Australians love the warmer weather but for some of us, it’s unbearable due to the amount of pollens and allergens in the air, setting off our hay fever.
While your body’’s immune system works to protect you, for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, it goes into overdrive. Histamine is one of the chemicals released causing hay fever.
Most who suffer from hay fever have an allergy to one or more types of pollen with the most likely causes including grass and spores from fungi and moulds.
The most common medication for hay fever are anti-histamines and while these medicines are very effective at first, the body starts to build up a resistance to them, making spring and summer even harder to bear.
So beat hay fever the natural way with these simple remedies – you’ve probably already got most of them in the house. Here’s our favourites:
Research has revealed that probiotics can help treat hay fever, such as yoghurt. As 70 to 80 per cent of our immune system is in our digestive system, taking a probiotic such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus can ease symptoms of hay fever.
2. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
Reducing inflammatory foods such as sugars, refined grains and flours, and hydrogenated or seed oils can help your seasonl allergies. Citrus fruits, berries and pineapples all have anti-inflammatory properties, and are high in vitamin C, which is nature’s anti-histamine.
3. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is a reputable hay fever symptom reliever. Some herbalists suggest smearing chamomile and lemon oil on a tissue and inhaling to prevent hay fever symptoms.
4. Ginger lemon tea with raw honey
This tea works to break up chest congestion and loosen phlegm. It strengthens the immune system and acts as a natural antihistamine. Simply slice the ginger into coins then heat the ginger, a little lemon rind, 1 cup water and 2 tbsp honey to a boil in small pot. Add half a lemon’s juice to hot water then strain into cup.
A nice hot steam produces excellent results to break up congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and carefully inhale the steam. Avoid eucalyptus if you are taking homeopathic remedies as it voids their action.
6. Grapefruit and lemon drink
Boil the fruit of half a grapefruit and half a lemon in one cup of water for 15 minutes. Drink warm and mix with raw honey.
7. Nettle-peppermint tea
Nettle is a highly-medicinal plant and can relieve arthritis, lower blood pressure and help seasonal allergies. Along with peppermint, which is an anti-inflammatory, they work to help you in the warmer months.
Place the 1 teaspoon of dried nettle and 1/4 cup chopped peppermint in a mug and cover with boiling water. Steep them for 10-15 minutes, strain; add honey to taste, and drink 2 times daily as needed for allergy relief.
8. Red onion water
It doesn’t sound pleasant but in fact onions contain a water soluble chemical compound called quercetin, which has been found to reduce the amount of histamine produced by the body, in turn reducing symptoms of allergies.
Thinly slice one red onion and add it to 4 cups of water. Allow it to infuse for 8-12 hours before drinking 1-2 times daily. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stir some honey into individual glasses when you drink it if you have trouble drinking it.
9. Neti pot and saline rinse
Some people swear by neti pots and their ability to flush out sinus irritations and mucus. Basically you use a Neti Pot filled with a cool sterile saline solution (1 tsp sea salt in 1 cup water) to flush out the sinuses of allergens and irritations.
Simply pour through one nostril and let it drain out the other!
Tell us, do you get hay fever? What have you tried to relieve symptoms?