Spring is here! Cue warmer weather, longer days and uninvited sneezing and runny eyes! If you’re one of the 4.4 million Australians that suffer from hay fever read on for my top 10 tips to support you this sneezing season.
Hay fever known medically as allergic rhinitis is an allergic response to pollens and other airborne substances. Symptoms may include a runny or blocked nose and/or sneezing and watery eyes which is due to histamine release and often respond to treatment with anti-histamines. If the allergen is identified, it may be possible to undertake desensitisation.
Common triggers include;
- House dust;
- Animal fur;
- Fungal spores;
- Air pollutants;
- Occupational triggers such as latex, breads and cereals.
Hay fever is not necessarily seasonal and may result from exposure to antigens other than pollen. It can also be acquired or triggered by early exposure in infancy to cow’s milk or other ‘foreign’ foods before the digestive system can render such proteins harmless, which should be investigated.
To get you through the sneezing season unscathed here are my top 10 tips:
- My most often prescribed remedy for hay fever is 3000mg of Vitamin C a day. Vitamin C has a natural antihistamine activity;
- Increase consumption of fish oils to 3000mg a day natural anti-inflammatory;
- Add anti-inflammatory potent horse radish, garlic and ginger to your cooking;
- Add parsley to your salads. Parsley inhibits the secretion of histamine, a chemical the body produces that triggers allergy symptoms (The Healing Herbs)
- Drink two cups of Fenugreek herb tea per day. Fenugreek helps to reduce inflammation and infections
- Honey – ingesting traces of pollen found in your local honey could desensitise you to allergies the same way pollen injections (allergy shots) do. A physician, Dr. U. Wahn of the Heidelberg University Children’s Clinic, found that children who drank a pollen solution showed fewer signs of hay fever and allergy related asthma. Thus eating pollen-laden honey could produce a similar kind of desensitization to allergies and allergy induced asthma.
Avoid if sensitive
7. If you’re sensitive to ragweed, eliminate watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, melon, zucchini, cucumber and banana from the diet. All share a common allergen with ragweed.
8. Avoid exposure to diesel fumes as it sensitises the nose to pollens.
9. Eliminate the offending antigen from your environment. I.e.: avoid contact with cats or dogs.
10. Take a look at Hay Fever Help to check the daily pollen count and find out more information about how to manage your hay fever.
Do you suffer from hay fever? Tell us what natural strategies you implement to keep your symptoms at bay…
Article by Peter Rule, Naturopath and Holistic Health Services Manager at Golden Door Elysia, Health Retreat and Spa
ABS National Health Survey, 2014-15 http://www.abs.gov.au
AIHW analysis of ABS National Health Survey, 2007–08 http://www.aihw.gov.au
The Food Pharmacy by Jean Carper
The Healing Herbs by Michael Castleman