Pollen allergies are the result of an immune system mistake. When the pollen that trees and grass release to fertilize each other lands on your nose membranes or in your eyes, your body thinks it's under attack. Your immune system releases an antibody called immunoglobulin E, which then triggers a large team of chemicals to fight off the invading pollen allergen. One of the chemicals is called histamine, and it's responsible for most of your allergic symptoms, including sneezing, congestion, itchy or watery eyes and a runny nose.
While some people prefer to go to the drug store for over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants, other people prefer to look for home remedies. The home remedies for pollen allergies include various foods, herbal supplements and homemade nasal sprays. One of the most highly regarded home remedies is the herb butterbur; it comes from a shrub and can be ingested via tablets. Butterbur takes the place of antihistamines but doesn't cause drowsiness. Other herbs that are considered helpful in the fight against pollen allergies are freeze-dried nettles and goldenseal, which can be made into a tonic.
Certain nutrients are also supposed to be helpful in fighting pollen allergies. Quercetin, grape seed extract and vitamin C are all good sources of allergy relief. You can buy supplements or take them in through the foods you eat. Apples, bananas, onions and red wine all contain allergy-fighting nutrients. Plus, eating spicy foods like cayenne pepper, ginger, onion, garlic and fenugreek helps to thin the mucus that causes congestion. Rinsing your nose with saline is also a good trick to dilute mucous and get allergens out of your system. However, for some people, eating bananas, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, chamomile and Echinacea can worsen allergic symptoms.