When allergens trigger sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes, simple home remedies can help control the symptoms and provide relief.
- Hot Tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that may inhibit allergic reactions, and the menthol properties of peppermint tea can reduce congestion. However, people with ragweed allergies should avoid chamomile tea, since the two plants are closely related.
- Steam. Inhaling steam can ease nasal congestion. Fill a bowl with boiling water and, if you choose, a few drops of eucalyptus oil. (Take care not to get the oil on your skin. In concentrated amounts, it’s toxic.) Drape a towel over your head, and then lean over the bowl to inhale the steam 5 or 10 minutes.
- Shower. Pollen clings to clothing and hair. When you come in from extended time outdoors, rinse away the pollen with a shower, and toss your clothing in the washing machine.
- Dehumidify. Dust mites – a common indoor allergen – thrive in humidity. Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. It also helps control another common allergen: mold.
- Create an indoor sanctuary. Make one room in your home an “allergen-free zone”. Most people spend the largest part of their time in the bedroom. Replace carpeting with hard flooring, use allergen-proof coverings on the mattress and pillows, and in the summer keep the door closed and an air conditioner running to eliminate airborne allergens.
If your allergies are severe, consult with an allergist about other treatments, such as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) and prescription antihistamines.