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.
Itchy red eyes; watery discharge from the nose and eyes; sneezing; fatigue; and nervous irritability.
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. Overuse is contraindicated and may exacerbate already irritated and inflamed nasal membranes.
*please see below for health disclaimer
If you’re not keen on over the counter medication for hay fever relief, there are definitely 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 supplements, acupuncture, teas, and vitamins.
*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 practitioner or medical doctor, as herbs can possibly interfere with medications, and over the counter hay fever remedies.
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. Look into local bee pollen, I’ve heard this works for some.
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.
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.
Know your pollen count.
Enter in your zip code for your allergy forecast.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the weather channel (of all places) provides some great resources for hay fever (and some awesome alternative/holistic information) nice touch weather channel!
Great natural relief suggestions
(A plant alternative to antihistamines)
Effects of weather and sports on eczema
Stayed tuned for part II: Hay fever and holistic healing for children.
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).