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Defend Yourself Against Hay Fever With These Natural Remedies

Hay fever is a common allergy to pollen that affects millions of people. It’s sometimes called seasonal allergic rhinitis, and it’s caused by the immune system overreacting to pollen floating in the air. When hay fever sufferers breathe in pollen from grass, plants and trees, it registers as harmful. As a result, the body kickstarts the immune system and treats pollen in a similar way to bacteria or a virus attacking your body.


One of the biggest things that happens is the release of a chemical called histamine. This triggers a self-defence process that causes your nasal passage to inflame. As a sufferer, you’ll notice a range of unpleasant side effects - a runny nose, sore throat, teary eyes plus endless sneezing. This is your body’s well-meaning effort to eject the allergen from your body and prevent further pollen particles from getting in.


You’re probably familiar with the word antihistamine due to its infamous role in calming allergic reactions, as yes, you can take various antihistamine tablets to defend against hay fever, however, we have highlighted ways for you to become a histamine blocker with our natural hay fever remedies.



Daily Tips For Hay Fever Relief


  • To soothe eyes, gently wipe them with cotton wool soaked in cold water.

  • Keep your windows at home and in the car closed, especially at the worst times of day (early morning and 5pm – 7pm).

  • Limit the amount of time spent outside when the pollen count is high or it’s windy.

  • When you come inside from a day outdoors, change your clothes and wipe your face, hands and hair with a damp cloth.

  • Clothes should be dried inside on airers as pollen can stick to clothes that are dried outside on washing lines.

  • Wear sunglasses, (wraparound if your style can take it!) This will prevent pollen from going into yours eyes as much.

  • If you suffer considerably, consider swapping the countryside, for trips to the coast as pollen counts are lower.

  • Allergens can collect in your hair when you're outside, so a simple trick to prevent hay fever symptoms is to keep hair tied up and off your face, away from your eyes, mouth and nose.

  • If you have a dog or cat at home, try to brush them outside before they enter your home and wipe them down with a damp towel.


Supplements That Could Relieve Hay Fever


There’s a lot of speculation and anecdotal advice on supplements that could provide natural remedies for hay fever. But scientific evidence is generally lacking or inconclusive. So, here we focus on two ingredients where research connecting them to hay fever is established or growing.


Quercetin - Is a natural antihistamine and contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It’s got some great nutritional credentials when it comes to fighting off hay fever symptoms. It’s commonly found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, red grapes and berries. But for the highest concentrations, look to onions and apples. Quercetin also comes as a food supplement


Vitamin D - The bone health and immune system supporting effects of vitamin D are well known. But what’s less widely recognised is that vitamin D deficiency is also related to allergic rhinitis. Both experimental and clinical studies show some links between vitamin D and hay fever. Although, there are slight discrepancies in the results of studies, there’s some recognition that a vitamin D deficiency may increase the severity of hay fever symptoms.


Vitamin C - Well known for supporting the immune system, it is thought that vitamin C may help to reduce histamine levels. In order to support the balanced functioning of your immune system, consider taking a vitamin C supplement with bioflavonoids to help reduce the severity of hay fever symptoms.


Allergy-Fighting Super Ingredients


What you eat can make a difference to the intensity of your hay fever symptoms. It's believed that some foods can exacerbate allergic reactions. Others can help relieve your discomfort. For example, consuming food and drinks that contain high levels of histamine, such as some dairy products and alcohol, could intensify your symptoms.


But remember, although nutrition can play a role in managing the severity of hay fever symptoms, the results won’t be immediate. If you can, it pays to be prepared and to start introducing allergy-fighting ingredients into your diet before the pollen count starts to rise.


Many fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods are natural antihistamines. This means they contain chemicals that can interrupt or obstruct the histamine receptors in your immune system. These foods include tomatoes, bee pollen, salmon and oily fish. Garlic and onions are both rich in quercetin and vitamin C, giving them impressive allergy-fighting credentials.


Foods that are rich in flavonoids could also help. Apples, citrus fruits and berries are good natural food sources. Not to forget pineapples, as they are the only fruit to contain bromelain. This compound can be helpful for relieving symptoms of nasal and sinus inflammation. Bromelain could contribute to stabilising congestion caused by hay fever.


Turmeric contains curcumin, making the spice a great anti-inflammatory ingredient. It can help reduce swelling and irritation caused by hay fever. Combining it with ginger can increase its anti-inflammatory powers.



Cut Down On Dairy


Dairy products increase the production of mucus in your respiratory tract, worsening hay fever symptoms. The good news is there are so many delicious alternatives these days. Try switching to oat or almond milk and vegan butter for example.


Reishi Mushroom Powder


All medicinal mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans, powerful polysaccharides renowned for their profound effect on the immune system and on inflammation. Reishi mushroom, known as the ‘King of Mushrooms’ is considered an adaptogen. That means this powerful fungus can help your body handle stress, whether it be emotional, physical or environmental. It can be taken daily to support allergic conditions and reduce the symptoms of hay fever.


In addition to their immune modulating properties, mushrooms contain significant levels of vitamin D2. Low vitamin D status is linked to development of allergies, so mushrooms can provide a helpful boost of vitamin D throughout the year.


Nettles


Nettles are thought to have the ability to block histamine activity and other pro-inflammatory molecules involved in hay fever. Pukka Herb’s Cleanse tea contains nettles and aloe vera which has a natural cooling effect, helping to calm any irritation. Pukka’s Clean Greens Super-blend tea is a combination of 11 nutrient-dense plant superfoods including nettles, chlorella and spirulina, which can be taken in the lead up to Spring to ease the symptoms of seasonal allergies.


Triphala


A traditional Ayurvedic formulation that is particularly effective at detoxifying and cleansing a congested digestive tract. It will often work best when taken at night in a capsule or powder form.


Local Honey


A teaspoon of honey is said to do wonders for alleviating the symptoms of hay fever. For the best results, go for honey that is grown locally, derived from manuka and unprocessed. It’s also one of the sweetest hay fever remedies around, making it a definite favourite. To reap the full benefits, simply swallow one teaspoon of honey every morning before you leave the house.


Peppermint Tea


Not only does it taste great, but peppermint tea also relieves nasal and sinus congestion associated with hay fever and allergies around the nose and a ‘heavy head’.