How to rid Hay fever symptoms naturally

Atchoo! Red, swollen, itchy eyes? Runny or blocked nose? Itchy, burning nose? Watery eyes! Itchy throat, mouth, tongue, ears, nose? Sneezing, oh gosh the sneezing!! Coughing, wheezing, whistling or asthma worsening?

These symptoms swoop in and interfere with your life, adding an extra something to contend with as if life before hay fever symptoms isn’t enough anyway. Unlike a cold, they don’t just go away after a few days or a week…..they go when the pollen that you are sensitive goes which can be torturous. 

Yes you can shower, change your bed linen each night to get rid of pollen, wear your hair up, stay indoors, close all windows but does this sound like fun when after a long winter all you want to do is enjoy all the loveliness that spring and summer brings? 

Whilst avoiding or reducing pollen exposure will reduce symptoms, a long term solution that supports your body to calm down the allergic response to the pollen in the first place is what will really make a difference. Then you can live through the seasons like the well meaning people that so happily tell you that they’ve never had Hay fever, while you are on your 9th pack of tissues that morning. 

Why do you suffer from Hay fever? What causes Hay fever? 

Firstly, you are far from alone in this, over 13 million people in the UK suffer and it’s often referred to as Seasonal allergic Rhinitis. The time of year that your symptoms are worse are related which pollen you are most triggered by, the below can give you some indication but is specific for the UK and can change from country to country. 

  • February to June –tree pollen
  • May to July –grass pollen (the most common hay fever trigger)
  • June to September –weed pollen
  • October onwards – leaf mold

With Hay fever, your immune system is over reacting to the pollen in your environment – when you are exposed to pollen your immune system thinks danger, this is harmful and needs to get out NOW, it starts treating it like a very unwelcome guest, an invader and so releases way too much histamine (amongst other responses) to try and solve the problem. However this well meaning but over the top action back fires with you experiencing the unpleasant symptoms that arise in Hay fever. So the cause of your symptoms you experience are NOT from POLLEN directly, but from your body’s oversensitive response to pollen and trying to get the pollen out! If we reduce how sensitive you are then we reduce or remove your symptoms.

What is histamine? And how does it affect Hay fever? 

Histamine is a chemical released by your body, it is needed for brain health, digestion, to regulate hormones, it promotes wakefulness (anti-histamines can cause the opposite – drowsiness), helps the immune system, it triggers release of stomach acid to aid digestion and controls hunger, and plays a role in cognition. 

In Hay fever sufferers, Histamine is released from your body as a self-protective mechanism to help fight off something that it deems as harmful and unwelcome – it activates a cascade of Immune functions. However, your release of Histamine is out of balance and an overreaction to the threat you are under. So on pollen exposure, when Histamine release kicks off the body’s defense and attack mode, it boosts blood flow to the area that pollen has entered, which then causes inflammation which then alerts the immune system to start repairing and removing the offender, so it makes mucous causing runny, blocked, stuffy nose and/or eyes, sneezing, tearing (itching!), coughing in an effort to get rid of the allergen. 

So rather than remove Histamine completely, the goal is to balance the Histamine response so you don’t suffer, you stay comfortable and symptom free but you have adequate Histamine for other vital body functions. 

So what’s the solution for Hay fever? 

If you are a Hay fever sufferer then you already know that you can use anti-histamines to try to reduce histamine, steroid injections, medicated eye drops and steroid nasal sprays. While for some people these can be effective in reducing your symptoms of Hayfever, they don’t stop you getting it each year and using these medications come at a cost to your immune system in the short and longer term. For some there is unfortunately no relief even when using all the meds that are available for hay fever, and others only want natural solutions for their or their childs symptoms. This is where natural medicines come in….they can be highly effective at stimulating your body to calm down and stop overreacting to the pollen, helping to desensitise you and giving you a long term healthy solution that supports your immune system. 

Homeopathy is a natural medicine that treats the root cause of an over reactive Immune response, so there is no masking of symptoms, no papering over the cracks, instead a deep, effective and long term healing when you receive the right treatment.

Personalised Hay fever treatment with Homeopathy

Whether you are like Sneezy from the Seven Dwarfs or like Eeyore all lethargic and gloomy with your Hay fever then there is a remedy for you….

As a professional Homeopath I put together individual treatment plans that take into account family history, gut health, all allergies and intolerances, stress levels and response, previous and current medications, past and present trauma and I identify and prescribe detox/cleanses that will be beneficial to help the body to function at its best. I’ll also be looking at how we can balance out the body’s histamine response to pollen (and any other offenders such as mold) by using a range of remedies such as Histamine and pollens that you are sensitive to. 

Often clients with Hay fever can also have gut problems (IBS, SIBO, food allergies etc), a history of eczema, skin rashes or asthma so the right plan will target these areas if relevant too. 

However depending on severity, professional bespoke treatment isn’t always necessary, there are effective ways to help yourself at home…see below!

Natural remedies for Hay fever

To start treatment, select a Homeopathic remedy that most closely fits your symptoms…then take 1 pill up to 4 times for 1 day, if symptoms reduce then continue taking until relieved. If symptoms aren’t affected at all then move on to try another remedy.  

  • Do you sneeze continuously one after the other uncontrollably? Blocked nose, itching in ears and roof of mouth, you are busy type, work a lot, impatient. If so then Nux Vom 30c may be the remedy for you.
  • Do you have a constant itch on the roof of your mouth or in the back of your nose…sometimes also in the throat and ears or corner of your eyes? Sneezing? Irritable? Throat dry and hoarse voice, in fact dryness of your head/nose too? Wyethia 30c may be for you! 
  • You sneeze a lot (violent sneezing!) and your nose tickles/itches, eyes are red and watery, and your nostrils might be blocked in one and streaming in the other… tots of watery nasal discharge! Frontal pains in the face/sinues. Often in Spring of harvest time and aggravated by flower pollen. Symptoms are worse for open air and improve with warm food and drink or from keeping warm. If this sounds like you then Sabadilla 30c is worth trying for some relief. 
  • Eyes, eyes, eyes – are your Hay fever symptoms are predominantly all about the eyes? Your eyes are constantly streaming, are sore, gritty, swollen, sensitive to light, and the discharge from the eyes burns. You may blink eyes constantly and rub or wipe your eyes a lot. Profuse discharge from nose but is bland. If you have a lot of these symptoms then Euphrasia 30c is worth trying for your Hay fever. 
  • If your nose streams with clear discharge and the discharge burns, with watery eyes and stinging eyes and sneezing and tickly cough Very sensitive to odor of flowers and handling peaches. The person usually is thirsty, and feels worse indoors and when rooms are warm, and better in fresh air then Allium Cepa 30c may help your symptoms.
  • Your hay fever is itchy! Your mouth, eyes and nose itches A LOT. Lots of sneezing with a runny nose, Everything in your head feels dry and irritated, but the nose may still be runny.
    I’d give Arundo 30c a try. 
  • Are you tired, sluggish, heavy eyes, feel weak, drained, miserable and fed up, if so then Gelsemium 30c might be the right Hay fever remedy for you. 

Natural foods, nutrients and other remedies to have in your toolkit…

Foods and nutrients can either improve hay fever symptoms or worsen them so it’s worth making some changes to encourage low histamine levels particularly ahead of the season where your hay fever symptoms usually appear. 

Quercetin  – It has a natural powerful anti-histamine effect by inhibiting the release of histamine so it’s stopped in its tracks. It’s also a flavonoid which helps to reduce inflammation which will calm your allergy symptoms down. Numerous studies have shown its effectiveness for hay fever. You can consume foods such as onions, berries, parsley, cherries, grapes, broccoli, sage, garlic and citrus fruits and take a good quality supplement through your Hay fever season to improve Quercetin intake.

The Sun vitamin…D – Ironic that when the better weather comes Hay fever symptoms increase in most sufferers…yet Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to allergies and autoimmune disease. So most of us need a lot more Vitamin D than we get to have a healthy immune system and a healthy gut. Supplementing is the best way to get adequate Vitamin D levels all year round, but if you can cope with being outside more then natural sunlight is a fabulous addition to improving your Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin C – A natural anti-histamine and is in abundance is so many fruits and veg so easy for you to consume…. citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, also eating strawberries, kiwi’s, red peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, blackcurrants and berries will increase Vitamin C levels.

Probiotics – Our gut health is important for pretty much every function in our body – healthy gut flora is essential for a strong immune system and has the potential to influence our allergy response and inflammation. Many studies have shown a positive effect of probiotics on allergic rhinitis which is one of the major symptoms of hay fever, so a good probiotic is advised.

Garlic – Adding more garlic to your foods or taking a high quality supplement can block the production of histamine, meaning your hay fever symptoms are lessened.

B Is for Biotin Biotin is a B vitamin that helps maintain the healthy function of mucous membranes found in your nose, sinuses, throat and even the tear ducts, and other areas of the body. Consuming foods such as fish, egg yolks, avocados, green leafy vegetables and nuts will improve your levels as well as taking a good quality supplement.

A cup of tea – Sip these herbal teas through the day as they can have a natural antihistamine effect on the system reducing Hay fever symptoms…green tea, ginger, chamomile, elderflower, peppermint and anise.

Add some spice to your life! – Tumeric (contains Curcumin) added to food, drink or taken as a high quality supplement can help with Hay fever symptoms by reducing swelling and irritation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger can also be added in for extra anti-inflammatory hit! 

Local honey – Local honey has some strong evidence behind it that shows it helping to limit the effects of hay fever symptoms. This is due to the honey containing the same pollen from the local plants that will cause your symptoms, but in much smaller volume which helps your body build up a tolerance to the pollen naturally. Independent health stores or local farms will should have local honey. 

Barrier balm under the nose  – Dotting a barrier balm around the nose can catch pollen before it gets into the nasal passage creating a histamine response. Haymax Allergen Barrier balm is an Organic and natural balm to try. 

Natural eye drops – Similasan eye drops are a great choice as they have homeopathic remedies that sooth eyes, bring down swelling and redness and help with watery discharge.

This eye drops are also a good option to sooth eyes.

Nasal spray – This will help reduce inflammation in the nose and provide relief from nasal mucous/catarrh .

Foods/drinks to reduce or avoid

Dairy – Cut down or remove dairy as it increases the production of mucous in your body, which means that it’ll make your congestion/runny nose, respiratory type symptoms worse. Try switching to oat milk or almond milk or any other dairy free alternatives for the Hay fever season. 

Switch your drink of choice….Alcohol can worsen Hay fever symptoms as most drinks contain histamine and sulphites so it is advised to avoid it. But if you are going to drink alcohol then Gin has a low histamine content and contains no sulphites so this may be the best option. Vodka is a good second choice due to low histamine levels, but it does contain sulphites which contribute to symptoms. 

Chocolate – sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Chocolate contains histamine in high levels which can aggravate your hay fever symptoms. There are many high histamine foods that you can trial cutting out, however foods with high nutrient value such as spinach, avocado etc should be carefully evaluated with a professional. 

Wheat – As Hay fever is an issue with pollen and wheat is a grass product, consuming wheat can increase symptoms of an allergic reaction for some people who suffer from grass pollen allergies. 

Refined sugars –  Refined sugars can trigger a rush of adrenalin into your system, causing your body to produce more histamine thereby irritating your hay fever symptoms even further.

Coffee – Your adrenal glands are already very busy producing cortisol to help with the inflammatory effects of the histamine you have produced, so adding lots of Caffeine to the mix will further stress your adrenals and could lead to adrenal fatigue. Tired worn out adrenals will exacerbate your Hay fever symptoms. 

I hope these tips can help you immensely with your Hay fever symptoms! I’m always delighted when Homeopathy clears a clients hay fever symptoms when they have struggled each season for years on end. If you would like to discover what a bespoke Hay fever program could do for you then please get in touch for a free no obligation Discovery call here

Cheryl x