Most of us really enjoy the beautiful sunny weather when it visits the UK, but for some hay fever sufferers it brings a lot of discomfort and misery. Runny or blocked nose, constant sneezing, itchy, sore eyes, headaches and restless nights are just a few symptoms that sufferers experience. Over the counter remedies can cost a lot and are not always effective so here are a few natural remedies that are easy to find and won’t hit the pocket too much.
The symptoms of hay fever are the result of the body’s immune system going into overdrive. When something foreign like pollen, pollution or a virus enters the body the immune system works hard to eliminate it and with hay fever the immune system works harder and this results in inflammation and allergic reactions.
Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine and the best way to get this is from food. Red and green hot chilli peppers have the highest concentration of Vitamin C than any other food and can be used in soups, sauces, added to curries or used in many other meals. On average a single pepper can contain up to 400% of the Recommended Daily Amount (60mg). Other food sources are dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, kiwi fruit, strawberries and many other fruits and vegetables.
Taking up to 2000mg of Vitamin C a day can help relieve the symptoms of hay fever as well as boost your immune system. Whilst this is a lot to get from food alone, adding a supplement from your local health food shop like a good quality multivitamin and a mineral combination, Vitamin A, C and E with Selenium, Vitamin C with Quercetin (also a natural antihistamine), or just Vitamin C by itself is recommended.
Locally produced organic honey is another great way helping combat hay fever. Honey has amazing healing properties which have been recorded since ancient times and today there are many scientific studies that have proved, for example the powerful anti-bacterial properties it contains. It is also antiviral and antifungal and makes a good wound dressing.
Hay fever is mostly caused by pollen. Bees use pollen to make honey. Whilst any ‘raw’ or natural honey will be helpful (avoid using mass produced processed honey), locally produced honey is ideal because the pollen causing the hay fever is local. One spoonful a day is all you need. For extra benefit try mixing with a spoonful of Blackstrap Molasses in a little hot water – this will do wonders for your complexion. Blackstrap molasses is packed full of nutrients and is high in iron and like honey has many health benefits. Also a spoonful of honey in nettle tea may help to reduce mucus.
Garlic was mentioned in a previous article as great for the immune system and for hay fever it can act as a decongestant as well as anti-inflammatory. Best taken raw or crushed but garlic tablets or capsules will do just as well and cooking with garlic every day surely is a must!
Omega 3 and 6 are essential fatty acids needed in balance by the body. They are abundant in oily fish (and in seeds and nuts) but with the increase in recent years of processed foods our diets generally contain more omega 6 and this causes imbalance in the body which can aggravate allergic reactions in hay fever sufferers. Increasing omega 3 intake can therefore alleviate these allergic reactions. Omega 3 has been shown to have other health benefits especially in cardiovascular disease, although further study is needed. Herring and sardines have the highest concentration of omega 3.
Ailments, illness and disease are all a result of our bodies being out of balance. A healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet is essential if we are to stay healthy. Whilst there are many natural remedies for hay fever, prevention is always better than cure and many people who enjoy a healthy lifestyle also enjoy reduced hay fever symptoms.
© Gary Lloyd
Natural Hay Fever Remedies by Gary Lloyd is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.