Beat Hayfever the Natural Way
Are you one of the six million people in the UK suffering
from pollen allergies that are known as hay fever?
The term hay fever has been around for about 150 years and is a misleading name.
Pollen allergy does not cause fever, and hay is not involved! The body mistakes
pollen for an enemy and fights back with histamines, our own chemical responsible
to the nasty symptoms of pollen allergy.
- Your eyes begin to turn red, itch and water.
- Your nose itches, feels stuffy and begins to run.
- You sneeze repeatedly.
- You feel tired.
If you suffer from hay fever-like symptoms throughout the year, you might think
about whether you have some specific year-round food sensitivity. Food intolerance
can cause immediate, violent reactions or symptoms several hours later. Delayed
reactions can show themselves in several ways, sometimes as the symptoms of asthma
and rhinitis (sneezing and itchy eyes), as well as eczema. Seek professional advice.Pollens
are minute reproductive particles released by flowers primarily in the morning.
They can travel long distances in dry, warm weather. Airborne allergies are genetic
and can begin at any time in a person's life.
The Pollen Calendar
January: Hazel - a shrub found at the edge of woods.
February: Alder - found along riverbanks and well
March: Willow - mainly found in woods and around hedges.
April: Silver Birch - pollinates during early April
with catkins producing pollen before leaf development.
May: Horse Chestnut - flowers early or late spring,
also look out for oil-seed rape.
June: Rye grass - the cultivated grass has a higher
allergenicity than the wild. High meadow grass like this and cocksfoot cause most
of the symptoms in sensitive individuals.
July: Cocksfoot Grass - also known as orchard grass,
pollinating between June and September.
August: Mugwort - weeds found on wasteland and roadsides.
September: Nettle - pollen is released in a puff of
October: "House dust mite" - the faecal pellet is the allergen and they are present
all year but are at their peak when indoor humidity is highest.
November: Oyster Mushroom - forms clusters on trunks
of broad-leafed trees, especially beech.
December: Norway Spruce - traditional Christmas tree.
Pinewood contains a respiratory irritant called abietic acid.
Ways to prevent and fight pollen allergies:
Avoid pollen sources
It is much easier to avoid indoor allergens - caused by house dust, than it is to
Pollen can fill the air as early as 3a.m. Keep your windows closed whilst you sleep.
Have an air filter running in your bedroom. Avoid outdoor exercise in the morning.
If possible avoid leaving the house during the morning hours!!!
A combination of vitamin C and bioflavonoids can reduce hay fever symptoms.
Vitamin C can reduce the fluid leakage from small
blood vessels and curtail a runny nose. In doses over 1,000mg per day it can behave
as an antihistamine.
Bioflavonoids have been shown to inhibit histamine
release and prevent allergic shock.
Cutting out refined carbohydrates, dairy products and sugar will reduce mucus. Eat
lots of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables.
Many herbs help to reduce allergies due to their bioflavonoid content.
Drink a preventive herbal tea regularly. Ask your health store for advice or make
your own infusion. Pour boiling water over the herbs, soak for ten minutes and strain.
Use honey to sweeten.
Eyebright is helpful if hay fever affects your eyes.
Chamomile is naturally antihistaminic and helps to
reduce the body's reaction to pollen.
Ribwort is good for excessive runny mucus.
Propolis is known to protect the immune system. Propolis
can soothe a burning throat and ease respiratory problems.
You can find ready mixed herbal formulations (e.g. Hawthorn & Artichoke Formula
from Green People) that will help prevent hay fever by stimulating your immune system,
release natural antihistamines and strengthen your mucus membranes, in your local
Choose oils that combine anti-allergenic, calming and anti-inflammatory properties,
such as rose, mellisa, chamomile, lavender and eucalyptus.
Use a few drops in your bath, on a tissue to inhale frequently, or in room vaporisers.
Massage neck, chest and back with four or five drops each of chamomile and lavender
and three drops of rose or mellisa mixed in a light base oil.
Stimulation of the reflex zones on your feet, on areas that concentrate on head,
sinus and adrenal glands, may ease hay fever symptoms. You can boost your resistance
to general allergic reaction with a few simple home routines: Help for troubled
sinuses: Support your right foot with your left hand, then with your right thumb
apply gentle pressure in a slide-stop, slide-stop movement to the surface of all
your toes. Start from the big toe, working to the little toe, then back to the big
toe. Swap feet and repeat.
There are many herbal and homeopathic remedies on sale that will help relieve hay
fever symptoms and reduce sneezing. Ask you health food store for advice and remember,
for maximum efficiency these remedies should be taken regularly before and all through
the "danger" months.
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