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If you’re like me, you have mixed feelings about this time of year. When spring and summer arrive, some of us get more than just nice weather and a tan. We also get allergies that make us sneeze, get a runny nose, and have itchy, watery eyes.

While medicine from the drugstore can help, many of us prefer going the natural route. In this article, we’ll look at some dietary supplements that may give you some of that longed-for relief from seasonal allergies.



Seasonal Allergy Relief Through Dietary Supplements


If you’re one of the millions who dread allergy season, quercetin may be a natural supplement worth trying. This powerful antioxidant has been shown in research to provide seasonal allergy relief by blocking histamine reactions.

It’s known for its anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effects. Histamine is the main culprit behind allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny noses, and itchy, watery eyes.

Quercetin works by preventing cells called mast cells from releasing too much histamine. When pollen or other allergens cause mast cells to burst and release histamine, quercetin can stabilize these cells so they don’t overreact. Less histamine means less congestion, sniffles, and other seasonal allergy miseries.

Multiple scientific studies have proven quercetin’s effectiveness for seasonal allergy relief. In one major research study, people who took quercetin had significantly better control over nasal symptoms like sneezing fits and runny noses compared to those taking a placebo pill.

While quercetin supplements are available, you can also get this helpful compound from good old nutritious foods.  Dietary sources include red onions, green apples with the skin on, berries, kale, tomatoes, and capers. During allergy season, pile on these quercetin-rich fruits and veggies to get natural seasonal allergy relief through dietary sources.

Of course, getting enough quercetin from food can be tough. That’s where quercetin supplements come in handy. They allow you to get a concentrated dose of this anti-allergy antioxidant to block histamine’s effects when pollen has you suffering. One of my favorite quercetin supplements is Quercetin Plus* by Natura Health Products.

Omega-3s Reduce Inflammation

If allergies have you feeling miserable when pollen is in the air, omega-3 supplements could help. These healthy fats can give you seasonal allergy relief through dietary supplements by reducing inflammation.

Inflammation causes many allergy issues like stuffy noses, sneezing, and itchy eyes. It happens when your immune system overreacts to allergens like pollen. Omega-3s work by calming down this overly aggressive inflammatory response. Studies found kids and adults with seasonal allergies had way fewer nasal and respiratory symptoms after taking omega-3 supplements.

The best omega-3s for allergy relief are EPA and DHA.  You can get these from foods like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. While eating these fish is great, not everyone is a fish fan.  No worries — fish oil capsules are an alternative means to get a concentrated anti-inflammatory dose of EPA and DHA.

Plant-based omega-3s from walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds can also help a little. But the kind found in fish is much more effective against inflammation.

In addition to relieving allergy symptoms like congestion, omega-3 fish oil pills provide overall anti-inflammatory benefits. They can help prevent other diseases caused by inflammation too, like heart disease and cancer. Taking them during allergy season may help you breathe easier and feel better.

Probiotics Balance the Immune System

When pollen has you sneezing and sniffling, an unexpected ally for seasonal allergy relief may be found in probiotic supplements and foods. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that support a healthy gut. Emerging research shows they can also calm the overactive immune response behind allergy symptoms.

Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria, some good and some bad. Having more of the “good” probiotic strains helps regulate inflammation levels throughout the body, including in the nasal passages and respiratory tract where allergies strike.

Multiple studies found people with seasonal allergies had reduced nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and other symptoms after taking probiotic supplements.

How do these good-for-you bacteria provide such effective seasonal allergy relief through dietary supplements? Probiotics help nurture a balanced immune system so it doesn’t overreact to harmless allergens like pollen. They also increase anti-inflammatory compounds and nutrients that counter allergy miseries.

You can get probiotics from supplements, but probiotic-rich foods are another great option. Good sources are yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Just be sure to choose varieties with active cultures to get the full allergy-fighting benefits of these probiotic powerhouses.

Be sure to look for probiotic supplements containing specific strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Start taking them a few months before allergy season hits for best results. Combining probiotics with a healthy diet, allergy medication, and other prevention steps can make your allergy symptoms far more manageable.

Vitamin C Reduces Nasal Symptoms

If you’re constantly reaching for antihistamines when allergy season rolls around, vitamin C might be a gentler way to calm allergic reactions. This powerful antioxidant nutrient has been shown to act as a natural antihistamine, making it useful for seasonal allergy relief through dietary supplements.

During allergy attacks, your body releases too much histamine, the compound that causes symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and watery, itchy eyes. Vitamin C can help by lowering histamine levels and reducing inflammation driven by the immune system’s overreaction to pollen and other allergens.

In clinical trials, people with hay fever who took vitamin C supplements experienced significantly better control over nasal symptoms like runny noses and sinus pressure compared to those taking a placebo pill. The vitamin C appeared to suppress the histamine response, similar to over-the-counter antihistamine drugs but without the sedating side effects.

Vitamin C is readily available in many tasty fruits and vegetables, making it easy to boost your intake through dietary sources. Top vitamin C foods include oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes. Simply making an effort to eat more of these vitamin C-rich foods during allergy season can provide natural antihistamine support.

Of course, getting therapeutic levels of vitamin C from food alone isn’t always possible. That’s where vitamin C supplements come in handy.  They allow you to increase your antihistamine intake to levels that research shows can minimize allergy symptoms when pollen makes you miserable.

Two Vitamin C supplements I often recommend are C Complete Powder* by Innate Response and Vitamin C-400* also by Innate Response.

Butterbur Plant Eases Nasal Congestion

When pollen has you sniffling and sneezing, an odd little plant called butterbur could offer some natural allergy relief.  This English plant has been used for centuries in herbal remedies to reduce inflammation and relieve spasms. Newer research shows butterbur may be just as effective as over-the-counter allergy meds for controlling nasal symptoms.

Butterbur contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can prevent the airways from becoming swollen and congested in response to allergens like pollen. It has a similar ability to antihistamine drugs for stopping excess mucus, runny noses, and nasal congestion without drying you out as much.

In one major study, scientists compared butterbur’s effects to the popular antihistamine cetirizine (Zyrtec) in people with seasonal allergies. They found that butterbur worked as well as the drug to relieve sneezing, runny noses, nasal congestion, and other hay fever symptoms. A bonus – butterbur didn’t cause the same drowsiness as many antihistamine medications.

While fresh butterbur itself isn’t safe to consume due to toxic compounds, purified butterbur extracts are available as allergy relief supplements, some combined with other herbs like feverfew. Look for products labeled “PA-free”, meaning they’ve had the problematic pyrrolizidine alkaloids removed through processing.

Choose butterbur extracts certified to be free of toxic contaminants called PAs for safe seasonal allergy relief.

Of course, it’s always wise to consult your doctor before trying any new supplements. But for stuffy-headed allergy sufferers, this plant could provide a natural, non-drowsy way to breathe easier when pollen is in the air.

Stinging Nettle

When allergy season hits, a surprising potential remedy may be found in an unlikely source – stinging nettle. This prickly plant that can cause a painful rash when touched has long been used in herbal medicine to treat hay fever and allergy symptoms.

So how can something so ouchy provide seasonal allergy relief? Research shows that stinging nettle contains compounds that act as natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatory agents in the body. This can help stop the release of histamine.

Several scientific studies have evaluated stinging nettle’s effects on seasonal allergies. In one trial, 57% of patients rated stinging nettle extract as effective in providing relief from allergy issues like runny noses.

In addition to histamine-blocking effects, stinging nettle may also contain anti-inflammatory nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and chlorophyll that calm overactive immune responses during allergy attacks. The spiky plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Just handle it with care!

While you probably don’t want to go picking fresh stinging nettle, freeze-dried extracts, and capsules are available for safe consumption. Stinging nettle can also be consumed as an herbal tea or tincture.

As with any supplement, check with your healthcare practitioner first, especially if taking medication. A good overall supplement I use during allergy season is D-Hist* by Ortho Molecular. It contains Vitamin C, Stinging Nettles, and Quercetin.


You’ve probably heard of spirulina as the hot new superfood powder that gives smoothies and energy bites a nutrition boost. But did you know this blue-green algae may also help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms like congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes?

Spirulina is packed with nutrients that have natural anti-inflammatory and immune-balancing properties. This makes it a potential ally for combating the overactive immune response that causes miserable allergy issues when pollen counts are high.

One of spirulina’s key benefits is its ability to prevent the release of histamine. By blocking histamine production, spirulina acts similar to over-the-counter antihistamine drugs but without sedating side effects. Multiple studies have found spirulina supplements helped reduce nasal allergies, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

In addition to histamine control, spirulina’s rich antioxidant and vitamin content is thought to further calm systemic inflammation driven by seasonal allergies. Its concentrations of nutrients like GLA, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and phycocyanin may help regulate the immune system.

You can get the benefits of spirulina by mixing the powder into smoothies, juices, yogurt, or baked goods. It has an earthy, slightly sea-veggie flavor that blends well with fruits and greens. Spirulina tablets and capsules are another convenient option for allergy relief through this dietary supplement.

While spirulina is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, be sure to buy from a quality source to avoid any contaminants. Those with certain conditions like autoimmune disorders may need to limit intake as well. As with any new supplement, get your doctor’s okay first, especially if you’re taking any meds.



Other Natural Remedies

While certain dietary supplements like quercetin, omega-3s, and probiotics show promise for seasonal allergy relief, they aren’t the only natural options worth considering. Several other remedies may help control symptoms like congestion, runny noses, and itchy eyes.

Nasal rinses: When pollen has your nose running and sinuses feeling stuffed up, a simple nasal rinse may offer much-needed relief. These saviors work by flushing out mucus, allergens, and irritants from your nasal passages using a saltwater solution.

Nasal rinses are easy to do at home with a neti pot or nasal squeeze bottle. You just mix up a saline solution, lean over a sink, and gently flush out one nostril while keeping your mouth open. The saltwater washes away pollen grains, pet dander, dust, and other allergens lodged in your nasal membranes.

Many allergy sufferers find that daily nasal rinses during peak allergy season dramatically reduce sinus pressure, nasal congestion, and the incessant need to constantly blow your nose. The rinses remove irritants and excess mucus, allowing you to breathe easier.

Some people use nasal rinses routinely to clear nasal and sinus issues related to colds, sinus infections, pollution exposure and even snoring. As long as you use a proper sterile saline solution, these rinses are safe, affordable, and can be done as often as needed.

While nasal rinses alone may not completely stop allergy symptoms, using them regularly can provide relief when combined with allergy medications, air filters, and avoiding triggers. For a simple, effective way to get sinus relief, a neti pot just might be your savior.

Air Purifiers: If you’re an allergy sufferer, investing in a quality air purifier for your home could help you. These handy appliances work by trapping pollen, dust, pet dander, and other airborne allergens so you can breathe easier indoors.

Most effective air purifiers use HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to capture the tiny allergen particles that make it through standard furnace filters. HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air that passes through the purifier.

By continuously cycling and filtering the air in your living spaces, purifiers prevent pollen, mold spores, and other allergy triggers from accumulating and circulating. This helps reduce exposure that causes flare-ups of sneezing, congestion, and itchy, watery eyes.

Air purifiers are especially helpful for controlling indoor allergens during peak outdoor allergy seasons when pollen is at its worst. Using them alongside other prevention methods like keeping windows closed can create a low-allergen haven.

While air purifiers can’t eliminate allergies, they can significantly reduce your overall allergen exposure. Many allergy sufferers find purifiers provide noticeable benefits and improve their quality of life when used regularly.

Local Honey: If you get bombarded with allergy symptoms every spring, a spoonful of local honey might be just what the beekeeper ordered. While it might sound strange, some people swear that locally produced honey can help build up immunity to local pollen allergens.

The theory is that the honey contains tiny amounts of the same pollen spores that give you sneezing fits and itchy eyes. Regularly consuming these small doses of local pollen, is thought to desensitize your body’s defenses so you don’t react as severely when allergy season arrives.

While there isn’t a solid scientific proof that local honey works for everyone, plenty of anecdotal evidence suggests it’s worth trying as a natural allergy remedy. Many people report that regularly eating local honey can minimize their allergy symptoms over time.

To get the benefits, you’ll want to use honey produced as close to your area as possible so it contains the specific pollen causing your allergies. Just a spoonful or two per day is typically recommended. Start taking it a few months before peak allergy season.

Of course, local honey shouldn’t be your only allergy solution. But when combined with supplements, air filters, and avoiding triggers, it could help make springtime sniffles and other symptoms more manageable. If nothing else, it’s a delicious home remedy to try!



When pollen has you feeling miserable with constant sneezing, stuffy noses, and itchy, watery eyes, certain dietary supplements could be a helpful alternative to medications.

From natural antihistamines like quercetin and vitamin C to anti-inflammatory omega-3s and immune-balancing probiotics, several nutrient-packed supplements show promise for calming seasonal allergy symptoms.

Of course, it’s important not to rely solely on supplements for managing allergies. They should be combined with other prevention strategies like reducing exposure to triggers, using air purifiers, rinsing nasal passages, and following your doctor’s treatment plan. Supplements work best as a complementary addition to an integrative allergy relief approach.

It’s also essential to choose high-quality supplements from reputable brands and sources. Be sure to check for proper dosing and safety information. Getting a doctor’s guidance, especially if you have other conditions or take medications, can ensure smart supplement use.

For many people, rotating different seasonal allergy relief supplements can maximize their effectiveness. For instance, taking quercetin in the morning, fish oil at lunch, and a probiotic in the evening. You can also get extra support with stinging nettle tea or a vitamin C-rich smoothie.

A registered dietitian can help you develop a personalized plan to help make it through the spring allergy season. Don’t get discouraged if one type of supplement doesn’t provide total relief on its own.

It often takes an individualized mix of dietary supplements paired with lifestyle strategies to finally get those allergies under control. Be patient and keep experimenting to find what works best for you.

Do you have any favorite hacks you use to make it through the allergy season maze? Leave a comment and let me know!


***Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice***



  • Susan Taylor, RDN LD

    Meet Susan, registered dietitian / nutritionist and fellow autoimmune warrior who is dedicated to helping women with autoimmune disease get their groove back. With the right diet and lifestyle changes, Susan empowers her clients to take control of their health and feel their best. When she's not busy saving the world you can find Susan strolling along the beach, jet-setting to new destinations, and soaking up quality time with family & friends.

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