Updated: Nov 4, 2019
Spring is finally here! The warm sun, the chirping birds, and the beautiful weather practically invite you to play outdoors and revel in the mystery of new life!
The flowers, in all their colorful glory, are blooming and their sweet smells just fill you joy and wonder...
...Until the sneezing, wheezing, and itchy eyes start.
For some, Spring is not the herald of new life bursting with possibilities but a time of misery. For those with seasonal allergies, Spring is a time in which managing allergy symptoms is a must just to get through the day.
If you're one of those who suffer from seasonal allergies and just can't take the thought of another itchy eyed, sneeze filled, drowsy diphenhydramine (branded as Benadryl) filled day, then look no further than these 4 natural remedies for managing seasonal allergies.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the original heavy lifter when it comes to getting allergies under control. Most people think of this amazing vitamin in the context of it's deficiency, which causes scurvy, a disease marked by weakness, anemia and skin disorders.
While vitamin C is a crucial nutrient needed for everything from immune support to collagen production, it has another little known super power.
Vitamin C is a mast cell stabilizer. This means that it helps to reduce allergy symptoms by reducing the release of histamine into your blood stream.
When your body recognizes an intruder (like pollen for example) as foreign, it builds up an immune response. Cells in your body, called mast cells become activated and release granules of histamine and many inflammatory molecules into the bloodstream causing all of the symptoms you know (and hate): wheezing, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, as seasonal allergies.
Vitamin C prevents this from occurring by inhibiting excessive activation of the immune system caused by the mast cells. The best thing about vitamin C is that it is not only helpful for seasonal allergies but has been shown to alleviate symptoms for those suffering from asthma as well.
I really like Natural Factors Vitamin C because my kids love the taste (and so do I)! They're chewable and come in different flavors. I admit that the tropical flavor usually wins at my house but the orange is pretty good too.
Quercetin can’t be beat when it comes to heading off the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Quercetin is a plant flavonoid or pigment found in many different fruits and vegetables. It is found in particularly high amounts in foods like onions, apples, and citrus.
While quercetin has many benefits like anti-inflammation and cancer preventative, it is also a potent allergy suppressor. Like vitamin C, quercetin helps to stabilize mast cells and prevent large amounts of histamine release into the blood.
With less histamine release comes less allergy symptoms.
Interestingly while quercetin can be found in the foods stated above (apples, citrus fruits, and onions), it is also found in high concentration in canned capers. Other foods high in quercetin are fresh dill weed, dock leaves, and hot wax yellow peppers.
If you find that those foods just don't seem appealing, it may be better to just get a quercetin supplement. I like the one from NOW foods because it not only has quercetin but also the next heavy hitter on our list, bromelain.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in the fruit and stem of the pineapple. While many people use this enzyme as a digestive aid, bromelain is very helpful in reducing seasonal allergy symptoms especially nasal congestion and inflammation .
Bromelain is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is also thought to help with preventing large scale mast cell activation. When less mast cells are activated, less histamine will be released into the blood stream and there will be reduced allergy symptoms.
Be sure that you don't use this product, if you have allergies to pineapples.
When dealing with particularly challenging seasonal allergies, I've had great success with D-Hist by Ortho Molecular . I've heard clients say that it's like Benadryl without the drowsiness which makes me pretty happy!
4. Quail's Egg
In the 1970s, a French general practitioner noticed that farmers who raised quails, had fewer seasonal allergies than the general population. This practitioner then decided to give raw quail's egg to his patients and saw a huge reduction in their allergy symptoms.
This was the beginning of using quail's egg to reduce seasonal allergies. The secret to quail's egg's success in reducing the symptoms of seasonal allergies are compounds called ovomucoids and ovoinhibitors. Ovomucoids and ovoinhibitors are egg proteins. These compounds found in quail's eggs act as tryptase inhibitors.
Those suffering from seasonal allergies have more than just high levels of histamine released into their bloodstream. Unfortunately, they also can have high blood levels of tryptase too. Tryptase is a major protein component located within mast cells. When histamine is released, there is good chance that tryptase will be as well, signaling mast cell activation and the horrible itching and sneezing that comes with it.
This brings us back to to quail egg. The ovomucoids and ovoinhibitors in quail's egg, have been found to inhibit or block tryptase. This helps to stop tryptase from being released into the blood stream and reduce allergy symptoms.
There is even promising animal research being done that suggests that quail's egg may be helpful for eosinophilic esophagitis caused by food allergies.
I really like a product by Integrative Therapeutics called AllClear for seasonal allergies. It's effective and tasty with two different flavors, vanilla and berry. (Vanilla is my personal favorite but berry is pretty good too).
So if you find yourself stuck indoors due to seasonal allergies, then try these 4 natural remedies and get out there and enjoy the season!
It's your turn! Let me know what you've tried for seasonal allergies. What's worked and what hasn't? Would you be willing to try something unconventional just to get some relief? I'd love to know in the comments!
1. BD Y. Relationship between Vitamin C, Mast Cells and Inflammation. J Nutr Food Sci. 2016;06(01). doi:10.4172/2155-9600.1000456.
2. Sato A, Zhang T, Yonekura L, Tamura H. Antiallergic activities of eleven onions (Allium cepa) were attributed to quercetin 4′-glucoside using QuEChERS method and Pearson's correlation coefficient. J Funct Foods. 2015;14:581-589. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2015.02.029.
5.Benichou A-C, Armanet M, Bussière A, Chevreau N, Cardot J-M, Tétard J. A proprietary blend of quail egg for the attenuation of nasal provocation with a standardized allergenic challenge: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Food Science & Nutrition. 2014;2(6):655-663. doi:10.1002/fsn3.147.
6. Lianto P, Han S, Li X et al. Quail egg homogenate alleviates food allergy induced eosinophilic esophagitis like disease through modulating PAR-2 transduction pathway in peanut sensitized mice. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-19309-x.