Allergy season has arrived with all those annoying hay fever symptoms of nasal congestion, eye irritation and sore throat than can wreck a glorious Spring. You may be among the more than 50 million Americans the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says suffer from seasonal allergies every year. As pollen becomes more widespread every year, even those who have never suffered before may be joining the ranks of the wheezing and congested for the first time. You can’t prevent allergies, but the CDC says you can prevent allergic reactions.

You’ll have to try to take control of your environment and reduce the impact of pollen. Over-the-counter medicines are available, such as antihistamines to prevent the release of chemicals in your body that cause allergic reactions. You may want to consult an allergist to find out which pollen is making your life miserable. Don’t overlook natural remedies that won’t make you drowsy or cause side effects. Here are eight ways you can put nature to work for you in relieving allergy symtoms.

  1. Rely on an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Reduce the risk of allergies by boosting your immune system’s ability to repair your body and concentrate on eating nutrient-dense foods. Stock up on garlic, lemons, green leafy vegetables, probiotic-rich foods, bone broth, coconut milk, seeds, almond butter, and gluten-free flours and grains.

  1. Sip Local Raw Honey

Local raw honey is an ancient remedy that builds your body’s tolerance to local pollen and comes with the added bonus of tasting delicious. Add a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day to your tea.

  1. Find Quercetin in Foods

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that helps to control allergy symptoms by stabilizing your body’s release of histamines. Quercetin is found in foods such as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, onions and shallots, green tea and citrus fruits.

  1. Sip Some Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle leaf naturally controls histamines, according to research. Try it as a freeze-dried preparation before hay fever season begins, or use it as a tea or in tincture.

  1. Use a Neti Pot 

Neti pots are a natural when you want to clear your sinuses. These little devices cause practically no side effects as they eliminate congestion.

  1. Add Apple Cider Vinegar

Adding one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in your Neti pot solution at the first sign of an allergy attack will give you a natural “sinus flush.”

  1. Try Eucalyptus Oil

Put several drops of eucalyptus oil into your Neti pot, inhale it via a diffuser, or use it in your laundry detergent as an antimicrobial agent.

  1. Take Probiotics Supplements

It should come as no surprise that a strong immune system starts with a healthy gut when you realize more than 80 percent of your immune function is stored in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Research says a probiotic supplement can help reduce risk of allergies.

Read More: Seasonal Allergies: Nip Them in the Bud