Hay Fever - The Natural Cures
Hay fever season is upon us, and If you're a sufferer, your nose is running, eyes are itchy and the sneezing will be in full swing at the moment. The severity of hayfever symptoms can differ year to year - it can depend on what time of year you are affected and on how big the pollen count is. The higher the pollen count, it appears that the worse the hay fever symptoms, and it is currently thought that over a quarter of the population suffer from hay fever at some point in their lives.
Grasses and plant pollens stimulate the immune system to activate the inflammatory systems in the body - thus hay fever affects the mucous membranes of the sinuses, throat, nose and palate. These reactions are also made worse by the presence of pollutants, dust and chemicals. So rather than just popping an anti-hystemine tablet, or any other chemical fuelled medication, here are numerous suggestions to naturally help your symptoms, and reduce the pain of suffering with hay fever.
Treatment with Herbs
1. Peppermint tea
- Peppermint tea, is know for relieving nasal and sinus congestion. The essential oils acts as a decongestant, and substances in peppermint contain anti-inflammatory and mild antibacterial constituents. To make fresh peppermint tea, just use a few fresh sprigs of peppermint leaves and add hot water. If you like it a little sweeter, just add a drop of raw honey or blue agave. Otherwise try these delicious Three Mint Tea Bags from Pukka.
2. Stinging nettles
- Used as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. Stinging nettle leaves have been used both as a herbal treatment and a homeopathic remedy for the relief of allergies such as asthma, hay fever and hives as well as hay-fever. Try drinking some nettle tea, or why not head out into the open and forage some nettles to make our Foraged Nettle Soup.
3. Ginger -
Ginger doesn't only strengthen the immune system, and act as a natural antihistamine, but it also clears the microcirculatory channels of the body, including the sinuses that tend to flare up in hay fever season. Ginger and raw honey with hot water break can break up chest congestion and loosen phlegm - otherwise try whipping up an aromatic Asian noodle soup with lots of spices and piles of ginger.
- Steaming is brilliant for removing congestion. It refreshes and soothes irritated sinuses, while helping to rid the nasal passages of mucus. Put your head over a bowl of boiling hot water with a tea towel over the top, and just breathe in the steam. For an added benefit, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and carefully inhale the steam.
- Tumeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory abilities that are comparable to steroidal and non steroidal drugs, but in terms of hay fever, tumeric acts as a herbal anti-histamine. Tumeric can be added to plenty of dishes. However, to remove the symptoms of hay fever, we would suggest either taking tumeric capsules, or mixing tumeric powder with honey and hot nut milk for a warming hay fever fixer!
Grapefruit is not only hugely alkalising, it can also make an excellent home remedy for hay fever. Pop a segment of grapefruit and lemon into a cup of boiled water as a drink along with a teaspoon of raw honey three times a day to help remove symptoms. Alternatively, try out our Grilled Grapefruit recipe
to help remove symptoms.
Garlic, green tea and Omega 3 rich foods should also be eaten in abundance and finally some say that raw honey is a fantastic remedy for fighting hay fever. Try taking 1tsp of raw honey per day if your symptoms are bad. It may take a while to see the results so stick at it.
So thats just a few options to help tackle hay fever. However, there are also an incredible amount of alternative therapies for hay fever from acupuncture, to homeopathic remedies that have been proven to naturally eliminate hay fever symptoms. So before grabbing the pills, see if you can naturally cure yourself from the horrific dribbling of the eyes and nose in this grassy season!