Want a natural remedy for your runny nose and other nasal allergy symptoms? Natural allergy treatments can't replace medical care, but they can work alongside drugs. They can help get your symptoms under control. From acupuncture to supplements, here are natural treatments that may help you breathe easier.
Acupuncture. This treatment originally comes from China. An expert inserts tiny needles gently -- and, many people say, painlessly -- into spots on your body. There's evidence that it helps with allergies. One 2013 study found that eight weeks of acupuncture lessened allergy symptoms. It worked well enough that people were able to take lower doses of allergy drugs, too.
Allergy-proofing your home. You can't stop pollen from blowing outside. But you do have some control over what happens inside your home. Keep the windows shut when pollen is in the air. Run the air conditioning. If you can, change your clothes before coming inside (or as soon as you get in), remove your shoes, and shower.
HEPA filters. Studies are mixed about whether air filters help with allergy symptoms, since far more allergens rest on surfaces like rugs, furniture, and countertops. Cleaning is an important step in controlling your allergy and asthma triggers. If you buy an air filter, make sure it's a HEPA filter. These capture fine, pollen-size particles. It's a good idea to get a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, too. Regular vacuums can just blow allergens back into the air.
Probiotics. These are healthy bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal tract. While there are conflicting reports, some studies show that probiotics may lessen allergy symptoms such as running nose and congestion. You can get them naturally from foods like yogurt and kefir. They're also available in supplements.
Protection. If it's allergy season, keep your triggers at bay. Don't take part in outdoor activities when pollen counts are high. Pollen peaks between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. each day. But if you go out to garden or clean the garage, wear a dust mask and sunglasses to keep allergens out of your nose, mouth, and eyes.