How To Beat Hay Fever This Summer!
People who don't suffer (that's right, suffer) from hay fever tend to shrug it off rather quickly, thinking it's a melodramatic excuse for not leaving the house all summer.
Hay fever is an aggressive, and very real, allergic reaction to grass pollen.
An attack first begins with severe swelling of the membrane which lines the nose. Thus bringing on a blocked nose. The same lining then becomes extremely irritable, making you sneeze. You then develop a runny nose because you are now secreting mucus. Your sinuses become completely blocked resulting in sinus pain and congestion.
Sounds fun, right?
Well, here are some all-natural tips to try to make going outside this summer bearable. Good luck!
- Runny nose / nasal congestion
- Sinus pressure and pain
- Itchy nose and throat
- Watery, puffy eyes
Vitamin C contains bioflavonoids. I had to Google it too. It's easier for me to just tell you that they're a good thing! So bioflavonoids have strong anti-allergy effects which is obviously what we're aiming for here, and then Vitamin C is an anti-histamine. Combined, you have the perfect decongestant.
Citrus fruits (such as oranges, lemons and limes) are the best source for Vitamin C.
Chilli peppers / red peppers. These tasty treats have a component called capsaicin. What capsaicin does is it opens your nasal passages and then helps to reduce congestion, improving your symptoms dramatically.
An enzyme called bromelain is found in pineapples. Bromelain has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, helping with nasal congestion and the formation of mucus. Lovely.
Nettle tea, licorice tea and chamomile teas are really soothing when you're battling hay fever.
Nettle teas help to relieve inflammation in your upper respiratory tract, and aid sneezing, itchy and nasal congestion.
Licorice teas are good for reducing irritation in your respiratory system.
Chamomile tea contains those friendly flavonoids again, and is also another anti-histamine and anti-oxidant. You can make an eye compress using cool teabags too if your symptoms cause your eyes to puff or swell.
Maybe it's just me, but I think this is pretty cool. Apparently the bee pollen in honey can actually desensitize you to other types of pollen.
Probiotics are great for a number of things, but especially for hay fever. They contain the good bacteria and if you take them every day (yoghurts, sauerkraut or pill-form) they will help to build up your immune response to pollen.
Yes, I'm always going on about garlic - but for good reason!
While garlic will strengthen your immune system greatly, it's also an anti-inflammatory, an anti-histamine, and a decongestant!
If you really can't stand the stench (or taste), you can always opt for odorless garlic pills.
Carotenoids are a (natural) pigment in plants which are great anti-oxidants. They're effective on building up your immune system but also, they reduce any inflammation in your airways. A nice bonus.
Carrots (as the name suggests), apricots and pumpkins are full of these carotenoids.
What helps you best with your hay fever?
- Dairy products
Dairy products, especially cow's milk, increase the production of mucus and can aggravate nasal congestion. Not what you need.