It’s that time of year again. If you’re a hay fever sufferer then you’ll know as soon as the weather starts to warm up so do your hay fever symptoms.I’m sure you’re aware there are lots of things people recommend to help alleviate symptoms. But did you know there are ways that your diet can help as a natural hay fever remedy?
Why do we get hay fever?
We get hay fever when we have an allergic reaction to pollen. The NHS states this is usually when pollen comes into contact with our mouth, nose, eyes or throat. This allergic response is what causes your sneezing, runny nose, itching, headaches, asthma, watering eyes – the list goes on.
Why do I get it in Spring, when my friend suffers later in the year?
As we all know different people are allergic to different things. Pollen – the cause of hay fever – is a fine powder that comes from plants, flowers, grasses and trees. Different pollen gets released at different times in the year. Based on the type of allergy (hay fever) some people may be allergic in spring; some in midsummer while others experiencing allergies in late summer. It also explains why you may find some years are worse than others. The offending flower, grass or tree may be having a particularly productive year.
Using your diet as a natural hay fever remedy
Let’s face it, with the wide availability of antihistamine most people will probably try this route first. But as pharmaceutical companies are trying to provide allergy relief for a large number of hay fever symptoms, there’s always the chance they won’t work for you. Commonly prescribed sprays and tablets only suppress hay fever symptoms. They may bring temporary relief but they won’t get to the root of the problem. There are also lots of side affects (like drowsiness) associated with them.
If you’ve tried medications and find they don’t work for you, then it’s worth trying a natural hay fever remedy. Coating the inner surface of your nostrils with
But you can also use your diet to help. Here are some simple suggestions;
If you are well hydrated the mucus membranes of your nose remain moist and can expel allergens more easily.
There is an argument that taking honey can help your immune system fight hay fever naturally. Some claim that locally produced honey, containing pollen from the surrounding foliage, has a much higher chance of providing relief that national honey. Try having a small amount each day, ideally starting at least 3 months before hay fever season. You can gradually increase this to a teaspoon or more and continue right through the season for best results.
2. Reishi mushroom
Reishi mushroom contains a compound that provides a huge stimulation to the immune system. It activates non-specific immunity and can regulate the level of allergen in your body. You may not have heard of it but it can be found in health food stores or online.
3. Herbal teas
Certain plants including nettle, chamomile and peppermint have been shown to help reduce histamine. As they are readily available they are easy to try as a natural hay fever remedy. It’s worth noting that nettle reduces your potassium reserves so it shouldn’t be considered for a long-term use. Chamomile is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Try using a cold tea bag as an eye compress if you suffer from swollen, itchy and red eyes. You may find that this helps to considerably reduces inflammation, irritability and discomfort. Peppermint is good for helping relieve mucus around the nose and combat against a congested head.
Horseradish, mustard, chillies, turmeric, ginger and fenugreek can act as a natural hay fever relief as they thin mucus and expel irritants. Add them generously to meals – a great reason to eat more chillis and curries! Turmeric and ginger help stimulate the system, warm the digestion and improve nutrient assimilation. Used together they are a natural remedy for hay fever as well as rhinitis and colds.
7. Onions and garlic
Both contain natural compounds that reduce the inflammation of hay fever. Add them generously to your meals or, if you are up to it, eat them by themselves! They can help reduce nasal irritation and streaming eyes.