Hayfever can be a debilitating and demoralising allergy to experience, with a host of unpleasant symptoms ranging from itching eyes and sneezing to sinus problems and excessive sweating. When these afflictions strike, you can often find yourself running towards the nearest pharmacy, desperate for some form of relief.
However, this does not have to be the case, especially if you are weary of the side-effects that usually accompany conventional medicines like anti-histamines or steroid sprays. The natural world is abundant with hayfever treatments, especially if you are willing to make a few lifestyle changes to complement these remedies.
'No. No way. I’m not lying down and paying to have a stranger stick pins in me. It’s just never going to happen.'
This might be your initial reaction to the idea of acupuncture, however there are untold benefits that come with the practice and rather than inflicting pain, it has been proven to have to stimulate the nervous system into releasing pain-relieving chemicals like endorphins.
In a study conducted by the Charité University Medical Centre in Berlin, it was reported that acupuncture can improve symptoms in hayfever sufferers, so it might be worth considering trying a session if you are struggling to find other ways of relieving your allergic reactions.1
During hayfever your adrenals, the glands responsible for producing cortisol and adrenalin, are often placed under a great deal of stress, struggling to keep up with the demands of your immune system. When this happens, you often find that symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and headaches are often exacerbated as you generally feel run down and unwell.
Your production of cortisol, the chemical which is produced to counteract the inflammatory properties of histamine, is decreased, meaning that any histamine induced symptoms will become worse. However, there are a number of ways that you can naturally give your adrenals a much needed boost during this time.
You can try to reduce your demand for adrenalin by de-stressing and finding ways to relax and calm. Your diet again plays a vital role in this process as you will need to be consuming plenty of B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. If you want to read more about how to naturally support your adrenals, then please refer to our blog, love your adrenals
The phrase ‘we are what we eat’ is usually tossed about in relation to your nutrition and overall wellbeing, however the truth is that your diet can play a decisive role in how you cope with your hayfever symptoms.
On our hayfever and diet page, we discuss the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, rich in anti-histamine foods, such as garlic, ginger and carotenoids like carrots. These foods contain properties that can lower the levels of the chemical histamine in your immune system, reducing inflammatory symptoms such as eye irritation, congestion and sinus headaches.
Your diet can also affect how you react to allergic stimulants. In our page about pollen food syndrome, it is mentioned that what you eat can act as a catalyst for an oral allergic reaction, so you should be more aware of how food can interact with the allergens that trigger your hayfever symptoms.
For example, around 95% of hayfever sufferers find that their symptoms are caused by grass pollen, meaning that you should avoid foods that can cross react with this allergen, such as tomatoes, oranges and celery despite them being abundant in vitamin C.
Herbal sleep remedies
There is really no underselling how important it is that you get a good night of sleep, especially if you are suffering from hayfever.
Sleep can help the body to repair itself and allow your mind to work through any issues or challenges that you might have came across throughout your day. When you are unable to sleep, it can have extremely negative consequences for the rest of your body, particularly your stress levels.
This then forms a vicious cycle as when you feel anxious or apprehensive, it can affect your sleep pattern, with one symptom enabling the other and exhausting your immune system at this crucial time. If you are finding it difficult to get to sleep when you are suffering from hayfever, then it might be worth trying our natural sleep remedy, Dormeasan.
Dormeasan is a non-drowsy solution that will not leave you feeling groggy and unfocused the next morning. It contains extracts of Valerian and Hops, and can be taken by anyone over the age of 18.
When you are suffering from hayfever, your eyes can often become aggravated by pollen, making them itchy, runny and sore. A.Vogel Eye Drops are excellent for tired, dry or irritated eyes, and they contain Euphrasia.
Euphrasia, also known as eyebright, is an extremely beneficial herb for the eyes, relieving inflammation and swelling, taking the edge off conditions like conjuctivitis or hayfever. These eye drops are suitable to use whilst wearing contact lenses and can be taken by children over the age of 3.
Honey and lemon
Honey and lemon; approved and recommended by grandparents everywhere.
The solution is normally made by mixing a couple of teaspoons of honey into some lemon juice and hot water. It is usually used to ease sore throats and relieve tickly coughs, but it does contain natural anti-inflammatory properties and can even aid digestion.
In the case of season allergies, honey can also help your immune system to cope with hayfever as it introduces trace amounts of pollen into the body, desensitising you to the allergen and reducing your unpleasant hayfever symptoms.
Keeping hydrated is not just a requirement for your overall health and wellbeing; it can also help you to feel better when you are suffering from hayfever.
Water can soothe your sore throat and tickly cough and, if you drink enough of it, it can thin the inflamed mucous membranes, alleviating symptoms that are associated with congestion, such as blocked nose, ears and headache.
As well as keeping hydrated, there are a number of other liquids that are proven to be beneficial during hayfever. If you want to learn more, please refer to our diet and hayfever page.
Congestion is a prominent hayfever symptom, caused by the mucous membranes in your nose, ears and throat becoming inflamed, preventing fluid from draining down the back of your throat. Inhaling steam is an old home remedy when it comes to relieving congestion. You can do this by either:
- Holding your head over a bowl: Pour hot, steamy water into a bowl and hold your head over to inhale the fumes. This should unblock your sinuses and soften the mucus membranes in the affected areas. If you want, you could try adding a drop of peppermint or eucalyptus oil into the water, as these are known to relax inflamed sinuses
- Have a bath: Or alternatively, you could try having a hot bath or shower instead. This should enable you to inhale steam in a more relaxed and comfortable environment, and it is also good if you are trying to de-stress or take some time out from your normal routine. You could try adding some lavender oil to your bathwater, as this should help you to relax and unwind.
A neti pot is an object that can resemble a small watering can that you can use to relieve congestion. You fill the pot with a saline solution or plain water and tilt the liquid down one nostril. It should drain out of the other nostril and relieve congestion in your nasal passages, unblocking your stuffed nose. Once you are done with one nostril, blow your nose and proceed to repeat what you have just done with the other side.
Natural nasal sprays
If your hayfever symptoms revolve predominantly around a blocked nose, then you could always try our Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray.
This is a natural product that contains no preservatives and is suitable for anyone over the age of 6. It works by cleansing the nasal passages of potential allergens and hydrates the nose, restoring fluid and moisture. It can be taken alongside Pollinosan Hayfever tablets, but should not be used if you are pregnant.
Pollinosan hayfever tablets
Unlike conventional hayfever medicines such as anti-histamines, Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets are non-drowsy and made using seven different types of herbs.
The remedy is designed to target the common symptoms of hayfever, such as congestion, sneezing, eye irritation and sore throat. It is suitable for anyone over the age of 12 and can be taken in conjunction with pollinosan luffa nasal spray.
Rest and relax
It might be difficult to achieve if your hayfever symptoms are stressing you out, but getting plenty of rest and relaxation during this time is crucial to helping your body recover.
If you are constantly busy, anxious or finding it difficult to switch off, then your body will try to produce adrenalin, a chemical that can trigger the release of histamine, worsening your symptoms and placing additional stress on your immune system.
If you run a busy household, ‘me time’ might seem like a Sunday pipe-dream, but in actual fact it is very important. Take some time out from your hectic lifestyle, either to read a good book, indulge in a hot bath or binge watch your favourite television programme on Netflix.
You could try practicing meditation, as this will teach you proper breathing techniques and enable you to have better control over your mind and body. It is proven to naturally lower your stress levels and you can fit it into your everyday routine either by meditating for half an hour before the rest of your household gets up, or last thing in the evening before you go to bed, which may even help you to achieve a better night’s sleep.
Herbal stress remedies
If you find that your hayfever symptoms are making you anxious or affecting your confidence, then it might be worth trying stress relief to help you relax and take control of your allergic symptoms.
Stress relief daytime is a natural stress remedy that is aimed at reducing your stress levels in tense situations. The product comes in the form of a tincture that you can mix with a little water and take up to twice daily.
Please be aware though, this remedy is not suitable for pregnant women and should not be taken in conjunction with alcohol.