Spring has finally arrived! The snow has melted, the birds are singing, flowers are blooming, trees are budding and that all makes us super happy, right? Except, a huge 20% of the population suffer with allergic rhinitis making this time of year more difficult to enjoy. With the most common symptoms being itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing and congestion, it can be relentless and frustrating when the long awaited seasonal change comes with a such a downfall.
What causes Hay Fever?
The main triggers for an allergic reaction at this time of year are pollen, dust mites, feathers and moulds.
The immune system of sufferers overreact to the normally harmless particles in the air. The airborne pollens cause the body to produce antibodies, and it releases a natural substance called histamine. Histamine irritates the upper respiratory passages (nose, throat, eyes and sinus), resulting in swelling and other hay fever symptoms.
Thankfully, we have some tips for some natural remedies which can provide some relief from hay fever symptoms and help prevent their return:
Garlic is highly anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. It boosts the immune system and is useful for blocking the causes of hay-fever, simply because it provides strength for your body.
Horseradish is a peppery and pungent root vegetable which acts as a decongestant. It helps in clearing the nasal passages, and therefore great for treating the symptoms of hay fever. When the root is cut or broken down, the enzymes begin to break down the chemical compound sinigrin into a pungent compound (allyl isothiocyanate) that aids the body in draining the nasal mucous membranes and sinuses. Prepared horseradish must be use immediately or it will become discoloured and lose its strength.
This remedy takes some time to reap the rewards but honey, and I mean local honey, when ingested creates immunity to the allergens. Your local bees frequent local plants to gather local pollen, the same pollen you are reacting to. Try to eat local honey throughout the year to get the most benefits
Rosemary is known to suppress immunoglobulin responses and inflammation, due to its concentrated source of rosmarinic acid, a natural polyphenol that can suppress allergic reactions.
- Ginger tea (with raw honey) breaks up congestion in the chest congestion and loosens phlegm. It acts as a natural antihistamine and also strengthens the immune system.
- Green tea blocks the production of histamine and builds the immune system.
- Peppermint tea relieves both nasal and sinus congestion.
- Nettle tea helps relieve respiratory tract inflammation, and eases nasal congestion, itching and sneezing.
- Liquorice tea can help to reduce irritation of the respiratory system.
- Chamomile tea is also reputed to relieve hay fever symptoms, and smearing chamomile and lemon oil on a cloth and inhaling is believed to prevent hay fever symptoms
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be drunk in a diluted (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water) form throughout the day. It is a known to aid in reducing most allergies like pollen, dander, dust, animals, food, etc
Don’t forget Hay Max! It is the award winning organic drug free balm which you apply lightly to your nostrils to trap the pollen before it gets into your respiratory system causing hay fever. Less pollen means less sneezing and less tears.
Consider limiting or avoiding cow’s milk and other dairy products since these can increase mucus production in the respiratory tract and therefore exacerbate nasal congestion from hay-fever. Try dairy alternatives like coconut, rice and nut milks instead.