Five Natural Remedies for Hay fever
Do you dread hay fever season? What makes spring time so beautiful can cause misery to those who suffer from hay fever. The season of sneezes. It is estimated that around 13 million people in the U.K. suffer with hay fever. The number of hay fever sufferers seems to be on the rise, one reason is due to climate change. While hay fever tends to begin at an early age it can strike anyone at any age.
Congestion, post nasal drip, sneezing and watery itchy eyes are enough to wear anyone down. Too much histamine is the main driver behind these symptoms. Histamine is found in our bodies and has some vital roles in our digestive system, communicates messages to our brains and even has a role in maintaining a healthy blood pressure. Too much can wreak havoc! The good news is there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and possibly avoid pollen attacks all together.
Here’s what to do:
1) Quercetin. Are you familiar with the term antioxidant? Quercetin is one of them. Animal studies show that quercetin helps regulate histamine production and promotes a healthy immune response. You can buy quercetin as a supplement over the counter. 1000mg – 1500mg a day divided into 2-3 doses is ideal. Once your symptoms are under control titrate it down to 500mg a day. Quercetin is also found naturally in apples, red onion, broccoli, blueberries, but the dose through foods is minimal.
2) Foods to avoid. Avoid high histamine foods during allergy season. Anything fermented or very ripe is likely to be high in histamine. Some foods to lower or avoid during allergy season are fermented dairy products like cheese (especially aged), yogurt, soy, red meat, miso, fermented or pickled vegetables, cured or fermented meats like sausage and salami. Dairy is mucus forming so best to avoid dairy where you can as well.
Are you thinking yikes?! No worries here is a list of allergy friendly foods; raw local honey, hot and spicy foods like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper, pineapple – bromelain in pineapple have anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling properties; bromelain can also be taken as a supplement, fresh organic vegetables, and foods high in omega 3 like wild caught salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds or chia seeds.
It is worth noting that alcohol is a potent ‘gut disruptor’ and thus will increase your allergic potential. This is because a large portion of histamine is produced in our gut, which brings me to my third tip.
3) Probiotics. Some studies have shown that after weeks of probiotic supplementation allergy symptoms were reduced by up to 68%. Make sure they contain the strains lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. The majority of our immune system resides in our guts, so the more balanced our gut flora is the less likely are immune systems are to overreact. I would advise starting probiotics a few weeks before allergy season begins.
4) Vitamin C. Vitamin C is found in many fresh fruit and vegetables such as strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, and peppers. This is great for keeping your immune system healthy but during allergy season you will needs around 2-3 grams a day to have an effect.
Don’t underestimate the power of this one! Vitamin C has powerful effects on immediately calming allergic reactions, promotes a strong balanced immune system and is anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin C is excreted from the body fairly quickly so it is best to divide the doses, 1 gram three times a day would be ideal. Combining vitamin C supplements with vitamin C rich foods may help with the absorption of vitamin C.
5) Essential Oils. Is anyone else a fan? I am rapidly becoming a huge fan of essential oils for many reasons. For the purpose of this article lets stick to the ones best for hay fever – peppermint.
Peppermint acts as an expectorant and helps open airways up, helping to unclog sinuses. Diffuse 5 drops in a diffuser at home. Some brands can also be applied topically to the chest, temples and back of the neck. Eucalyptus oil can provide similar relief.
Basil oil lowers the inflammatory response of allergens and has been shown to help the body rid itself of bacteria, mold and yeast that can lead to asthma and other respiratory issues. Dilute 2-3 drops of basil oil with a tiny amount of coconut oil and apply to your chest, back of the neck and temples. Some brands can be ingested by adding 1 drop of basil essential oil to a salad or soup.
Article By Jennifer Still