How I Cured My Seasonal Allergies Forever


If you suffer from seasonal allergies (tree, grass, or weed pollen) then take note.  What I’m sharing with you took me 14 years to learn and relieved me of allergy symptoms forever.

I began suffering from horrible seasonal allergies around the age of 13.  You know what I’m talking about: constant sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy skin, and a general lethargic feeling.

This lasted a few months out of the year.  As much I enjoyed Michigan’s Spring and Fall weather they were pretty dreadful at the same time.

To combat these symptoms I did exactly what most other people, and probably you, did.

I started downing over-the-counter Benadryls. They worked well for a few hours, but made my lethargy much more pronounced.

It was like I was a walking zombie. I would sleep during almost every class in school and could just barely make it through some days.

So I took the next “logical” step and went to see my Doctor.

What did he do?

Well, what do Doctors do?

Treat symptoms, not the root cause, and write prescriptions.

As an aside: If you have allergies of any kind or annoying medical problems (itching, for example) you can make an appointment with an Allergist to get a full round of allergy testing done. You will learn in just a few hours almost everything you’re allergic to (pollen, molds, dust mites, animal dander, insect stings, foods and some medicines). One of my mistakes was seeing my regular doctor instead of a specialist.

So, of course, my Doctor prescribed the advertising darling of the time: Claritin.

It didn’t work for me.  At all.

Next prescription: Allegra.

It worked better than Claritin, but still not well enough to justify taking the pill every day.

Back to the Doctor for something “better.”

He prescribed Zyrtec, which at the time, I believe, was fairly new.  The good Doc basically told me it was my last option.

And thankfully it worked better than anything else I’d tried.

I didn’t like the fact that I had to take a pill every day.  But Zyrtec worked about as well as Benadryl for a longer amount of time and it didn’t make me drowsy.

Since it worked so well for the few months per year I needed it I stuck with Zyrtec for quite a few years.

Then at the age of 23 I moved to Florida and for whatever reason Zyrtec stopped working.

It was almost as if I was not taking allergy medicine.  All my symptoms were back.  Red, itchy eyes, itchy skin, constant sneezing and runny nose.

I have 2 explanations for this:

1) The pollen in Florida is stronger or more prevalent than the pollen I was used to in Michigan. (Yes, I know the pollen is different due to the different plants, grass, and trees, but that should hold no weight against the mighty Zyrtec, right?)


2) After years of using Zyrtec I became immune.

Whatever the problem I needed a solution.

By this time in my life I started to research symptoms, their causes, and alternative treatments on my own.

Which led me to Eastern medicine.  I began an acupuncture and herbal treatment under the care of an Eastern medicine practitioner. (I’m not sure if they’re Doctors, per se.)

If you’ve never done acupuncture, or are afraid of needles, it doesn’t hurt. When the needles were inserted or twisted at certain points in my body I would get an interesting sensation.  Either a full body jolt or a localized sensation at the point of contact.

But there was never any pain.

In addition to the acupuncture I was prescribed herbal pills. 3 times per day I was to swallow 3 pills. Hey, if it worked I was all for it.

But, you guessed it.  It didn’t do a thing.

By this time I was at wit’s end.

My Eastern medicine “health practitioner” suggested I try local raw honey.  If you’ve been to a health food store in your area you’ve probably seen this.  It’s a thick liquid and looks almost dirty. :)  That’s the honeycomb.

2 Tablespoons per day every day for a year.  That means it was to be taken every single day even when I had no allergy symptoms.  If it worked then I was to continue eating the honey daily.

I’m pretty good at delaying gratification so I gave it a shot.  (I know honey isn’t vegan, but this was before going vegan.)

The reasoning behind taking raw honey with honeycombs is that it will have small amounts of local pollen (allergen) and with regular exposure your body will develop an immunity.

Either my immune system is a freak of nature or these alternative remedies just don’t work.

Raw honey didn’t help.

I was age 25 at this time and I gave up.

I’d just deal with the allergies and take Benadryl any time I simply couldn’t handle the symptoms.

I was back to square one, but I really didn’t think there were any other options.

Have you ever felt like that?  Have you ever put a lot of energy into something only for it to pan out in an undesirable way?

I’m not a quitter, but the stress of not being able to find a solution was worse than dealing with the allergies.  It just wasn’t worth it anymore.

Then in late 2007 I got a sinus infection.

You’d think that’s completely unrelated to allergies.

But bear with me.

By this time in my life I stopped going to doctors altogether.  In an emergency like the time I caught on fire? Sure, I’ll see a doctor.  An illness (i.e. sinus infection) that will pass on its own?  No way.

My Sister-In-Law told me about something that was supposed to help with sinus infections.  She’d never tried it so she had no first hand experience, but I’m willing to give almost anything a shot.

Enter: the Neti pot.

Neti Pot


No beating around the bush, a Neti pot is a basically a teapot full of salt water you stick into your nostrils to flush out all the mucus, pollen, and other debris out of your nasal passages. :)

It’s known as nasal irrigation.

To be clear, using the Neti you pour 4 ounces of salt water into one nostril and it flows out the other.  Then you repeat with another 4 ounces in the other nostril.

Yes, it’s kind of weird.  Yes, it sounds uncomfortable (it’s not!).  Yes, it works.

After a few days my sinus infection was gone without seeing a doctor or taking any prescriptions.

You know when you have a cold and you can’t breathe through your nose?

The Neti pot clears it right up.

If your cold is severe the mucus will build back up pretty quickly.  But regular use 2-3 times/day while sick (and especially when you just start feeling an illness coming) will kick your infection to the curb without medication.

After this great success I read more about nasal irrigation and its benefits.

Symptoms of seasonal allergies are caused by breathing in pollen, right?

When you breathe that pollen through your nose it just sits in your nasal passsages causing your misery!

It’s only logical that if you can remove the allergen from your system you won’t have symptoms, right?

How obvious and yet how illusive.

When the Spring 2008 allergy season rolled around I started using the Neti pot upon waking and then in the middle of the day (around 6-7 PM).

You probably already know the result, but I’ll state it anyway:

I haven’t had symptoms of seasonal allergies since then!

Continue reading if you have more interest in using a Neti pot.  If not, no need to waste your time. :)

If you’re like me and hate your allergies or getting the annual cold here are a few more tips for using a Neti pot:

1) If you have a really stuffed up nose the regular Neti pot won’t build up enough pressure to push the salt water through your nasal passages. In that case you’ll need one of the plastic squeeze bottle-style nasal irrigators that push the salt water through with a little pressure. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt. It’s not like a high pressure hose, but more like a weak faucet.

2) Use either luke warm filtered water or boiled tap water cooled to luke warm. If you use boiling water you’re going to burn your nasal passages so be sure to let it cool. I speed the cooling process with ice cubes.

3) If your symptoms are really bad use the Neti upon waking, in the afternoon, and about an hour before bed.

4) For the most part I use premixed Neti salt packets, but you can also use 1/8 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water and you’ll get the same effect. I use sea salt on the occasions that I do mix my own solution.

5) DO NOT use water without salt. It is very painful.  Yes, I’ve tried it so you don’t have to.

I’ve introduced the Neti pot to countless people, and every single one of them now swears by it.  Have you tried one before?  Let me know.

If you haven’t tried one before please post in the comments and let me know how well it works for you. :)


  1. Good stuff – I’m going to suggest this to my wife. She has terrible problems with seasonal allergies and the doctors/prescriptions don’t help (as you’ve explained here).

    So… you’re a vegan too, eh? You just keep getting more and more interesting! Would love to see a blog post about your experiences with the process of going vegan and why you did it.

    • Hey Dave,

      Thanks for posting…I highly recommend a Neti pot for your wife. You can get them at CVS or Walgreen’s for about $15 with 50 salt packets. I have the NeilMed Neti pot (uses gravity) and Sinus Rinse (uses slight pressure for when you’re stuffed up). Let me know how it works for her!

      Vegan blog post coming soon too. I have about 2,000 words written, but need to edit it a lot. Still lots of info I left out. :) Thanks again!

  2. I have tried the Neti Pot and it works like a charm. I just had a bad spell with allergies recently and I forgot all about that thing, but YES use it! I’m going to start again!

    • Hi Ali, thanks for posting! Yeah, the Neti pot is ridiculously extraordinary. :) I even took mine to Germany, but I think I might leave it home for Australia/NZ.

  3. Hi, I have allergies as well and I am at the point of herbal remedies. I am living in the caribbean so I dont have an idea of where to get a neti pot. I came across it in other researches but never thought it could be used as a cure for my allergies. I think I will try it as soon as I can buy one. Thank you for your post.

    • Hi Petulah,

      Thanks for commenting! I’m in the little town of Alice Springs, in the red centre of Australia, right now. At a local health store they sell neti pots! I couldn’t believe it, but it seems they are available even in the middle of nowhere. :) Good luck finding one in the Caribbean!


  4. Your story could be my story (right down to Michigan). I’d given up on all the meds which only sorta helped. My new doctor actually recommended a neti pot and I gave it a go. Yes, 2x/day whether “I need it or not” and it is FANTASTIC. I am 6 wks. into it and am so much better. Better than I’ve been in years. I’m recommending it to everyone.

    • Hey Carolyn,

      Awesome! It’s great to hear about another neti convert and it’s outstanding that a Doctor actually recommended it to you. I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that.

      Thank you for letting me know!

  5. Hey Karol
    my husband and I are from Ballarat, Australia, but we have lived in Shanghai, China for 5 years. We started using a neti about 15 years ago, recommended by our acupuncturist in Ballarat. It has since traveled with us to America, Europe and now rests by the salt in our Shanghai kitchen.
    I will now subscribe to your blog after discovering it through another favourite, and other blogs of Leo’s.
    Enjoy the rest of your time in amazing Australia and Neverland New Zealand

      • Hey Karol,

        Sis is a bit intrigued and I hope she’ll be brave enough to try!

        So DIY is 1/8 teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of water= 236.588237 ml or 2.36 dl? (about a yogurt cup) Is the teaspoon ‘high’ or ‘low’? It sounds like very little salt!
        Can you just use lukewarm water (with salt) if it’s not pre-filtered or pre-boiled if the local water quality is good?
        And basically you use it during the whole allergy season, or if you feel a cold coming on? (No need for it in Winter or non-allergy season..?)

        Were you a vegan/vegetarian when you started using it, or was that before? (Just wondering if there could be a connection there too?)

  6. I couldn’t agree more. After spending a fortune on doctors (one of them wanted to give me shots at a total cost of over $1,000) and medicine that kept me enslaved and in the end didn’t work, I discovered the neti pot.


    Actually I use a large syringe (minus the needle, of course) with saline solution I buy cheaply at the pharmacy (in small bottles, as even in the fridge they supposedly develop fungus after 15 days). I warm the solution 5 seconds in the microwave. That’s because I can’t find non-iodized salt where I live, and that’s what you’re supposed to use.

    After years of allergy, I’m now free of both my allergic misery and Big Pharma! Yey!… :-)

    • Irene,

      Thank you for sharing! Yeah, the neti is definitely an enemy of the industry. At least those of us smart enough to seek alternative solutions are sticking to them. ;)


    • I guess sometimes I can’t get away from that. I didn’t even notice or think about it until you pointed it out. Now if only I was selling Neti pots. :)

      • lol! I was wondering about this a bit & was looking a bit for a neti link! :)

        Actually my Mum says she cured her colds/stuffed nose with salty water after a recommendation from the neighbour who’s used salt water effectively too, without the neti – though it might be easier with it! (she’s asking about anything for the throat/coughing?;) She was told ‘no gargling’ by the doctor (?) Apparently she’s allergic to central heating or something? She says she gets these colds every time the heating season starts, hmm? Any ideas?)

        • I would think that when the heating season starts, the open windows close, causing you home to become warm cozy bacteria farm.

  7. I remember my grandfather sprinkling salt and adding warm water in the cup of his hand and then “snorting” it. As I grew up and learned about more natural ways to do things, I heard about the Neti pot and realized he was on to something way back then. I now use one of those big syringes. I’ll admit the first time I was a bit afraid I’d blow my brains out, but it worked fine with gentle pressure. Now I use it at the first sign of congestion…after reading this, may start using it daily. Thanks for the post.

    • Hi Joyce,

      Thank you! I have a friend who snorts salt water. :) And yes, I also use the neti at the first sign of congestion. It works very well.


  8. Hi Karol, did you also get rid of the sinus pressure or head pressure which I usually get constantly, esp. after I finished eating any type of food. My forehead and eyes will get tight. I will look diff in the mirror and won’t be able to think right…

  9. Karol – I agree, Neti pots rock! I started feeling like I was coming down with something, so I immediately did my salt water gargle, and my Neti pot flush. Did that 2 – 3 times a day, and managed to wipe out whatever was trying to take hold.

    I’m a major believer in using the most natural methods possible to maintain our health.

    I just found your blog via a Facebook posting from a friend – I’ll be visiting often!

    Becky… :o)

    • Hey Becky!

      Isn’t it crazy how well it works? 2-3 times a day is exactly what I do when I feel a cold might be coming on or if I’ve been hanging around somebody who has a cold.

      Thank you for reading and thank your friend for me! ;)


  10. Hey Karol,
    OK, you found the way to solve the consequence, but what about THE CAUSE?
    Ask yourself first, if you don’t get it, ask me…
    Be blessed

  11. Hi Karol, how you’re doing?
    …trees, weeds, pollen… NOOOOOO! Leave them alone, they have better job to do, than to bother with your allergy…
    Are you missing something (GREAT Q.) = No & Yes!
    No – because you are perfect JUST as you are!
    Yes – you are missing Consciousness that You ARE Perfect!(but WE all do!).
    Now, start and check this site:
    I suggest you to read FIRST the interview (find link at the bottom of the page)
    Let me know… I’m by your side, MUCH LOVE!
    ps by the way, I used to live in Sarasota ;D for almost 5 years.

    • Looks to me like every product sold on that site deals with treating the symptoms not the cause. You’re contradicting yourself. And you just lost me (and maybe every other reader of this site).

      You are making assumptions about perfection. When did I ever state I didn’t think I was perfect just the way I am?

      You’re taking illogical tangents. Curing allergies which are caused by environment has no bearing on whether someone thinks they’re fine just the way they are.

      I never stated I wanted the trees, weeds, and flowers to go away (you’re assuming I don’t leave them alone). On the contrary, during high allergy season I go outside more than ever. When I come back home I flush out all the pollen with a neti pot and all is good with the world. :)


  12. I don’t get seasonal allergies – I’m more affected by indoor air pollution and/or airflow being cut off (during the Chicago winters when we have to close all the windows). For many years I would get congested every time I went to bed. This affected my energy level because I wasn’t getting enough oxygen when I slept.

    I discovered the Neti pot 12 years ago and it has greatly improved my quality of life. My wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law gave it a try and were all able to get off their allergy meds as a result!

    It’s unfortunate that many people who would benefit from it won’t give it a try because it’s not very sexy (like taking pills?).

    • Thank you for adding to this Frankie!

      I hope other people who maybe don’t have allergies, but live with a similar situation, take your advice.

  13. Came down with a bit of a cold a few days ago and was in bed reading through some of your old posts when I came across. It seemed all too relevant.

    Did some research and decided to pick up one of these:

    Wow. I can breathe again.

    My family has always used sudafed as a decongestant and it has always sorda maybe worked. I’d feel a bit better but it was kinda hard to tell.

    This is not like that. One second your stuffed up, the next second your not.

    Thanks for the heads up Karol!



  14. About two years ago I started to get really bad sinus infections – I would try to ride them out but they’d lead to secondary infections. In some cases, they were giving me uncomfortable dental sensations. Generally, the only solution were antibiotics, which messed up everything else in my body along the way (like digestion). The total effect on my immune system was really bad – my body could only fight off so much at once.

    I started to flush my sinuses with salt water and for the first time recovered from an infection without prescription medication. It’s too soon to say this is what will work for me all the time, every time, but you can bet I’m sticking with it.

  15. Hey Karol,
    after reading this post a few months ago I decided to give it a try, and picked up a neti pot at my local pharmacy in amsterdam and it works great! the brand is Rhinohorn, it i sold internationally in quite a few countries:

    Because I have many allergies besides pollen (including house dust or rather the excretions of the mites living in it, cats and chlorinated water) I’m sticking with my medication for now and I am considering immunotherapy for the future. So no miracle cure, but it s a big help and a relief to be able to unblock my sinuses. thanks a lot!

    • Hey Maarten,

      Thanks for sharing. Those other allergies you have (besides the water) should be knocked out by the neti. Maybe use it 2-3 times/day?

      Thanks again!


  16. I have not had a sinus infection in about 8 months! Before that, I used to get one almost every other month.

    Love the neti pot so much, I helped make a music video about it! Enjoy – it’s hillarious:

    • this is amazing! :) Did you discover the neti because of this site? Or did you just randomly find this site searching for neti? Either way, thanks Rodney!

      • Found this site searching for neti, and just wanted to give a shout-out. It really is a great, simple, effective device. And feel free to share that video with anyone and everyone! Keep up the great work on this site!

  17. Raw honey seems to work well when you do it as a baby for some reason-worked for me anyway!

    I have heard rave reviews before about this Neti pot idea. Perhaps it would work for allergies from exposure to secondhand smoke too.

    Also-I’d like to offer my services as a proofreader for your blog. ;)

    Illusive? I think you mean “elusive.”


    • Yeah, I mentioned raw honey in the article…didn’t work for me. And it’s not vegan anyway. :)

      Thanks for pointing out the word usage mistake. I’m going to leave it for posterity!

  18. Be careful with the word “cure”. The Neti Pot doesn’t “cure” allergies. It does lessen the symptoms caused by allergies. If your allergies are mild to moderate – using the Neti Pot regularly throughout the day will help A LOT… but – it CURES nothing. You still have allergies. The Neti Pot will come too late if used AFTER allergen exposure / because your body will react immediately to the exposure. However if you use the Neti Pot regularly you can learn to lesson your overall allergy experience and it also does “clear” the sinus cavity of bacteria. Don’t forget to WASH out your Neti Pot ocaisionally…

    • Hi Nancy,

      My definition of cure is the complete lack of symptoms. Maybe my allergies are still there, but if they’re not affecting me, then I’m cured.

      As far as washing, yes, I wash mine after every use. :)


  19. Hi Karol,
    I am from India and practice yoga regularly Neti is part of yoga shatkarm… I also used to suffer from allergies and my symptoms were same as yours… believe me I had also tried all kind of medicine and completely clue less then I started doing Yoga and after doing Neti.. it just vanished… one thing I would like to say.. Please clear all your water inside your nose after neti… caused remain may cause infection.. and if you do shashank aasan and anulom vilom pranayam after that… it is very useful..

    • Hi Anurag,

      Thank you for your additional input. Yes, it is good to get all the water out. Usually that happens when I blow my nose after using the neti.

      I have not tried yoga after using it though. Maybe a good idea.


  20. Hey Karl,

    Stumbled on your site just now..Anyways since I’ve been living with allergies, I thought I’ll read on and it was worth it.. I just wanted to say that its a proven method of clearing off your sinuses and allergies. There is a procedure called “Nasyam” in Ayurveda which is highly advanced procedure of the process you described in here. Maybe you can try it out when you visit India next time. My personal experience is that you get rejuvenated after this. Keep up your good work..


    • Thanks Atterno! I haven’t heard of Nasyam, but I know I don’t really need it since what I’m doing already works. :)


      • I know that.. But I am talking about complete cure here(which is really possible)… You do it a few times and the sensitivity of the mucosa to allergens really reduces… anyways its always upto you to try out.. :)

  21. A little late on the comment, but I just found this post yesterday. I’ve got a bad cold right now, I drink ginger tea (ginger root, peel, cut and boiled in water until its concentrated) and that helps quite a bit. But I’m still plugged up. So today I decided to try the neti pot. I’ve only just started using it, but already I can feel an improvement. $20 and so some salt to help get rid of a cold, might be one of the best investments ever.

  22. Karol,

    A little off the subject but I was wondering if you read about any alternative treatments for auto-immune diseases. More specifically, I’m researching how to cure my rheumatoid arthritis. Any ideas? Anyone?

    Thanks in advance for any leads,

  23. After two sleepless nights because of my blocked nose, I started searching online after waking up at the third night. When I saw the words nasal irrigation, I remembered this post and jumped to it straight. I wouldn’t do such a weird looking thing if you didn’t write about it. Then I used an ordinary pot and got a clear nose. And an uninterrupted well sleep! Thanks!

  24. Hello – I’ve had sinus congestion for about 8 months. No mucus. Most of the time I can’t breathe through my nose. EAting, talking, everything is difficult. Today I boiled some eucalyptus and grapefruit seed extract and breathed it in for about 10 minutes. Finally I was about 80% clear. I did a net-pot flush with a few drops of grapefruit seed extract and a saline solution made for neti-pots. It rinsed fine through one nostril and barely through the other. A few minutes after I was done, I became 100% blocked again. Breathing in that steamy air didn’t help. What does it mean when the neti pot Makes you clogged up???

    • Hey Brigid, I don’t know why the neti would make you clogged up, but maybe this is a situation where a doctor could help you more than I could. :)

  25. Hey Karol,
    I live in PA and ive been through the same thing, went from claritin to zyrtec, theyd work untill you became immuned. Im never bad during the summer(mainly the fall) and for some reason this has been one of my worst allergy summers ever. Just felt stuffed up way to much like every other day (may-june perfect no meds, july- now awful). Had a sinus infection in the mid of july and my dr. actually recommended me to try the neti(been going here for 18 yrs now!) They know me so i trust them, well that thing made me feel great, however i thought well now that my infections gone ill just go back to the zyrtec. it helped for maybe a week and now ive been so fed up, that i decided too look up other remedies. Then after i read your blog and others comments i thought to myself, why have i not thought of re-taking the neti lol.

    Gona use it 2-3 times a day now!

    • Glad the neti pot has helped you Joe. And I’m always happy to hear a doctor recommend the neti over stuff that doesn’t work as well.

  26. Hi Karol, I have seasonal allergies also. I have heard so many times that my allergies are the worst anyone has ever seen. I’ve had them since I was about 13 also. This year has been the worst so far. After trying every pill, spray, and syrup, I gave up on medicine years ago. My husband is at the store right now to get me my first neti pot. I’ve been reluctant to try it, but I’ve given in due to desperation. I hope I have the same results as you! *crossing my fingers*, Amanda

  27. thanks!!! i had heard of this a while back but completely forgot… now i’m going crazy!!! i haven’t tasted my food in like 5 days…. my nose is completely shut! although i’m thankful that i am not experiencing the eye irritation my nose issue is awful!!

    just did it with help from my mom!!! although it opened up my nose… i can feel it shutting down again…. hopefully if i do it a couple of times a day i’ll start getting back to normal… i guess i’ll have to wait and see…


  28. I’m so glad i came across this article…. i had posted a couple of weeks back about having my nose completely shut!!! well…. i started doing this 3 times a day…. started cutting down to two, then 1… know i can breathe normally and doing it when i feel the need!!! i’m soo happy!!!


  29. My three year kid is allergic, he usually has this running nose, itchy skin, watery red eyes. can this neti pot help. please advise

  30. Over 20 years ago an ENT specialist recommended snorting salt water through my sinuses. I have a deviated septum and was always stuffed up. I tried it once unsuccessfully and wrote him off as a nut. I had surgery once which was a temporary fix. So, for the next 20 years I was addicted to Afrin nose spray to help me sleep at night. I wish that I had known about the neti pot. I can breathe now without have to take any medication. And I can work around people with colds and I don’t catch them. I saved a couple little jars and use my own salt mixture.I use 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/8 tsp baking soda per neti pot. I highly recommend the neti pot to anyone with sinus problems. Yes, it is not a cure. But I have not found anything better.

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