Natural ways to manage hay fever
A healthy diet, nutritional supplements, herbs and acupuncture can make a big difference to months of feeling under par with runny eyes, itchy eyes and sneezing especially in spring time when the pollen count is high. Some simple natural remedies include the following:
1) Simple dietary changes
- Increase fresh fruits and vegetables - these are a rich source of Vitamin Cand antioxidants involved in detoxification.
- Limit processed foods containing food additives.
- Increase omega 3 fatty acids with fish, nuts and seeds providing an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
- Check for food sensitivities that may be contributing to symptoms with an elimination diet. A dairy free diet is often recommended for a trial period.
- A healthy gut is paramount. There is emerging evidence that probiotics can modulate the allergic response.
Quercetin is a flavanoid found in apples, berries, broccoli and black tea. It has immune modulating effects and appears to stabilize mast cells which release chemicals like histamine that cause hay fever symptoms. Bromelain, a pineapple extract, has similar anti-inflammatory actions as well as being a mucolytic agent. Herbal remedies that are sometimes used are perilla, albizia, skullcap and the less readily available butterbur.
Acupuncture can be used to treat hay fever. Six treatments given at the start of the allergy season can have a significant impact on symptoms. It is readily available and can be done with needles or pain free laser therapy.
4) Avoidance measures
Simple allergy avoidance measures include bathing the eyes with salty water and using nasal irrigation to reduce contact with any allergens. Dry washing indoors on windy days.
Hay fever is common and can have a serious impact on your quality of life. Simple, natural treatments are available and can be used with more traditional therapies such as antihistamines. Always seek expert advice to ensure safety and compatibility in treatment.