Hazy days and lazy days mean Hayfever. Sunshine or not, it’s here and it ain’t going nowhere. High pollen counts typically begin in May and peak in June/July, grass pollen and tree pollen being the main culprits. Cue the flattering runny noses, tension headaches, watery eyes and itchy throats. Not to mention the drugs and remedies we desperately shove down us to get a teenie bit of relief so we can enjoy al fresco dining in the park or a day lounging at the beach.
If you’ve got Benadryl fatigue, you might be wondering about more natural ways to beat hayfever. But what works and what doesn’t? If you’re like me and haven’t got the time or money to waste playing guessing games, read on and do it the natural way. Your body will thank you for it and they work a treat.
1. Bee Pollen capsules (100% natural)
Bee Pollen capsules are amazing. Take it from someone who knows. They work big time. Not only are they fab for hayfever, they give relief from allergies in general and because they come straight from the hive, all the goodness is there and ready to go. Take these all year and you are unlikely to suffer from hayfever in the same way again as you build up your immunity, or take before the spring/summer hits and throughout. Always make sure you buy 100% natural pollen to get the best from them. You wont get half the benefits with a second rate product. Trust me its worth it. A fave brand of mine is Forever Living.
- Excellent supplement from the beehive
- Boosts energy
- May enhance stamina
- Numerous studies have found Propolis to have antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties
- Balances sugar levels
The bees love it, and so does your body. Hayfever hates it. Mary Poppins may pop a spoonful of sugar each day to help the meds go down, but a spoonful of honey is the medicine for some hayfever sufferers. Honey is rich in natural goodness, this we all know, and now it can be used to treat hayfever as an anti-allergen. Fave brand of mine is Yorkshire Honey- Spring Blossom.
- Studies have shown that as an antibacterial and healing agent, honey is better than over-the-counter remedies for coughs, colds and sore throats. So its medicinal properties are tip top and worth a try. Try taking a spoonful of pure natural honey (locally sourced is always best if possible) each day, or you can always mix some into your daily porridge or yogurt/fruit brekkie. Keep this up as a daily rule, sit back and watch the results.
- Another tip is to mix three teaspoons of honey with nettle tea – not pretty tasting but it is brilliant for the excess mucus in the respiratory system. Nettle is jam packed with iron/vitamin C , boosting your immunity and eliminating allergic rhinitis, which is only going to do you heaps of good.
3. Chamomile tea
Chamomile is a light, refreshing herb to drink as a tea and it tastes yummy mixed with honey for those extra benefits. Loose tea or teabags will do the job just fine. My fave brand to use is Neals Yard.
- An antioxidant and antihistamine, chamomile tea’s flavoniods act as an anti-inflammatory.
- While best taken as a drink, you can also use chamomile tea as an eye compress to cool swollen, irritable red eyes.
- How to use as a cold compress: Use a fresh teabag for each eye to avoid infection. Submerge a chamomile tea bag in water for about 3 mins. Drain the water and gently squeeze excess water from the teabag. Pop the bag in the fridge for 15 mins, once cool take out. Hold the teabag to the swollen eye for approx 5 mins at a time. Give the inflammed eye a chance to breathe inbetween applying a new compress. An hour is ideal.
4. Acupuncture therapy
I am a big fan of Acupuncture in general, but if you are a chronic long term sufferer of hayfever it’s a very worthwhile treatment to try. Acupuncture is believed to work on stimulating the nervous system . This stimulation of certain acupuncture points has proven to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress. Treatment length will vary upon your needs and the acupuncturist treating you, but typically 1-6 sessions are advised to allow a good chance for the treatment to work.
- Always make sure you use a reputable acupuncturist who is qualified to practice by the British Acupuncture Council. You’re entitled to see certificates proving your acupuncturist’s training and credibility when you choose your treatment centre.
- Not only will the treatments potentially help you with your hayfever/allergies, but it’s a relaxing session in general. It’s some chill time for your body to re-energise. Win.
5. Essential oils (aromatherapy)
Aromatherapy is a lovely way to relax and unwind; or even energise and pep you up. So it seems logical that it would be beneficial to use it for niggling health issues. Essential oils can offer relief from the symptoms of hayfever by burning a few drops in an oil burner around the house for you to enhale, or adding drops to a warm bath, or mixed with a carrier oil and applied to the body.
Essential oils that are great for hayfever relief (as recommended in Bartram’s Encylopedia of Herbal Medicine) include:
- Roman Chamomile
- German Chamomile
- Eucalyptus Radiata
- Ravensara (my fave)
- Thyme (sweet)
To apply to the body directly use in a carrier oil/lotion and add 5 drops of essential oil for every 30mls of carrier base. Massage near the sides of the nose, forehead, temples and back of the neck. This will really help ease the mucus membranes.
Try and test to see what essential oils are best for you. It will vary from person to person and depend on what scents you respond to most and feel the benefits from. Always stop using an essential oil if you notice any type of negative reaction particularly on your skin, for example rashes etc. Carrier oils/lotions to use safely with oils can be bought from most health and wellbeing stores. Neals Yard Remedies stock some nicely priced ones and can be bought online as well as lovingly sourced essential oils.
So what are you waiting for? Enjoy, get trying and reap those benefits. Hayfever just got stung.
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