When your immune system reacts to something that doesn’t bother other people, you’re experiencing an allergic reaction. Some of the biggest culprits for causing allergic reactions are:

Allergies can cause a number of symptoms such as:

Doctors typically treat allergies with a variety of approaches which often include medications and allergy shots. There are, however, natural and home remedies for allergies that you might consider.

The best natural remedy for allergies is, when possible, avoidance. Both doctors and natural healers will suggest that you limit or avoid allergens, which are what causes your allergic reaction.

You should avoid exposure to your allergens. For example, if you’ve had an allergic reaction to a sulfa drug, let your doctor know about your allergy. They’ll most likely prescribe an alternate antibiotic if you’ll ever need one.

That being said, some allergens are hard to avoid. In that case, after discussing your symptoms with your doctor, you might consider a home remedy for allergies to deal with the results of exposure to an allergen.

Saline nasal irrigation

A 2012 review of 10 studies showed that saline nasal irrigation had beneficial effects for both children and adults with allergic rhinitis, which is often referred to as hay fever.

HEPA filters

By trapping airborne irritants such as pollen, dust, and pet dander, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters reduce allergens in your home.

Butterbur

In a 2003 review, butterbur — also known as Petasites hybridus — was found to be equally effective for itchy eyes as a commonly used oral antihistamine.

Bromelain

Bromelain is an enzyme found in papaya and pineapple. Natural healers consider bromelain to be effective at improving breathing by reducing swelling.

Acupuncture

A 2015 review of 13 studies concluded that acupuncture demonstrated positive results for both seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis.

Probiotics

A 2015 review of 23 studies indicated that probiotics may help improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Honey

Although there’s no scientific evidence to prove it, a popular theory suggests eating locally produced honey. According to the theory, you will lower your allergic reaction over time to the pollen that the bees collect in your area to make their honey.

Air conditioners and dehumidifiers

By removing moisture from the air, air conditioners and dehumidifiers can limit the growth of mildew and mold that can negatively impact allergies.

Spirulina

A 2015 study indicated that dietary spirulina — a blue-green algae — demonstrated antiallergic protective effects towards allergic rhinitis.

Stinging nettle

Natural healing practitioners suggest stinging nettle as a natural antihistamine to help with allergy treatment.

Quercetin

Quercetin is a favorite of natural healing advocates who believe that it stabilizes the release of histamines and helps to control allergy symptoms. It’s naturally found in broccoli, cauliflower, green tea, and citrus fruits.

Vitamin C

Practitioners of natural medication suggest taking 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily to reduce histamine levels.

Peppermint essential oil

A 1998 study showed that peppermint oil treatment had enough anti-inflammatory effects that reduced the symptoms of bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis to warrant clinical trials. Essential oils can be diffused into the air but should be diluted in a carrier oil if applied topically.

Eucalyptus essential oil

Advocates of natural healing suggest using eucalyptus oil as an antimicrobial agent by adding it to each load of wash during allergy season.

Frankincense essential oil

Based on the results of a 2016 study, frankincense oil may help against perennial allergic rhinitis. You can dilute it in a carrier oil and use behind your ears or use inhalation by diffusing it into the air.

Don’t use home remedies to treat severe allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis, which can be identified by symptoms such as:

If you experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

Also, using essential oils isn’t without risk. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t oversee the purity, quality, and packaging of essential oils. It’s important to use essential oils as directed and make sure you’re using quality products.

Test the essential oil mixed in carrier oil on unbroken skin, such as your forearm. If you don’t have a reaction in 24 hours, it should be safe to use. Test each new essential oil, especially if you’re prone to allergies.

While there’s some evidence that home remedies for allergies can be effective, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor before trying them out. Get a full diagnosis and listen to your doctor’s suggestions on what’s best for you and your personal situation.