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  • Vicky Wilson

Natural Hayfever Remedies

Many of us are unlucky enough to suffer hayfever this time of year. So what is it and how can we reduce the symptoms naturally?

Hayfever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is an allergic response to airborne substances such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. It affects millions of people worldwide, causing symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and congestion. While over-the-counter medications can offer relief, many seek natural remedies to manage their symptoms more holistically. In this blog, we'll explore the causes of hayfever, its symptoms, and some natural approaches to alleviate discomfort.


What Causes Hayfever?

Hayfever is triggered when the immune system mistakenly identifies harmless airborne substances as threats. This prompts the release of histamines and other chemicals, leading to inflammation and the classic hayfever symptoms. Common allergens include:


  1. Pollen: Trees, grasses, and weeds release pollen into the air, particularly during the spring and summer months.

  2. Dust Mites: Microscopic organisms that thrive in household dust, feeding on dead skin cells.

  3. Pet Dander: Tiny flakes of skin shed by cats, dogs, and other furry animals.

  4. Mold Spores: Fungi that grow in damp areas, releasing spores into the air.


Symptoms of Hayfever

The symptoms of hayfever can range from mild to severe and typically include:

  • Sneezing

  • Runny or blocked nose

  • Itchy or watery eyes

  • Itchy throat, mouth, or ears

  • Fatigue and irritability


These symptoms can significantly impact daily life, making it essential to find effective ways to manage them.


Natural Remedies for Hayfever

Older antihistamines can lead to drowsiness. Long term use of antihistamines can mask other symptoms and also mean that they would be ineffective in the event of a bite or other severe reaction. So, it is worth considering natural alternatives.

1. Local Honey

Consuming local honey is a popular folk remedy for hayfever. The theory is that local honey contains trace amounts of pollen from the area, which may help desensitize your immune system to these allergens over time. Adding a teaspoon of local honey to your daily diet might reduce your symptoms.

2. Quercetin

Quercetin is a natural flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables like onions, apples, and berries. It has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties, which can help reduce hayfever symptoms. Taking quercetin supplements or incorporating quercetin-rich foods into your diet can be beneficial. Certain fruit and vegetables, green tea, and even red wine.

3. Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf is another natural antihistamine that can help alleviate hayfever symptoms. It can be consumed as a tea, taken in capsule form, or added to soups and stews. Nettle leaf tea, in particular, is a soothing way to enjoy its benefits. Drink at least 3 cups daily.

4. Probiotics

A healthy gut is crucial for a well-functioning immune system. Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, can help balance your gut microbiome and potentially reduce hayfever symptoms. Consider adding these probiotic-rich foods to your diet or taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.


5. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and immune booster. Increasing your intake of vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli can help manage hayfever symptoms. Alternatively, a vitamin C supplement can be used. Take 1000mg a day.


6. Essential Oils

Certain essential oils, like eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender, have anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties. Using a diffuser, adding a few drops to a bowl of hot water, and inhaling the steam, or applying diluted essential oils to your skin can provide relief from nasal congestion and other hayfever symptoms.

These are available from my Neals Yard shop including a ready-made blends.


7. Hydration

Staying well-hydrated helps thin mucus secretions, making it easier to clear allergens from your nasal passages. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and include hydrating foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and celery in your diet.


8. Saline Nasal Rinse

A saline nasal rinse, or neti pot, can help flush out allergens and reduce nasal congestion. Using a solution of salt and water, rinse your nasal passages once or twice a day to keep them clear of irritants. I like to use the Pollinosan nasal spray.

9. Dietary changes

Avoid any known allergen foods.

Cut down on sugar and dairy which can be proinflammatory.


Lifestyle Adjustments

In addition to natural remedies, making certain lifestyle adjustments can also help manage hayfever symptoms:


  • Keep windows closed during high pollen seasons.

  • Drying laundry indoors.

  • Use air purifiers with HEPA filters.

  • Shower and change clothes after spending time outdoors especially before bed.

  • Pollen counts are highest in the morning so avoid activity until later in the day.

  • Keep pets out of the bedroom to reduce exposure to pet dander.


Hayfever can be a challenging condition to live with, but a combination of natural remedies and lifestyle adjustments can significantly improve your quality of life. While these natural approaches can provide relief, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new treatment, especially if you have other health conditions or are taking medications. By exploring these natural remedies, you can find a balanced approach to managing hayfever and enjoying the seasons with fewer symptoms.

If you would like help with this or other health conditions book in for a free 30 minute clarity call via the ‘book now’ tab.


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