Number of hay fever sufferers doubled this year due to climate change and increase in pollution. Hay fever season usually starts in the March and it will last until late August. Hay fever symptoms are very difficult to cope with and it can affect the quality of your life. Long term suffering may lead to sinusitis and asthma.
Few weeks ago, I got Hay fever for the first time. Needless to say, it was very bad with red itchy watery eyes, itchy throat and nose, continuous sneezing and streaming nose. To be honest, I feared to get out of my house or from my car; even to have a close look at my rose flowers. First week of suffering was pretty awful, but I took control from the second week onwards and the happy news is my symptoms are under control now and I am enjoying the sunshine like never before. So I am sharing my experience and the steps I have taken to overcome it with my readers and I think it would be helpful to other hay fever sufferers.
I started with modern medicine as normally it will take at least one week to get my supplements. I took Loratadine, sodium cromoglicate eye drops and saline nasal spray with eucalyptus to ease my symptoms. I expected instant relief, but even after taking these medicines I was getting bad symptoms. But I must say it was better than having no relief at all.
Pollen is usually harmless, but under certain situations or conditions our body treats them as a foreign bodies and produce histamines to tackle them which results in hay fever symptoms. Anti-histamines can reduce symptoms and corticosteroids can relieve inflammation and swelling. But both have side effects. So here are some recommendations to reduce symptoms naturally.
For any kind of allergy, the first step you should take is to prevent the allergen entering in your system. Staying indoors all the time with the windows and doors shut won’t be a practical solution. To reduce the symptoms naturally, you should start with lifestyle changes as it will help to reduce histamine production and inflammation.
Avoid going out during the morning and evening hours when the pollen count is high.
Wear sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes.
Wear nasal filters to stop inhaling pollen and other pollutants.
Apply Vaseline or bee wax balm around your nostrils to catch as much as pollen and stop them getting in your nose.
Pollen can stick to your clothes and body. So wash them to remove pollen as soon as you reach home.
Steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil can relieve congestion.
Reduce stress using any of the stress relieving methods that is apt for you (meditation, music etc.)
Exercise regularly- regular exercise can have positive effect on reducing hay fever symptoms.
Soothe your eyes with a slice of cool cucumber or cool damp cloth.
Many people think nutrition has nothing to do with hay fever. But that is wrong. Some fruits, whole grains and vegetables are naturally high in substances which can reduce inflammation and can act as anti-histamines. Knowing these specific foods and making changes to your diet is the key when it comes to treating hay fever naturally.
Stay on high fibre diet – include lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds in your diet.
Avoid junk foods and bakery items etc. in general avoid sugary, salty and fried foods. – these foods can reduce immunity. Sweeten food and drinks with local honey.
Eat Magnesium and Methionine rich foods- such as nuts, sunflower seeds, oats, beans, eggs, fish, garlic, onions, meat, apples, apricots, avocadoes, bananas and leafy greens.
Eat Bioflavonoid rich foods – like purple berries, cabbage, onion, cherries, buckwheat, apricots, lemons, oranges, plums grapes, onions, apples, sage, tarragon, beetroot, carrot and peppers.
Include Vitamin C, A, E, Zinc and selenium rich foods- green leafy vegetable, brown rice, berries, orange and yellow vegetables, beans, seeds, nuts, mushrooms, meat, egg, fish and shellfish.
Consume foods with anti-inflammatory properties – ginger, turmeric, flax seeds, fenugreek seeds, blueberries, pineapple and onions.
Supplementing with the beneficial vitamins, flavonoids and minerals in required doses can provide additional help in reducing symptoms.
Recipe (for Hay fever management)
Pineapple and cranberry salsa with tarragon
1 red onion, finely chopped
½ bunch spring onions, finely chopped
1 garlic, finely chopped
2cm piece of root ginger, finely chopped
1 hot green chilli pepper, finely chopped
1tbsp local honey
Juice of one lemon
One sprig of tarragon leaves, finely chopped
1 cup pineapple, chopped
½ cup Cranberries
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Serve immediately.