Hayfever season is in full swing and if you’re anything like the 13 million other UK sufferers, it will blight the long days of summer. From the tree pollen in the spring, to grass and flower pollen through the hottest days, the warmer weather is anything but welcome for some.
Hay fever is one of the most common allergies and can start at any age and affect anyone. Most common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes and it also can exacerbate symptoms of allergic asthma.
Many people turn to anti-histamines to help. For some, that is enough but for others, the bothersome symptoms still break through when the pollen count is high. Luckily there are natural remedies that can help.
Nettle contains a compound that acts as an anti-histamine. This wayside weed is very good at reducing the symptoms of hayfever and can simply be taken as a tea either on its own or with chamomile. The two work together really well. Chamomile has a marked ability to reduce redness and itchiness and give general relief to hayfever symptoms. If hayfever keeps you from sleep, chamomile also contains apigenin that binds to receptors in your brain helping you to relax and initiating the sleep cycle. Taking the cooled tea bags and sitting with them on your eyes can really help to relieve discomfort.
Some people find that taking other allergens out of their daily routine can help reduce the severity of symptoms. If you know that you don’t get on very well with cow dairy or wheat, this is the perfect time to cut them out to stop your system becoming overloaded. Some of my patients also swear by Pycnogenol, a maritime pine extract that can help reduce symptoms and make summertime bearable again. Simple steps like putting a barrier cream around your nose to trap the pollen particles, keeping windows and doors and not drying washing outside, can all help to reduce the amount of pollen that you breath in. Every little thing helps.
If you’re only just realising there’s more to controlling hayfever than anti-histamines, follow the tips above. But here’s a special tip from me – next year, start working on it in February to have a more comfortable year 😉