The Best Natural Remedies for Hayfever Relief
As we move into warmer months, many will do so with a little apprehension. Though the sun is a welcome sight after months in cold and darkness, the spring and summer seasons also mean the beginning of the hay fever season.
Hay fever season is characterised by the usual hay fever symptoms, dry, itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion and, for hay fever sufferers, it can be quite a gruelling time. If you're one of these people, you may be looking for a natural way to fight the symptoms of seasonal allergies and make the warmer months a little more pleasant.
In this article, we're going to be looking at a few natural remedy ideas you can use to reduce hay fever symptoms and get on with your life during the months when the pollen count is highest. To find out what hay fever actually is, what the symptoms of hay fever are, and how you can use natural remedies to treat hay fever, keep on reading!
What is hay fever and what causes hay fever symptoms?
So, what is hay fever?
Hay fever is actually an allergic reaction to pollen. This can be the pollen of grass, which is the most common, or the pollen from certain trees. Most people experience reactions to grass pollen but some may find that they're also allergic to tree pollen, and as different trees and the grass have different pollen release times, hay fever can be an ongoing battle.
The pollen particles released from grass and trees contain a protein that causes the reaction. This substance is called an inflammatory mediator and is known as histamine. Histamine causes the reaction inside your body that results in itchy eyes, inflamed nasal passages and mucous membranes, runny nose, and sinus congestion.
For more on the symptoms of hay fever, keep on reading.
Symptoms of hay fever
The symptoms of hay fever can be split into two categories, these include:
- Sinus congestion, nasal congestion, watery eyes, lots of mucous, and an itchy nose
- Red eyes, itchy and irritated eyes, inflamed nose and mucous membranes, and a headache
Symptoms of hay fever may vary from person to person and can include a combination of both of these categories. Hay fever can be difficult to deal with and can make daily life more difficult, as such, hay fever sufferers are likely to need to ease hay fever symptoms to be able to get on with their day.
Hay fever relief comes in two types; over-the-counter relief, like antihistamines, and natural remedies, like local honey. To find out more about both kinds of hay fever remedies, keep reading.
Over-the-counter treatments for hay fever symptoms
Over-the-counter medication and treatment for hay fever include oral antihistamines and nasal sprays to reduce congestion and ease the symptoms of hay fever. Some think that this medication just clouds and suppresses symptoms, rather than treating them, meaning that the symptoms may come back even worse when you stop taking them, this is called "rebound congestion."
As a result, many people are turning to natural remedies for hay fever relief. Natural hay fever remedies usually involve essential oils, local honey, and other complementary medicines. This kind of natural remedy is classified as herbal medicine and has been used for centuries to treat the symptoms of hay fever.
Surviving hay fever season: natural hay fever remedies
Natural hay fever remedies are wide-ranging and include lots of different styles of medication. We've gathered a list of the different natural remedies for hay fever below. Check them out now and see how you can treat your hay fever symptoms in a natural way.
Turmeric and ginger
Turmeric and ginger are well-known treatments for allergic rhinitis, colds, and hay fever. As hot and spicy roots, these spices are warming and contain anti-inflammatory properties. You can use the roots alone or combined for the effective treatment of hay fever symptoms.
Nettle is thought to block histamine activity and as histamine is the substance that causes the allergic reaction in the body, blocking it can only help ease your hay fever symptoms! Nettle tea is soothing for the discomfort of hay fever so drinking this can really help make daily life easier.
Triphala is an ayurvedic remedy, known to help cleanse a congested digestive system and to help ease the symptoms of hay fever. It contains Indian gooseberry, black myrobalan, and belleric myrobalan. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties.
When taking Triphala, ensure you follow the correct dosage as higher doses can have laxative effects.
Believe it or not, your diet can have a massive impact on how your body responds to hay fever. Favouring warming and nourishing foods, like grains, soups, and leafy vegetables can help to reduce symptoms by upping your intake of vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory compounds.
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and so upping your intake of the vitamin during the hay fever season can help to calm your body's reaction to pollen. Antihistamines are found in over-the-counter medication too but using a natural form can help to treat symptoms instead of masking them.
Consuming more citrus fruits, like oranges and lemons, or even taking a vitamin C supplement can help to keep the levels of the vitamin healthy in your system, helping to fight off the symptoms of hay fever.
Aloe vera is a cooling and soothing compound with natural anti-inflammatory properties. It can help to soothe irritation in the nose and mucous membranes and reduce the allergic response from the immune system.
The elder tree is considered a trove of medical power by herbalists. Elderflower is great for hay fever symptoms and can dry and tone mucous membranes, reduce sneezing and ease runny noses. It is also rich in anti-inflammatories.
Elderflower can be found in teas, like this Planet Organic Elderflower tea.
Chamomile is known for its relaxing properties but is also great for easing the symptoms of hay fever. It is known to cleanse excess mucus and reduce inflammation. It is particularly effective if inhaled, through the diffusion of chamomile essential oil, but it can also be drunk as tea.
Medicinal mushrooms have all sorts of incredible properties and can be used as powders, in coffee, and in tea. Mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans which are good for the immune system and help to reduce inflammation. Mushroom blends have been found to be immune balancing.
Reishi, considered the King of Mushrooms, has been known to have antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
Mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the development of allergies and so boosting your intake, through a vitamin D supplement or diet, could be helpful in treating hay fever symptoms.
There are many therapeutic essential oils that can help hay fever sufferers to survive the season. These include:
- Lavender oil, which reduces inflammation and has calming properties
- Eucalyptus oil, which is anti-inflammatory and can reduce congestion
- Tea tree oil, which is a known anti-inflammatory. Always do a patch test before using tea tree oil as it has been known to trigger allergic reactions too.
- Peppermint oil, a known anti-inflammatory
- Lemon oil, which can help to clear sinuses and congestion.
Honey is thought to help hay fever because the bee pollen present in honey can help to desensitise the body to the effects of pollen. Consuming local honey is best for this remedy as the bees will be visiting local species that trigger your own symptoms.
Hot peppers contain an active compound called capsaicin. This compound opens up nasal passages and helps to reduce congestion in the nasal passages, relieving blocked noses. You can add peppers to salads or cook them into sauces.
One of the best ways to avoid the symptoms of hay fever is to minimize contact with the triggers. This means checking the daily pollen count and avoiding being outdoors for too long when it is highest. You can also ensure you shower to remove any traces of the pollen left on your skin after you have been out and wash your clothes after wearing them.
It may not always be possible, but not being near the triggers of hay fever is the best way to avoid the discomfort of allergy symptoms.
Vaseline, rubbed under the nose, can help to stop the pollen particles from getting up your nose and into the body to cause an allergic reaction. As the vaseline catches the pollen, your body is slightly more protected against an allergic reaction.
Treating hay fever with natural remedies can ensure that you lead a healthy life. Natural remedies are known to ease and soothe symptoms where over-the-counter medications may not. There are lots of natural herbal remedies to soothe the symptoms of hay fever, so why not try one out this springtime and see if they can help you to feel better too?
Frequently asked questions
How can I naturally get rid of hay fever?
There is no cure for hay fever available but you can use natural remedies to fight the symptoms and ease the discomfort of hay fever. There are lots of different kinds of remedies, including changing your diet, using essential oils, and drinking tea. We've listed a few of them below.
- Lavender oil inhalation, which acts to reduce inflammation and has calming properties
- Eating a diet rich in nourishing and warming foods, like grains and leafy greens, to up vitamin C intake
- Drinking turmeric and ginger tea to reduce inflammation
How do you get rid of hay fever symptoms fast?
Hay fever can be uncomfortable and cause disruption to your day so you might want to find a way to quickly get rid of hay fever symptoms. There are a few ways in which you can do this, which include:
- Rubbing vaseline under your nostrils to ensure no more pollen particles get up there
- Staying indoors and away from the pollen
- Showering to remove any pollen on your body or in your hair
How can I stop hay fever without medication?
You can stop hay fever in a few natural ways. These include the use of some essential oils, like eucalyptus to clear sinuses, and tea tree oil to reduce inflammation. You can up your vitamin C intake as the vitamin is a natural antihistamine. You can also change your diet to include more nourishing and warming foods like grains and soup or stay indoors when the pollen count is high.
Is ginger good for hayfever?
Ginger is a known anti-inflammatory and helps to soothe inflamed nostrils and mucous membranes caused by hay fever. It is also a warming spice and can soothe the body and help with decongestion caused by an allergy to pollen. Try drinking ginger in tea or look for ginger juice!