Last Modified on Jul 22, 2015
Natural allergy treatments either attack the histamine causing the reaction, treat the symptoms or both. Strengthening the immune system with effective home remedies, cleanliness and avoiding high histamine foods are all important. Allergic reactions can increase in severity with multiple exposures, so knowing what foods or other allergens to avoid can be crucial. Apple cider vinegar is one home remedy that offers both long-term benefits and immediate relief.
What are Allergies?
Allergies are a problem for at least 2 out of every 10 people and are an abnormal immune system response to something that is harmless to most people (the allergen). Identifying the allergen is important, as the immune system’s response may worsen with each exposure. That shrimp or bee sting that caused itching or mild swelling the first time can become an immediate throat-swelling, life-threatening emergency with further exposures. Dealing with allergies is a two-prong approach: avoidance and treatment. There are many home remedies for allergies that will safely alleviate the symptoms. Avoidance is particularly important with food allergies or insect stings, as anaphylaxis is a whole-body allergic reaction requiring immediate emergency room treatment.
During an allergic reaction, the body attempts to bind the allergen with a specific antibody, IgE. The antibodies join with mast cells (a type of blood cell). The allergen (pollen, etc.) links to the antibody, causing the mast cell to release histamine into the blood stream; this causes the reaction – sneezing, itching, etc.
Natural Remedies for Allergies
There are numerous alternative remedies for allergies, undoubtedly due to how many people suffer from them. Removing the allergens from the hair, skin, clothes and home is important. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most widely used natural cures. ACV alleviates the immediate symptoms and also strengthens the immune system, helping to lessen or prevent further attacks. Horseradish and wasabi are excellent home remedies for draining the sinuses, getting rid of the clogged-up feeling. Certain herbal teas, especially peppermint, are wonderful for alleviating some of the symptoms and generally making the sufferer feel better. Certain foods can increase histamine (bad) or are antihistamine or neutral (good). A list can be found on this page. Look for ‘Avoid High Histamine Foods’ on the Table of Contents.
It may seem strange to think of water as a natural remedy for allergies, but it can certainly help. Saline solution (salt water) can be used to irrigate the nose, removing irritants and some of the inflamed cells. Red, irritated eyes can be rinsed with cool, pure water. Showers, shampoos and clean clothes are excellent home treatments for allergies. When you come in from outside, you (and your pet) bring pollen with you, in your hair and on your skin and clothes. An immediate shower and shampoo will remove most of it. A hot shower can also be helpful with a coughing attack in the middle of the night. A clean pillowcase every night during the pollen season can’t hurt. Don’t forget to change those HVAC filters and vacuum often.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Horseradish and Wasabi
Apple cider vinegar is the most popular home cure for allergies. This superlative natural remedy attacks allergies in two ways. First, ACV works very quickly against the itching, sneezing and coughing. Secondly, ACV works over time to repair the immune system and may reduce the severity of future allergic reactions. Of course, ACV is so good for you in so many ways that it’s a win-win, period. It can be consumed as a daily tonic or, when allergies are in ‘full bloom’, take 1/8 cup of ACV in a glass of water. ACV can also be mixed with natural supplements such as cayenne, turmeric or raw, local honey.
Horseradish and wasabi are definitely ‘love it or hate it’ foods. However, they are both well-known home cures for clogged sinuses. These natural remedies contain allyl isothiocyanate; sinuses and tear ducts will start working overtime to do their jobs, removing irritants from the system and providing relief. Just inhaling horseradish might be enough.
Peppermint tea is one of the best natural remedies for clogged noses and irritated sinuses. Essential oils, especially menthol, act as decongestants as well as having anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial benefits. Yerba mate tea (made from the leaves of a South American tree) has also been used to naturally cure allergies. Nettle leaf can be taken as a tea (alone or mixed with peppermint or red raspberry) or as a capsule for natural allergy relief.
Allergies make our lives miserable. Home remedies offer relief from the sniffing, sneezing and itching, but using alternative remedies that will strengthen the immune system should be the long-term goal. However, avoiding foods, etc. that cause severe reactions is critical, as anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment. It may be possible to eventually be able to reduce the system’s response to these particular allergens, but it is far safer to avoid them as much as possible.
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Apple Cider Vinegar is hands down our favorite remedy for stopping most allergies like pollen, dander, dust, animals food, etc. We aren't kidding! We wish more people knew about this amazing home remedy for allergies.
We have found that when apple cider vinegar is taken either as a daily tonic or at the first sign of an allergy (i.e., sinus headache, stuffy nose, watery eyes), one can completely stop the histamine response or allergic reaction.
There are a couple ways you can drink apple cider vinegar. One way is to put 1/8th cup ACV in 16 oz of water and sip it throughout the day. The other method is to gulp the mixture at once. Depends on your preference, really. Sometimes you just have to take this dosage once to stop the allergy and sometimes you need to take it up to three times a day. If taken at the onset of symptoms, allergies will usually disappear between 1 -3 hours after taking the first dose of Apple Cider Vinegar. If you've been experiencing allergies for a day or more, your symptoms will disappear after about 24 hours. If they don't, make sure you continue to take water/vinegar mixture for several days! The great thing about apple cider vinegar is that it appears to repair the immune system over time. So while you may take it every day for a month or two to begin with, you can taper off it and then only take as needed.
Go to the Apple Cider Vinegar READER FEEDBACK!
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[YEA] My allergies were the worst ever this spring so after reading about cures on your website I decided to try ACV and cayenne. Not only did it eliminate my allergy symptoms, but the unexpected side benefits are great! My chronically runny nose -gone, constant throat clearing -gone, red rimmed eyes -gone, HOT FLASHES - GONE!My complexion is clearer and I have more energy. This is unbelievable. I use generic ACV and don't feel the need to switch to unfiltered.
Replied by Tina
Bowling Green, Ohio, Usa
[YEA] For years I have been a huge fan of ACV for many common ailments, and recently I've discovered that a solution of ACV and water (about 1:10) works GREAT to immediately stop an itchy runny nose and clear up sinus congestion. I use an old nose spray bottle, well cleaned, and then filled with my solution. I spray a couple times in each nostril and then breathe deeply: watch out, as it does sting! But then immediately, all my aggravating symptoms stop and stay away for hours. This is so convenient and natural!
[YEA] For several years now, I've woken up with severe allergy symptoms in the morning which generally take an hour or two to clear up. About 3 days ago, I noticed that when I drank some ACV and honey in water, my symptoms cleared almost immediately! So I've been doing it every day since with the same results! I'm completely amazed!
[YEA] Turmeric, ACV, and local honey cured my allergies AND acne
Two weeks ago I started an ACV and Turmeric regimen for allergies with a wonderful side-effect! My skin is georgeous! I take 1tsp of ACV in 8oz of water 4-5 times per day. I drink 8oz of warm soy milk, 4 dashes of turmeric, 1 dash of black pepper, and 1tsp of local honey once a day. I live on a farm with cows, horses, dogs, hay and LOTS of pollen. I was taking OTC drugs twice a day with little relief. My eyes would swell, tear up and itch; and I'd sneeze like crazy. For two weeks I have not taken ANY otc drugs, and the worst I've had is a little bit of eye itching. Another wonderful side-effect is that I HAVE ENERGY! LOTS OF IT! Everything I've used is straight off the grocery store shelf - not organic. Except the honey - local farmer's market. This website has saved me lots of money and grief...thank you!
Replied by Rob
Manhattan, New York
Replied by Lee
We have a mug of vinegar tea every morning and it actually tastes delicious -I put 1 Tbs raw ACV in a mug, then half fill it with hot water. I add 1 teaspoon of raw honey and mix it up. Then I top it up with cold water and finally, the part that makes it taste delicious, I add a dash of ground cinnamon! It makes it taste like apple crumble in a mug! And we never have allergy issues because we start every day off with this drink. Highly recommend it to anyone!
Just wanted to post this b/c I am a teacher and I believe in helping people. I have suffered from allergies all my life. In the last 20 years it has been really bad. I started seeing an allergist. Got allergy shots for 10 years. Developed nasal pollyps which is inflamed sinus tissue that forms into little balloons that block your nose. I saw my allergist three weeks ago and I couldnt breathe through my nose and I had an ear infection. He gave me antibiotics and my ear healed but my nose was still plogged up. He also gave me more nasal sprays. Last week I got an infection in my face that felt so bleeping bad it brought me to tears. I went to my regular Dr. and he gave me antibiotics and my nose cleared up.
On Saturday I ate some broccolli in a bag and shrimp and my nose swelled up. I have been trying natural rememdies for about a year now and what I have discovered is that I diagnosed myself opposite and my remedies were hurting me even more and made me toxic.
Your body makes histamines in response to allegies or foreign material that freaks your body out. It causes inflammation and then mucus gets trapped in there and causes you to get stuffed up. Food high in histamine naturally are a lot of surprising bad foods and good foods like soda, spinach, tomatoes, cheese, alcohol, vineger and lots more. Ressearch if you would like. I dont seem to need medicine and doesn't seem that allergies bother me after eating foods low in histamine.
I eat bananas, fresh turkey (foods processed and bagged are not good for you at all), watermelon, apples, ricotta cheese, grapes, eggs were ok, potato salad without prapika.
If you have health problems there are answers for you that maybe your Dr. doesn't know about or just wants to pump you up with medicine. But, my problems might not be yours. But if someone feels better from cutting out histamine foods...... Great.
Common reactions to histamine are also skin rashes and hives. My 5 year old nephew suffers from this so I told my sister.
I also tried the ACV and GFSE. Vinegar is not good for histamine intolerance. I also tried all that sinuswars stuff. If I eat right I feel great and don't need anything. Here are some general pointers:
- Avoid or reduce eating canned foods and ready meals
- Avoid or reduce eating ripened and fermented foods (older cheeses, alcoholic drinks, products containing yeast, stale fish)
- Histamine levels in foods vary, depending on how ripe, matured or hygienic the foods are
- As much as it is possible, only buy and eat fresh products.
- Don't allow foods to linger outside the refrigerator - especially meat products
- Ensure that your food preparation area (kitchen) is always kept clean - but don't be manic!
- Everyone has their own threshold; you will need to find yours
- Consult a certified dietician about working out a balanced diet
- Learn to cook! It can be loads of fun once you get into it
Low histamine level foods:
- Fresh meat (cooled, frozen or fresh)
- Freshly caught fish
- Chicken (skinned and fresh)
- Egg yolk
- Fresh fruits - with the exception of strawberries, most fresh fruits are considered to have a low histamine level (also see histamine liberators below)
Fresh vegetables - with the exception of tomatoes
- Grains - rice noodles, yeast free rye bread, rice crisp bread, oats, puffed rice crackers, millet flour, pasta (spelt and corn based)
- Fresh pasteurised milk and milk products
- Milk substitutes- coconut milk, rice milk
- Cream cheese, butter (without the histamine generating rancidity)
- Most cooking oils - check suitability before use
- Most leafy herbs - check suitability before use
- Most non-citric fruit juices
- Herbal teas - with the exception of those listed below
High histamine level foods:
- Pickled or canned foods - sauerkrauts
- Matured cheeses
- Smoked meat products - salami, ham, sausages.
- Beans and pulses - chickpeas, soy beans, peanuts
- Nuts - walnuts, cashew nuts
- Chocolates and other cocoa based products
- Most citric fruits
- Wheat based products
- Ready meals
- Salty snacks, sweets with preservatives and artificial colourings
- Most citric fruits - kiwi, lemon, lime, pineapple, plums
- Cocoa and chocolate
- Beans and pulses
- Wheat germ
- Additives - benzoate, sulphites, nitrites, glutamate, food dyes
Diamine Oxidase (DAO) blockers:
- Black tea
- Energy drinks
- Green tea
- Mate tea
- Yoghurt - depends on the bacteria culture used
- Egg white - it is a histamine liberator only when in its raw state
- Yeast - even though it does not contain histamine as such, yeast serves as a catalyst for histamine generation during manufacture. There is no yeast in the end product.
Maintz L, Novak N: Histamine and histamine intolerance, American Journal of Clinical
[YEA] Allergy, I have a worst allergy problem than most people. But about 3 weeks ago I started to use baking soda to rinse my sinuses. I have no problem now and that is why I share this with your readers. Thanks, Olkeriil
[YEA] Local bee pollen for allergy symptoms
I am extremely lucky to know a bee keeper who suffers as I do from allergies. It comes loose, rather than in capsules, and is from bees about 45 minutes from my home. Local pollen is very important to me.
While symptomatic, I use 1/2 tsp. in oatmeal or in an all-fruit smoothie daily. Otherwise, take 1/2 - 1 tsp every 2-3 days. Once I began two years ago, I have not had a single sinus headache or post nasal drip. The first time I tried it, I used a little more because I'd been ill for almost a month. The wad of phlegm that sat in my throat was gone overnight after taking my first 1 Tbl dose in a smoothie. After 3 days of taking 1 tsp daily, all symptoms were gone.
Replied by Becky
[YEA] Bee pollen works by desensitizing your body to the pollen that travels through the air and causes your body to react. With small daily doses, your body builds up its defenses to fight off the allergens and avoid reaction in the future. Buy local if possible so it helps you build resistance against daily allergens.
[YEA] Pure Black Seed Oil: I have suffered with allergies and asthma for years. It developed in my adult years. Have taken just about everything for both. They just seem to get worse and the meds work less and less. I tried this out of desperation. Guess what.... I don't take any meds for allergies or asthma anymore. Haven't had to in over 6 months. It is good for several things. It's an ancient remedy from Egypt. The liquid taste horrible. Get the black seed oil soft gels so you don't have to put up with the taste.
Replied by Bonnie
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[WORKED TEMPORARILY] I have been taking the herb Butterbur for several weeks now for my itchy eyes and throat. I have been trying to figure what is causing the allergy so I can try and get to the root of the problem but haven't as of yet. The Butterbur works great as long as I'm consistent. But when I back off the itching comes back with a vengeance. The thing I've read about Butterbur is it can cause liver problems if taken longer than 12 weeks. This concerns me because I'm closing in on about 8 weeks and am no closer to finding a cure. Just the Butterbur bandaid. Does anyone know anything about this herb and possibly give me any advise concerning the long term side effects about it? It's the only thing that's helping me and the thought of having to stop taking it is putting me in panic mode.
Replied by Bonbon
[YEA] We got two kittens only to find out that our 4 year old son was allergic. He would sneeze, cough, get congested, and his eyes would get swollen, puffy, and red. I started having him drink lukewarm chamomile tea when I read that it was a natural antihistamine. It seems to reduce his allergies significantly. When his eyes get swollen, I also apply a used chamomile tea bag to his eye/eyes. It brings down the swelling immediately.
[YEA] It's taken me years to realize it but the main source of my allergies has actually been my house itself. I noticed that often while outside they were considerably better. But I was so tired from the allergies it was hard for me to get out more. Then I changed my air filter and it was chalk full of dust and mold and quite moist. It only cost 1.19 per filter and now I do it once a month. On top of this often when my air kicks out I take a homemade misting solution of 30 drops of essential oils (it's always good to include a purifying oil something like eucalyptus), a dab of rubbing alcohol or vodka, and water and spray it over the vents. This purifies the air and has helped immensely. I noticed a huge difference by repeating these activities alone. Also allergies are also a part of an immune system problem so alkalizing the body on top of this is a good idea. Barley greens is an excellent supplement for such purposes. So far so good. A little sneeze and blow of my nose here and there but, nowhere close to where it used to be.