Millions of people in the UK suffer with hayfever every year. Hayfever or allergic rhinitis is usually
seasonal, as it is related to plant pollens, such as tree pollens or grass
pollens. However some people suffer
hayfever type symptoms at any time of year as they are susceptible to multiple
Signs & symptoms
The typical symptoms of
hayfever include frequent sneezing, runny nose, red, itchy, puffy, watery eyes,
irritated throat and fatigue.
Hayfever often runs in
families, along with childhood onset asthma and eczema. It arises due to an immunological reaction to
an external allergenic substance. The
immune system becomes primed and ready to act as soon as the pollen is detected
by the body and produces an immune response by releasing histamine, which
encourages local inflammation, giving rise to swelling, redness and itchiness
in the nasal passages. Because the
sinuses are linked to the nasal passages and the sensitive lining of the eyelid,
the eyes are also affected, becoming red, itchy, puffy and watery.
Treatment should begin about
1 month before the individual’s hayfever season usually begins, in order to
boost the immune system and ultimately prevent hayfever. Listed below are some of the common natural remedies for hayfever
Echinacea is an immune-modulating
and immune-enhancing herb, as well as being anti-inflammatory. It boosts the immune system helping to
prevent colds and flus and may help reduce sensitivity to allergens. It also helps to reduce inflammation and is
effective in the treatment of nasal catarrh.
The elderflower tree comes
into flower around May, producing heavy, white clusters of flowers, and
bringing misery to many hayfever sufferers.
However, elderflower is widely used in the treatment of hayfever as it
is cooling and anti-catarrhal, helping to dry up the copious mucus from the
inflamed nasal passages.
Plantain or Ribwort Tincture
Plantain is a common plant
growing in lawns and meadows. It soothes
inflamed and irritated mucous membranes and dries up mucus.
The goldenseal root is traditionally
used for upper respiratory tract infections, where there is yellow catarrh and
heat symptoms, such as fever. It is a
fantastic mucous membrane restorative and also enhances the immune system. It
is however not suitable during pregnancy.
Nettle Leaf Tincture
Another common weed found in
the garden, nettle is anti-allergic when used in herbal form. It must be the fresh nettle tincture that is
taken, as this preserves the key ingredient – formic acid. Nettles are very nutritious plants, high in
many minerals, such as silica and potassium, as well as Vitamins A & C.
Chamomile is a wonder herb
and is especially useful in the treatment of children. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and
anti-microbial. Chamomile is an
excellent relaxant, calming anxiety and insomnia often brought about by
hayfever. It enhances the immune system,
helping to reduce allergies.
Ginger root is a hot and spicy herb
that warms the body to its extremities and is useful for drying up profuse, runny
Sage relieves inflammation
of the throat and soothes the mucous membranes and can be useful in the
treatment of hayfever. (Do not use in
Chamomile can also be bought
as a dried herb and used in steam inhalations to clear the nasal passages and
relieve itchy, red eyes.
Cold chamomile tea bags can
also be very soothing to red, itchy and inflamed eyes. Or
cold chamomile tea used as an eye bath.
A good quality multi-vitamin
will ensure that the body is receiving the correct balance of vitamins and
minerals required for a healthy immune system.
Vitamin C is the main antioxidant
in the cells of the respiratory passages, and it supports the immune system.
Quercetin is a potent antioxidant
and has an anti-inflammatory action that may help relieve allergic respiratory
reactions such as hayfever.
A good quality fish or hemp
seed oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and may help to reduce inflammation.
Garlic boosts the immune
system and is antioxidant, as well as having many other health benefits.
A diet low in mucus-forming
foods may help hayfever sufferers.
Reduce the following in the diet up to 1 month before symptoms usuallybegin: wheat, dairy, sugar,
processed foods, cakes & pastries
Increase the following in
the diet: fruit, vegetables, salad,
oily fish, pulses, brown rice, water
Always consult a practitioner
to work out the best and safest treatment plan
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