Now that Spring is here you might start to notice that you are coughing and sneezing again, have a runny nose and itchy eyes, and generally don't feel great. You are probably suffering from seasonal allergies, or more commonly hayfever.
Tree, grass and weed pollen are the most common triggers of hayfever. Allergens are virtually everywhere, and our cool nights and warm days are perfect conditions for pollen counts to increase. Rain washes pollens away but drought means consistently high levels of air-borne allergens. So climate factors such as hot, windy days can influence how bad your symptoms might be.
How bad can it be? Well it can lead to sinus infections with severe headaches and fever. It can cause problems with sleeping, a loss of energy and affect your concentration and clarity of thinking. In children it can affect school learning and performance.
It is also serious for people with asthma as it makes it more difficult to control. Small particles of allergens can penetrate deep into the airways of the lungs.
How can you protect yourself against hayfever? It’s not possible to create your own allergen-free environment though you can avoid things like flowering trees or shrubs that you know cause problems and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
There are a variety of natural options that can help:
- Showering after working outside in the garden or walking through the bush.
- Eliminate all known food allergens.
- Minimise highly allergic foods such as saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, eggs, citrus, bananas, chocolate, peanuts, wheat, shelfish, food colouring, preservatives, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and sugar.
- Increase whole foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds.
- Drink plenty of water including fresh juices, broths, soups, herbal teas to reduce the inflammation and thin the mucous.
- Supplements containing garlic, horseradish, Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin B5 & B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, N-acetylcysteine, Quercetin and Vitamin D.
- Herbs that can be helpful include Turmeric, Rose Hip and Bilberry which help reduce histamine release (a common problem associated with hayfever).
- Nettle tea twice daily is a traditional way of treating hayfever.
Researchers have found that results from over twenty studies on 1,900 people indicate that taking probiotics may be helpful. Taking probiotics daily is a great habit for general wellbeing and its potential for protection against seasonal allergies is an added bonus.
A decorative aid is the Himalayan Salt Lamp. A pure crystal salt lamp releases negative ions into the environment which are beneficial to the respiratory and immune systems. The negative ions work to remove airborne contaminants such as dust, pollen, dust mites, smoke, odour and mould spores and restore the natural quality of air.
If you need some stronger help battling hayfever, we have a number of natural health supplements that can be of assistance. Call in and see one of our friendly staff for more information.