Natural Remedies for Allergic Rhinitis


Allergic rhinitis occurs when your immune system overreacts to harmless substances you breathe in, like pollen, dust, mold or pet dander. This overreaction releases inflammatory chemicals that cause symptoms that include a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and itchy, watery eyes. A natural treatment strategy which combines a number of methods including dietary changes and alternative medicine can help ease symptoms of allergic rhinitis and encourage better immune function. Consulting with a healthcare professional experienced in alternative medicine is the best way to design a safe and effective regimen.

Man blowing nose
Man blowing nose (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Enhance Immunity with Diet

Following certain dietary guidelines can help manage allergic rhinitis. Certain foods enhance immune function while others can interfere by causing inflammation. Consider getting tested for allergies and sensitivities. You might have issues with certain foods and not even know it. Cut back or eliminate foods that promote inflammation; they include meat, dairy, white flour products, sugar and trans-fats (which are common in fried foods) and any item listing partially-hydrogenated oil as an ingredient.

Eat a diet rich in inflammation-fighting antioxidants like fruits, vegetables and beans.

Nurse with patient
Nurse with patient (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Relieve Symptoms with Natural Therapies

Certain supplements might reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis. You do not need to use every supplement listed as they contain similar benefits. This is where consulting with an experienced practitioner is beneficial. She can recommend an appropriate combination of supplements. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests the following treatments might be helpful based on a review of studies and other literature.

If your allergic rhinitis is triggered by pollen specifically, probiotic supplements might lessen the severity of your reaction. Probiotic supplements come in a variety of forms; take as directed on the product label.

Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine; take 2,000 mg daily. Butterbur, a plant supplement, has a long history of use to treat allergies; take 500 mg daily. Stinging nettle is also a popular traditional remedy for easing symptoms of allergic rhinitis but has not been as extensively studied; take 600 mg daily.

Another herbal preparation, biminne, is a traditional Chinese formula used for allergies. The University of Maryland Medical Center reviewed a study of people with year-long allergic rhinitis and found that biminne effectively relieved symptoms, and the benefits were still evident after one year. The participants took the formula five times a day for 12 weeks.

The use of acupuncture to relieve allergic rhinitis has shown mixed results but it might be beneficial for you. Always work with a licensed practitioner.

Vitamins (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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