For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, hay fever season is fast approaching, and for some has already arrived. If you suffer with allergies in the summer months, you may well dread the onset of the tiresome symptoms that come along with hay fever. Natural remedies can help with easing symptoms as well as being gentle on the body. If you want to delve into natural remedies that may help with seasonal allergies, then this blog post if for you!
Herbs and Supplements
Here are some herbs and supplements to consider if you are suffering with hay fever.
1. Quercetin is a natural plant compound with anti-inflammatory properties. It can help stabilise mast cells, which release histamine during an allergic reaction. Foods like onions, apples, berries and green tea contain quercetin. Studies show that it possesses antihistamine qualities by reducing inflammatory response in the airways. You can purchase it as a supplement, or you can simply add more quercetin rich foods into your diet.
2. Bromelain is an enzyme that is found in high amounts in pineapples. You can also find it in supplement form. It is effective in treating respiratory distress and inflammation associated with allergies. Is it time to up your pineapple intake?
3. Stinging nettle in herbal form or made into a tea has been shown to reduce several of the inflammatoryevents that cause the symptoms of allergies. One of these is by blocking the receptor sites that histamine usually latches on to. In addition, nettle may inhibit tryptase, an enzyme that is released alongside histamine and which promotes its effects. Inhibiting it is therefore useful in reducing allergic responses.
4. Vitamin C is known for its immune-boosting properties. It acts as a natural antihistamine and can reduce inflammation. Incorporate more foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, tomatoes and cruciferous vegetables into your diet to benefit from this powerful vitamin.
5. Butterbur is a herbal remedy that has been used traditionally to alleviate allergy symptoms. It may help reduce nasal congestion, sneezing and itching. However, make sure to use a standardised, certified and toxin free extract, as raw butterbur contains harmful compounds.
6. Probiotics may help modulate the immune response and alleviate hay fever symptoms. Look for probiotic supplements containing a range of strains in high quantities or consume probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
7. Antioxidants may help to reduce inflammation in your airways and improve your immune system. There are many different antioxidants you could try so consult with a nutritionist to find out which are best for you.
Diet and Nutrition
You could also take a nutritional approach by changing your diet and incorporating more “low histamine” foods to help ease symptoms. In addition, there are some histamine rich foods to avoid and certain foods to avoid that may trigger the release of histamine.
Low Histamine Foods
- Fresh meat and freshly caught fish
- Non-citrus fruits
- Gluten free grains such as quinoa and rice
- Dairy substitutes such as coconut milk and almond milk
- Fresh vegetables (except tomatoes, avocados, spinach and aubergine)
- Cooking oils such as extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil
High Histamine Foods
- Alcohol and other fermented beverages
- Dairy products
- Dried fruits
- Processed or smoked meats
- Aged cheese
Histamine Triggering Foods
- Citrus fruits
- Nuts, specifically walnuts, cashews and peanuts
- Food dyes and other additives
- Some probiotic strains
Locally grown raw honey can work wonders in alleviating the symptoms of hay fever. Look for a source that is derived from manuka and is unprocessed for best results. It’s believed that honey contains small amounts of pollen, which can help desensitize your immune system to the allergens over time. Start taking honey a few months before allergy season for best results. Just one teaspoon a day can do the trick and it’s probably the sweetest remedy you will find! Please note, honey is not suitable for babies under the age of one.
The best way to benefit from homeopathic treatment for the whole body is to receive constitutional treatment from a qualified homeopath. This is when a homeopath takes a complete case history and prescribes remedies based on your constitution and underlying weaknesses. However, there are some acute remedies that you could try that are targeted towards specific symptoms:
Allium Cepa – perhaps the most common homeopathic hay fever remedy. Indications for the use of this remedy include watery eyes and clear nasal discharge. As well as sneezing and a tickly cough. Symptoms are usually worse indoors and are better in fresh air.
Arsenicum Album – the indication for this remedy is when the nasal discharge is watery, and it burns. Symptoms can also present as stuffy and tickling in the nose. In addition, swollen eyes and a wheezy cough can also be common symptoms. The person may feel chilly, anxious, and restless and there is also a feeling of fatigue.
Arundo – is indicated by terrible burning and itching of the palate and conjunctiva as well as lots of sneezing and discharge.
Euphrasia – this is a big eye remedy; it is indicated if the eyes are swollen and irritated and tear up easily. The nose also runs with a bland discharge. The eyes may be light sensitive, and symptoms are often worse from warmth and during the day. There may also be a cough during the day.
Ferrum Phosphoricum – this remedy can be useful in early stages of inflammation. It can slow or stop allergy symptoms if taken as soon as they begin. Symptoms that indicate this remedy include runny eyes which burn and feel gritty, a watery nose, a tickling cough, and a flushed face.
Gelsemium – generally a heavy feeling is felt throughout the body, and it can accompany a flushed face. There may also be a sensation of dryness and swelling in the nose. Alternatively, the nose may run with a watery discharge accompanied with frequent sneezing. Aching in the back of the head and chills along the spine may also be present when Gelsemium is the indicated remedy.
Natrum Muriaticum – this remedy can help to ease a runny nose which alternates with periods of dryness and stinging in the nasal cavity.
Nux Vomica – is suitable for people who push themselves hard at work, using coffee and other stimulants to keep themselves going. They will also be chilly and are often very short tempered. The Nux Vomica picture has lots of sneezing first thing in the morning and is much worse for any draft or air conditioning.
Sabadilla – this remedy is indicated when there is frequent sneezing, itching in the nose and throat and a watery discharge. There may be a feeling of a lump in the throat and watery eyes. There may also be feelings of dullness with difficulty in concentrating and a headache during an attack.
We have touched on a few in this blog, but many therapies can help to reduce hay fever symptoms, from Acupuncture, Hypnosis, Reflexology, Herbal Medicine, Ayurveda and many more. Do your research to determine which would be the best route and treatment for you.
Preventative measures should also be considered before stepping outdoors. Wearing wraparound sunglasses can stop pollen getting into the eyes and spreading a thin layer of Vaseline inside the lower nostrils can help stop pollen from entering the body through the nose.
If you’re fed up with your hay fever symptoms, search Holistic Room and find a practitioner to support you in feeling yourself again. Alternatively, get in touch with us at email@example.com and we will point you in the right direction. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, always seek professional support from a healthcare practitioner.