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Gesundheit! It's hayfever season...

4 Sep 2013 3:45 PM - Natural remedies for hayfever

Ah Spring! Don’t you just love this time of year? The days are getting longer, there is the hint of warmth in the air and the smell of fresh blooms. Everything seems just a little bit better... unless you are one of the many who suffer from the allergies of Spring and Summer. 

Why is hayfever so annoying?

Hayfever, or “seasonal allergic rhinitis” to give it a technical name, can be very debilitating. It is a hypersensitivity reaction (i.e. an over reaction of the immune system resulting in excess histamine) to pollen or dust and can result in a variety of symptoms including:

  • sneezing,

  • blocked or runny nose,

  • itchy or watery eyes, ears or throat

  • headache

It can also interfere with your sleep and leave you feeling wrung out and exhausted.

Practical tips to try...

There are some obvious lifestyle things you can do:

  • staying indoors (if you can) on windy days and keep windows shut

  • keeping hydrated with plenty of water

  • avoid hanging the washing outside on days when pollen count is particularly high

  • if you've been outside, wash your face and hands when you come in and change your clothes

  • keep floors and surfaces as dust-free as possible (using a damp cloth)

  • use steam inhalation (with a little eucalyptus oil) to sooth irritated nasal passages

What else can you do?

Nutritional and mineral supplements can help to dampen the immune response and reduce inflammation. Herbs are wonderful for reducing allergic reactions and drying up those runny noses and watery eyes. 

For example, you might benefit from extra zinc, vitamin C and bioflavanoids such as quercetin, either in your diet or as a supplement.  Increased omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in oily fish, can dampen inflammation. 

As a herbalist, I use a variety of herbs in a formula tailored to your exact symptoms.  These might include Sambuccus nigra, Euphrasia officinalis, Hydrastis canadensis and Albizia lebbek amongst others.  They can be prescribed in tablet, liquid and/or in the form of a tea. 

Dietary changes or working on the health and function of your liver can improve the way your body responds to allergens and help clear them out of your system. Also, many patients report a reduction in their allergy symptoms if they give up wheat starting a month before their symptoms kick in (wheat is a grass and is allergenic for many people).

There's lots you can do and you'll get the best results if you work with a qualified herbalist or naturopath.  So, if you want to beat the spring snuffles naturally this season, call us on 9620 9503 for an appointment.


In good health,


Kaye Wright
Melbourne CBD

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