Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, helping to reduce nasal secretions and inflammation. Flavonoids such as quercetin, rutin, and hesperidin also have antihistamine properties and work well with vitamin C. Luckily, this vitamin and the flavonoids occur together in many favorite garden foods, such as berries, plums, citrus fruits, peppers, spinach, and broccoli.
Nettle is useful for reducing hay fever symptoms. Take a tincture made from the leaves. Use 2-4 mL three times per day. Nettle leaves can also be taken in tea or capsule form.
Angelica comes to the rescue for hay fever as well as other allergic reactions. It contains compounds that block the body's production of certain antibodies (IgE) that are made
as the result of an allergic response. Use about 1/2 teaspoon per cup of water for tea.
Many studies have proved licorice's ability to reduce allergic symptoms and decrease inflammation. Substances in this herb are able to enhance the body's cortisol, a hormone that decreases inflammation. Licorice makes your body's own cortisol last longer, reducing inflammation without ill side effects.
Chili pepper, or cayenne, contains capsaicin. This active ingredient helps desensitize the mucosa that line the airways, thus preventing them from secreting excessive fluids and becoming inflamed when exposed to irritants.
In larger doses taken for long periods, licorice can deplete the body of potassium unless it is deglycyrrhizinated. In susceptible people taking large doses, licorice can raise blood pressure.
Allergies can cause a great amount of discomfort -- but with some simple herbs, taken as teas, capsules or eaten in foods, you can find relief from the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies.