Seeing the blossoms on the trees and long grass growing are beautiful signs of a summer to come for many people – for others it can induce fear about the allergy season that is upon us. Swollen eyes, itchy nose… hay fever is unpleasant at the best of times. The good news is that it is a common ailment, and there are many actions you can start to take now to manage your hay fever. Use these natural remedies so you can get outside enjoying the blossoms and long grass without having to worry about pollen.
1. Up your Vitamin C – people take vitamin C for a number of reasons: to ward of colds or to boost their immune system, but a lesser known effect of vitamin C is its ability to build up histamine in the blood stream, and considerably lessen your symptoms. Try taking a lower dose throughout the day than a single large one, as large doses of Vitamin C can sometimes cause diarrhea.
2. Soothe with Chamomile – this fragrant herb doesn’t just help you to sleep at night, it also contains anti-inflammatory agents. Try drinking chamomile tea to soothe your symptoms, place cold tea bags on your red puffy eyes, or even add a few tea bags to your next bath to soak in.
3. Reduce Stress – stress can be both a cause, and an effect of hay fever. Try yoga for stress relief and the added benefit of helping to open up the chest and improve breathing. Find a way to relax each day through breathing practices or meditation, and look at how your diet is affecting your stress levels.
4. Eat more Garlic – Garlic is a super food for beating various illnesses, and hay fever is no exception. It contains sulphur compounds as well as quercetin which are believed to reduce mucous, have anti-inflammatory properties and boost the immune system. It is thought that quercetin prevents the release of histamine as well as making cell membranes less likely to react to allergens. If you don’t like garlic, look for red foods that contain this antioxidant – red grapes, onions, berries and apples are a great example.
5. Drink Green Tea – Green tea has long been considered a health tonic due to its high levels catechins, these powerful antioxidants are thought to help support a healthy immune system and have an antihistamine effect. Green tea is most commonly drunk hot – sometimes with a slice of lemon, but you can also make it into an iced tea or take it as a supplement. If drinking, try to have two or more cups every day to help ward of those itchy eyes and manage your hay fever naturally.
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