Understanding Hay Fever
Hay fever is a phrase used to describe a common condition called allergic rhinitis. Affecting 1 in every 5 people, hay fever occurs mainly during spring and summertime, though some unfortunate few may suffer with it all year round.
When particles from pollen, grass, trees, or weeds are released into the air for pollination, they can be inhaled via the human nasal cavities and cause an unpleasant allergic reaction in our bodies. Despite its name, “hay fever” does not mean that sufferers are allergic to hay, nor will they develop a fever in relation to the condition.
Symptoms of hay fever are similar to that of a cold: runny nose, sneezing, sinus pressure and congestion. There are many antihistamine products available to alleviate the irritating symptoms of hay fever, but research suggests that many effective treatments may be sitting inside your very own home.
This commonly unpleasant weed with itchy thistles forms a part of the natural antihistamine family. By creating an anti-inflammatory effect inside the body, stinging nettle may help to provide relief from the itchiness that hay fever brings. It can be powdered and put into oral capsules, or brewed into a tea with some honey.
Honey and Bee Pollen
Using a technique called immunotherapy, the regular consumption of honey and bee pollen in small doses can allow the body to acclimatise to the allergen until it reaches a point where it no longer sees pollen as a threat. However, it needs to be honey and pollen specifically from the area in which you live.
A 2011 study at the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology found that people with hay fever who consumed local honey from birch trees were able to reduce their allergies by 60%.
Like the stinging nettle, this essential vitamin also forms a part of the natural antihistamine family. Also recommended for people experiencing a flu or the common cold, vitamin C can increase lung capacity and helps to clear up congested airways for easier breathing.
Things to Avoid
People with chronic hay fever need to avoid situations in which they are especially vulnerable to airborne irritants. For example, things like playing or lying in the grass, picking flowers during springtime, or spending time in a dusty environment will all result in congestion and itchiness that may take hours to disappear.
As painful as it can be for those who love the outdoors, anyone with a serious hay fever allergy would be wise to stay mainly indoors and enjoy real money play games during a high pollen count season. If you really need to be outside, it can be helpful to wear a light scarf around your neck and mouth, or wraparound sunglasses that protect your eyes from wandering pollen.
Taking a shower after doing so will also allow your body to be cleansed of any lingering allergens that may exist on the skin.