This post is not intended to help with immediate seasonal allergy symptom relief. Perhaps I’ll do a follow-up post on that soon! Instead, this post will help you understand how to cure allergies without medicine. If you want to learn how to get rid of allergies naturally, read on!
When my son was younger, he had a myriad of allergies, both food and environmental. His list of allergies seemed much longer than the list of things he was not allergic to. And even worse, that was just based on his allergy tests! The things he would react to that did not show up on the test were astounding.
It was frustrating and at times downright scary.
He’s had multiple hospital visits and stays due to his allergies. This is even while working with an allergist/pulmonologist and taking multiple allergy meds (to include Singulair which did actually help with rhinitis, Flovent, Flonase, xylitol rinses), getting rid of stuffed animals, limiting fabrics in the room, washing them frequently, getting special bed allergen covers, using a HEPA air filter, and staying inside as much as possible during high allergen alerts, etc.
I felt very defeated and I knew it was getting him down. It was impacting his life negatively, and it was a sad situation for an energetic boy who loves the outdoors. He couldn’t roll around in the grass as he had multiple grass allergies. Even a trip to the local park at times would result in endless sneezing attacks or worse, an uncontrollable asthma attack.
Now he is free of almost all environmental allergies! The seasonal allergies are gone! He does still have some food allergies, but it is much less than he used to thanks to the GAPS Diet and Pickl-It ferments! He also still reacts strongly to mold. But he is free to roll around in grass, sniff flowers, and go outside on days when the pollen count is high!
Read on to find out how to get rid of allergies naturally so you can end your suffering, too!
There are multiple studies that show that the compounds in nettles have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties (here’s one such source). It is effective in prohibiting mast cell responses that flood the body with histamines and lead to allergy symptoms.
We have found nettle infusions a safe and inexpensive way to consume nettles regularly and ward of allergy symptoms. It is not an immediate aid, but rather it helps keep allergic responses down when consumed regularly. You can expect to see results within the first week, which makes this an amazing herbal remedy for allergies!
These drops are very concentrated and can also be helpful in a pinch.
Related Post: Learn How To Make Nettle Infusions (Easy & Inexpensive!)
Vitamin C also works by helping to control histamine responses! I love this brand of vitamin C and have been using it for a variety of reasons for many years. Taking vitamin C during allergy season is a must.
Scientific evidence shows that vitamin C deficiency is common among those with allergic diseases.
Studies show that oral and intravenous vitamin C therapies reduce allergy symptoms even in the absence of other therapies/medications. Take a look at this study and this one!
Vitamin C can help with rhinitis, sinusitis, allergic conjunctivitis, coughing, etc. It isn’t easy walking around with a stuffy, runny nose and itchy, watery, red eyes. Even if the symptoms are manageable, everyone suspects that you have something more sinister!
Local Honey and/or Bee Pollen
Local honey and bee pollen help you ward off seasonal allergies in multiple ways. Both honey and bee pollen support the immune system and work as anti-histamine.
But one way that local honey and bee pollen can help you is by giving you small doses of the local pollen. This is a type of allergy therapy that works through small but regular exposure to your allergens which help you to build up resistance.
This therapy works best when you start it well before allergy season begins. You can just take a tablespoon of raw honey, or eat a few granules of bee pollen daily. Some prefer to put the bee pollen in smoothies, but they do not have a strong taste and it’s easy to chew up a few.
One word of caution: some folks have had anaphylactic responses to bee pollen. As with all things, allergies and allergic responses are individual, and having a solid allergy action plan is important.
For my son, we work with his allergy & pulmonology specialist to ensure we have a plan in place just in case we discover a new allergy. In the middle of a severe allergic response is the worst time to wonder what you need to do!
I credit fermented foods with a huge portion of our success getting rid of allergies naturally. These foods are so amazing and change your life for the better. They help to change your gut microbiome so your bacteria are working with you instead of against you, heal your gut lining so allergens aren’t slipping into your bloodstream, and they also help to balance your immune system and reduce over-reactive histamine responses.
Milk kefir tops my list because it is quick and easy, and one of the most powerful ferments out there. It has multiple compounds that help to modulate the immune system, and it has hundreds of strains of bacteria and yeasts that cleanse your system internally, help to fully digest food, and reduce your histamine bucket.
If you are allergic to dairy, don’t feel bad. When we first started our journey to better health, my son was allergic to dairy. We did everything dairy-free.
Now that he can consume fermented dairy it is much easier, but we made it work just fine prior to that as well. He greatly reduced his allergens long before even attempting to consume dairy again!
One thing I want to note is that multiple people, including Kathleen (creator of Pickl-It jars), have had great success in eliminating allergies using milk kefir. She was allergic to cats and could not even go into a room one had been in. Since consuming milk kefir those feline allergies no longer exist!
Sauerkraut makes almost all of my lists of fermented foods that work as a natural remedy because it contains billions of probiotics per forkful (or spoonful of brine) and it is SUPER high in Vitamin C.
Related Post: How To Make Caraway Sauerkraut
I’ve also really grown to love the stuff. It’s great when you have a stomach ache and it’s great for seasonal allergies! Take it regularly to help keep rhinitis at bay!
Onions have multiple compounds that help with allergies. Fermented onions are on this list because in addition to being high in beneficial bacteria and enzymes that help gut health and promote balanced immune responses, it is also high in other beneficial compounds and a great way to always have onions on hand that are delicious and ready to eat!
Once fermented, the onions remain raw yet lose their “spicy” taste. They won’t make you cry but they’ll make you smile from ear to ear (they are so delicious!).
Related Post: How To Ferment Onions
Some of the beneficial compounds in onions that fight allergies include:
- Vitamin C
- Quercetin – antihistamine, helps block histamine release
- Sulfur – anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, helps to support the immune system and reduce inflammation
- Polyphenols – antioxidants, help to support the immune system and avoid over-reactive histamine responses
One study found that topical application to the nasal cavities of mice reduced allergic rhinitis! I’ve never tried it topically, but found this tidbit interesting.
Raw, red onions have the highest quercetin content. If you want to learn more about quercetin’s role in reducing allergies, you can check out this study. If you are allergic to onions, you might also choose to try a quercetin supplement such as the one below. A supplement is also helpful if you want to make sure you are getting a good daily dose.
Broth is one of my favorite ways to combat allergies! Drinking broth daily helps to seal the gut lining and drastically reduce inflammation and histamine responses in the body.
It’s also a great way to sneak in some raw garlic. I like to use my garlic press and put some in the broth/soup once cooled enough to drink. It tastes great and is a huge benefit to your health.
I make short-simmered broth as Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride suggests in her book Gut and Psychology Synrdome. This is preferable to bone broth because the process of making bone broth results in increased amines and other compounds that can actually counteract attempts to get rid of allergies!
One way allergic reactions was explained to me in the past is as a bucket. Basically your body can only take so many compounds that trigger histamine responses before it gets out of control and symptoms appear such as rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, eczema, diarrhea, etc. Keeping the triggers low while working to heal your overreactive immune responses can greatly reduce and eventually eliminate your body’s allergic responses!
Fermented Cod Liver Oil (FCLO)
The omega 3 fatty acids in cod liver oil help with controlling inflammation, allergies and asthma.
There are also other important nutrients in cod liver oil such as Vitamin A and D. Both are fat-soluble vitamins (best taken from animal sources and with animal fat) that help to reduce in the mucus membranes (source).
I personally love and use Fermented Cod Liver Oil because we originally began using it to help with dental health and saw an amazing improvement. The fact that it also helps with allergy and asthma made us life-long customers. We’ve been using it since for about 9 years now!
Initially we used it daily, but after several months we have periods where we take it and periods where we don’t. Our bodies just don’t need as much since we also include plenty of other foods rich in vitamin A & D.
Iodine deficiency and thyroid disorders have been linked with allergies. Even though it has been poorly studied, those with autoimmune disorders are more likely to have allergies and many report an impressive reduction in symptoms once they get their autoimmune disorder under control!
One other thing to note is that those on diets that eliminate major food groups like dairy and seafood are more prone to iodine deficiencies.
Seaweed such as kelp, kombu, wakame and nori are great ways to get some iodine in your system. I love to put kombu in broth as the nutrient and flavor seeps into the broth and you can just strain out the kombu.
Iodine supplements are also widely available. I prefer to use drops that you can apply topically, as your body is better able to regulate how much it takes in this way as opposed to tablets.
Related Post: Kombu: The Secret To A Healthier Broth
Magnesium is an important mineral that many allergy sufferers and asthmatics are low in. Foods with high magnesium levels include pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach and oily fish.
The best proven way to raise your magnesium levels quickly is by taking magnesium orally. Some forms of magnesium are better than others. Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Citrate are considered the best forms to quickly raise magnesium levels. I prefer buying a powder as it can easily be mixed in a drink for fast absorption.
Many believe that when you take it internally much of it passes right on through. Although it can have a quick laxative effect, studies prove otherwise. Instead of taking magnesium orally, many people believe it is best to apply topically. Studies show mixed results on transdermal applications (source), but it seems it may depend on the type and magneisum oil is one type that may actually raise magnesium levels.
There are two reputable brands that make “magnesium oil,” which is simply magnesium flakes mixed with water. I get this brand because it is less expensive, but I hear rave reviews about this brand as well.
Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salt baths are a great way to reduce your allergen load, while improving your magnesium levels. The magnesium sulfate that make up Epsom Salts help to counteract allergic reactions.
Magnesium sulfate is used intravenously as an emergency treatment for asthma exacerbations (source)!
The baths are soothing, help skin issues such as eczema, and reduce stress that promotes histamine release. They aid in your body’s detoxification process, which again reduces your overall allergen load.
I really love and highly recommend this brand of Epsom salts. I actually buy it in bulk as we use it so frequently!