Around May time, for the last 3 consecutive years, my seven year old son has been suffering badly with hay fever. His symptoms include a constant runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes but worst of all he gets severe eczema especially around his eyes. Even though this has been happening for a good few years now, I don’t ever seem to be prepared for his symptoms and I end up turning to antihistamines for the entire summer!
This year I would really like to treat him naturally and all the advice is telling me to start right now as natural remedies are generally about the body building up a natural resistance to allergens, in this case pollen, so they are not generally a last minute fix.
Here are 6 natural remedies that are at the top of my list:
1. Local Honey
I’ve been reading lots about how local honey could help with symptoms of hay fever so I took a trip down to my local Apiary and was so pleased that they sell honey produced from their own hives.
The advice I was given was to take a teaspoon of local honey every day starting from now and it’s best eaten raw. The honey I bought was collected around June last year so chances are the bees would have come into contact with pollen of that time too, which should be perfect timing for my son!
2. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Stinging Nettles are thought to be able to reduce the amount of histamine in the body caused by allergies. Specifically, the ingestion of nettle could really help with horrid hay fever symptoms such as a stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes etc. Nettles are full of iron, Vitamin C and calcium too so they’re a great ‘pick me up’ for when you’re feeling run down.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, preliminary studies they carried out have shown that stinging nettle helped to reduce sneezing and itching in people suffering with hay fever. Another study showed that 57% of patients rated nettles as effective in relieving allergies, and 48% said that nettles were more effective than allergy medications they had used previously.
A great way to have nettle is as a tea and it’s very simple to make your own using the following steps:
- Using rubber gloves, pick off some new nettle leaves
- Wash them and steep in boiling water for a few minutes.
- Then remove the leaves and enjoy!
Alternatively you can buy pure nettle leaf tea and strain these as tea leaves.
3. A Probiotic Supplement
The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine reviewed 23 studies involving 1,900 participants and found evidence that probiotics can decrease the severity of hay fever symptoms. Scientists think that by restoring, or increasing, the diversity of bacteria in the gut it can have a positive effect on the immune system and lessen the impact of allergies.¹
It is interesting that Western societies seem to suffer from hay fever far more than the rest of the world. Scientists believe that this could be mainly due to the ‘hygiene hypothesis’. This hypothesis suggests that our increased hygiene-focused lifestyle has decreased the diversity of bacteria that we come into contact with and that is present in our gut. It is believed that this has implications on our immune system which can often be sent into overdrive by allergens such as pollen.
4. A Natural Nasal Allergy Blocker
A product like Nasaleze Allergy Blocker for adults and children is a natural nasal powder spray. It Contains cellulose powder which turns to a gel once sprayed into the nose and creates a barrier that blocks airborne allergens from coming into contact with the sensitive nasal membrane. The body therefore doesn’t need to release histamine and the symptoms of the allergy are prevented.
5. A natural Beeswax Nasal Balm
Rubbing a natural organic nasal balm on the tip of the nose such as Haymax nasal balm works by trapping the allergen and so prevents it from entering the nasal membrane which can lessen the symptoms of hay fever.
Acupuncture specialist Nicola Salmon recommends 3 acupressure points that you can quite simply apply gentle pressure on to help alleviate hay fever symptoms. Click here to take a look at these.
Ref ¹: http://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk/blog/2015/05/could-probiotics-help-alleviate-hay-fever
Take a look at our range of effective natural products that can help to alleviate symptoms of allergies like hay fever in the natural health star health shop.
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