Spring seems to have arrived after a shaky start! The last 2 posts on seasonal allergies covered supplements, herbs, probiotics, and nutraceuticals.
In addition to trying supplements either herbal or nutraceutical you could also try nasal irrigation for your allergies. Several studies have shown that nasal irrigation can reduce the symptoms of seasonal rhinitis.
One study listed below uses a product called Sinus Buster that contains homeopathic Capsicum (cayenne pepper) and eucalyptus. That is a homeopathic dilution of capsicum so don’t be confused and whip up a batch of capsicum spray for your nose. It will be wildly awakening. I have seen someone snuff capsicum tincture up their nose and they survived but it was an eye watering experience. In this study the homeopathic spray was used twice daily for 2 weeks and compared to a placebo spray. The treatment spray group had relief in under 1 min, decreased pain and pressure that persisted for 60 minutes. There was no rebound congestion.
The second study compared buffered hypertonic solution to normal saline solution in children with seasonal rhinitis. The patients used the spray twice a day for 4 months. The hypertonic group did show greater improvement at 2 weeks compared to the normal solution but this seems to equalize between the the 2 groups at 4 weeks. There might be some indication to try a hypertonic solution but if you can’t find it regular saline solution would be fine.
The last review took a broad look at nasal irrigation as an additional treatment to seasonal allergies. The reviewers chose 10 trials to report on. It was found that nasal symptoms improved 27.66% and there was a corresponding reduction in medication of 62.1% and an improvement in quality of life when patients used nasal irrigation.
To put a herbal spin on this I found an interesting article by Jim McDonald where he found an old recipe for Yerba Mansa nasal spray that he has tried and found to be very effective. I think it is an interesting idea to make a herbal saline solution. He also has a great article on sinusitis that has lots of great information in it.
Capsicum Nasal Spray for Non-allergic Rhinitis
Forty-two subjects were randomly assigned to ICX72 (Sinus Buster)* or control administered twice daily for 2 weeks. The formula ICX72 is a homeopathic preparation of Capsicum 3x and Eucalyptus. At the end of the study the ICX72 subjects compared to the placebo subjects had significant differences in the change of total nasal symptom scores and individual symptom scores. The ICX72 subjects average time to first time relief was 52.6 seconds and there was an improvement in nasal congestion, sinus pain, sinus pressure and headaches at 5,10,15 and 30 minutes persisting to 60 minutes for nasal congestion and sinus pain. There was no difference between groups in adverse effects. The ICX72 group compared to placebo subjects experienced no rebound congestion or impaired olfaction at the end of study.
*Active Ingredients: Capsicum 3x (capsaicin), Eucalyptus globulus TINC (eucalyptol) Inactive Ingredients: Ascorbic Acid (Crystallized Vitamin C), Purified Water, Rosemary Extract, Sea Salt, Vegetable Glycerin
A randomized, double-blind, parallel trial comparing capsaicin nasal spray with placebo in subjects with a significant component of nonallergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Aug;107(2):171-8. Epub 2011 Jun 29
Efficacy of buffered hypertonic saline nasal irrigation in children with symptomatic allergic rhinitis: a randomized double-blind study. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2012 Apr;76(4):583-8.
Nasal irrigation as an adjunctive treatment in allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2012 Sep-Oct;26(5):e119-25.