Hay Fever Relief

Yep, it’s that gorgeous time of the year again, when the days are longer, summer is coming and everything is blooming and blossoming. And for some of us, the spring-summer magic in the air is accompanied by itchy noses, puffy eyes, heavy heads and sneezing!

If you’re reading this, I am guessing you’re well familiar with the *joy* of hay fever (utter misery more like it!) so I will skip the lengthy explanation and get straight to the point. Gimme some relief already!

* Hay fever has nothing to do with our eyes or noses. Like most sensitivities, intolerances and allergies, it is linked to our immune system, which can get overwhelmed. Major culprits are stress, inadequate rest/sleep, sugar, toxins, artificial chemicals in food. Dairy is very mucus forming and many experience relief by eliminating it from the diet. It’s always a great idea to do some work in uncovering the root causes. What I am sharing here falls more in the Relief category. *

** As always, consult with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns relating to your individual situation. This post is purely for educational purposes. **

ANTIHISTAMINE MEDICATION

This is the most obvious relief route for many when hay fever strikes. No judgement, I’ve been there at times myself! Look for *non-drowsy* on the label as the majority promote sleepiness and heavy-headedness.

Not all medication is created equal and of course, prolonged use is not ideal as it does come with possible side effects (like all pharmaceutical drugs) like dizziness, blurred vision, nausea etc. It’s best to consult with a doctor or a pharmacist before taking any. The sprays can work better for some people as an easy to remember, once per day type of use.

QUERCETIN

A natural antihistamine, extracted from apples, onions, berries, buckwheat and citrus fruit, without the side effects of many medications. It calms the immunes system and prevents or reduces histamine release. Some people suffering with asthma also find it beneficial.

Quercetin is often found in supplements combined with bromelain, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, extracted from pineapple, which increases the potency of quercetin.

It can be taken for the duration of the hay fever season. Exercise caution if you’re on blood thinning medication.

STINGING NETTLE LEAF

Is has similar antihistamine properties as it makes histamine receptors less sensitive. It tends to work best when used in conjunction with quercetin, rather than on its own.

BATTERBUR

In formal studies, the herb has been found to be just as effective as antihistamine medication at treating seasonal allergy symptoms. Butterbur is helpful because it relaxes swollen nasal membranes and alleviates muscle spasms in the respiratory system.

It is not suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children under 6.

RAW LOCAL HONEY

Eating honey can reduce a person’s sensitivity to this pollen over time and as a result, there can be experienced a reduction in seasonal allergy symptoms. You’d need to start taking this before the start of the allergy season.

ESSENTIAL OILS

The combination of lavender, peppermint and lemon is quite effective at keeping symptoms at bay or at least reducing the severity of the reaction.

2 ways to use the oils:

Add 2 drops of each oil to a diffuser, especially good to have it on before bedtime.

Add 2 drops of each oil to a 10ml roller bottle and fill the rest with a career oil. Apply to your palms and inhale as needed.

I personally do not ingest oils for a number of reasons. Some people do so, it’s a personal choice. Only use therapeutic grade oils if ingesting and make sure the oil is suitable for internal use. Always apply caution and ideally consult with a trained aromatherapist. Essential oils are super powerful!

HAY FEVER BALM

Like this one. But in all honesty, any sticky balm would do (I’ve tried a few).

You put a small amount around your nostrils and under the nose. I have found it to be very helpful. It does require reapplying.

Accirding to HayMax Pure, “Suitable for use by children, pregnant & breast-feeding women. In a 2015 survey by Allergy UK, when asked if overall HayMax worked, 80% said ‘yes’! Proven to trap over a 1/3 of pollen grains and dust & pet allergens – National Pollen & Aerobiology Research Unit Trials 2009 and 2012.”

SUNGLASSES

Yes, this one is obvious, but they really do reduce the amount of pollens that get into the eyes. Get some light shaded ones for cloudy days too.

You can read more about natural ways to manage allergies here.

Now I’d love to hear from you. What hay fever remedies do you swear by?

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