Natural and Holistic Remedies for Hay Fever

This is a guest-post written by Amber from The Tasty Alternative.

Feel like hiding indoors at those first signs of spring?

If you suffer from hay fever you may very well dread this time of year and if you’re a nature lover, this is a difficult realization.

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergies (or allergic rhinitis), is more than just a nuisance, it can lead to other concerning health conditions. For example, my son’s eczema is exacerbated by hay fever.

Other conditions such as asthma can flare up in response to airborne allergens. And for some, hay fever can lead to an annoying sinus infection, affect immune function, cause fatigue, malaise, and headache.

All around, hay fever can be a real bummer.

What is hay fever?

Hay fever is an allergy to proteins in the pollen of trees, grasses, and some plants, or mold that affects the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, and air passages.

Symptoms

Itchy red eyes, watery discharge from the nose and eyes, sneezing, fatigue, and nervous irritability are all symptoms of hay fever.

For some, over the counter medication can provide temporary relief from hay fever.  In addition to medication, there are a few extra steps that may provide added relief which can be used in conjunction with medication.

Practical Tips and Suggestions

1.  Try to avoid working in the yard.  If you must do so, try to get out there before 10:00 am.  If you do work outside, try wearing a nose/mouth mask and goggles to keep the pollen from getting into you eyes.  And mow your lawn before the grass flowers.

2.  Keep windows and doors shut during your local blossoming season.  Use air conditioning if possible.

3.  Keep your windows closed while driving.  Use the car air conditioner instead.

4.  Shower thoroughly (wash hair), and change clothes after spending time outside.  This is especially important before bed.  Think of all that pollen stuck to your skin and hair now on your cozy pillow – yuk!

5.  Avoid placing laundry outside to dry.

6.  Keep pets either inside or outside.  Their fur is excellent for attracting pollen.

7.  Invest in a good-quality air purifier and filter in your home.  You can even purchase a little air purifier for around your neck (dress it up with a little bling and scarf and you’re good to go girlfriend).

8.  A neti pot may be used (sparingly) to flush out nasal mucus and debris. Use clean, filtered water.

 

Holistic Healing

If you’re not keen on over the counter medication for hay fever relief, there are some holistic options out there for you.
One key element to think about during allergy season is keeping your immune system super strong.  This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: changing your diet, using essential oils, taking immune boosting herbs and, acupuncture, teas, etc…

Herbs

1.  Alfalfa supplied chlorphhyll and vitamin K.  Use a liquid form.  Take 1 tablespoon in juice or water twice daily.

2.  For red, itchy eyes, place slices of cool cucumber over the eyes.  Rotate this treatment with steeped, cooled black tea bags placed directly on the eye lids.

3.  Eucalpyus oil can relive congestion if used in a steam inhalation or added to bath water.  Also mix with an oil (such as coconut or olive) and apply to chest or back at night.

4.  Alcohol-free eyebright and lady’s mantel (yarrow) liquid extracts are good for relieving hay fever symptoms.  Use as directed on label.

5.  Horehound, mullen leaf, stinging nettle, and/or wild cherry bark help to ward off severe allergic reactions.

6.  Use tumeric to reduce inflammation.

7.  Nettle leaf is very good for all types of allergies.

8.  Noni juice aids in relieving symptoms of hay fever.

9.  Bee pollen might be an option.

Additional Recommendations

1.  Eat more fruits (especially bananas), vegetables, raw nuts and seeds (and grains if tolerated).  A high fiber diet is helpful.

2.  Include homemade dairy free yogurt.

3.  Refrain from eating cane-sugar, processes foods, chocolate, coffee, dairy products, soft drinks, white flour products, and using tobacco.

Important Nutrients

1.  Coenzyme Q10 (30 mg twice daily) – improves oxygenation and immunity.

2.  Bromelain (1,000 mg 3 times daily b/t meals) – reduces inflammation associated with hay fever symptoms.

3.  Vitamin B complex (as directed on label) – used for proper immune function.

4.  Vitamin C with bioflavonoids (3,000 – 10,000 mg 3 times daily) – a potent immunostimulant and anti-inflammatory.  Use a buffered form.  I use this one.

Health disclaimer

If you’re like me, holistic remedies are always an option.  But always used with caution.  If you are interested in incorporating herbs as a part of your healing regimen, please consult with a holistic medical doctor, as herbs can possibly with medications, and over the counter hay fever remedies.

Content Reference

Phyllis A. Balch, CNC. (2010).  Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 5th Edition.
Pengiun Group Inc: New York.
(aforementioned content covering hay fever, recommendations,nutrients, practical suggestions, and herbs all gathered from above reference).

Amber Husten is author of  The Tasty Alternative The Tasty Alternative features posts related to alternative cuisine, holistic healing, organic gardening, green living and organization.  All recipes found on TTA are dairy free, gluten free, cane-sugar free, and peanut free, with an emphasis on allergy-free cooking with the omission of eggs, corn, and soy.  Amber includes a special focus on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD).  Amber is also one of the seven hostesses of the weekly bog hop, Allergy-Free Wednesdays.  

14 Responses to Natural and Holistic Remedies for Hay Fever

  • I used to have horrible seasonal allergies, to the point of requiring shots all through high school. It was awful. Although it took about 2 years, once I went gluten-free (and mostly dairy-free), my allergies slowly cleared up. I have very minor spring and fall sneezes and occasional itchy eyes, but it’s nothing like it used to be. It’s very manageable without any supplements, drops, etc. No big deal. That alone is worth the gluten-free diet for me. Aaahhhh…

    Love your direction with The Balanced Platter. You are really striking a cord with me. We’re on the same wavelength! I love that.

    Melissa

    [Reply]

    Amber Reply:

    Hello There Melissa,

    Thanks for sharing! Glad you’ve found reprieve from your allergies. I have several family members and friends that get the shots; I hear they can be effective, but I’ve also heard mixed results. And from what I understand it’s quite a commitment (weekly shots). I can see why they are an option though. Allergies can be quite debilitating!

    But I can’t agree more! I also noticed a HUGE difference in my allergies when I stopped eating gluten and dairy (and sugar). Even my pet allergies decrease (to cats). It was quite remarkable.

    Good luck this allergy season Melissa! :-)

    Be Well,
    –Amber

    [Reply]

  • What a fantastic and informative post! Fortunately, I do not suffer from allergies, but my dear neighbor does and I will be sharing these great tips with her this week.

    [Reply]

    Amber Reply:

    Hi There Laura,

    Thanks so much friend. And thank you for passing along the information. Holistic remedies may not be as popular as traditional ones, so it’s nice to get the word out there. We all suffer from allergies on this end, my son and husband have it the worst though! I only use holistic remedies for my son and they are very, very effective!

    Thanks again Laura! :-)

    Hugs,
    –Amfber

    [Reply]

  • I would say many people do not understand the relationship to allergies and immune function. The more gunk clogging your system, the more reactive your immune system becomes to everyday things that might not be so bad otherwise. I a super curious to see what happens this season as i have been gluten and dairy free for over a year…I used never associate my hayfever with food allergies…but the more I read, the more I wonder!

    [Reply]

    Amber Reply:

    Hi There Tessa,

    Thanks for sharing today and I can’t agree more with you my friend. I just made this connection a few years ago, and it has all become even more apparent with Ethan and his eczema/hay fever connection. I hope this is a good season for you Tessa. I’ve also read some information about sugar and allergies. Much like the sugar/eczema connection. It seems to all come back to immune function. Sugar taxes our bodies in so many ways. I can see how a diet high in sugar can also exacerbate allergies!

    Oh our complicated bodies!

    Have a great vacation Tessa! I’ll miss you! :-)

    Hugs,
    –Amber

    [Reply]

  • Sugar, and in particular fructose is very hard on our bodies chemistry. Genetically, we were NEVER supposed to consume as much sugar as the average person does now, so it is no surprise that it can have catastrophic effects on our health. In particular, fructose is processed by our livers, our detoxifying organ. I have been almost entirely cane sugar free for at least two months…I don’t even have it in the house now! My hope is one day (after reading excessively from so many sources and realizing that I could not find a single health professional or dr who disagreed on this subject)that sugar should be handled just like nicotine and alcohol..it’s addictive and bad for bodies and a HUGE reason for our obesity and diabetes epidemic.
    Ok I am done…for the moment…guess I feel passionately about this…..(:

    [Reply]

    Amber Reply:

    Hi There Tessa,

    I agree completely! I learned about the damaging affects of sugar after my Crohn’s diagnosis (in 2004). I had NO idea! Then I learned about the Candida-Crohn’s connection (Yikes)! So I did a candidia cleanse, then ate an anti-candida diet for years. It was SOOO helpful (and very helpful for Crohn’s). After reading and learning about what sugar does to our bodies, I was disgusted and horrified. And you’re so right Tessa, for some it’s very, very addicting (well, perhaps most). My husband has shared this addiction, he craves sugar and sweets big time (well, you know his affinity for chocolate). We don’t have sugary treats in our home, but Scott’s bombarded by them at work (donuts, pastries, etc). I’m so proud of him for being strong and making healthy choices (I mean, once in a while, fine) but it’s the everyday that’s damaging.

    And I’m so proud of YOU Tessa for saying good-bye to cane sugar. That’s not easy!! Along the way, I’ve found that other natural forms of sugar are easier on our bodies and better assimilated (like honey in small amounts)!

    [Reply]

  • alli says:

    I love your blogs and the information you shared on allergies, but just wanted to add a little fyi..
    Bananas are a fruit that has a lot of natural histamine ( google histamine diet) and when you are suffering with seasonal allergies, reducing and limiting the foods you eat that have natural histamines is really important for reducing the histamine load on your body.
    Every little bit helps when you have serious allergies, asthma and/or eczema during this time of year. :) Peace.

    [Reply]

    Amber Reply:

    Hi Alli,

    Wow, very interesting. I had this backwards! I thought bananas were GOOD for allergies. Thanks for the heads up. I’m going to check out that histamine diet. Great information!

    Thanks again Allie. :-)

    [Reply]

  • Kirstie says:

    This is a great post! I suffer from seasonal allergies and practice all these tips religiously! Loved reading about the herbs. I’m doing a seasonal allergies post tomorrow on my blog and I will definitely link your tips! Have a great Tuesday :)

    xo Kirstie

    [Reply]

  • LOVE all of these natural remedies Maggie.
    Thankyou so much for sharing.
    I suffer from hayfever and I am going to try so many of these suggestions.
    I will report back :)

    [Reply]

  • Wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not understand this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!|What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help different customers like its aided me. Good job.

    [Reply]

  • Miyu says:

    Hello. Every year starting around February I start my seasonal allergy. I treat it first with antihistamine medication then end up receiving a steroid shot by mid summer. I also has occasional bouts of atopic dermatitis that drives me crazy. I stopped eating sugar, gluten(just about all grains and wheat products) and most of the dairies. Instead I eat nuts, fruits, lots of veggies, and protein. Voila!! I didn’t even have to take my usual antihistamine meds and shots. This was amazing. I occasionally had sneezing attacks but that was it. I thank you for infos and shared experiences from the other readers. Miyu

    [Reply]

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