So many of us look forward to spring and summer each year, as the weather gets warmer we naturally spend more time outdoors and everyone seems to be in happier spirits. However, this time of year also brings an increase in hay fever (allergic rhinitis) symptoms as the pollen count rises.
What is Hay fever?
Hay fever is a common allergic reaction to allergens in the environment such as pollen, dust mites, mould and animal dander, affecting up to one in five people at some point in their life (1). It typically involves the following symptoms:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
- Watery, itchy, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
Managing Hay Fever Naturally
Histamine plays a key role in causing hay fever symptoms, as it is released in response to being in contact with pollen, dust etc. So in order to reduce hay fever symptoms, we must lower the levels of histamine in the body and support the body’s inflammatory response. Natural remedies to help with this include diet, lifestyle choices and supplements.
- Garlic: A good source of quercetin, a natural antihistamine. It also contains compounds that help support the immune system.
- Hot peppers: Include the active ingredient capsaicin, which can help to reduce nasal congestion.
- Local honey: Contains traces of pollen, so eating it can work to desensitize the body’s allergic response to pollen in the air. For best results locally sourced honey is best as it will contain the type of pollen that is in your close environment.
- Chamomile tea: Full of flavonoids and antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation in the body, it’s also a natural antihistamine. You can also try organic lemon balm tea if you want to try a different flavor.
- Increase vitamin C: A natural antihistamine and can be found in many fruits such as strawberries, oranges, lemons and grapefruit. You can also try vitamin C supplements.
- Turmeric & Ginger: Anti-inflammatory spices that can easily be incorporated into many meals to help with reducing symptoms associated with inflammation.
- Avoid: Food and drinks which increase histamine in the body such as alcohol, fermented foods, dairy products and processed meats.
- Magnesium: Supplement with magnesium, a natural antihistamine.Magnesium can also be found in leafy greens and nuts.
- Acupuncture: Studies have found that this traditional Chinese therapy can help to reduce the symptoms of a runny nose and irritated eyes.
- Saline nasal spray: Helps to clear out your sinuses – removing allergens trapped in the mucus – use twice a day.
- Use a Neti pot: Again, this method will help clear out your sinuses.
- Wash your clothes regularly: When you return back home from being outdoors, wash your clothes quickly to remove any pollen and allergens on the material. Also, regularly cleaning your house to minimise pollen and other allergens in your home environment can help with symptoms you may experience inside.
- Stress reduction techniques: Studies have shown a clear link between stress and the severity of hay fever symptoms (2). Some stress reduction techniques to try would be meditation, yoga, talking therapy or taking a stress management course.
If you’re looking for a personalised approach to manage your hay fever symptoms, get in touch to learn how our practitioners can support you.
- Natural Treatments And Strategies To Calm An Overactive Nervous System