Everyone welcomes the long, warm sunny days but if you suffer from hay fever or seasonal allergies then there is always a note of hesitancy at this time of year.
Runny nose, streaming and itchy eyes can herald the spring and summer for many people who suffer from seasonal allergies and this can make what should be a pleasurable time of year, utterly miserable.
What is Hayfever?
Seasonal allergies are caused by a range of environmental triggers such as flower and tree pollens, grasses, and even certain chemicals. Some people experience an immune overreaction to these triggers and their system mistakenly views them as invaders, releasing a chemical called histamine into the respiratory system – from the nose to the lungs – and into the eyes. The purpose of histamine is to attack what the body perceives as harmful agents and remove them. Histamine causes inflammation and it is this which creates the miserable symptoms so associated with seasonal allergies.
Dealing with a nasty seasonal response or allergic reaction is about lifestyle management and happily, there are also natural and alternative remedies to some of the standard chemical treatments for people who don’t want to use them.
Here are some suggestions which can help mitigate the triggers and help you get relief from hay fever and summer allergies:
- Cleanse your nose- use a sinus irrigator, neti pot or nasal oils to irrigate your nasal passages. Pollen sticks to mucous membranes and sets up an inflammatory chain reaction which just creates more mucous trapping even more pollen. Cleansing your nose regularly is a way to break this cycle and minimize the inflammatory process
- De-stress – Stress has a big impact on the immune system and will make even the mildest of seasonal allergies a whole lot worse. Start a program of self-care if you are suffering from stress – restful sleep, time out periods and meditation even if it’s only for small amounts of time here and there can really help the body to self-level and better respond to life’s challenges
- Acupuncture – acupuncture aims to address misalignment in the body and help right the body’s incorrect response to seasonal triggers
- Consider Chiropractic – chiropractors can relieve tension in the body and help re-align different component parts – this manages stress and helps to promote a healthy immune system
- Keep the house clean – many people struggle with internal triggers in their home and a dusty or unhygienic environment without adequate ventilation will always worsen the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Dust and vacuum regularly particularly in areas where tiny pollen particles can collect like bookshelves. Change pillowcases twice a week – allergens from your hair can transfer onto the pillow and affect your nasal passages whilst you sleep. Keep air purifiers scrupulously clean
- Detox the body – all allergens are made worse by toxins within the body. Eliminate sugar, alcohol, fried foods and fast food from your diet for a period of time or permanently and opt for a healthy diet containing milk thistle, turmeric, citrus fruits and nuts. Allow the liver time to do its job properly without asking it to work overtime processing poor food choices when it could be acting on the inflammation in the body caused by an allergic response to some seasonal environmental trigger
Home remedies for hay fever
There are a number of easy steps you can take to help your body manage the challenge of allergies and also assuage some of the unpleasant symptoms. These include:-
- Essential oils – for use in the bath, for a massage or in a room diffuser, essential oils like peppermint, basil, tea tree oil and eucalyptus can help tackle inflammation in the body and detoxify your system. Boost your immune response with peppermint tea which has a lovely clarifying taste and fragrance
- Apple Cider Vinegar – an ancient remedy with a track record of supporting the immune system and promoting lymphatic drainage. Try one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water with a little fresh lemon juice two or three times a day to help relieve allergy symptoms
- Probiotics – some studies are starting to see a link with the presence of beneficial gut bacteria and a lower incidence of allergies. Probiotics can support and boost the immune system and help the production of immune-enhancing substances
- Herbal remedies – Butterbur is a European herb and can create an action similar to over the counter anti-histamines. Onions, apples and black tea contain Quercetin which is a specific nutrient known to help block the release of histamines in the body
Most experienced seasonal sufferers have a suite of preferred options they use to help manage their symptoms. Holistically approaching summer allergies by improving your immediate home environment and your diet will increase wellbeing allowing your body the best possible chance to combat the inflammation caused by the allergen. Home remedies and herbal treatments can help support this and also manage some of the unpleasant symptoms that accompany these summer allergy conditions.