Allergies can be frustrating because there is no cure. Many people
try dietary supplements,
acupuncture, or other alternative treatments. You may find some symptom relief from these treatments, but most of them either
have not been studied or have not been proved effective in the treatment of
respiratory allergies. They generally are not harmful, but they can be costly
Acupuncture. Very thin needles are placed into the
skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture has reduced symptoms of
allergies or asthma in some people in some studies, but many experts do not agree with the
Homeopathy. Very small quantities of substances
believed to cause disease are used to treat the disease.
Neutralization therapy (also called symptom-relieving or tolerance therapy). Doses of the substance you are allergic to are placed
under your tongue. This is not the same thing as sublingual immunotherapy, in
which increasing amounts of the
allergen are placed under your tongue.
Detoxification. Detoxification is a regimen (such as
for 30 days) of exercise, forced sweating, niacin (a B vitamin), and drinking a
mixture of water, salt, and polyunsaturated oil. You avoid alcohol and
Enzyme potentiated therapy. A low dose of an
allergen is mixed with a very small quantity of a natural body enzyme,
beta-glucuronidase, and injected into the skin.
Biologically based therapies. Substances found in
nature are sometimes used to treat illness or promote wellness. They include
foods, vitamins, and both herbal and nonherbal dietary supplements. For
example, some people use butterbur extract to help intermittent allergic
rhinitis (which occurs fewer than 4 days a week or fewer than 4 weeks a
Some alternative remedies have the potential to be harmful:
Autogenous urine therapy. Protein is taken from your
urine and injected into the surface of the skin. There is a danger of harm to
the kidneys with this procedure.
Vitamin and nutrient supplements. You take high
doses of vitamins and other supplements. High doses of some supplements can
cause problems. For example, vitamin A poisoning can occur if you take large
amounts of vitamin A.
Environmental chemical avoidance. You avoid contact
with a long list of environmental chemicals and foods. This treatment can
seriously disrupt your life and isolate you from others.
Diet therapy. You eat only certain types of food and
take vitamins, minerals, and
amino acids. There could be a danger of malnutrition
if the diet is not balanced.
For more information on some of these treatments, see the topic
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.