Search IconSearch

Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

A natural approach may help resolve that sneezing and runny nose

person taking laundry out of the washer

One morning you wake up and it’s … ah… ah… ah-CHOOOO! Allergy season can hit fast and hard, with sudden fits of sneezing, a nonstop runny nose and itchy eyes leaving you feeling miserable.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

For many, the path to relief begins with the rattle of a pill bottle — and that’s perfectly OK.

But there are other, more natural options that may be worth a try, says functional medicine specialist Melissa Young, MD. And most are simple solutions that don’t require the removal of a childproof cap.

“There can be an over-reliance on medications as a quick fix,” says Dr. Young. “Sometimes, you can take a different approach and get similar results.”

Natural remedies for allergies

Resolving seasonal allergies may just be a matter of finding and addressing the root cause. “It’s about getting a deeper level of understanding of why you’re having an allergic response and then taking steps to decrease or reverse symptoms,” explains Dr. Young.

But if you’re not sure of the cause — be it tree pollen, ragweed, mold or dust, etc. — what can you do to tamp down the sniffling, sneezing and wheezing that come when seasonal allergy triggers spike? Here are eight ideas you can try.

Dietary changes

Did you know that more than 70% of your immune system resides in your gut? What you eat supports the microbiome in your belly. So, keeping that gut flora healthy can help your immune system better handle allergens.

Common food sensitivities to gluten, dairy and sugar can lead to immune system dysregulation.

“The reality is we eat a lot of junk and non-organic food grown with the application of pesticides and herbicides,” says Dr. Young. “Choosing clean, organic food can reduce toxin exposures that alter our immune system function.”

Adding probiotics to your diet is a good start. Research shows that probiotics — which are plentiful in many yogurts and fermented food such as sauerkraut and kombucha tea — can help treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis).


An elimination diet may also be helpful in identifying if certain foods cause inflammation, leading to a “leaky gut” that worsens seasonal allergy symptoms. “There can even be connections between specifics foods and pollen,” notes Dr. Young. “It’s just a matter of finding them.”

Clear the air

Filtering the air inside of your home can eliminate dander, dust and pollen particles that can make your allergies go haywire. Look for a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which removes about 99.97% of troublesome airborne particles.

“Putting a HEPA filter in your bedroom can make a big difference,” says Dr. Young.

Another simple step? Close windows in your home when pollen counts soar in your area. Air conditioning can help, too, by removing moisture from the air and knocking back mold and mildew growth.

Hit the showers

Make sure to get a good scrubbing in, particularly before going to sleep, in order to wash off any allergens.

“Think of the hair in your ears and your eyebrows as Q-tips that collect pollen throughout the day,” says Dr. Young. “If that hangs around while you’re in bed, it can worsen itchy eyes and nasal congestion while you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.”

Laundry loads

Washing your bedding once a week in hot water can reduce your exposure to allergens such as dust, pollen and animal dander. (If you can stomach it, learn why you really need to wash your sheets regularly.)

Also, change clothes when you get home in case allergens latched onto your garments. Toss them next to the sheets in the hamper.

Saline nasal irrigation

Flushing out your sinuses with a neti pot or squeeze bottle can wash away pollen and other allergens that found their way in. Studies show the effectiveness of a good sinus rinse, too. “It really can provide a lot of relief,” says Dr. Young.


Surprised to see this on the list? Don’t be. This ancient needling practice can deliver a boost to your immune system and help combat hay fever. “There’s good research supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of allergies and sinus disorders,” says Dr. Young.

Vitamins and supplements

As mentioned, a healthy diet supports a strong immune system response. But it’s possible that your immune system may need an extra boost — and that’s where dietary supplements might help.

Certain vitamins and herbs also can help limit inflammation that comes with allergic responses. Dr. Young suggests looking for supplements with:


Practice mindfulness

Your body just doesn’t work as effectively if it’s under stress. “Increased stress promotes allergic disease,” adds Dr. Young. Taking a few meditative minutes could help you keep things under control.

Do natural allergy cures really work?

For some people, yes. “We’ve seen huge reductions in allergy symptoms for some when they embrace making these sort of changes and just run with it,” says Dr. Young. “There have been really nice results.”

But treat the above recommendations as more of a potential starting point for dealing with allergies, not the be-all and end-all for treatment. They’re also not a substitute for medical care during a severe reaction.

“There are people who benefit from medications. That’s why they’re available,” says Dr. Young.

But if you’re looking for an alternative to day-to-day allergy maintenance, it’s important to know there might be simple solutions aside from medications. “These approaches can help,” Dr. Young assures. “It’s just a matter of giving them a try.”


Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Smiling person with white teeth applying toothpaste to toothbrush
July 11, 2024/Oral Health
Brighten Your Smile: How To Get Whiter Teeth

A variety of products can be effective at removing stains on teeth

Person in towel in front of bathtub, with shelves of lotions, holding jar of moisturizer, applying to face
June 17, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty
14 Natural and Home Remedies for Psoriasis

Moisturize often, take oatmeal baths, use Epsom salts and follow a healthy diet to help reduce your symptoms

Person coughing into a tissue by window during sunny, summer day
June 4, 2024/Primary Care
Summer Sniffles: Winter Isn’t the Only Time You Can Catch a Cold

Enteroviruses are often to blame for summer colds, leading to a runny nose, sore throat and digestive symptoms

Person standing in kitchen holding glass of water in one hand and medication in the other
May 31, 2024/Heart Health
How To Get Rid of Chest Pain at Home

If your provider has ruled out a serious cause, you can treat chest pain at home with antacids, inhalers or anti-inflammatory medications

Lifeguard looking at water with binoculars while two kids fly kites on the beach
May 23, 2024/Primary Care
12 Summer Health Risks To Watch Out For

From bug bites and blisters to sunstroke and swimming safety, here’s how to stay well this season

Person reclining on couch wearing compression socks
April 3, 2024/Heart Health
How To Raise Your Blood Pressure Immediately at Home

First things first — slowly sit or lie down

Person touching aching ear, with home remedies floating around
March 28, 2024/Ear, Nose & Throat
Home Remedies for an Ear Infection: What To Try and What To Avoid

Not all ear infections need antibiotics — cold and warm compresses and changing up your sleep position can help

Ingrown toenail on big toe
March 27, 2024/Orthopaedics
Ingrown Toenail? Try These Home Remedies

Pain meds, toenail protectors and petrolatum jelly may spare you a trip to a podiatrist

Trending Topics

Female and friend jogging outside
How To Increase Your Metabolism for Weight Loss

Focus on your body’s metabolic set point by eating healthy foods, making exercise a part of your routine and reducing stress

stovetop with stainless steel cookware and glassware
5 Ways Forever Chemicals (PFAS) May Affect Your Health

PFAS chemicals may make life easier — but they aren’t always so easy on the human body

jar of rice water and brush, with rice scattered around table
Could Rice Water Be the Secret To Healthier Hair?

While there’s little risk in trying this hair care treatment, there isn’t much science to back up the claims