10 Natural Allergy Remedies that Really Work

Do you suffer from allergy symptoms--runny nose, itching eyes, and more? These Natural Allergy Remedies really work and can help support your body so you can feel better fast.

Boy sneezing into a handkerchief for 10 Natural Allergy Remedies that really work post

Allergies have been a huge problem for me for much of my life. And since my family wasn't really focused on natural living at all, we treated my allergies with drugs, rather than trying to find natural allergy remedies that could help me find relief without the side effects that medications cause.

Thankfully, there are other options today for me to lean on for myself and my family. These ten natural allergy remedies have made a huge difference for us.

My History with Allergies

I had chemical sensitivities for as long as I can remember.  I recall feeling odd or even terrible while walking down the detergent / house cleaning aisle in the grocery store, or through the perfume section in a department store (this was all due to sensitivities to artificial fragrances), and I remember just not feeling great throughout my childhood.  I suspect some of this was due to allergies that were just starting to develop.

But it wasn't until my teen years that my allergies got really bad.

So bad that I had to stay home from high school while the trees were in bloom, only going in for 9th grade Biology Class, since Mr. Propheta's course was so hard -- there was no way I was going to make it without showing up.

Either my mom or friends brought my homework home to me for the remaining 6 weeks.

I knew that I had been sick, but I never realized how bad it was until I went back to visit my high school after I was in the work force.  I ran into my old Spanish teacher, and after we chatted for awhile, he mentioned how surprised he was that I did so well in school despite being so sick.

I was actually so self-conscious about my "issues" when I was in high school that it didn't even occur to me that someone would have been concerned about me.

I really was. that sick.

I was on 3 different prescription allergy medications and was still almost incapacitated.  Sneezing, runny nose, swollen eyes.

I dreaded the onset of spring each and every year.

During my 20s, I found an allergist who helped me tremendously with a special allergy shot protocol that really had a miraculous effect on me.  I no longer was suffering terribly, and can function in the spring.

However, allergies do continue to be something that our family struggles with to varying degrees -- especially my youngest.

So far, this year, our allergies haven't been too bad, but a few of us have had some more sneezing and eye itching episodes recently so I started thinking about all of this again, and wanted to share some of what natural allergy remedies have worked for us, in the hopes that something will help you.

The following are a number of natural allergy remedies that we have found effective for our family.

collage of Allergy Season sign and dandelion for natural allergy remedies post

1. Nettle Tea

Nettle leaf has carotene, vitamin K, and quercetin. While more research needs to be done in this area, there is some evidence that using stinging nettle after the first sign of allergic symptoms helps reduce symptoms (source 1, source 2).

However, make sure to buy the leaf and not the root, as the root has a totally different function.

We made Nettle Tea by the pot, then drink it throughout the day, and I find it really does help us.

I also sometimes make it in my beloved Stainless Steel French Press--very convenient. Regardless of whether nettle helps with allergies or not, there are many other stinging nettle benefits, making it something to consider adding to your diet.

****You can buy Nettle Leaves either from Frontier or Starwest Botanicals.

2.  Local Honey

Pretty much every day my sons each have 1 teaspoon of local honey.

They love having the treat (who doesn't love honey?), but they are also possibly getting allergy prevention benefits.

Basically consuming local honey is thought to be like getting an allergy shot since you get small amounts of the pollen with each yummy bite.  The bees collect pollen from the very plants that you are allergic to, so if you buy honey from bees that are not local, you are likely not getting the best "natural allergy shot" that you can, since you'll be "immunizing" yourself against the wrong kind of pollen. There is conflicting evidence about this, and only small studies have been done, so the jury is still out.

Please note that honey should not be given to a child under the age of one due to the possibility of Clostridium botulinum.

3.  Saline Rinse

We use this DIY Saline Rinse whenever we are fighting colds, and it's great for allergy season too.

The salt water helps draw out the pollen that is irritating your nose, and also flushes out mucous and opens up nasal passages. (source)

It works wonders.

4. Essential Oils

Did you know this about these common essential oils?

These plant-based wonders are naturally anti-inflammatory and have natural antihistamine qualities.

Put a drop of one or each of these in your hand, combine with a carrier oil (I like Fractionated Coconut Oil because it won't stain clothes or bed linens and doesn't spoil) and place some on your cheeks, forehead, chest or sinuses.

Alternatively, you could blend a drop of each of the following together and add a carrier oil and then use the resulting blend.

Lavender - a natural antihistamine
Peppermint - has anti-inflammatory properties
Eucalyptus - is known to relieve allergies (citriadora is the safest version of this oil)
Lemon - also works as a natural antihistamine

Be careful using this blend with young children - Peppermint should not be used for children (some say under the age of 6), and only use citriodora on children -- no other eucalyptus should be used on children under 10.  Citriodora is not expected to be as effective, however.

We used this blend just this morning after my youngest and I started sneezing a bunch and we felt much better afterwards.

Oh - if you missed how I chose the above company for essential oils, here is the start of the series, and here is the final post.

5.  Probiotics

Since most of your immune system is housed in your gut, anything you can do to heal and strengthen your gut is going to help with your allergies.

Our family takes probiotics daily.

Using fermented foods is of course one way to get good bacteria into your gut.

Currently, we are using Metagenics Synergy, and also InLiven from Miessence (read more here about my experience with these superfood probiotics) but we've tried many versions of probiotics in the past with varying results.

If you have histamine intolerance, then this post on Low Histamine Probiotics should be a great resource.

6.  Air Purifiers

My youngest didn't do well with allergy shots -- he kept having what seemed to be reactions to them, so we have opted out for the time being.

However, he has suffered quite a bit in the past few years, so we bought a HEPA air filter for our home, and it seemed to help all of us.

During allergy season, we left it on around the clock.

The replacement filters were pretty pricey, however, and I felt that we needed not only something more powerful, but also more filters.

So, since writing this post, I spent a lot of time researching air purifiers, in order to choose that one(s) that I wanted in my home.

I ended up choosing two companies that I love and I can offer my readers very special savings on any of their purifiers.

Austin Air

  1. They are top notch--super high quality.
  2. They cost less to run in the long term than most or all quality filters on the market. Just because an air filter seems cheaper up front, you need to consider the long term costs of filter replacements.

Bonus -- these filters work as White Noise Machines, so you can sleep (and nap) more soundly too!

Green Tech Environmental

Since the original publication of this post, we had a need to upgrade our air purification and we ended up getting some new purifiers that we really love. They don't only capture allergens, but they neutralize them.

As a dealer, I can offer savings on these to you as well.

Contact me at adrienne {at} wholenewmom {dot} com for your savings on any of these, or just comment on this post and I'll be happy to help!

You can also considering adding some air filtering plants to your home. Some of them are even known to remove pollen from the air!

7.  Wash Your Hair

Especially if you are outside a lot, but even if you are not, washing your hair regularly is very important during allergy season.

I know that the whole "no poo" movement is gaining popularity, and I personally don't like taking time to wash my hair many times during the week, but think about it -- your hair is exposed to the elements all the time and when you wash it, you are getting things out of it that you don't want in there -- things like pollution and .... pollen.

Though I think it's very important to go as natural as possible and avoid toxins in your shampoo and other personal care products, do you really want to sleep with all of that pollution and pollen right next to your face?

8.  Close Windows

I'm all for saving money on air conditioning bills, but in the spring, no matter how hot it gets (or how clean the air feels outside), we do not open our windows.

This past week it was lovely spring weather, but I had to keep the house sealed up to prevent more pollen from coming inside.

We also keep the car windows up almost all the time when driving during the spring for the same reason.

9.  Laundry Tips

Wash your bedding -- often.

Since you are going to be in your bed for the greatest percentage of each day, having clean sheets is a must.

No Outdoor Drying

And while I love reducing our energy usage and limiting our carbon footprint, hanging laundry outside in seasons when there is a high pollen count is not a good idea for those of us who suffer from allergies.

We moved this past year and I plan to set up an outside clothes drying system, but that will not be in use in the spring months.

10.  Nose Balm

Yes - I said "nose balm."

Betcha didn't expect to see Nose Balm in a list of natural allergy remedies, did you?

Since I have perpetually dry lips (well, they are a lot better these days - thanks to good lip balms and this Nourishing Lip Scrub), I use lip balm.  A lot.

But have you ever heard of Nose Balm?

You can buy something specifically made for this purpose, but really you can use any lip balm or other balm for this purpose.

Just wipe a little all around the base of your nose.  The balm traps the pollen as it's about to enter your nose and helps relieve allergy symptoms.

Here is a balm that is made just for this purpose, but it is quite a pricey ounce per ounce ($28.72 per oz.)

Personally, I used this Beautycounter Baby Balm this past week and it worked great.  It makes for a fabulous lip balm too.

Beautycounter Baby Balm

This Earth Mama Angel Baby Balm is another alternative.

11. Spirulina for Allergies

Yes, this is an addition to the mix. I'm adding this addition literally years after I first published this post, but I just had to share this.

I didn't know this at the time, but spirulina has actually been proven to help significantly relieve allergy symptoms. (source)

I read about this and decided to try it for our youngest who has pretty severe spring hay fever. Well, it really works. He had swollen eyes 2 days in a row before trying the spirulina, and was so much better since. 

It's seriously worked like a miracle.

Please note that it's very important to choose only quality spirulina, as it can be contaminated depending on its sourcing. You want to look for a spirulina that is tested for contaminants and grown without exposure to toxins.

One source that we like is this one. You can get $50 off your purchase of $75 or more using code wholenewmom.

A Cautionary Note:

One caution to note about using food for allergy remedies. Since food allergies can piggyback on environmental allergies, it is advisable to take care when using foods as support for allergies. Please consult with your physician for any such concerns.

12. Support Your Liver

Another addition to the list. This is something to really pay attention to. Seasonal allergies can be a sign of a liver that needs support. (source) I found that when I worked hard on my overall health that my allergies (that were literally debilitating in my youth) almost disappeared.

This post on liver support has a lot of recommendations for ways to help your liver function as best as it can.

What natural allergy remedies do YOU use?

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Stephen O'Connor, Emergency Medicine MD and Chief Medical Officer for Salutem Health Group. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you consult with your physician concerning any health issues.

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38 Comments

  1. Green Tech: If we buy the one that is 3000 and we have a split level home could this cover our main floor and upstairs? Or is it better to get the one for 1500 square feet and do it upstairs and on one of our lower levels where the air mold test showed up?
    We have quad split level house.
    Also reading about Austin Air compared to Green Tech it seems with Austin Air(they have a list of things that will improve) it says you will sleep better. Will you sleep better with Green Tech also and have similar improvements as the list on the Austin Air website?

    1. Hi Heidi! The 3000 (and all of their purifiers) are meant for 1 open area and don't go through walls or floors. Some people purchase machines that are larger than needed for certain rooms (typically the bedroom) but that's up to you. I have a 1500 in my master bedroom and a 3000 in our basement, but we could have gone smaller for both. I do really like the 1500 for the ability to have an "away mode" to really address issues in a room.

      All purifiers should do the same thing. The better sleep is due to reducing allergens and toxins in the air. I like both products. One benefit of the Green Tech is that you are denaturing the allergen whereas the Austin is trapping it. The company says that the allergens don't grow etc on their medium, but with the Green Tech, they fall to the ground / a surface so you sweep / dust as normal and they are gone, rather than sitting on a filter for up to 5 years.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Perfect, thank you for this information. I will share it with Scott and hopefully buy a couple filters in the days ahead.

  2. Quercetin and mirica really help me..

    My daughter gets a lot of help from here allergies and asthma symptoms from quail egg supplements like all-qlear and pollen block

  3. Hi Adrienne,

    Wondering if you have any updated information on air filters. I followed the link to the product you've used for your son, but it says it's unavailable. Our bio-med person recommended this one: Ivation Ozone Generator Air Purifier, Ionizer & Deodorizer. Another friend had the Air Doctor Pro recommended to her, and there is quite a difference in price. I'm even just wondering if there's an affordable option we could start with that could safely go in my daughter's room, where she spends most of her time. Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi there! I appreciate you telling me about the link! I went in and updated the post with some more information on the filtration that we are using now. I didn't look into the Ivation, but I did look into Air Doctor. I am sure that the filter in the post has more carbon and that the ongoing filter costs are cheaper.

      Check out the products in the post and let me know. I am happy to help you with generous discounts on both lines that I linked to. Our air feels great!

      1. I'm wondering about the whole house filters. Are they able to effectively influence the quality of the air in the bedrooms? Or would you still need a separate filter there? Right now my daughter spends most of her time in her room, but her second place would be our living/dining room area. I'd be interested to know what kind of discounts you have available.

          1. That's a very good point. 5 year pro rata on the filters too with Austin Air. 5 years on the machines and 1 year only for Air Doctor. I can tell you that I asked them many many questions and they were happy to answer everything.

        1. Really good question. It depends on the filtration / purification. I am learning a lot. I will email you. I am pretty sure I can't publicly state the discounts so I'm not trying to be secretive--it's just company policy. We have the purification units in several of our rooms and are going to put something in our ducts as well. We just haven't installed it as of yet.

  4. So many good options here! Trying to decide what will be best for my poor husband! He dies every time he goes outside this time of year. So glad you don't struggle as much anymore with your allergies!

    1. Thank you! We noticed that outside we are still dealing w/ some issues but the air filters have made a HUGE difference. Would be interested in hearing what you decide!

    1. Hi Nancy--I just updated the post with that information. He was taking 1/2 of the recommended serving size daily since he's about 1/2 the size of an adult. Spirulina on its own tastes pretty terrible but this one is blended nicely with some cocoa, carob, and mint and tastes great especially with a little stevia in it. There's a coupon code in the post for you as well. If I find another good one I will try to remember to add it to the post. Hope it's helpful.

      I should add that we just bought really good air filters and so far so good for all of us this allergy season and the pollen is starting to ramp up. I'm going to add this information to the post as well since I'm a dealer for a great brand now and I can offer a really nice discount. Hope your allergies do better!

  5. Great post! Thanks for the tips. I knew a few, but not all you mentioned and I am really glad I found your post. Also, you did mention an air purifier, but from my personal experience, I found that humidifiers offer a wider range of benefits for pollen allergies, but for many other health issues as well.

  6. Hello, I wanted to tell u what I discovered, a new way to wash my hair. I went to Sally's ( a beauty product place where I live) and bought a squeeze bottle. I put one tablespoon of baking soda and fill it up 3/4 of the way with water. I rinse my hair very well with water, then squeeze the BS & water into my hair and message in and You might want to give it a second dose if you have long hair. I then rinse my bottle out and mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into my squeeze bottle and fill with water. Squirt into hair and message in for a few minutes, rinse. I will never go back to store bought shampoo again, my scalp felt soooo clean. I to have developed chemical sensitive to everything! so am always looking for things I can make for me and my husband. Let me know if you try it. Best regards and I love your - is it a blog or post you send to my inbox. Lol I am so out of touch.

    1. Hi Sue!

      Thanks for reading and for the interesting comment. It's a newsletter that comes to your inbox. :). I know--it's all confusing.

      I have heard of people who love that method but others day you have to be careful b/c the ACV might be too harsh for your hair. Of course, you are diluting it so it might be fine.

      I have to redo this post but I did have something like it: https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/nourishing-hair-rinse-and-why-you-should-be-using-one/ 🙂

  7. Great article! My daughter has pretty severe allergies, we were doing shots and they were workin great, but pure ingredients are important to our family and she’s feeling stronger about this lately. You’re article helped me out a lot! Now we’ve got some solid tests to do and see what helps her deal with it the best!

  8. I, too, have suffered greatly from all kinds of allergies and chemical sensitivities all my life. For years, a meal would consist of one or two bites of food...that was it..that was my meal. Can't imagine why people thought I was skinny. :~) After years of trying every treatment imaginable including a couple from Europe, after spending thousands of dollars, after traveling to Mexico and Canada, I finally found something that helped. Actually my doctor had told me about it but I thought it sounded like a bunch of baloney, just another way for someone to take my money. The doctor gave my the names of 3 of his patients who had been helped by the treatment and I even talked to them. But still...I doubted. When there was no where else to turn, I finally decided to try it. My first appointment was a big surprise to me. I could actually tell that something good had happened. I, and my son, have both been using the treatment. My husband has learned to do the treatment at home so it no longer costs anything. The treatment is an acupressure type treatment called Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Treatment, or NAET for short. Back in 2013, I had spent 5 days in the hospital with a severe MRSA infection. After this, it was if all my NAET treatments had been cancelled out so I am now working on catching up again. The treatment is usually done by a Chiropractor. My Chiropractor charges $40 but most charge more. Guess this sounds like an infomercial, but I have been trying to spread the word ever since I found this to be a great help for myself and my son. I hope this will help others. Perhaps you can look at the website naet.org, do some research, and then write about it if you are convinced. All I can say is that we have found a lot more help from this than anything else we tried. Good luck and blessings to you and your family.

    1. I have looked at that. It's very interesting. The one hard thing is that I heard it can take a long time and wear off. Did that happen to you?

      I am needing to get back to an in home treatment that is similar. Are you continuing to go?

      1. My NAET treatments were holding fine until I had the MRSA and massive antibiotics for 5 days. Not sure why it messed things up. My doctor says the treatments should be permanent. Not sure about other people and how theirs are holding, but mine and my son's was fine. Yes, the treatments can take a long time if you have a lot of allergies like I do (allergic to everything). Some treatments need to be repeated a time or two. One thing, I didn't usually have die-off problems though. Occasionally, a treatment would make me feel worse instead of better, but would correct after a repeat. You can do treatments as little as 25 hours apart. I do still go occasionally when our home treatment doesn't seem to be working. My son also still goes when he feels he needs to be treated for something. I don't know if all doctors would be willing to teach the technique, but it is easy to learn from the treatments you receive at the doctor's office. I bought the roller tool locally, so not sure about where you get one if your doctor wouldn't co-operate. Hope this helps. The treatment has been worth it for us.

          1. It is a treatment that is done by Chiropractors, so it is part of their way of making a living. :~) I was spending so much time and money on my large number of allergies that my doc taught us how to do it at home and told us of another Chiropractor who made and sold the rollers (I'm not sure of the proper name for the tool). I don't know if other docs are willing to do this or not. I don't suppose you live here in Colorado Springs, CO? If you do I can tell you who to go to. She is the kind of doc who really does just want to help people get better...has't raised her prices for many years. (Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that she taught us to do it at home since I don't know if all docs will do this...after all, they are in business to make a living.) The treatment is very simple to do, but there are other things the doctor can add to it to help also. Mine has a special mat that you lay on after the treatment that does something to help...can't remember what she said it does... If you need to be treated for chemicals that you can't hold in your hand or a bottle, they still have a way of treating for it that you couldn't do at home. What we do at home is the simple stuff that I can hold. Of course most people (I really hope) aren't as bad off as I am, but if you suffer at all, the cost is worth it, even if you have to do without something else to afford it. If your insurance covers chiropractic then it will sometimes cover this since it is considered a chiropractic treatment. Mine didn't cover it.

  9. Great tips. I'm currently giving local honey a try. I've heard it can take a few weeks or so to work, so I'm trying to be patient!