Healthy Q & A: Seasonal Allergies


For me it seems like allergy season started last weekend.  I’ve had it for years and dread it.  I think I blew my nose 500 times yesterday.  I usually take over the counter allergy medicine, but I feel like it can’t be good to take that forever.  What would you recommend for allergies that really works?


Seasonal allergies can be awful, it can seem almost like you have a never-ending cold.  Medicating yourself for weeks on end is not ideal however.  Thankfully, there are a number of effective ways to help ease allergy symptoms.


The first thing I’d mention is a neti pot, a small ceramic container that looks like a teapot.  It’s wonderful for cleaning out the sinuses on a daily basis.  You fill it up with room temperature filtered water with a bit of salt to make a saline solution, and then use the neti pot to flush water in one nostril and out the other.  It sounds really odd, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a wonderful way to keep your sinuses free of allergens (it’s also great for colds and sinus problems in general).  This is a video on how to use a neti pot if my description is somewhat lacking.


Quercetin is a bioflavanoid which is great for allergy season.  It prevents the body from releasing histamine (the cause of your runny nose and watery eyes).  1,000mg per day between meals is a good dosage to start with.  Stinging nettle is another natural antihistamine that works well for allergy sufferers, without the drowsiness and other side effects common to over the counter antihistamines.


Another impressive natural antihistamine which has had positive recent research is butterbur.  In one recent Swiss study, butterbur extract was found to be as effective as the active ingredient in Zirtec (a popular seasonal allergy drug), without the side effects.


A product we especially recommend for allergies is Jarrow’s AllerTame.  It contains both butterbur and quercetin as well as omega 3 fatty acids and rosemary to help with reducing inflammation.  I’d definitely recommend giving it a try this allergy season.