Natural Allergy Relief

Memphis has had a historically brief winter and swaying spring temperatures are leading us into a harsh allergy season. There are many conventional treatments such as immunotherapy shots, over-the-counter antihistamines, and steroid nasal sprays. These are not always 100% effective and may require rotating them in and out to continue seeing results. However, finding relief from allergy symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean a visit to the pharmacy. Try these safe, drug-free treatments that can help prevent or offer relief from seasonal allergy symptoms.


If you’re sensitive to grasses or other plants, take precautions when doing lawn work. Go as long as possible between cuttings and wear a mask, gloves, and protective eyewear to limit contact with allergens. Wash skin thoroughly immediately afterward.


Steam is a great tool to open your sinuses and is even more powerful with a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Steam your face with a towel over your head or place a few drops in a diffuser or humidifier to help unclog a stuffy nose. Peppermint oil helps the mind snap back from an allergy fog. Rub a drop into your temples if you feel an energy dip at work or school.


Pollen inevitably collects in your hair and clothing after time spent outdoors. Showering when you come inside and before your head hits the pillow will prevent that pollen from transferring to your eyes and nose.


Add a teaspoon to a small glass of water one to two times per day for an anti-inflammatory response in the sinus cavity. Any more than the recommended dose may strain kidneys and damage tooth enamel. Limited research has been done on this remedy, but it has been a widely used homeopathic standby for centuries. Antibacterial, probiotic apple cider vinegar can be used safely without side effects alongside conventional medication.


Choose bee pollen over local honey to build up immunity to allergies. The amount of honey required to build up an immunity means ingesting a large amount of excess sugar. Local bee pollen is more potent and contains a negligible amount of calories. Mix 0.5-1 tsp in a glass of water. Bee pollen can be found at natural food stores and is best stored in the refrigerator to preserve potency.


Irrigating the nose with saline solution can help soothe upper respiratory allergies by removing irritants (pollen, dust, dander, smoke) that become embedded in the sinuses. Brands such as Neilmed sell packets of saline solution to use with a neti pot or nasal bulb sinus rinse. It’s easiest to do in the shower when steam opens your sinuses.


Brush pets outside to keeping dust and dander out of your living space and bathe them often!


Keep windows and doors closed to prevent pollen and air pollution from coming inside. Wash your pillowcases frequently and clean or replace the air filter in your HVAC system.

By Robin Beaudoin

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