6 Natural Remedies For Hay Fever You Wouldn’t Find In Your Drugstore
We all know the feeling. A runny nose, itchy eyes, and constant sneezing. There only ever seems to be medicated remedies for hay fever, and they can often leave you feeling drowsy, questioning whether the side effects are actually worse than the allergies themselves.
Some antihistamine medications can cause vomiting, restlessness, dizziness and even blurred vision, so it's often not worth the risk.
But there are many natural remedies for seasonal allergies, most of which can be part of your everyday diet and are easy to implement. Some can also work as a decongestant, helping treat your symptoms straight away.
So, if you’re fed up of heading to the pharmacy, give some of these natural remedies a try and experience a sneeze-free, non-drowsy Summer! Our best advice is to try and get each of these foods into your diet in moderation and track how your symptoms feel throughout. All remedies are also going to work better if you implement them before your hay fever usually kicks in.
Six Natural Ways to Treat Hay Fever:
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a well-known natural antihistamine that can help protect you from your allergies and put a stop to your sneezing. It also acts as a decongestant, so it will help fight your symptoms from the start. Aim for the recommended intake every day, through either food or supplements. For adults, your daily intake should be around 65-90 mg per day, up to a maximum of 2,000mg.
A study from 1992 “Journal of the American Dietetic Association” found that 2 g of ascorbic acid decreased histamine levels by 40 percent, and remained that way for four hours.
The best foods for vitamin C are guava fruits, red peppers, kiwis, orange, and strawberries. So it’s not hard to wiz up a vitamin C booster smoothie every day to help hay fever.
Bees are the culprit behind pollen spreading, but it’s possible they’ve managed to provide us with an antidote in their honey. It has been found that eating honey before your hay fever kicks in can help build up your immunity to pollen. This is because the honey will contain the pollen that’s irritating you! The best way is to eat local honey as you can make sure you’re protecting yourself from the pollen floating around in your area.
We’d advise eating small amounts early on in the year, and build it up closer to when your hay fever kicks in. By then you should find that your body is desensitized to the pollen that's bringing on your symptoms. If you can’t get hold of local honey, any honey will help protect you from common pollen, so it’s worth a try!
The key component in garlic is quercetin (which is also found in onion, so this can be used as an alternative if you don’t like garlic). It can help build up your immune system and alleviate your hay fever symptoms. Garlic also acts as a decongestant, helping to relieve your blocked nose symptoms, as well as sore throats and headaches.
It’s easy to add garlic into your diet gradually, but it’s more effective when it’s raw or crushed. If this doesn’t sound like something you’d like to get behind, cooked garlic will also help, just not to the same level. There are supplements you can take too, which makes it even easier to get it into your routine.
All sorts of tea can be used to help ease your allergies as they all have an array of health benefits. But teas such as chamomile, liquorice and nettle include antioxidants and antihistamines which can help ease your allergies when drunk daily. The tea bags also come in handy! If you suffer from swollen or itchy eyes, pop a used tea bag in the fridge, and once it’s cold, place it on your eyes to help soothe them.
5. Spicy Foods
This remedy is not for everyone, but if you don’t mind spicy food it can really help ease your hay fever symptoms. Spicy foods like wasabi, hot peppers, Dijon mustard, and horseradish all contain something called capsaicin. This is one of the ingredients which give them their distinctive spicy flavor, and this is what will help open nasal passages and reduce inflammation.
6. Steer Clear of Dairy Products
Dairy products cause a higher production of mucus in your throat and nose, so eating dairy products when you’re suffering from hay fever symptoms can make this much worse. When suffering from a blocked nose, use some alternatives to dairy like soy or almond milk when you can.
1. As mentioned above, getting some of these natural remedies into your daily diet doesn't need to be a chore. Try this vitamin C booster smoothie to increase your natural levels of allergy-fighting properties!
-1/2 cup fresh pineapple.
-1/2 cup fresh strawberries, stemmed and diced.
-1/2 orange, peeled and cut into segments.
-1 large carrot, cut into 1/4 inch chunks.
-juice of 1/2 lemon.
-1/2 cup almond milk.
-a handful of ice.
- pop it all in a blender, pulse and enjoy!
2. Not only can garlic help fight your hay fever symptoms, but the allicin, a powerful antibacterial, can help fight colds too. So, no matter the season, always have some freshly crushed garlic on hand!
3. Keep in mind to not consume too much of these alternatives at once. The best way to start is to introduce each of them slowly into your diet before your hay fever usually kicks in. And tracking your symptoms can be very helpful too, as it'll help you understand what works for you!
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