the duration of the exposure.
  • Nettle Leaf is another natural antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer. Nettles can be found growing wild in the Pacific Northwest and can be made into a tea, tincture, or pesto. It can easily be found as a capsule and is a very effective option.

As with any herb or supplement, you should check with your doctor before using, especially if you have a liver problem, are pregnant, or are on hormonal contraceptives.

Spring is here! If you are looking for ways to prevent, reduce and even eliminate your seasonal allergy symptoms consider incorporating some of these tips. If you desire a more personalized approach in addressing your seasonal allergies, consider scheduling an appointment with us so that we can assist you with your health goals. Give our office a call at (503) 227-2279