Allergic rhinitis, a condition in which your nasal passages are inflamed, is caused when the immune system over-responds to specific harmless allergens, which are either inhaled or ingested, mistaking them for intruders . These allergens can also enter through the skin. The immune system releases histamine and other chemicals to attack the ‘invaders’. This reaction by immune system causes allergic rhinitis, which is also referred to as hay fever. Common allergens that cause allergic rhinitis include grass pollens, rag weed, animal hair, mold and even dust mites. For most, avoiding these allergens is a constant battle, but during the summer months, when the pollen count is high, symptoms are unavoidable. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, red eyes, runny nose, dry cough, itchy and sore throat, headache, congestion and even fatigue. If you think you suffer, then there are home remedies for allergic rhinitis that you can try to reduce the symptoms without medication.
Home Remedies For Allergic Rhinitis
Treating allergic rhinitis naturally involves using two types of approach. One approach would be to look for home remedies that improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis while the other approach will be to strengthen immunity to prevent your immune system from making wrong calls. Here is a list of effective home remedies:
Garlic, an inevitable kitchen ingredient is one of the most recommended home remedies for allergic rhinitis. Quercetin in garlic is anti-inflammatory and a natural antihistamine and hence effective for treating the condition . Garlic is an immune booster. It also possesses powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, which support quick recovery from allergic rhinitis.
Chew 3 raw garlic on empty stomach in the mornings till symptoms subside. Regular use of garlic in your cooking also helps.
Add a teaspoon of turmeric to a cup of milk and bring it to boil. Drink the mixture warm.
Add honey to turmeric, mix well and have it twice a day.
Add a teaspoon of honey to a glass of warm water. Drink thrice a day till symptoms improve.
Pepper is antioxidant , antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Used since ancient times for its various medicinal properties, pepper is also an effective remedy for allergic rhinitis. The expectorant properties of pepper aid in relieving congestion.
Crush pepper and clove and add honey and turmeric to the powder. Mix well and consume it twice a day.
The immune boosting properties of ginger aid in providing long term relief from allergic rhinitis. Ginger possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, which aid in treating symptoms associated with the health condition .
Peel a piece of ginger and rinse well. Add it to a glass of water and bring to boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Filter and drink warm. Having ginger tea twice a day helps to relieve you from allergic rhinitis.
Onion contains quercetin, which possesses anti-histamine properties. Onion is also an anti-inflammatory and hence is highly effective in treating allergic rhinitis .
Applying onion poultice relieves symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Here is how you make onion poultice:
- Take two onions and some grated ginger.
- Sauté the ingredients adding very little water. Just gentle heating will do.
- Spread the mixture in a towel. Fold to secure the mixture in place.
- Place the poultice on the chest or on the feet to be relieved from congestion.
- Remove it after about half an hour.
- Make fresh poultice when necessary.
Including raw onion in your regular diet will boost your immunity and reduce risk of allergic rhinitis.
7) Green Tea
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and possesses anti-histamine properties. Studies have proved that regular consumption of benifuuki green tea for a little over one month before getting exposed to seasonal allergies can reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis .
Drink green tea four to five times a day.
8) Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint relieves symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis. It reduces inflammation. Menthol in peppermint oil is a natural expectorant and hence it is highly effective for nasal congestion . Peppermint oil relieves headaches as well.
Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a diffuser and inhale for relief.
Add a few peppermint leaves to a glass of water and bring to boil. Add a drop of peppermint essential oil. Simmer for a few minutes. Filter and drink warm.
Take some peppermint essential oil and coconut oil. Mix well. Apply it on your chest.
9) Basil Essential Oil
The medicinal properties of basil are well established. Used in the treatment of various health conditions, basil is also proved effective for relieving allergic rhinitis. Basil fights bacteria and possesses anti-inflammatory properties .
Add some basil leaves to a glass of water and bring to boil. Simmer for a few minutes. Strain and drink twice a day.
Chew basil leaves daily.
Dilute basil essential oil with coconut oil and apply on chest for relief.
10) Eucalyptus Oil
A popular remedy that comes almost immediately to mind when one has cold or headache or both and any respiratory issue is eucalyptus oil. It is very effective in treating symptoms of allergic rhinitis .
Add one or two drops of eucalyptus essential oil to hot water. Cover your head with a towel and bend your face over the oil added water and inhale till you find relief.
Eucalyptus oil can also be diffused into the air. Rubbing the oil locally can also relieve you from the health condition.
11) Milk Thistle
Milt thistle possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Silymarin in milk thistle aids in reducing allergic rhinitis symptoms .
Powder milk thistle seeds and add it to your soup, salad or cereal. You can also drink milk thistle tea. To make tea, add one teaspoon of milk thistle seeds to a glass of water and bring to boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for a few minutes. Filter and drink twice a day.
12) Stinging Nettle
Studies have proved that stinging nettle prevents inflammatory events that trigger allergic rhinitis symptoms .
Add a few stinging nettle leaves to a glass of water and bring to boil. Once the water starts boiling, simmer for a few minutes. Strain and drink.
Stinging nettle powder can be added to your smoothies.
Add spirulina powder to your smoothies. You can sprinkle the powder on your soup or salad. If you don’t have a particular dislike for the taste, you can also add a teaspoon of spirulina powder to two glasses of water and drink.
14) Eye Bright
Eye bright works great for hay fever. Being anti-inflammatory it improves symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis including congestion and itchy eyes. Tannins in eye bright aid in reducing mucus discharge.
Add a teaspoon of eye bright leaves to a glass of water and bring to boil. Simmer for few minutes. Filter and drink thrice a day till symptoms improve.
Goldenseal possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Its load of benefits includes curing symptoms of allergic rhinitis. It aids in fighting infection .
Add a cup of boiling water to two teaspoons of dried golden seal. Cover and steep for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink.
Yarrow is anticatarrhal, a property which helps to relieve mucus and prevent inflammation. It is also anti-inflammatory  and antimicrobial and hence effective in relieving allergic rhinitis symptoms.
Add two teaspoons of dried harrow in a glass of hot water and steep for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink. Drinking yarrow tea thrice a day provides quicker relief.
Petasin, an active ingredient in butterbur is antihistamine and hence works well for allergic rhinitis. It reduces mucus .
Rinse butterbur root in cold water. Soak a teaspoon of the root in cold water for about 12 hours.
Butterbur may cause stomach upset. It is not recommended for children, pregnant and nursing women.
18) Dong Quai (Dang Gui)
Dong quai possesses anti-inflammatory properties . Being antihistamine, it relieves symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis.
Add one teaspoon of dong quai to a glass of boiling water. Steep it for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink warm.
Nursing mothers should refrain from consuming dong quai.
19) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an immune booster. It possesses powerful antihistamine properties that aid in relieving symptoms of allergic rhinitis including sneezing and congestion. ACV is also an antibiotic.
Add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water. Add honey to enhance the taste.
20) Reishi Mushrooms
The anti-inflammatory properties of reishi mushroom aid in curing symptoms of allergic rhinitis. It inhibits histamine production thereby reducing symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose. Reishi mushrooms boost immunity .
Add two slices of reishi mushroom to four glasses of water and bring to boil. After about 15 minutes of boiling, turn off the heat and strain the liquid. Drink warm.
Probiotics are available in various foods including cheese and yoghurt. You can also use probiotic supplements.
22) Omega Essential Fatty Acids
Regular intake of omega 3 essential fatty acid reduces the risk of suffering from allergic rhinitis. Omega 6 EFA checks production of histamine. It also supports the production of prostaglandins, which support lung health and improves allergic symptoms .
23) Vitamin D
Healthy vitamin D levels reduce risk of autoimmune disorders. Studies have proved the associated between lower vitamin D levels and allergic rhinitis . The solution, hence, is to increase intake of food sources rich in vitamin D to be relieved and protected from allergic rhinitis.
24) Hydrogen Peroxide
Your body produces hydrogehen peroxide as t first line of defense to fight infections . Hydrogen peroxide is essential for a sound immune system and it relieves symptoms of allergic rhinitis and reduces the risk of the health condition.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used as nasal spray or can be pumped under the tongue for relief.
Steaming relieves allergic rhinitis symptoms. It soothes mucous membranes, cures congestion and helps with your breathing.
Fill a bowl with hot water. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil for added effect. Bend your head over the bowl and inhale. Place a towel over your head so that the steam is locked inside giving you relief.
26) Neti Pot
Neti pot, very popular among yogic practitioners, is effective in treating symptoms of allergic rhinitis. It relieves itchy nostrils and runny nose.
Add one teaspoon of salt to two cups of warm water. Stir well. Lean over your sink. Tilt your head to one side. Insert the spout of the neti pot into the nostril that is on the upper side. The spout should close the nostril completely. With the mouth open to support breathing, pour the water slowly through the upper nostril. Maintain the position so that the water you poured in comes out of the lower nostril. Now tilt the head towards the opposite side and repeat the same process. You can blow your nose standing straight.
Keeping your neti pot clean is highly essential to prevent risk of infection .
27) Oil Pulling
Oil pulling removes toxins from your body. It removes irritants that trigger allergic rhinitis.
- Take a tablespoon of sesame oil and put it in your mouth. You can also use coconut oil for oil pulling.
- Swish the oil well around your mouth for about 20 minutes. Be careful not to swallow the oil.
- Spit the oil out after 20 minutes.
- Rinse your mouth with warm water after which you may brush your teeth.
Oil pulling has to be done on empty stomach.
Lifestyle Changes for Allergic Rhinitis
Not just allergy, any health condition is a result of prolonged abuse of your body; such abuses may be anything from imbalanced diet to junk food intake, lesser sleep or poor sleep quality and lack of exercise among other things. Life seems to go on in spite of all this neglect but when reality strikes, it strikes hard. After all, an allergy attack may be assigned to seasons or certain reasons but the bottom line is a poor immune function. Here are the basic rules to stay in great shape:
- Remember and follow the simple rule – time to bed and time to rise.
- Have a diet chart customized to suit your needs and stick to it.
- Exercise regularly. Fix a time for your exercise and never compromise. If it is fixed for the morning then it has to be in the morning. This helps you to make exercising your habit and routine and avoids postponing.
- Avoid staying up late night. Your body, mind and soul need rest. Hence, remember the first rule.
- There are many natural antihistamines that you can also add to your diet. Many are listed here but for a full list, check out our natural antihistamines for allergies.