There is an advertisement for hay fever medication which shows people lining up to board a spaceship in their attempt to escape Earth and hay fever. While the idea seems a bit extreme, anyone watching who has suffered from hay fever would completely get it.
Sufferers of hay fever would do almost anything to escape it, stopping short perhaps at intergalactic travel. You may not need to board that spaceship just yet; we have gathered some tips for hay fever season which are a hit easier (and cheaper) to implement.
What causes Hay Fever?
Experts believe that hay fever is partially genetic, in that it is passed down through families, and also is caused by triggers. The gene which is responsible for eczema and asthma is also responsible for hay fever, so members of your family may suffer from any of these.
If you are genetically predisposed to having hay fever, you should try as much as possible to avoid triggers, but in a busy life and a modern society, avoiding triggers altogether can be almost impossible.
Exposure to a trigger causes your body to basically overreact; your immune system mistakenly thinks a trigger is harmful to your body and creates chemicals called histamines. These chemicals cause cold and flu-like symptoms such as:
- A runny or blocked nose
- Itchy eyes, nose, and roof of the mouth
- Sinus pressure and pain
Triggers can include
- Dust and dust mites
- Pet hair and dander
Hay fever can be worse in certain seasons, especially spring, but some people will suffer from it all through any season. Windy days can make suffering worse.
Tips for Hay Fever Season
There are quite a few small lifestyle changes you can make that will naturally help your body fight hay fever. Here are some of our favorites.
Adjust your Diet
There are a number of foods which may trigger hay fever, having properties similar to the pollens that can cause irritation, including ragweed pollen and grass pollen. Dairy products may also make hay fever worse by producing extra mucus.
Some people find that their hay fever reduces when they cut out the following foods from their diet:
- Wheat products
- Dairy products
Many sufferers have found improvement in their symptoms by adopting a gluten-free diet, which includes stopping all products with wheat, rye and barley base. This means cutting out regular bread, cakes, and pasta, but there are plenty of gluten-free options in these sorts of products so you won’t have to deny yourself too many pleasures.
Garlic and Ginger
Both garlic and ginger may help lighten the symptoms of hay fever and can reduce sinus congestion. Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties and boosts your immunity. Try increasing the ginger and garlic that you add to your meals. You could also try drinking ginger tea.
Eating honey which has been produced locally can help you to build up an immunity to the pollens in your region. You may also be able to build up this resistance by taking a small piece of the local honeycomb a couple of times a day.
While everybody knows that vitamin C is good for fighting a cold, it also has antihistamine properties and boosts your immune system. Food high in vitamin C can help to reduce symptoms of hay fever.
Vitamin A can offer great benefits for the health of your mucous membranes and can reduce inflammation in this area.
Increase your Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, which you can source best from wild fish oil or eating fish like salmon, are a kind of superfood when it comes to nutrient powers. Omega-3 can benefit your body and health in so many ways.
One of its powers includes reducing inflammation which reduces the symptoms of hay fever.
Drink Fenugreek Seed Tea
It may sound like a lot, but 2-3 cups of fenugreek seed tea a day can help lower irritation and congestion in the sinuses and in your nasal passages.
Try Natural Antihistamines
There are quite a few natural ingredients which work as natural antihistamines, so you don’t need to resort to the synthetic ones. For example:
Fresh nettle juice or freeze-dried nettle capsules
- Red Onion
- Kali Bich
- Horseradish and garlic tablets
- Milk thistle
- Red clover
- Dong Quai
For more information about which herbs and naturopathic remedies might help your hay fever symptoms, and the combinations and doses that will work best for you, contact us for a consultation.
Reduce dust in your home
Sorry to have to tell you this, but maintaining a dust-free home as much as possible is one of the best ways to fight against hay fever. Vacuum often, and when you dust do so with a damp cloth or something that attracts the dust and doesn’t just fling it up into the air.
If you have the option, floorboards in your home are better than carpets. Hay fever sufferers are also better off without feather quilts or pillows – look for more sinus-friendly options such as mite-impenetrable covers or anti-microbial treatments that suppress mites and moulds.
Spritzing the room and bedding with essential oils including tea tree and eucalyptus can also help to keep dust mites at bay.
A Dash of Salt
I don’t mean filling up on the potato chips, but instead, try getting some salt up your nose!
Flushing your nose once or twice a day with warm water mixed with salt or over-the-counter saline sprays is a great natural way to clear out your nasal passages.
Swimming in a heated saltwater pool can also help, as can spending time in a salt therapy room. Many sufferers also swear by having a salt lamp in their homes or offices.
Many people have seen a reduction in symptom severity with regular acupuncture treatment.
General good health is best
Eating a diet high in vitamins and nutrients will help you fight any condition, including hay fever. A healthy diet can optimise your body’s immune system. You should eat well, drink lots of water, and get enough rest and relaxation to help your body work at its natural best.