Are there any natural ways to relieve hay fever?
As the days get longer and warmer, there’s far more opportunity to get out of the house. There are all kinds of benefits to spending time outdoors. Being in nature is great for mental health, and getting sun on the skin lets our bodies make vitamin D, which is essential for bone and muscle health.
One downside of spending more time outside is that it can trigger seasonal allergies. If you have hay fever, you may be used to spending the spring and summer battling unpleasant symptoms like itchy eyes, sneezing and coughing.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for hay fever. However, there are lots of treatments available for managing symptoms, some of which are based on natural ingredients.
Symptoms of hay fever include:
- Runny or blocked nose
- Itching, redness, and watering in the eyes
- Itching in the throat, mouth, nose, and ears
- Losing your sense of smell
- Feeling really tired
Treatments for hay fever
Typically, hay fever doesn’t require a visit to your GP. Instead, you can go to your local pharmacy and speak to the pharmacist about hay fever treatment.
For hay fever, a pharmacist will normally offer a product containing antihistamines – this is a chemical that blocks the body’s release of histamine, the substance that creates the allergic reaction. Antihistamines usually come as tablets, nasal spray, or drops.
Compared to antihistamines, EctoinÒ is a newer and more naturally derived treatment suitable for hay fever symptoms. Like antihistamines, it’s available to buy over the counter in a pharmacy, as it doesn’t need a prescription.
EctoinÒ is a small organic molecule that occurs naturally in microorganisms that live in extreme environmental conditions. It creates a coating of water molecules that can protect the skin cells from irritation and inflammation.
As an active ingredient, EctoinÒ is found in a number of newer hay fever treatments, including Fusion Allergy lozenges, nasal spray, and eye drops. In addition to EctoinÒ, these products contain a small number of other natural ingredients known to have calming effects, including menthol.
Treatment of hay fever from a GP
If you have severe hay fever and you need further treatment from your GP, they might prescribe you steroid treatment, such as nasal spray.
Natural home remedies for hay fever
Some natural home remedies that might help soothe your symptoms include:
- Steam inhalation for a blocked nose – fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head and the bowl, and inhale the steam
- Honey and lemon for a cough – fill a mug with boiled water and add half a squeezed lemon and a spoonful of honey, then leave until it’s cool enough to drink
- Pelargonium for a cough – this is a type of herbal medicine that may help to soothe a cough
- A cold compress for irritated eyes – putting something cool over your eyes can help if they’re very itchy
Other tips for managing hay fever include:
- Putting petroleum jelly around your nostrils to trap pollen
- Wearing wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Using an allergy reliever
- Putting a pollen filter in your car
- Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Showering and washing your clothes when you come indoors after being outside
It’s also a good idea to check the pollen count at the start of the day – if it’s really high, and you get severe symptoms, it might be a good idea to stay home and keep your windows and doors closed.