Natural Solutions for Seasonal Allergies

Thrive this Pollen Season: Natural Solutions for Seasonal Allergies
Author: Denice Bracken, MScN | Date: March 15th, 2024

Spring has arrived in the Pacific Northwest, which can only mean that pollen is already on its way. As the rain clouds lighten up and warm weather approaches, many of us eagerly anticipate spending more time outdoors. However, for those prone to seasonal allergies, the changing of seasons can bring discomfort and frustration. If you find yourself sniffling, sneezing, or battling itchy eyes during certain times of the year, you’re not alone. Seasonal allergies affect millions of people worldwide. Finding the right strategy for you can minimize symptoms and make the most of the warmer months ahead.

Understanding Seasonal Allergies:
Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, occur when your immune system overreacts to allergens present in the environment. Essentially, your immune system sees pollen as a foreign invader. Common triggers include pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, as well as mold spores (more common in the fall and winter). When exposed to these allergens, your body releases histamines, leading to a range of symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and itchy eyes and skin.
In more severe cases, seasonal allergies can trigger difficulty breathing, asthma, low blood pressure, and severe rashes or swelling. It is advisable to seek appropriate medical care should more severe reactions occur.
Seasonal allergies can form at any age and develop over time. They can show up after moving to a new location or region of the world. It can be disheartening to develop seasonal allergies, especially if it impacts your favorite outdoor hobbies or activities of daily living. If you develop seasonal allergies suddenly or if your symptoms worsen, schedule a meeting with your healthcare provider or follow up with a certified allergist.

Treatment Options & Tips for Seasonal Allergies
While often cumbersome to experience, there are several options for management and relief of symptoms. If you or a loved one struggles with seasonal allergies, we have expert doctors on staff who would love to assist you in finding an individualized approach that works!

7 Tips for Navigating Seasonal Allergies:

  1. Monitor Pollen Counts: Keep an eye on daily pollen forecasts in your area, and try to limit outdoor activities during peak pollen times, typically in the morning and early evening. Weather can impact pollen production and daily count. Be mindful of windy days or light rains as they can stir up more pollen into the air.
  2. Keep Indoor Air Clean: Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your home’s HVAC system and consider investing in an air purifier to remove allergens from indoor air. Keeping our indoor air free from pollutants and allergens can bring us relief from unwanted symptoms. Air filters should be replaced as per the manufacturer recommendation or sooner as needed.
  3. Practice Nasal Irrigation: Neti pots or saline nasal sprays can help flush out allergens and relieve nasal congestion. Use sterile saline solution or distilled water for irrigation. Rinse your nasal passageway after going outside or twice a day (morning and night) for best results.
  4. Limit Exposure: Close windows and doors during peak pollen seasons to prevent allergens from entering your home. Change clothes and shower after spending time outdoors to remove pollen from your skin and hair. Dry clothes indoors or in with a clothes dryer to prevent pollen from collecting on them.
  5. Explore Natural Remedies: Some people find relief from seasonal allergies through natural remedies such as herbal supplements, local honey products, homeopathy, and acupuncture. While these approaches may not work for everyone, they’re worth considering as complementary options in an individualized protocol.
  6. Consider Antihistamine Medications: Antihistamines have come a long way. There are several antihistamine options available now. Over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids can provide more immediate relief from allergy symptoms. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations.
  7. Allergen Immunotherapy: For those with more severe symptoms of seasonal allergies. Sublingual immunotherapy is available for several pollen related allergies and treatment should start several weeks before pollen season. It can take years for the immune system to fully adapt to the allergen. It might be worth looking into for those who want to reduce their overall use of medications or supplements and treat the issue at the source.

Because Natural Medicine is what we do at Balanced Family…
Here are some of our favorite natural recommendations for seasonal allergies:

  1. Nettle (Urtica dioica): Nettle is abundant around the world and begins to grow in early spring. It is a highly nutrient dense plant. Not only is it good food- it is good medicine. Nettle leaf extract has been shown to help reduce allergy symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties. Several studies have suggested that it may inhibit histamine release, which can alleviate symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, and itching.
  2. Quercetin: A flavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce allergic reactions by stabilizing mast cells. Mast cells can become triggered by allergens and release histamine. Foods rich in quercetin include apples, onions, garlic, citrus fruits, and berries.
  3. Local Honey or Bee Pollen: While the seasonal allergens that often trigger hay fever are not the same pollens often found in bee products. Honey Bee pollen is denser and does not travel well in the air like grass pollens that rely on wind pollination. It is still widely believed that consuming local honey can help build tolerance to local pollen, reducing allergy symptoms. While scientific evidence is still limited, anecdotal reports suggest that it may provide relief for some individuals. Honey is still a great option as it is mineral dense and has anti-inflammatory properties that are great for soothing a scratchy throat.
  4. Targeted Homeopathic Treatment: Similar to allergen immunotherapy, homeopathic treatment aims to address the root cause of the body’s reaction by gradually exposing the individual to the allergen. This method involves using a highly diluted allergen mixture tailored to your region (such as the PNW), allowing the body to gradually accept the allergens and potentially reduce or alleviate symptoms over time. This type of treatment should be done under the guidance of a qualified homeopathic practitioner for personalized treatment recommendations.

Seek Professional Care for Seasonal Allergies

While seasonal allergies can be bothersome, they don’t have to dampen your enjoyment of the outdoors. By taking proactive steps to minimize exposure to allergens and seeking appropriate treatment, you can find relief and embrace the beauty of each season. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional if your symptoms worsen or before starting any new treatment, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.
Call to schedule an appointment today!

FDA Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These recommendations or products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


  • American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. (n.d.). Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever). Retrieved from
  • Mayo Clinic. (2022). Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. Retrieved from
  • Roschek Jr., B., Fink, R. C., McMichael, M., Alberte, R. S. (2009). Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis. Phytotherapy Research, 23(7), 920-926.
  • PMID: 35800714 | Bhusal KK, Magar SK, Thapa R, et al. Nutritional and pharmacological importance of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica L.): A review. Heliyon. 2022;8(6):e09717. Published 2022 Jun 22. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e09717
  • Mlcek, J., Jurikova, T., Skrovankova, S., & Sochor, J. (2016). Quercetin and its anti-allergic immune response. Molecules, 21(5), 623.
  • PMCID: PMC8816323 | Liew KY, Kamise NI, Ong HM, et al. Anti-Allergic Properties of Propolis: Evidence From Preclinical and Clinical Studies. Front Pharmacol. 2022;12:785371. Published 2022 Jan 21. doi:10.3389/fphar.2021.785371
  • Rabago, D., Zgierska, A., & Mundt, M. (2009). Efficacy of daily hypertonic saline nasal irrigation among patients with sinusitis: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Family Practice, 58(4), 697-705.