Natural Home Remedies for Hay Fever Relief
Natural home remedies for hay fever relief, helping to keep those seasonal symptoms at bay.
What Causes Hay Fever?
With symptoms ranging from red, itchy eyes and a sore throat to headaches, persistent sneezing, coughing, and a runny or blocked nose, Hay fever can be seriously debilitating as well as irritating.
Frustratingly, the problem occurs when our immune system mistakenly recognises pollen as something potentially harmful to it and so reacts by releasing lots of histamine to try to limit the pollen’s effect on us. This histamine is what causes most of the immediate symptoms and explains why anti-histamine tablets help to counteract this response.
But what other things might also be worth considering to help keep these annoying symptoms at bay?
Nature’s Top Tips
Nature provides us with many different kinds of natural remedies that may help with hay fever - from medicinal herbs and spices to a myriad of beneficial plant compounds, vitamins and other nutrients found in fruit, vegetables and other foods we can include in our diet.
The Best Herbs and Spices for Soothing Symptoms
‘Nettle is probably the most accessible and widely used herbal remedy for hayfever’, says our Expert Herbalist, ‘as it can be taken as a tea as well as a herbal tincture and even cooked as a vegetable like spinach.’ Medical herbalists often find Nettle helpful for many allergies and skin conditions and, being rich in Vitamins A and C as well as minerals such as Iron and Silica, this also makes it useful for strengthening the body generally, especially if people are run down.
Elderflower is another herb you may read about that’s very common in the UK and is traditionally used in herbal remedies to help with excess mucous (both runny noses and weepy eyes) as well as for making delicious cordial. The leaves of the common weed Plantain are also considered beneficial, along with beautiful flowering Eyebright which is traditionally regarded, as its name suggests, as helpful for weepy, irritated eyes.
Other herbal remedies that might be considered are those that may be helpful in supporting the immune system such as Echinacea which has a long history of use, Lemon balm which is beautiful to drink in an infusion and also Garlic which can easily be added to your diet (ideally taken raw, so chopped on toast or added to salads or at the end of cooking along, perhaps along with some sweet-tasting basil or parsley to counteract its pungency!)
Fresh ginger root is a great spice that you might want to consider adding more freely to your smoothies and stir-fries. Regarded as an important medicinal herb, the aromatic oils in ginger are both anti-inflammatory and helpful in promoting a more gentle digestion; turmeric is another wonderful spice with similar benefits that you could introduce more of, and is great in porridge and smoothies as well as warming curries.
Consulting a qualified medical herbalist is also worth considering for expert, professional advice.
Boost Your Diet With Added Vitamin C
Adding more Vitamin C to your diet has been seen to reduce hayfever symptoms in large doses, and with the warmer weather approaching it’s good to know that your summer favourites like strawberries & oranges and fresh tomatoes & red peppers are all great sources of natural Vitamin C.
Stress and Hayfever
As if hayfever wasn’t irritating enough, when we’re stressed our cortisol levels rise which tends to have a negative effect on our immunity!
This is where calming herbs like chamomile can help. As our expert herbalist says, ‘Although often thought of as something to drink at bedtime, chamomile isn’t actually a sedative but it does help the body to relax and function at its natural best due to the herb’s gentle bitter action and also the soothing essential oils which have anti-inflammatory properties. All in all, if drunk over the course of the day, this can really support the body and mind to stay calm and not be so reactive and easily irritated’.
Add a Little Sweetness to the Season
One of the most popular home remedies over the years for helping hay fever and soothing your symptoms is honey. But, in order for it to be effective, it’s best if it’s from your local bees, as this is thought to help to de-sensitise your body to the effects of local pollen.
As long as you’re ok with honey, its certainly a naturally delicious remedy to try and, fingers crossed, will hopefully help put the sweetness back into Summer for you again!
Please note. This article is for general interest only and is not intended to replace the advice of any healthcare professional. We recommend you consult your healthcare professional for advice before trying any remedies.