Tis the season of pollen, much to the dismay for hay fever sufferers. Between 10-30% of people in the Western world suffer from hay fever, every year; and is known as one of the most common allergies. As hay fever sufferers will know, it is damn right unbearable, uncomfortable and makes you look like you need to sneeze practically every second of every day. That tickling sensation in your nose, to the more severe symptoms of a swollen eye are only but scratching the surface of how irritating hay fever as an allergy can be. Hay fever, naturally only occurs during the spring and summer months due to an exposure to pollen, where your immune system overreacts to allergens. The NHS claims that hay fever affects one in five people at some point in their life and is a tricky condition to avoid; despite it being incredibly common.
So let’s face it – hay fever is no friend of ours; but a foe for many. With countless types of medication and nasal sprays available on the market, it is easy to get carried away with over the counter medication. But instead of spoiling your relaxing day in the sun, you might be better off opting for some super-natural hay fever remedies.
Maybe your dad is of the opinion that you need to be left alone in a field of rape seeds to cure your allergy, and we most certainly endorse the use of natural remedies that can be found lying around your house. RESULT!
Here are some of the most popular (and well-known) remedies for controlling your hay fever, alongside those you would not even consider.
A spoon full of honey makes….
Your hay fever go down – or at least that’s what they say. The bee pollen in honey is said to desentisitse your body to other pollens. By introducing honey to your dietary routine, your symptoms will reduce dramatically. Needless to say, buy natural/organic honey that is sourced from your local area; and your hay fever will adjust accordingly to the pollen in your area.
Eat a little more Vitamin C
Vitamin C has always been known for being a natural antihistamine and therefore reduces inflammation and swelling. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, lemons and grapefruit and is high in concentration. These variety of fruits also contain Bioflavonoids; which have a powerful anti-allergy chemical. The combination of Bioflavonoids and Vitamin C provides an unbeatable decongestant that alleviates symptoms of swelling. Considering, hay fever strikes during the most beautiful months of the year, you will not be in short supply of exotic fruits, and can make it a habit of eating one a day!
Eat your greens
By that, we don’t necessarily mean your green beans, sugar snaps and peas. But what we are implying is that you should be regularly eating carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, spinach and even apricots. You may be asking yourself what could possibly be miraculous about these variety of vegetables. Well, carotenoids, a naturally occurring pigment acts as a powerful antioxidant which reduces inflammation of your airways and acts to boost your immune system. No shying away from eating your greens at dinner now….
A touch of spice
Spice isn’t a love for everyone, unfortunately. And whilst a lot of people would grit their teeth hard before voluntarily eating a chilli, what you don’t know is that red peppers and chilli peppers contain capsaicin. It’s a well-known fact that spicy food opens your airways and nasal passages, and capsaicin is no different. If you’re not feeling brave enough to eat an entire chilli, add a few chilli flakes or red peppers to a meal a day.
Have a cuppa tea
Chamomile tea is surprisingly an antioxidant and antihistamine, containing flavonoids. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce swelling and inflammation of the eyes. Hay fever sufferers tend to use chamomile as an eye compress, which cools red and swollen eyes. Once you have brewed an instant chamomile teabag in water for 3 minutes, put the tea bag in the fridge for 15-30 minutes. Once you have remover the tea bag out of the fridge to cool slightly, hold the bag against the swollen eye for up to 5 minutes at a time. Leave your inflamed eye to ‘breathe’ and if the swelling continues, re-apply after one hour. Ginger tea and raw honey also work a treat – breaking up your chest congestion and also acts as a natural antihistamine. If chamomile nor ginger tea appeal, green tea and peppermint are said to strengthen your immune system and relieve sinus congestion.
When leaving the house…
Vaseline is the answer to your itchiness and running nose. Spread a thin layer of Vaseline inside the lower nostrils and in doing so, the Vaseline acts to trap pollen from entering the nostrils and clears your nasal passages and symptoms from worsening. Before leaving the house in the summer months, this will be your most trusted companion.
So there you have it, before you opt for the 'less healthy - over the counter' options for curing your hay fever, merely look to your kitchen and you would be amazed as to how easily you can relieve your symptoms for hay fever without even digging too deep into your pocket.