Last Modified on May 08, 2016
If you have ever experienced hay fever, you know it is like a cold with no one to blame for making you sick. The itchy and water eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and congestion mimic the symptoms of a cold but are actually caused by allergens. If you are frequent sufferer of hay fever, we suggest trying a few natural treatment options, including both herbal and homemade remedies, to treat your allergy symptoms.
What Is Hay Fever?
Also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is a condition that causes cold-like symptoms but is not caused by a virus. Hay fever is actually triggered by an allergic response to both indoor and outdoor allergens. Some of the common causes of hay fever include tree, grass, and ragweed pollen; spores from fungi and mold; dust mites or cockroaches; and dander from cats, dogs, birds, or other pets. Just because it is called “hay fever” does not necessarily mean that you are allergic to hay.
Is There a Natural Remedy for Allergic Rhinitis?
While many people believe that the only way to find relief from allergic rhinitis is to avoid the substances that cause irritation or take prescription or over the counter medications, natural remedies actually work to reverse the allergic reaction and treat hay fever safely and effectively. Often hay fever remedies are inexpensive. Some of the remedies may already be in your kitchen.
Natural Remedies for Hay Fever
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is Earth Clinic's most popular cure for allergies. Apple cider vinegar helps restore important nutrients in the body’s system including magnesium, vitamin C, and calcium. These nutrients help regulate the body’s immune response system and relieve allergic rhinitis. It also functions to restore an alkaline pH in the body to relieve underlying issues.
Apple cider vinegar, preferable raw and organic, can be added to a tall glass of water a couple of times a day. Start with just 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Some people use as much as a tablespoon per glass of water. Apple cider vinegar capsules are on option for those who do not like the taste of apple cider vinegar.
A neti pot can be purchased at health food stores and larger pharmacies. Using a sea salt solution in the neti pot will rinse out allergens and be soothing to the sinuses. A popular remedy at Earth Clinic is to add 1/2 teaspoon 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 6 ounces of boiled cooled water to a neti pot and rinse the sinuses once or twice a day.
Hydrogen Peroxide Inhalation Method
Popularized by the late Bill Munroe, this method is simple and inexpensive. 3% hydrogen peroxide is inhaled into the lungs through the mouth, using a simple nasal mister. This has helped many people with asthma, allergies, chronic coughing and a host of other ailments.
Water and Sea Salt
A cheap and easy hay fever remedy is to mix a pinch of good quality sea salt into a glass of water and drink it. Several Earth Clinic readers have found that drinking plenty of water with a pinch of salt solves their allergy problems. To figure out the ideal amount of water for yourself, take your weight in pounds and divide this number in half. Drink that number of ounces of water each day. This helps to keep the body well hydrated. The salt helps the water to get into the cells. Sea salt also contains trace minerals. Plenty of water helps your body to flush out toxins. Chronic low grade dehydration is a common problem causing a host of health problems, including allergies.
An effective home remedy, oil pulling utilizes a system of swishing oil in the mouth to draw out toxins and other irritants. Done daily oil pulling can relieve an array of issues including hay fever. Coconut Oil is the most commonly used oil for oil pulling. For more information on oil pulling, please see our oil pulling pages.
A process as simple as filtering the air in your home can also help relieve allergic rhinitis. This practice functions to remove allergens from the air and prevent them from entering your body.
What are the Best Herbs for Hay Fever?
Turmeric is a very popular remedy for allergies among Earth Clinic readers. Turmeric is an inexpensive and effective anti-inflammatory and it is also a blood purifier. Some find relief from allergy symptoms with as little as 2 capsules of turmeric a day. Others find it takes a teaspoon (or 4-5 capsules) a couple of times a day to treat allergies. Turmeric can be mixed in a cup of milk (cow, soy, almond or coconut) and consumed warm or cold. Turmeric should always be taken with plenty of water as larger amounts of turmeric can be constipating for some.
Nettle Leaf, like turmeric, is a blood purifier. In times past, fresh nettle leaves were collected in the spring, cooked, and eaten as a "spring tonic." Nettle is a great herb to use for spring allergies. Nettle can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsules. (3-4 cups of nettle tea, daily, or 1/2 teaspoon of nettle tincture three times day, or 2-4 capsules of nettle leaf taken 2-3 times a day.)
Garlic is also a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. It contains sulfur compounds that help relieve congestion and treat underlying infectious issues. Garlic can easily be added to food or garlic supplements can be taken.
Mullein Leaf is a gentle but powerful herb. It is a popular remedy for hay fever, especially when it is accompanied by a cough. Mullein is easily taken as a tea. It can also be taken in capsule or tincture form.
Herbal Teas for Allergies
Chamomile tea is a mild tasting and pleasant tea that is useful for allergies. (But it should be avoided by those with a ragweed allergy.) If your eyes are bothered by allergy symptoms, place a warm and damp chamomile tea bag over each eye for ten minutes.
Ginger naturally relieves the chest and nasal congestion associated with hay fever. It also helps loosen phlegm, strengthens the immune system, and functions as a natural antihistamine.
Our readers have reported hay fever relief with ginger tea, either mixed with chamomile tea or with green tea.
Yerba mate tea has helped some with allergies. It contains vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Because yerba mate contains caffeine, it should be avoided late in the day and by those sensitive to caffeine.
Supplements for Hay Fever
Vitamin C is great for the immune system. It is also a natural antihistamine. Sodium ascorbate is easiest on the digestive system. Some people take 1,000 mg of vitamin C as often as 3 times a day or more. If it should give you loose stools, cut back a little.
Quercetin with Bromelain
Quercetin is a plant flavonoid. It is a natural antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory. It is common to find quercetin supplements with bromelain added. Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple that is also an anti-inflammatory. One or two capsules of quercetin daily has helped many people with hay fever symptoms.
Dietary Changes for Hay Fever
Adding a probiotic food to the daily diet may reduce hay fever symptoms. Milk kefir, water kefir, Kombucha or sauerkraut would be good natural sources of probiotics.
Reducing sugar and processed foods is helpful for many health problems as these foods tend to depress the immune system.
If you are struggling with a lot of mucous production, reducing dairy should help. Ice cream especially can increase sinusitis symptoms, perhaps as much if not more because of the additives it usually contains.
The array of treatments for hay fever are seemingly limitless. Do you have a favorite natural remedy for hay fever? Please be sure to send us some feedback! And keep reading to see what our readers are doing to help their hay fever.
Remedies for Hayfever
The Popularity of Hayfever Remedies - Full List
|Apple Cider Vinegar||10||2015-12-16|
|Ginger and Chamomile Tea||1||2009-02-04|
|Hydrogen Peroxide Inhalation||1||2011-10-02|
|Kathi's Hay Fever Salad Dressing||1||2014-04-28|
Not sure just symptoms of hay fever .. But my husband is driving me crazy.. We can't hardly sleep together and or be in the same room even during the day he has this hacking and clearing of his throat! ., thought it was because of wheat or cheese and tried taking him off it and it still goes on! .. Not just at night but morning too and sometimes during the afternoon?.. Help! .. Given him vinegar and honey and baking soda .. Doesn't seem to do much! .. Homeopathic hay fever tablets don't help either.
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Posted by Frabika (California) on 11/14/2013
I took ACV for several months, every day. I hated it. One teaspoon in water, followed by a full glass of water to drown out the taste. And it did nothing at all for my hayfever. I was miserable, my eyes were watering constantly, nose dripping out of nowhere, completely embarrassing.
So then I thought, if everyone else is raving about it, why isn't this working for me? I upped the dose: yesterday after a particulary awful hayfeverish day, I took three tablespoons of it in water three times. Today, I took it at 6:30 am then again at 9am at the same dosage. And guess what...no symptoms at all. Crazy. I will take another strong dose when I get home and perhaps tomorrow reduce it a bit.
If the ACV isn't working for you, increase it!!
Replied by Vickthechick
San Francisco, California
Posted by Jennywren (Perth, Western Australia, Australia) on 02/12/2012
NAY - I wish I could make this a Yay, but ACV ingested doesn't seem to help me much with anything. I use _____'s, a tablespoon twice a day and still have hayfever. I've been taking it for 2 weeks. I find ACV mildly helpful with colds/sore throats and have found it works topically best for me. It hasn't helped my rheumatoid arthritis at all either, or with my 5yo's asthma. Darn it!
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Posted by Cheryldelf (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) on 09/03/2011
I had 40 years of suffering hay fever, taking all known drugs on the market without much sucesss. My eye lids would fill with fluid and I appeared drugged from September to March. My sister told me to try Apple Cider Vinegar as a shot or mixed in water twice a day. I did this for the whole season. After a few days my nose and sinus dried up. I had to use honey to stop the throat itch. I no longer suffer with hay fever and the best part I have not had any asthma either. This was 3 years ago. When I get a little tingle I drink ACV for a week and it's all gone.
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Posted by Cameron (Riverside, CT) on 05/31/2009
I've been suffering from allergies for 12 years now. I finally went to a doctor this year to have the doctor take a look (I actually looked went to two docs). The tests they took showed I was allergic to almost every airborne allergen (95% of most airborne allergens, yikes!) I was seriously a running faucet and sneeze machine. I'd wake up sneezing, burn through toilet paper for wiping my nose. Basically, i was disgusting and I was completely bogged down for hay fever season. I started taking 3 shots of ACV a day. The first 10 days nothing and then all the sudden, on the 11th it was like a light switch. Everything stopped. I continued taking 3 shots a day for about a month and a half and am now down to 1 shot a day, which I am taking basically as a "just in case" shot. My allergies are completely eliminated. Not even a sniffle. I'm not sure how it works, but it 100% worked for me. Like a veil being lifted, a light turning on; it was a complete life change to be able to enjoy the seasons again :)
Posted by Cassey Ming (Singapore) on 11/22/2008
I used to suffer from hayfever when I was studying in Perth, Western Australia 10yrs ago. At that time, I took Horseraddish supplement for 1 season and it helps stops hayfever. I moved to Singapore recently due to work and woke up with runny nose and unstoppable sneezing for at least 1 hr every day for the past 2 mths. Taking horseraddish supplement doesn't help anymore, maybe my body is immune to horseraddish supplemnt! I was researching the internet for Hay fever remedy and read that raw honey helps. While researching further for raw honey benefits, I stumbled into this site and read that ACV helps with hayfever and decided to give it a try. I found that any brand of ACV is equally effective. I put 1 teaspoon ACV, 2 teaspoons honey and 1 glass of water. Drink it 3 times a day for a week, it cures my hayfever!! No more sinus, sneezing or runny nose within a week! I continued to drink the mixture after my hayfever's symptom is gone thinking to use it my daily drink for health, but I found that drinking ACV when I didn't have anymore hayfever actually irritates my throat passage and caused whizzing cough. I stopped taking the drink. No more whizzing coughs, plus my hayfever has not returned since. I am so gladed that I found this site and would like to share how ACV cures my hayfever!
Posted by Mary (Munson, PA) on 06/24/2007
Apple Cider Vinegar. Periodically, I have trouble with an allergic symptom that is similar to Meniere's Syndrome symptoms, however Meniere's Syndrome has been ruled out by my doctors. The specialists determined that it was "some kind of allergy." I have not had an attack in two years, but did yesterday after spending a several days outside in very windy weather gardening. In frustration, I looked on the internet for a "natural allergy cure," and found the apple cider vinegar one. I tried it. Within an hour, I was feeling better, not perfect, but definitely BETTER. I will continue to try it and encourage my husband, who has hay fever, to try it also. Thank you so much, as I was desperate to stay off of medications!
Posted by Susan (Tampa, FL) on 01/03/2007
2 tsp honey, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar in 8 to 16 ounces of water 3 times a day cured my arthritis, back pain and allergies. I was in so much pain for many many years with severe back problems, and then 2 years ago was diagnosed with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. The dr. prescribed steroids, and 2 different immuno suppressant drugs and the side effects were horrible. I could hardly get out of bed in the morning, my joints and muscles hurt so bad, i also have fibromyalgia. I started this regimen about a month ago and saw immediate results. My hay fever has cleared up also. My sinuses are dry, usually I always have a bad post nasal drip problem. I feel more energized, and my body just feels good, like it is getting what it needs.
Posted by Jack (Baltimore, MD) on 07/01/2006
Raw Apple Cider w/water 16oz 4-5 times day for 6 months. Half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Before meals and at bedtime. This concoction cured Hay fever I suffered from for 30 years, also acid reflux. My urine is mostly clear. No symptoms of allergies even if I miss weeks of the tonic and drink only clean water instead. No Acne break outs. Everyone can save so much money that they would spend on allergy pills if they would do this simple and cheap method.
Posted by Clare C. (Bristol, England)
I've been taking 2 teaspoons of Cider vinegar 3 times a day for my hayfever and I am amazed to say that I am almost symptom free, I now do not take anything else but the unpasteurized cider vinegar... I managed to get hold of some unprocessed honey and took that with the vinegar but the next day I sneezed really badly and my eyes were itching! so I stopped taking the honey and so did my symptoms.
Posted by Qigongbill (Fremont, Ca) on 05/07/2016
Baking soda for Hay Fever:
It works for me and my friends. I am over 65.
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, in 4 oz of water. Results can be seen within 1/2 hr. It is more effective, last longer, cheaper than those non drowsy tablets.
Posted by Lisa (Satellite Beach, FL) on 03/17/2008
The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health allowed me to stop taking all prescription allergy meds after only 3 days. (Allegra, sudafed, eye drops, etc.) Symptoms still remained but are diminishing significantly, the more I follow the ph-ion.com program to get well. After 30 years of allergiest/ENTs/surgeries/shots and drugs I am amazed that "hay fever" is diet/digestion related! Never did a doctor imply there could be a food link, especially since shots seemed to help. This diet is the only direct link I've found to cure my allergies.. so test your ph and give it a try if indicated. Amazing.
Posted by Haywood (Arlington, VA)
I cut up cloves like the size of pills, and took them with water. I did this treatment at night so I could go through the next day without being bothered with hay fever.
Posted by Kin (Auckland, New Zealand) on 02/04/2009
Ginger with Chamomile tea really really really works!!! It cured my Hay Fever.
Before Earth Clinic I had chronic sinusitis for over 6 years, I used 2 types of OTC nasal sprays every single day for 6 years. I was a very miserable person by then. Last Year I found Earth Clinic (lucky me) and started using ACV and was able to stop using the nasal sprays for a few days (a remarkable achievement I felt at that time). I then started oil pulling with sesame seed oil, something extraordinary happened; after 3 days of oil pulling, the symptom got worst, I had the worst sinus congestion ever, it felt like my body was going to give up. I had to resort using the nasal spray again..I was very disappointed but the next day my sinus was cleared, I continued OP and with the help of ACV I managed to stop my nasal sprays addiction completely -- I remembered vividly I visited a park after that and for the first time after 6 years I was able to breath freely and experienced the raw smell in the air.
Months passed and life without nasal sprays was indeed wonderful, (still got mild sinus congestion from time to time) doing OP daily helped me going through winter months, until beginning of this summer when all those big trees started flowering, I get very bad sinus congestion again. I had for weeks bad allergic and congestion, itching eyes with unpleasant discharges. Hay Fever ..I read Earth Clinic every possible cures ..I tried ACV, Turmeric, Olive leaves extracts, Castor oil pack, Garlic, snorting Cayenne pepper, Noti Pot ..none of them worked for me even Oil Pulling did not help. I started using nasal spray everyday again otherwise I could not sleep or do any activities, but the spray has actually worsened the congestion and the relief period got shorter .
I then read on latest posts about green tea and ginger root (I read Earth Clinic latest posts everyday), I didn't have green tea at home but I had chamomile tea bags. So I cut very thin slices of ginger (about 8 to 10 slices) in a cup with one chamomile tea bag, add water and micro waved it for a minute or two, and started snipping it that evening, added water reheated it in microwave again when it was not hot enough or empty ..it did not give immediate relief of course, but I realised that the pressure on the nasals eased a little. The next day I did the same. On 3rd day something miracle happened, it started to cleared that morning my sinuses.clearing steadily..eyes stopped itching and no unpleasant discharge. 36 hours on the ginger/ chamomile tea, I stopped using the nasal spray. It is now 25 days since I last used the spray and no signs of Hay Fever. 6 - 7 years of Hay Fever was gone, you can imagine how happy I am now. Yes I am still drinking yummy chamomile and ginger tea everyday.
A lady at work got bad hay fever, recommended her to try it, one dose (yes just one cup 7 days ago) cured her Hay Fever completely, 7 days since she has not got any symptoms. (Magic!! 2 yes posts for Earth Clinic)
I was once told by medical professional there was no cure for Hay Fever, now I believe there is always a cure for everything.
Before I started on the ginger / chamomile tea remedy, I was determined to go "cold turkey" on the nasal spray (Yes Nasal Sprays can be addictive). In order to get temporary relief, I microwave some ACV in a cup, inhaled the ACV steam, it immediately cleared the nose but as soon as I stopped, the nose was blocked again, but it at least provided temporary relief. I also tried chewing piece of ginger, but unfortunately it did not work for me. How strange a combination of ginger and chamomile tea can work miracle.
Caution -- first few days on the tea I had a mild detox experience, loose motion, rash, and headache.
Unexpected benefits -- clean and soft skin, hair seems to grow faster
To earth clinic -- ginger and chamomile tea remedy was not listed on any of the sinus/ allergic /congestion cures, but if search under ginger cure you will get lots of cured allergic postings, it is possible to add ginger/chamomile tea as one of the cure on the Allergic page? I could not and therefore would not be able to know about this cure until I read it on latest posting pages. just a suggestion and Thank You Earth Clinic and Thank You all those who put in their efforts posting their remedies and experience.
EC: We searched but could not find any other ginger and chamomile tea posts on the site! If you know where they are, please let us know and we'll cross post it to the allergy remedies page. Thank you!