Hay Fever Alternative Treatments

Written by the Healthline Editorial Staff | Published on October 20, 2014
Medically Reviewed by Kenneth R. Hirsch, MD on October 20, 2014

Hay Fever Alternative Treatments

Hay fever symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, headache, and more. There are many treatment options for allergy symptoms, such as the ones associated with hay fever. Your options include alternative and complementary treatments as well as home remedies.

According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, starting natural treatments for seasonal allergies one or two months before the season starts may reduce the severity of symptoms.

Herbs and Supplements

A qualified herbalist practitioner can suggest treatments that may help relieve some of your hay fever symptoms. Make sure you talk to your doctor before taking any new herbs or supplements. Many may interact with your current prescriptions.

Butterbur Root (Petasites hybridus)

This traditional herb is used to reduce mucus production. A small but well-conducted study published in BMJ concluded that it may be as effective as a particular pharmaceutical antihistamine (cetirizine).

Biminne

A small randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports a possible connection between biminne and perennial rhinitis treatment. The traditional Chinese herbal formula “biminne” was suggested to be effective in managing the symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis. However, due to several uncertainties in the study, these results need to be seen only as suggestions for further study not evidence of biminne’s utility for hay fever. Biminne is a formula that includes, among others:

  • Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis)
  • ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
  • horny goat weed (Epimedium sagittatum)
  • Japanese apricot (Prunus mume)

These studies were small and more research needs to be performed on both butterbur root and biminne to determine whether they are genuinely useful for treating your hay fever. It’s important to communicate with your doctor what herbs or supplements you are taking so that any potential negative interactions can be identified.

Home Remedies

Nasal Irrigation

Rinsing your sinuses with salty water is an effective way to relieve nasal congestion and connected symptoms. You can find a squeeze bottle or neti pot to use in this process at your local pharmacy.

Neti pots are small containers designed specifically for nasal irrigation. You fill the pot with warm salt water, tilt your head, to the side, and place the spout of the pot in the upper nostril gently pouring the water in. The water will flow through your nasal cavity and out the lower nostril.

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