Seasonal allergies (also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis) are common; about 8 percent of adults and children in the United States have them. Many complementary health approaches, including mind and body practices and natural products, have been studied for this condition.
- The results from several studies suggest that acupuncture may be helpful.
- Studies of the herb butterbur have had promising results. But there’s an important safety concern about it. The raw, unprocessed butterbur plant contains chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that can cause liver damage. Only processed products that are free from PAs are safe.
- Rinsing the sinuses with a neti pot (a device from the Ayurvedic tradition) or with other devices, such as nebulizers or spray, pump, or squirt bottles, may be helpful, but it’s important to use water that’s been specially treated for safety, not ordinary tap water.
- There isn’t conclusive evidence that honey, probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, or any other natural products (aside from butterbur) are helpful for seasonal allergies.