5 Home Remedies for Allergies That Actually Work

Victoria Hoff


I made it through 24 allergy seasons on the pollen-heavy East Coast without so much as a sniffle. Can you blame me for thinking I had officially dodged that genetic bullet? I watched year after year as my older brother sneezed and suffered, choking back Claritin to appease his symptoms, sympathising with his apparent misery but nonetheless thankful that I could spend spring outdoors and breathe easy. That is, until I moved to L.A. and woke up one morning with a debilitating pain radiating through my sinuses. 

I figured it was just a cold, because hell-o, I don't have allergies. But after two weeks went by with no relief—and then noticing that my symptoms got worse whenever I spent more than a few minutes outside—I grumpily began to accept my fate. And then a fellow ex–New Yorker confirmed it: She too had gone allergy-free for most of her life, until she swapped coasts. Perhaps it was just a coincidence and it's really a matter of age; my working theory is that California has bionic pollen that our respiratory systems hadn't been conditioned to handle. No matter the cause, the conclusion remains the same: I now suffer from seasonal allergies. What a joy.

Here's the thing: Barring serious illness, I'm not big on taking any kind of meds—not even Advil. I've had plenty of success treating minor symptoms and ailments with natural remedies, Eastern medicine, and a healthy lifestyle. This has been my M.O. for about six years, which is why it was a huge deal—and indicative of just how crummy I was feeling—that I began to consider getting a prescription for allergy pills. But in spite of my itchy eyes and the distinct sensation that a truck was repeatedly backing into my sinus cavity, I made myself a deal: I'd try home remedies for allergies first, and if nothing improved in a week's time, I would then hit my local pharmacy. I got to researching, and the next day I had an arsenal of holistic remedies on my doorstep, ready for testing.

That was a Monday. By Wednesday of that week, I could breathe out of one of my nostrils. By that weekend, the achiness was finally beginning to subside, and on the following Saturday I was back out on my favourite hiking trail with few complaints. At this point, I figured it was safe to declare my methods a success.

So, how did I do it? While I wish I could say that I took a magical, all-natural pill that did the work, it really involved a bit of a lifestyle overhaul bolstered by a few specific remedies. Keep reading for the prescription.

Have any tips for fighting allergies without pills? Call them out in the comments below.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

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