Here comes the sun! Are you excited about getting some nice weather (hopefully!) but dreading it at the same time? Dreading the sniffly nose, the runny nose, the itchy nose the watery eyes, the sneezing, sinus pressure, facial pressure? Ok, you get the picture! To put it mildly, hay fever (also known as allergic rhinitis) is far from pleasant to deal with. There are things you can do to reduce symptom, of course the obvious one is avoid grassy areas (good luck with that if you’re in Ireland!), avoid mowing the lawn, keep your window closed when driving, keep windows closed at times of peak pollen hours (which are late morning and late afternoon), sounds a bit
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen. What is an allergy? Why do I get it and some people don’t?
An allergy is the production of the allergic antibody IgE (immunoglobulin E). To put it simply, your immune system goes into overdrive. Someone who has an allergy has increased levels of IgE in the blood which remain there ready until the next time contact is made with the particular allergen, i.e pollen
Before you reach for the anti-histamines, would you like to know is there anything you do to help relieve the symptoms, naturally? Here are some tips to help:
Keep your nose clean !
Clean your nasal passage out with saline solution twice a day to help get some relief from irritation, inflammation and congestion
Keep yourself clean !
It's easy to get a build up of pollen on your clothes, skin and hair without even knowing. Showering before bed removes traces of pollen that you may have accumulated throughout the day
Local honey contains spores collected from local plants and by ingesting honey you are exposing yourself gradually to the allergen and strengthening immunity, think of it like a vaccine
Nettle is mother nature’s antihistamine, while a mouthful of stinging nettles is not advised, nettle tea or freeze dried nettles on the other hand can be beneficial to relieving those symptoms
Is there anything these fats can’t do?! Omega 3’s found in oily fish, flaxseed and walnuts help to fight inflammation and in turn can help reduce allergy symptoms. You can also supplement with Omega-3's
This comes into play in just about every ailment, keeping your gut healthy and happy is vital for overall health. Your gut is home to approximately 70% of your immune system, as we've said before, an allergic response is an immune response. First port of call if replenishing and repopulating those all important friendly bacteria. Probiotic foods and supplements are a way to do this. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and kefir are dietary sources, alternatively you can take a probiotic supplement
There is already so much inflammation happening with Hay Fever / allergic rhinitis (the clue is in the name, anything “itis” means inflammatory) ,you don’t need pro-inflammatory foods adding to the problem. Pro-inflammatory foods include refined carbohydrates , refined sugar, alcohol, corn, milk and dairy products and soy, sunflower and corn oil, these oils are found a lot in processed foods
Supplementing with quercetin, a bioflavanoid and antioxidant, can help reduce the production of histamine and help to reduce symptoms of hayfever. Quercetin is also found in apples, onions and green tea.