Feel like your hay fever allergies start earlier every fall? Turns out they do! Research shows allergy season starts up to two days earlier and lasts longer each year. But these all-natural swaps will help you breathe easier and provide you with fast fall allergy relief.
For quick relief… try an ancient salt
OTC nasal sprays come with a big downside: After five days of use, they can trigger “rebound congestion.” This means you have to use more of the spray to get any effect. Instead, try Dead Sea salt. Research in American Family Physician found rinsing nasal passages with the ancient mineral clears mucus and allergens that trigger a histamine response, cutting stuffiness by 64 percent.
That’s nearly as effective as nasal steroids! To do: Pour 1 cup of distilled water and ½ teaspoon of Dead Sea salts into a neti pot and flush your sinuses twice daily. Tip: Adding a drop of rosemary oil helps open nasal passages.
To protect 24/7… try an herbal antihistamine
While you may be inclined to reach for an allergy pill like Zyrtec for lasting relief, it can cause daytime fatigue, nighttime restlessness, and other pesky side effects. A better bet: butterbur. A study in the British Medical Journal found the flowering plant’s petasine is even more effective and better tolerated than the OTC drug. And instead of side effects, you get side benefits, including a 48 percent drop in migraine risk and more restful sleep.
Important: Don’t take if you have a history of liver disease, and opt for butterbur labeled “free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids,” which are toxic to the liver. One to try: Petadolex Pro-Active.
To nix p.m. sniffles… trade your tipple
Ever notice your seasonal allergies surge if you sip red wine? An excess of symptom-triggering histamine in alcohol can overload your system and send your immune response to allergens like ragweed into overdrive. While wine contains histamine, that doesn’t mean you have to give it up! Simply choose white wine instead, which Austrian research finds contains nearly 20 times less irritating histamines than red.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.