Q & A Library
Natural Treatment for Seasonal Allergies?
This year I've found that my allergies can't be controlled with stinging nettle and quercetin. Are there any other remedies I can try? (The non-drowsy prescription antihistamines are not effective for me.)
Answer (Published 9/17/2002)
I'm sorry to learn that my favorite natural allergy treatments aren't helping your seasonal allergies this year. As you may know, I'm not a great fan of antihistamines, which don't change the allergic process but merely block its expression. Steroid nasal inhalers used for treatment of hay fever and other seasonal allergies can be very effective, but some of the steroids are bound to get into the rest of the body and these hormones weaken the immune system. My preference among conventional treatments is the non-prescription drug cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom Nasal Solution). It works and is nontoxic. If that doesn't help, you may have to try a steroid nasal spray such as Vancensae, preferably for a limited time.
You don't mention what type of allergy you have, but I'm assuming it is seasonal pollen allergy. If so, you might try nasal douching with a warm saline solution to rinse pollen grains off nasal tissues and soothe irritated mucus membranes. I would also recommend trying some lifestyle modifications. All allergies have the potential to disappear if you make changes in both lifestyle and your mental state. Here are my suggestions:
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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