Holistic Alternatives for Hayfever?
For many there will never be an alternative to conventional hayfever medication but I have tried hard this year to see what holistic alternatives I can find. Much of what I have found does not treat the symptoms directly but works to prevent contact with or absorption of the pollen as well as things to soothe the symptoms.
So far this season I have had far fewer symptoms and therefore have been able to reduce the amount of over-the-counter medication I would normally have taken by this stage in the season. There is a place for conventional as well as holistic solutions so reduction is definitely something I am pleased with.
- Keeping windows closed and not drying your clothes out of doors will reduce the amount of pollen you are exposed to
- Wearing sunglasses (even if it’s not very sunny) will prevent a good deal of pollen getting into your eyes
- Spreading an oil based balm under the nostrils will help to catch the pollen before it enters the nostrils. This advice often suggests a petroleum jelly (Vasolene) but if you are looking for a petro-chemical free alternative there are a growing number on the market
- Neal’s Yard do a few products that will help to trap the pollen and smell amazing too
- Handmade Naturals are also British made and do a selection of products
- Un-Petroleum Jelly appears to be a good natural alternative and although it is US made it is available through Amazon
- Building up the body’s immunity by eating foods high in Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Omega-3 Fatty acids and other anti-oxidents, will help the body to fight the histamines which cause the unpleasant reactions that hayfever sufferers are so familiar with.
- Avoiding foods which create a build-up of mucus such as dairy and sugar.
- Quercetin has unique biological properties that may improve overall health and disease resistance, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant effects and is believed to prevent the release of the inflammatory chemical histamine. Quercetin is found in many foods including nettle, onions, green tea, apples, berries, Ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort and even red wine, as well as in supplements.
- Anything that cools on the outside helps to cool on the inside – natural products with aloe vera, white tea or rose will help to cool and soothe symptoms or use a cooling eye pack kept in the fridge and applied when needed. Some Neal’s Yard products that can help:
- White Tea Toning Eye Gel can help to reduce the puffiness that accumulates with irritable eyes and blocked sinuses
- White Tea facial mist or rose water in a spray bottle can help to cool the skin and bring general comfort (an absolute must in my handbag and the products that got me into NYRO!)
- Eucalyptus salve (or essential oil) in hot water and inhaling the steam can help to clear stuffy noses and congested sinus discomfort
- Regular reflexology – I’ve noticed this year with my regular reflexology clients who are suffering from hayfever symptoms and are showing an imbalance in the nose/eyes/sinus reflexes, that regular treatments are easing their immediate symptoms and reducing the intensity of their symptoms overall.
- Eating local honey is often recommended as the bees are collecting pollen from the flowers and plants in your vicinity to make their honey. Eating this then acts like a vaccination by building up your immunity to the local pollen. One teaspoon a day is recommended and now that we have neighbours with bees who are very busy in my garden, I’m currently putting this to the test – I’ll let you know how I get on – yum!
Unfortunately for those with an intolerance to pollens there is no getting away from the symptoms of hayfever. However, there is much we can do to reduce our exposure to the pollens and even to help build up our body’s defence system so that it doesn’t produce so much histamine in response to the pollen.
Please leave me comments below and share the preventions or remedies you use. You could also share how you get on with some of the suggestions above.
Here’s hoping you have a beautiful and low-symptom summer!