One of the best herbal remedies to treat seasonal allergies is Butterbur. Studies show it to be as effective as the drugs, with fewer side effects.
Although not well-publicized, Butterbur (its Latin name is Petasites hybridus) has been shown to be equally as effective as the leading allergy medications fexofenadine (Allegra) and cetirizine (Zyrtec). A study compared Allegra directly to Butterbur in 380 patients in a double-blinded, randomized study – a type study conventional research considers the most stringent and trustworthy. In this study, both the drug and the herb were equally as effective. A second controlled and blinded study of 131 patients comparing the herb with Zyrtec also found equally effective benefits. The drug group was shown to suffer from drowsiness and fatigue, despite the fact that this medication was touted as being ‘non-drowsy.’
Butterbur is thought to work by lowering levels of the inflammatory molecule leukotriene in our bodies.
From a naturopathic standpoint, it is equally as important to modify your diet to avoid inflammatory foods (like cow's milk products and any foods a person is specifically allergic or sensitive to) as well as get plenty of bed rest, use nasal rinses, and high quality air filtration in the home and office. I also recommend a little local honey comb, which many of my patients have told me is also quite helpful.
For more information about butterbur for allergies and references, please see:http://www.innersourcehealth.com/news_blog.aspx?EntryID=417