7 Natural Home Remedies for Spring Allergies

These foods and herbs (and this supercharged soup recipe!) are effective allergy remedies.

February 16, 2017
broccoli greens

Adapted from Health-Defense

Nearly 30 million American children and adults suffer from asthma, which is when the respiratory "pipes" (bronchi) that carry air in and out of the lungs are inflamed and spasm. And every year, the disease sends more than 500,000 people to the hospital, killing 4,000 with severe, choking asthma attacks.

More: 6 Toxic Threats Making Your Allergies Worse

Fifty percent of people with asthma have attacks triggered by allergens, such as molds, dust mites, and animal dander. Of course, you can have allergies without asthma. You can have hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis), which is when your immune system mistakes pollen from grass, trees, or weeds for a foreign invader and revs up its defenses, triggering sneezing, red and itchy eyes, a stuffed and runny nose, and fatigue.

More: The 15 Best Sneeze-Stifling Supplements

But whether you have asthma or asthma and allergies or just allergies, you may have noticed your condition is getting worse. The rates of asthma have increased over the past 25 years—the number of people with asthma has increased fourfold, and the number of deaths from asthma attacks has doubled. And people with hay fever are noticing that every allergy season seems like the worst ever. What's happening? It could be changes in the environment.

And these foods and herbs may just be the solutions to your allergy problems: 

Broccoli
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Broccoli

It's rich in allergy-relieving vitamin C—1 cup of raw broccoli delivers about 80 milligrams. (Studies also show that low levels of vitamin C increase the risk for developing asthma.)

Citrus fruits
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Citrus fruits

These are another excellent source of vitamin C, with a large orange containing nearly 100 milligrams. Half of a large grapefruit supplies 60 milligrams.

More: 13 Nutrients You Aren't Eating Enough Of

kale
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Leafy greens, such as kale

This leafy green is rich in carotenoids, compounds shown to help fight allergy symptoms. To increase absorption, lightly sauteĢ the greens in olive oil. (Spinach is also rich in folate, a nutrient linked to lower risk of allergic reactions.)

Stinging nettle
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Stinging nettle

Taken as a supplement, this herb can help control allergy symptoms. Suggested dosage: 500 milligrams three times a day.

More: The 5 Step Anti-Allergy Plan

Butterbur
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Butterbur

Rich in anti-allergy compounds, this herb is just as effective as a prescription antihistamine for controlling allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, itching, runny nose, stuffiness, and watery eyes. (One difference: It takes about 5 days to work.) Follow the dosage recommendations on the label.

Onions and garlic
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Onions and garlic

They're rich in quercetin, an antioxidant shown in many studies to fight allergies. Apples are a good source of quercetin, too.

More: How to Supercharge the Healing Power of Garlic

soup
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Anti-allergy soup

Herbal expert James Duke, PhD, recommends the following allergy-fighting soup recipe:

1. Boil an onion (with skin) and a clove of garlic.
2. Add 1/2 cup chopped leaves and diced taproots of evening primrose.
3. After boiling for about 5 minutes, add 1 cup nettle leaves and 1 cup diced celery stalks and boil gently for another 3 to 10 minutes.
4. Season with wine vinegar, black pepper, hot pepper, turmeric, curry powder, or celery seed.
5. Before eating, remove the onion skin. Eat the soup while it's warm.

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Tags: nutrition