Education of the week: Hayfever
If you haven’t visited us in the clinic this week then you may have missed our education of the week. This week Becci talks about the different forms of natural hay fever remedies.
Natural Hay Fever Remedies
If you suffer from hay fever, you will know just how uncomfortable and at times utterly unbearable it can make the warmer weather. Everybody else is out enjoying the summer months while you’re stuck with the worst symptoms, the stinging streaming eyes, the blocked and running rose, the tingly throat and the sneezing. There are natural remedies that you can try when your symptoms begin. The best part is you will find many of these hiding in your kitchen cupboards, meaning you can beat your symptoms without all the expense. They make a welcome change to reaching for medication and I bet you’ve tried them all, many of which that leave you drowsy. Who needs that?
What is hay fever?
Hay fever is a common allergic reaction to a variety of pollen. Pollen can be released at various times of the year. Some trees release pollen in January while some weeds release pollen in September meaning many sufferers are affected all year round. Surprisingly hay fever affects 1 in 5 people in the UK at some point in their lives. Approximately 80% of Asthma sufferers have a pollen allergy. Most people diagnosed with hay fever are in their teens or early 20’s and many find their symptoms improve as they get older.
How can Chiropractic help my hay fever symptoms?
Traditional allergy treatments only deal with the symptoms but not the underlying cause. Medications can have an adverse effect on our bodies, impacting our short term and long term health. The body’s immune system in addition to preventing disease and infection, combating stress now has to deal with pollen. An immune system that is not functioning its best will often over react to pollen and other irritants. Chiropractic care releases the stress on our nervous system and allows the immune system to function at its best. A healthy stress free body is better able to fight allergens without the use of medications. Misaligned vertebrae puts pressure on a nerve, which puts stress on the nervous system and makes the body susceptible to disease. Chiropractic adjustments remove the nerve interference and allow the body to neutralize allergy causing chemicals in the environment.
Natural Hay fever remedies
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a known natural antihistamine and can be found in oranges, lemons and grapefruit. Also contain bioflavonoids which have powerful anti-allergy effects. Combined with the Vitamin C make a powerful natural decongestant and antihistamine.
Carotenoids – A naturally occurring pigment in plants which acts as a powerful antioxidant to help reduce inflammation in your airways and improve your immune system. Found in carrots, apricots, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach.
Hot Peppers – Hot Peppers and chillies contain capsaicin which open nasal passages and help reduce congestion when eaten. Add to your diet in salads or cook with your evening meal.
Sunglasses – A pair of oversized sunnies that cover every inch of the eye area exposed to the outside air can protect your eyes from pollen. It won’t do much for your sneezing but it will definitely help your swollen and itchy eyes.
Acupuncture – Ancient Chinese method using sterile needles to pinpoints specific areas of the body to help relieve hay fever symptoms.
Honey – Honey is great because the bee pollen can help to desensitise your body to other pollens. Adding honey to your diet can reduce your symptoms significantly. For best results seek local honey.
Vaseline – A thin layer of Vaseline inside the lower nostrils can combat symptoms by trapping pollen entering the nostrils and effectively blocking it from entering the nasal passages.
Garlic – Garlic is a great immune system booster which can help alleviate minor hay fever symptoms. It acts as a decongestant, anti-inflammatory and a good source of quercetin, a natural antihistamine. Most effective when eaten crushed or raw with meals one or two months before hay fever season.
Onions – A good source of quercetin, a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. Onions contain 3 times more quercetin than kale and 10 times more than broccoli and can be eaten throughout the day in a variety of meals
Chamomile Tea – Antioxidant and antihistamine, contains flavonoids which act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Bags can also be used as an eye compress to relieve swollen red eyes. Use one bag for each eye. Soak in water for 3 mins, refrigerate for 15 mins and hold bag to eye for 5 mins.
By Becci Thackeray, CA.