Before you pop those pills, spray your nose, or get that injection, you might want to consider some of the natural options that help with allergies. Here are some of my preferred foods and remedies:
Papaya Enzymes—papaya contains a natural enzyme known as papain that has natural anti-inflammatory properties. As such, it helps alleviate inflammation linked to sinus and nasal swelling, as well as addressing many of the symptoms of allergies, hay fever, and excessive catarrh buildup.
Quercetin—A natural antioxidant found in foods like apples, berries, cabbage, cauliflower, nuts, onions and tea, this nutrient has been found to have potent anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, making it a great choice to reduce the effects of pollens and other allergens.
Green Tea—Green tea is known as one of the best superfoods for many conditions and is also beneficial for allergies. That’s because it contains a potent antioxidant known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that can impact allergies on a cellular level by reducing inflammation. You don’t have to remember EGCG to benefit, however; simply drink more green tea.
Perilla Frutescens—This little-known herb is part of the mint family and has been explored as an all-natural, herbal remedy for allergies. In a study in Experimental Biology and Medicine, researchers found that perilla and one of its active ingredients known as rosmarinic acid significantly reduced inflammatory reactions such as nasal and sinus congestion, and eye irritation. Other research in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine found that the herb was also effective at alleviating allergy-related skin conditions. The effective dose of perilla differs from product to product and depends on whether the seeds or leaves are used, or whether the remedy is an extract of a specific compound or crushed, dried leaves.
Butterbur—Known as Petasites hybridus, this shrub grows in wet, marshy parts of North America, Asia, and Europe. Multiple studies show its effectiveness in the treatment of allergies. Because the raw plant contains chemicals known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) that can be harmful, be sure to choose a product that is PA-free.