Control hay fever & allergies naturally
Control allergies and hay fever - naturally
While some people are loving that it’s warming up and summer is on its way, others are already struggling with hay fever.
Whether it’s dust, pollen, animal dander, dust mites or something else causing your allergy woes, there are several natural ways you can help support your system and reduce hay fever symptoms.
So what exactly is hay fever?
Hay fever or seasonal allergies (also called allergic rhinitis) can make life miserable. It occurs when your immune system overreacts to something coming into your body (like a pollen spore you breathed in) and triggers an allergic response. It causes cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sinus pain, itchy eyes, congestion, ear pain, and sneezing. As well as headaches, wheezing, coughing and can cause asthma to worsen and skin to itch.
And hay fever isn’t just limited to spring time. Often allergies are worse over summer or can last all year round.
So how can you control it without reaching for the over-the-counter antihistamines? Thankfully there are ways to manage it naturally that are much gentler and safer on your system.
Here are a few ways you can help get those seasonal allergies under control.
Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine. It’s naturally found in foods such as apples, parlsey, red onion, red capsicum and berries. You can also buy it in supplement form from the health food shop or chemist.
If your symptoms are severe, take 500mg three times a day. Once you are feeling better, drop down to 500mg once a day, ideally taken as 2 x 250mg doses morning and night.
Quercetin is best taken with bromelain (a digestive enzyme from pineapple which also has anti-inflammatory properties) and Vitamin C.
There is some strong evidence to show that eating local honey can help to limit the effects of hay fever. Bees from your local area will be pollinating the same plants that are causing your issues, so eating small, regular amounts of local honey throughout the year can help desensitise your system to the pollens that cause you to react.
Many consider Vitamin C the most important anti-allergy vitamin. Depending on the severity of your allergies, a dose between 1000 to 5000 mg may be required. These foods are high in vitamin C: kiwifruit, broccoli, red capsicum, papaya, and citrus fruits. But if you have hay fever symptoms, you’ll probably struggle to get enough Vitamin C in your diet so may need to take a supplement. For optimal results, take divided doses throughout the day (eg 1000mg at breakfast, 1000mg at lunch, 1000mg at dinner, 1000mg before bed).
Note: too much Vitamin C can cause an upset stomach, so start low and build up slowly. If you get a stomach upset or diaroreah, reduce your dose a bit.
Herbs for hay fever
Certain herbs have a natural antihistamine effect. Elderflower, ginger, peppermint, chamomile and nettle can all help reduce the impact of hay fever. You can either take these as herbal supplements in capsule or tonic form.
Hay fever tea
Herbal teas are another way to help fight hay fever. Using some of the herbs listed above as well as green tea, not only does herbal tea limit the effects of hay fever, but if you drink it throughout the day, it also helps keep you hydrated! We have a wonderful tea in stock, Hay F’Go as well as Breathe Tea which is good for coughs and asthma.
Both pre and pro-biotics can help support a strong immune system. With 80% of our immune cells residing in the gut it makes sense to keep this area healthy and happy. An Australian study found eight weeks of probiotic supplementation with a specific multi-species probiotic reduced hayfever symptoms and medication use.
You can get probiotics naturally through fermented foods such as sauerkraut, bone broths, gelatin, natural and Kefir yoghurt, but if you are suffering with hay fever a multi-strain probiotic supplement is probably a good idea. Look for one with both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria
Love your liver
The liver removes many of the body's major toxins and allergies are related to poor liver function. Basically our liver’s get overloaded trying to cleanse the blood of toxins (such as chemicals, antibodies and excess hormones). So one of the best ways to help reduce allergy symptoms is to give your liver some love.
Reducing alcohol, sugar, smoking, processed foods, and caffeine can really help your liver. Drinking a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon first thing in the morning (and definitely before your first coffee) helps give your liver a morning boost. Herbs such as Milk Thistle have powerful liver supporting properties. We stock Liver Love tea, which with just a cup or two a day can be another way to help support your liver detox processes.
Ditch the drink (or at least switch to gin)
Alcoholic drinks such as red wine and beer are high in sulphites and histamine and can make hay fever and asthma worse. So it’s best to give your system a break from the booze as much as you can as it also puts pressure on your liver. However, if you do want a tipple, clear spirits like gin and vodka have low histamine content. And gin has no sulphites, so it’s a good option if you suffer with a runny nose, itchy eyes or skin issues like eczema or psoriasis.
Tweak your diet
Avoid mucus-forming, pro-inflammatory foods such as dairy. If you are prone to allergic reactions, including hay fever, you can very often have a reaction to certain foods such as dairy and gluten (which both contain grass proteins just like pollens). Avoiding these foods especially during spring and summer (or whenever your allergies are worst), means you are less likely to get hay fever or suffer as much.
Homeopathics are another way to help hay fever symptoms. There are generic remedies to reduce overall impact (runny nose, dry eyes, sneezing, etc), as well as specific remedies for what is causing the issue (such as pollen, dust, etc). Often there are local remedies specific to your area which can help. Tissue salts such as Combination H have a combo of homeopathic remedies to alleviate hay fever symptoms.
So there you have it. A whole raft of ways you can naturally help manage – or even eliminate those horrible seasonal allergies.
Disclaimer: The information presented here has been written to the best of our knowledge. However, the information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted. All health ailments, conditions or concerns should be treated by a qualified health professional.