With the clocks finally changing last weekend, Spring has most definitely sprung. But for many, the longer days and balmy evenings signal the return of itchy watery eyes, inflammation and sneezing.
Hay Fever (or Allergic Rhinitis to call it by its Sunday name) apparently affects around 1 in 5 of us in the UK. It is a common allergic condition to airborne pollen (from trees, grasses, flowering weeds etc). If you’re a sufferer then your immune system views pollen as a threat and tries to rid your body of the mistaken attacker, hence the puffy, streaming eyes and the constant sneezing.
Rather than go down the antihistamine, and steroid nasal spray route we wanted to feature a few ideas to help you get natural relief from seasonal allergies.

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There are many articles out there on foods to avoid and ones to introduce into your diet to help reduce the symptoms of Hay Fever. Rather than make any unsubstantiated claims I just wanted to list a few of the recurring foods that have come up whilst I’ve been doing my research.

  • There’s a general consensus that reducing the intake of mucus producing foods, (such as dairy and red meat) may help alleviate the associated congestion
  • Raw tomatoes and oranges are also said to worsen symptoms for those allergic to grass pollens
  • Instead try to eat foods known to produce anti-inflammatory effects such as pineapple and omega 3 rich oily fish
  • Start cooking with turmeric and garlic as they reduce histamine production
  • Up the vitamin C (avoiding oranges though) by eating green leafy veg, kale and sprouts
  • Stock up on quercetin packed foods such as red onions, broccoli and apples. You can also take this natural antihistamine as a supplement too.
  • Drink

  • Herbalists have used long prescribed stinging nettle extract as a histamine blocker. How about trying a cup of nettle tea or making your own nettle infusion?
  • Chamomile tea, sipped throughout the day can help soothe the irritated mucus membranes in the nasal passages.
  • Sinus Rinse

    I suffer from a pesky condition called Chronic Rhinosinusitis (try saying that when you’ve had a few drinks) which causes lots of issues with my nose and throat all year round. Without wanting to sound dramatic I would say that finding a Sinus Rinse actually changed my life.
    Essentially this process involves using a bottle and saline solution to flush out your sinuses of all the toxins and clear your nasal passages. I’ll be honest, it isn’t pretty and is far from an enjoyable process. However it could be just the ticket for providing temporary relief and ridding pollen from your nose.


  • It’s always so lovely to see your threads hanging on the line and drying in a soft summer breeze. Unfortunately though pollen sticks to wet surfaces and it’s likely that you could be attracting the allergens to your clothes. Ideally stick to drying your clothes indoors.
  • Damp dusting can also help if you’re a hay fever or allergy sufferer and is a tactic I use at home. Just dampen your duster with a little bit of water to ensure that you’re capturing all the dust and pollen on the cloth rather than it just wafting around the whole room and then settling back in place.
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    It has been widely reported that local honey can help with your seasonal allergies. Chewing honeycomb (no, not a Crunchie) has also been effective for some too.
    The theory being that it acted like a vaccine; exposing you to a small dose of the pollen that you ordinarily would create an allergic response. Small doses of honey would then build up immunity.
    Experts have quashed this notion; Bees usually bring back the large amounts of pollen from flowers to the hive, and only small amounts of airborne pollen from trees, grasses and weeds (the pollen you are more likely to be allergic to).
    However someone I used to work with completely swore by this technique. Even if it was a placebo effect, it gave him relief. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has had a similar experience?

    Image source: Touch Photography



    Is there anything that Vaseline can’t be used for? A friend of mine coats a layer of petroleum jelly up and around her nose to trap the pollen. Apparently this works a treat.

    It’s always best to have a chat with your Doctor or Pharmacist about what treatment is right for you. They can also help you identify which form of pollen you are allergic to (grass, weed, mould etc) as this will have an impact on foods to avoid.

    How do you deal with hay fever and allergies? Do you stick to over the counter medicines or try some more natural remedies? Here’s hoping that by using some of these remedies we’ll all be frolicking in summer meadows this year….