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29th March 2016 03:14 PM

Author: Samantha Farmer

Hay fever, otherwise called seasonal allergic rhinitis, is an allergic reaction to pollen.

The pollens include trees, grass and weeds. For some, mould spores can also trigger hay fever symptoms.

Histamine is released into the bloodstream by the immune system when one of these allergens is detected, causing inflammation, sneezing, runny nose, and swollen and runny eyes. This is the body's attempt to eradicate the invader, but creates considerable discomfort for the sufferer.

For some people with other health conditions like asthma and lung problems, hay fever can trigger symptoms to occur.

So what can you do about it other than take prescription or over the counter drugs that may leave you feeling drowsy? Some diet changes, essential oils and suppliments can help reduce the symptoms.

Some foods to avoid during the hay fever season, which can make symptoms worse include - its a bizarre mix:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy
  • Chocolate
  • Sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Peanuts
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Bananas
  • Cucumbers
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Chamomile
  • Shellfish
  • Sunflower seeds

Remove any foods you know you have an allergic reaction to as well. An elimination diet can help you identify offending foods. Some of the above can increase mucus production and others trigger a similar response to some pollens.

Foods that can be beneficial during hay fever season and can be enjoyed include:

  • Local honey (raw) - seems to control symptoms as it contains local pollen
  • Bone broth - helps to support the immune system
  • Pineapple - contains an enzyme called bromelain, which can reduce swelling in the nasal passages, and other nutrients which can help to reduce symptoms.
  • Free range poultry
  • Probiotic-rich foods, eg; kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha & yoghurt aid digestion and support the immune system
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Wild caught fish
  • Hot & spicy foods - help to thin mucus
  • Organic vegetables

Diffusing essential oils has been found to be beneficial by some, as they ease nasal passages, reduce stress and support circulation. Oils to try include:

  • Menthol
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Lavender

When it comes to suppliments seek professional advice, as suppliments can interact with prescribed medication and exacerbate certain conditions. However, it is useful to know that suppliments containing stinging nettles contain natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties.

Organic green barley grass has been found to support the respiratory tract and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Beta glucan found in Bakers yeast (not the same as from oats) has also shown to reduce histamine release thus reducing inflammation.

Dont get caught out this year. Plan ahead and fill your cupboards with those foods that will support you and avoid those that wont.

Then get out ther and enjoy the beneficial spring weather!

Samantha is a Nutritional Therapist and is available at our Mickleover Centre. To book your FREE 20 minute consultation please contact 01332 521 270 or via our contact form 


Tags: allergies, Hayfever, Nutritional Therapy, samantha farmer

Treatments: Nutritional Therapy

Practitioners: Samantha Farmer

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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