Allergic rhinitis is a common condition, affecting an estimated 10 to 20% of the US population. It is a type of allergic reaction that happens when your immune system overreacts to inhaled substances and the body releases chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
Common allergens that can cause allergic rhinitis are tree and grass pollen. Other allergens include dust mites present in bedding, mold spores in the air and pet dander.
Some people have a higher risk of suffering from allergic rhinitis. Risk factors include a family history of allergies, suffering from other allergies, a weak immune system and exposure to second hand cigarette smoke. It is also more common among males than females.
There are two types of allergic rhinitis –seasonal (known as hay fever) and perennial that occurs year-round. Symptoms include repeated sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, nasal congestion and watery or swollen eyes.
It can also give rise to symptoms like sore throat, dry cough, headaches, fatigue, weakness and dark circles under the eyes.
Allergic rhinitis symptoms can affect the quality of life of the sufferers. To reduce symptoms, you can use some natural home remedies that are inexpensive and effective.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for allergic rhinitis.
1. Saline Water
One of the first steps to treat allergic rhinitis is to remove mucus from the nose with the help of a saline nasal wash.
A 2008 study published in the official publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin found that regular nasal saline irrigation can improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda in 2 cups of warm distilled water.
- Using a nasal bulb, snort a small amount of this solution into one nostril.
- Allow the solution to drain back out through the other nostril or through the mouth.
- Gently blow your nose to remove excess mucus and solution.
- Follow this same process with the other nostril.
- Repeat this remedy a couple of times daily until your condition improves.
You can also purchase a saline solution at a drug store and use it in the same manner.
Inhaling steam on a regular basis will help clear the nasal passages of excess mucus and any irritants. This in turn will help get rid of allergic rhinitis symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose and sore throat.
- Pour boiling water in a big bowl.
- Add 3 or 4 drops of any essential oil of your choice like eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary or tea tree oil.
- Cover your head with a towel and lean carefully over the bowl.
- Deeply inhale the steam for 5 to 10 minutes, then blow your nose thoroughly.
- Repeat several times a day until you recover completely.
For small children who cannot inhale steam, a hot shower or bath will help a lot.
Ginger is another useful home remedy for allergic rhinitis. It works as a natural antihistamine and has antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties that help relieve rhinitis symptoms like nasal congestion, runny nose, cough and even headache.
- Add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, a few cloves and a small piece of cinnamon to 1 cup of water. Boil for 5 minutes, strain and add a little honey and lemon juice. Drink this herbal tea up to 3 times daily during the allergy season.
- Also, chew small pieces of fresh ginger several times a day as well as include ginger in your cooking.
To reduce the risk of any kind of allergy, turmeric is a good consideration. It is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent with immune-boosting properties. It can help reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis like congestion, cough, dry mouth and sneezing.
- Prepare a mixture with 6 tablespoons each of turmeric powder and raw honey. Mix well and store it in an air-tight container. Have 1 teaspoon of this mixture 2 times daily during the allergy season.
- Alternatively, drink 1 glass of warm turmeric milk daily to keep your immune system strong.
- You can also use turmeric in your cooking or take turmeric supplements after consulting a doctor.
Garlic contains quercetin, a natural antihistamine that can be very effective in treating allergic rhinitis. Plus, garlic has antibiotic, antibacterial, antiviral and immune-boosting properties that promote quick recovery.
- Chew 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves daily to combat the various symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
- Also include garlic powder or raw garlic in your day-to-day cooking
- People with a history of allergies can benefit from taking a garlic supplement daily during the allergy season. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another effective remedy for allergic rhinitis due to its antibiotic and antihistamine properties. It can help reduce the intensity of symptoms like frequent sneezing, nasal congestion, headaches and others. Plus, it plays a key role in regulating the body’s immune response system.
- Add 2 teaspoons of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice.
- Drink this 3 times daily during the allergy season or until you feel better.
7. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle has been used as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory agent in alternative medicine for treating seasonal allergies, including allergic rhinitis. It can provide quick relief from symptoms like nasal congestion, coughing, sneezing and itching.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried stinging nettle leaf to a cup of hot water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain and add a little honey. Drink it 2 or 3 times daily until your symptoms disappear.
- You can also take stinging nettle supplement (600 mg daily for a week). Consult your doctor first as this herb may interfere with certain medications that you could be taking.
Note: Nettle is not recommended for pregnant women and young children.
8. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that can help draw out irritants from within your body that cause allergic rhinitis. Plus, it helps get rid of harmful toxins, which is essential to remain healthy throughout the year.
- Put 1 tablespoon of sesame oil or coconut oil in your mouth.
- Swish the oil around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Spit out the oil, then rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Do this daily in the morning (for at least a few months) before brushing your teeth.
Note: Do not swallow the oil as it can be filled with toxins after this process.
According to a 2013 study by Chinese researchers, the probiotic called Lactobacillus acidophilus can help reduce the frequency and severity of allergic rhinitis symptoms.
- Buy a high quality probiotic supplement that has 1 to 4 billion organisms per capsule. Take one capsule in the morning and one in the evening for 1 to 2 weeks.
- You can also eat probiotic yogurt on regular basis to boost your immune system.
10. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has antihistamine properties that may help reduce allergy symptoms. Plus, vitamin C will help boost your immune system. This in turn will help prevent infection as well as shorten the duration of an illness.
- Eat foods high in vitamin C like lemons, oranges, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, bell peppers, potatoes, strawberries, sprouts and tomatoes.
- You can also take vitamin C supplement daily, but it is always best to consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
- To reduce symptoms, eat a moderately low-fat, high-complex-carbohydrate diet.
- Acupuncture can also be helpful for people with allergic rhinitis.
- Eliminate alcohol, caffeine and dairy products from your diet for a few days.
- You can also take 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily to reduce the risk of allergic rhinitis.
- Control dust and dust mites as well as indoor molds during the allergy season.
- Wear a simple mask when going out to avoid exposure to dust.
- Instead of fans which bring in outside air, use an air conditioner in your home and car.
- Use a dehumidifier indoors to reduce humidity.
- Take a bath or shower after coming in from outdoors.
- Change your clothes often after being outside to avoid being exposed to allergens.
- Cover your pillows and mattress with dust mite covers.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom.
- Drink an ample amount of water each day to keep your body hydrated.