Allergy sufferers know this spring has been tough.

Many will reach for over-the-counter medications when itchy eyes and runny noses return but natural alternatives may also help get some relief.

Co-founder of ModiHealth, double-board certified Doctor of Natural and Integrative Medicine, Dr. Rachel Eva Dew, says there are a few natural foods, supplements and lifestyle choices you can make to help decrease inflammation and reduce your symptoms.

During allergy season, Dr. Dew suggests adding these to your diet:

  • Fermented Turmeric
  • Quercetin
  • Arnica
  • Homeopathic allergy medicine

Other Supportive Foods & Supplements include:

  •  Ginger
  • Astragalus
  • Yarrow
  • Reishi mushrooms
  • Probiotics
  • Vitamin C
  • Manuka Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

While decreasing the amount of dairy, refined sugar and processed foods you consume.

Other natural ways to reduce symptoms like congestion are:

  • Steam
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Neti Pot

Dr. Dew says essential oils like Eucalyptus, Peppermint & Frankincense can be a powerful way to both reduce inflammation as well as open up the sinuses. But be sure to use 100% pure organic oils that are properly sourced.

As for lifestyle changes, you can protect yourself and decrease allergen exposure by doing the following:

  • Wash your hair more often
  • Clean & dust often
  • Wear a mask when you are out and about
  • Stay hydrated! Water, water, water!
  • Avoid things that deplete the immune system such as refined sugar and processed foods
  • Limit or avoid dairy
  • Get enough sleep
  • Reduce stress
  • Exercise indoors on days with higher pollen counts

When it comes to over-the-counter allergy medications, Dr. Dew says try to avoid them unless recommended by your doctor since allergy medicines tend to have a negative impact on gut health, whereas natural anti-inflammatories and other natural remedies are often as helpful with much fewer negative side effects.

Dr. Dew says this includes nasal spray, Advil and NSAID’s for sinus headaches, and medicated eye drops.

Finally, spring cleaning may also help reduce symptoms. Dr. Dew says a HIPPA air filter will take the pollen, dust, and mites out of the air and frequent cleaning will help to keep those allergens away, too.