Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

While there isn't much evidence about how well they work, a number of people try alternative treatments for hay fever. These include:

  • Herbal remedies and supplements. Extracts of the shrub butterbur may help prevent seasonal allergy symptoms. If you do try butterbur, be sure to use a product that's labeled "PA-free," which indicates it's had potentially toxic substances removed. There's some limited evidence that spirulina and Tinospora cordifolia also may be effective. Though their benefits are unclear, other herbal remedies for seasonal allergies include capsicum, honey, vitamin C and fish oil.
  • Alternative therapies. Some people claim that therapies such as acupuncture and homeopathy may help with seasonal allergy symptoms. However, there's no clear evidence showing that these treatments work. Limited research suggests the use of intranasal phototherapy may be helpful in reducing nasal symptoms. However, the long-term effects of this recent therapy are unknown.
July 17, 2012