Do April showers bring you May flowers and May sniffles, sneezes and watery eyes? These easy, natural remedies might help or decrease the need for using over-the-counter antihistamines. Some of these may seem like basic do’s and don’ts, but little reminders can help too.

Lifestyle Changes

Short of moving to Antarctica or living in a sterile bubble, there’s no way to completely avoid the pollens that make you sneeze. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize the amount of pollen in your home environment and, hopefully, minimize allergy symptoms.

  • Keep doors and windows closed during high-pollen season, especially on windy days
  • Upgrade your ventilation system with an allergy-grade filter
  • Use the air conditioner in your car and at home to provide clean, filtered air
  • Pollen counts are highest in the early morning. Avoid outdoor activities during that time
  • Vacuum often with a HEPA filter vacuum
  • Shower immediately after doing yard work
  • Wear a dust mask when you mow the lawn

Natural Remedies

Not many natural remedies for hay fever have been scientifically researched. Some sufferers believe acupuncture and homeopathy are helpful with seasonal allergies. Natural remedies with the best reputation for easing allergy symptoms include:

  • Eat a balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated and get adequate amounts of sleep to strengthen the immune system
  • Extract of butterbur may help prevent symptoms. Use only “PA-free” butterbur as it has had potentially toxic elements removed
  • Eating honey produced in your area may work as a natural “vaccine” against pollen allergies
  • Clean nasal passages with a Neti pot or a natural nasal spray
  • Nettle is a natural antihistamine that can be helpful when symptoms are present. Drink nettle tea or use tablets or tincture of nettle
  • A single drop of eucalyptus essential oil rubbed under and alongside the nose can bring instant relief to stuffy sinuses