Available at your local chemist in the form of tablets, liquids, nasal sprays and eye drops, antihistamines work by blocking the action of a histamine—an immune response released by the body after it has been exposed to pollen. If you’ve had an adverse reaction to antihistamines, or they failed to treat your hay fever symptoms, we’ve got a few DIY natural remedies you can try below.
While its results vary from person to person, the bee pollen in honey can desensitise you body to other pollens—including those that cause hay fever. Try to increase the amount of honey in your diet coming into spring.
The vitamin C found in oranges is not just a natural histamine. It contains bioflavonoids which have powerful anti-allergy effects. Lemons and grapefruits are also a great source of vitamin C.
Whether you’ve heard about it or not, if you have eaten a chilli you will know the effects of capsaicin. This is the compound of chilli which causes its spiciness. So the more capsaicin, the hotter the chilli. As well as giving your mouth a burning sensation, it opens your nasal passages and reduces congestion associated with hay fever.
As well as being an extremely tasty way to start your day, chamomile tea contains flavonoids which act as an anti-inflammatory agent and battle hay fever symptoms. You can choose to consume in the form of a cuppa, or use them as an eye compress to battle swollen, red eyes.
Making a chamomile tea eye compress
1. Submerge 2 chamomile teabags in water for 2 minutes
2. Remove them from the water and squeeze
3. Refrigerate teabag for 30 minutes
4. Place on swollen, red eyes for 5 minutes
5. Allow eyes to breathe for an hour before repeating if necessary
If you don’t mind a bit of bad breath, increasing the amount of garlic in your diet can boosts your body’s immune system. It also acts as a decongestant, and is a natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine.
Other techniques to avoid hay fever
– Avoid flowering plants when possible (Click here for a pollen calendar that will help you with this)
– Smear Vaseline inside your nose to trap pollen before it enters
– Wear sunglasses when outside to better protect your eyes
– Keep windows closed in the car and use re-circulated airconditioning
– Allergen immunotherapy to desensitise your body to the allergens
– Acupuncture has also been linked to reducing symptoms of hay fever
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