(720) 727-7105 | 400 McCaslin Boulevard, Suite 210, Louisville, CO 80027

Kids got allergies? Good news: There are many natural remedies for seasonal allergies that kids can use. Some work gently and quickly to ease sneezing, runny nose, weeping stinging eyes, or congestion. Others work wonders when kids use them year round to maintain a lower inflammatory load in the body overall, and it’s ideal to use these ongoing. In my pediatric nutrition practice, I work these into many of my care plans and love to watch kids feel and function better as a result. You can view these in my dispensary here.

Another bonus of natural remedies for seasonal allergies is a lack of side effects. Kids can avoid side effects that can occur with anti-histamine medications, like sleepiness, hyperactivity, or insomnia. Antihistamine drugs can also interact with some other medications, including psychiatric medications children use for anxiety, depression, or hyperactivity. Natural remedies for seasonal allergies suggested here have no known drug interactions, but it’s best to avoid mixing herbs and supplements with medicines unless your pharmacist or physician says it’s okay.

For quick relief, turn to these natural remedies for seasonal allergies:

1 – Homeopathics – I am most impressed with the swift action that homeopathic medicines can have! These are easy to administer as tiny oral pellets that dissolve under the tongue; even young infants can easily be given homeopathic remedies. Homeopathics work on an energetic level. If this is too much woo for you, I’d still challenge you to give this a try before passing it over. Here are some tried and true homeopathic remedies for seasonal allergies; there are many others. Learn more here, or purchase this favorite reference of mine for using homeopathy at home.

  • For  itchy burning eyes and burning clear nasal discharge that streams from nostrils and irritates the upper lip, try Allium cepa 30c pellets.
  • For hay fever that almost exclusively affects the eyes, with swelling, light sensitivity, and profuse burning tears, try Euphrasia 30c pellets.
  • For overall allergy symptoms including hives, consider Histaminum hypericum 30c pellets. This remedy helps regulate the body’s production of histamine.

2 – Nettles – Nettle is a standout in the lineup of natural remedies for seasonal allergies. It has anti-histamine power, and inhibits mast cells, which are another key component of allergic reactions. Like quercetin, it interrupts enzymes in cells that trip inflammatory cascades. It seems to most relieve itching and sneezing. Sip it as a tea, or choose from the wide variety of available capsules, chewables, or tinctures. 100-300 mg daily for children is a usual dose. A favorite option for children is D-Hist Junior chewables, which includes nettles. Children may safely use 4-6 chewables daily when symptoms are high.

3 – Quercetin – This is one of many flavonoids, which are phenolic compounds found in many plants, including herbs, teas, fruits, vegetables, roots, and wine. Quercetin has broad anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It is not an anti-histamine, but instead inhibits enzymes that start inflammatory cascades in cells. You’ll find lots of quercetin in onions, raw apples, berries, and broccoli. It is widely available as a supplement in capsules or in chewable blends for kids. Quercetin can protect against damage caused in tissues and cells by swelling and inflammation. It can also chelate iron. If your child has low iron or anemia, use this with professional supervision. If your child has iron overload, quercetin may help. Otherwise, usual doses are 250-500 mg daily for school aged kids. Quercetin is an ingredient in D-Hist Junior, like nettles.

4 – Fenugreek – Like quercetin, fenugreek has strong anti-oxidant and free-radical-scavenging power, meaning it will help cells avoid damage from reactive oxygen species in cells, when inflammation from allergies is high. It has a long history in traditional medicine across many cultures, and has been used in breastfeeding to increase milk supply. For seasonal allergies, its astringent properties may help drain inflammation in sinuses and lungs, and break apart mucus trapped in those spaces. Available in tinctures or capsules.

5 – Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine! Years ago, researchers found that a 2 gram (2000 milligram) dose of Vitamin C lowered histamine in test subjects by nearly 40%. It actually interrupts histamine formation in the first place. Two grams is an ordinary dose that you may have used before during colds or flu. Vitamin C is a natural laxative too. For some kids, this dose may loosen bowels (perhaps a desired effect, if your child has constipation). Start at about 100 mg and work up slowly, to make sure you don’t trigger diarrhea. Taking this with bioflavonoids makes C even more effective. Choose from chewables or liquids if your child doesn’t swallow capsules.

Butterbur6 – Butterbur – This herb showed itself to be as effective as Allegra in a clinical trial for hay fever. The same outcome occurred in another trial that compared butterbur to Zyrtec. And again when butterbur was tested against placebo. No side effects were noted in these trials. So, it works – but can your child use it? It hasn’t been tested in children for allergies as far as I could find, but it has been tested in children for migraines, with no toxicity or ill effects observed. This makes it a possible winner for kids who need allergy relief but get too drowsy or activated with the usual over the counter drugs. Dosage tested in children was 50-150 mg daily for four months.

 

7 – Curcumin / Turmeric – Turmeric is a root that contains curcumin. Curcumin inhibits mast cell response, which means it may have anti-allergy effects. It’s easy to buy the root itself, peel it, and drop it into your kids’ favorite smoothies or popsicle blends. The root is soft (unlike stringy tough ginger root) and has a bright floral fragrance and taste. You can also buy curcumin as a supplement in liquid, capsule, or chewable form. My favorite for kids is Apex Turmero Liquid, a highly concentrated and no added sugar liquid that comes with a handy oral syringe (to avoid orange stains from spills). You might also love turmeric powder in bulk, for cooking, especially curries. Here are some tips on how to eat more of it!

For best practices to get the most out of natural remedies for seasonal allergies, make these part of your kids’ care plans year round:

8 – Non- inflammatory diet – Clean up your kids diets by minimizing trigger foods that worsen inflammatory reactions. If your child has rashes or eczema that come and go, hives, wheezing, or asthma, test for food reactions, not just inhaled allergens., you might want to test for both food allergy (IgE) and food sensitivity (IgG). Avoiding trigger foods can markedly improve respiratory and skin symptoms. This testing is a routine part of my pediatric nutrition practice. Sugary processed foods and processed fats also worsen inflammation in the body, so minimize those by replacing them with organic whole foods and healthy fat sources (fish oils, avocado, eggs or meats, nuts and seeds, flax meal, hemp seeds, coconut oil, butter, ghee, olive oil).

9 – Probiotics – Probiotics help reduce upper respiratory infections and inflammation, and can reduce seasonal allergy symptoms like rhinitis (runny nose). Make them a routine part of your child’s daily food and supplement plan. Lactobacillus strains that have been proven effective at reducing allergic symptoms in sinuses are L. paracasei, L. acidophilus, and L. salivarius. Bifido species were helpful too. These strains can be found at relevant potencies in better probiotic brands, such as Klaire, Seeking Health, and many others I rely on in my pediatric nutrition practice. Some strains are actual histamine degraders, which makes Seeking Health Probiota HistaminX one of my top picks. Powders, chewables and capsules are available.

10 – Omega 3 Oils – A definite go-to for natural remedies for seasonal allergies are omega 3 fatty acids. You can use theses fish oil or algal oil supplements for their anti-inflammatory power. It’s difficult to eat enough fish, flax, and other foods to get relevant doses of omega 3 fatty acids during allergy season. I typically use 2-4 grams (that’s 2000-4000 milligrams) of DHA and EPA omega 3 oils in my pediatric nutrition care plans. For kids, concentrated products can deliver 1200 mg per half teaspoon (like Pharmax High DHA Fish Oil) or 1200 mg per tablespoon (like Barleans Key Lime Pie Fish Oil. Gel caps are available too. Note that better products are third party screened for mercury, purity, and potency. Don’t buy cheaper products that carry only a few milligrams of EPA or DHA in a mix of a lot of pro-inflammatory oils.

11- Zinc – Depleted zinc status – a common finding in my pediatric nutrition practice – can escalate and prolong allergic conditions. Keep status for this important mineral in top shape year round for your kids, with zinc rich foods like red meat, nuts, seeds, chick peas, lentils, or dark cocoa. In practice, depending on findings from nutrition assessment, I will add 15 to as much as 50 mg zinc daily for a school aged child. Zinc is also an important nutrient for attention and focus: Much of it is stored in the brain. While it’s safe to supplement, if you use higher doses of zinc long term, ask your doctor to monitor your child’s iron status, as too much zinc can deplete iron stores.

There are many natural remedies for seasonal allergies that kids can use! These are my most frequently picked options in pediatric nutrition practice. Drop a line here and share what has worked for you.