It’s that dreaded time of year when pollen affects an estimated 1 in 4 people. There are several types of pollen: birch, tree, grass, flower, weeds so some unfortunates suffer for longer than others. If the spring/summer season is preceded by a lot of wet, damp weather, this can prolong the hayfever season.
If you are looking for alternative remedies to over-the-counter anti-histamine, there are several, most of which I have tried. I now rely entirely on high potency supplements and avoid the prescriptive anti-histamines.
1) VITAMIN C
If you’re already taking vitamin C, continue with that. If not, take one. Viridian do a Rosehip extract which is a plant form of vitamin C with its own inbuilt bioflavanoids (which protect your health and help stability and absorbency of vitamin C). They also do an Ester-C vitamin C which is milder on the stomach, absorbed quickly but is retained longer than standard vitamin C.
2) MSM (methyl sulphonyl methane)
Higher Nature do MSM Crystals which are important for boosting the immune system. Their version of MSM is the best quality I have come across. Don’t be tempted to go for cheaper alternatives. Tablet form is available but to help hayfever symptoms, it is useful to take this in stages throughout the day, therefore the crystals are a more convenient form.
Quercetin/B5 complex and Bilberry & Eyebright is a combination recommended by Viridian especially for hayfever sufferers. Bilberry and eyebright are herbal remedies which have long histories in aiding eye health, protecting and reduce inflammation. Quercetin found in fruit rind is a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-histamine. B5 known as the anti-stress hormone, helps to regulate the body’s own anti-inflammatory response.
4) SORE EYES
If you do get itchy eyes, be sure to wash eyes out regularly with water. This is easily done with a plastic eyebath. If you wish, make an infusion with herbal tea like chamomile or eyebright. Allow the tea to cool and use with the eyebath to rinse the eyes. You can keep this infusion in a jar in the fridge and take out as and when you need it. I personally don’t like using the medicated eyedrops. I prefer to use ingredients that are naturally anti-inflammatory and anyway, medicated versions taste horrible by the time they get to the throat!
5) SORE THROATS
Talking of throats, make sure you drink plenty of water especially if hayfever affects your throat. Even better, keep lemons and honey in stock to make a warm drink. If your throat gets really raw, you can try an Echinacea or Honey Throat Spray to soothe and calm, as well as boost your immunity.
If you have increased mucus, cut down your intake of wheat and milk. Burning oils in the house can also help. Some good oils are cedarwood, eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint, tea tree, black pepper and thyme.
Some people recommend inhaling steam. Just cover your head with a towel and lean over a bowl of hot water. You can use a drop of one of the above oils in the water to help clear the sinuses.
Use a salt pipe. Available from independent health food shops and pharmacies, this small porcelain pipe is filled with salt. Large granules are best as small granules will fall out through holes in the bottom of the pipe. When you breathe in through the pipe, it’s like being beside the sea. Microscopic particles of salt are absorbed into the respiratory tract, draining excess fluid, cleansing and de-congesting. Salt also helps to thin mucus.