Avoid using window fans to cool rooms, because they can
pull pollen indoors.
Keep windows closed when driving, using the air
conditioner if necessary, to avoid allergens.
Limit your time outdoors when ragweed pollen counts are
highest — from mid-August until the first frost.
Neti Pots. These are small vessels shaped like an
Aladdin’s Lamp. Mix a quarter to a half teaspoon of
noniodized table salt into a cup of lukewarm water and
pour it into the pot. (You can adjust the amount of
salt, depending on what feels most comfortable.) Lean
over a sink with your head slightly cocked to one side,
then put the spout of the neti into one nostril and
allow the water to drain out the other nostril. Use
about half of the solution, then repeat on the other
side, tilting your head the opposite way. Gently blow
out each nostril to clear them completely. Neti pots are
widely available online and at natural food stores. Use
your pot about twice a day during allergy season,
especially in the morning and after spending time
outdoors. You also can use a neti pot before bed to
prevent snoring caused by allergies and promote optimal
Quercetin: 1,000 milligrams a day, taken between meals.
It’s best to start treatment six weeks before allergy
season. Those with liver disease shouldn’t use quercetin.
Allergy Fighting Foods: People eating foods rich in
omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to suffer allergy
symptoms than those who don't regularly eat these foods.
Omega-3s help fight inflammation and can be found in
cold-water fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil, as well as
grass-fed meat and eggs. To help keep airways clear when
pollen counts are high, add a dash of horseradish, chili
peppers or hot mustard to your food — all act as
natural, temporary decongestants.
Stinging Nettle: 300 milligrams daily. You also can make
your own tinctures or teas with stinging nettle.
(Contact with the stinging hairs on fresh nettle can
cause skin inflammation, so wear protective gloves when
handling it.) For more on making your own herbal
remedies, see Richo Cech’s Making Plant Medicine
(Horizon Herbs, 2000).
Butterbur: 32 milligrams divided into four doses. NOTE:
butterbur is in the same family as ragweed, so it could
worsen allergy symptoms in some cases. Effects of taking
butterbur over a long period of time also are unknown.