Another effect of high summer with it’s beautiful blue skies and warm sunshine can often be a high pollen count, which for many of us means hay fever. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollens which can cause cold like symptoms including a runny nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, pain in your sinuses, loss of your sense of smell, and feeling tired and lethargic.
There are so many different remedies for hay fever that you can try at home using herbs and essential oils to bring relief for the symptoms of hay fever, so I wanted to share a few of the ones we’ve been trying with you.
You may notice that chamomile is a herb that I mention in almost every post I write about herbal remedies! It’s one of my favourites and is well known as a relaxant, but is also an anti-histamine. (Release of histamine is what causes hay fever symptoms).
There are a few different ways you can use chamomile to help. If you have some chamomile essential oil you could try putting a drop or two inside your nostrils, and of course you can drink chamomile tea.
A great way to drink your tea is to make up an infusion in a cafetiere – take it up to bed with you and have a cup before you go to sleep, then have a second cool cup to start your day in the morning. I love making herbal teas in a cafetiere, it’s easy to make up infusions with a number of different herbs, and they look so pretty!
Lemon Balm is a great addition to your chamomile tea when you’re fighting hay fever symptoms, it tastes delicious and is also great for soothing the respiratory system.
Another way to use your chamomile infusion would be to make a cold compress. Allow your infusion to cool, or you could even use a few ice cubes if it’s a very hot day. Soak a muslin cloth or face cloth in the infusion and use as a cooling eye mask to help soothe puffy, sore eyes.
Essential Oils for Hay Fever
I’ve made up a ‘hay fever relief oil’ using a base oil (I used jojoba as I had it to hand, but olive or sunflower oil would work just as well) with a couple of drops of lavender and peppermint oil added. The hay fever relief oil can then be applied to your sinuses and the bottom of your feet to help ease your hay fever symptoms.
Peppermint oil can help unclog the sinuses and is also anti-inflammatory. It can also help wake you up if you’re suffering with the fatigue that often comes with hay fever. Lavender is also a natural anti-histamine.
Another great essential oil to use is Eucalyptus which is great for easing a stuffy nose. You can diffuse some in an aromatherapy diffuser, or use a steam inhalation. To do this, use a large bowl and fill with boiling water, then add a couple of drops of Eucalyptus oil. On a table top, put your head over the bowl and cover both your head and the bowl with a towel, so you inhale the steam and it doesn’t escape into the room. This is something I often do when I have a winter cold too, it is really effective.
If you’re suffering with hay fever, it’s recommended to eat a low mucus diet. This means avoiding dairy, eggs, sugar, potatoes and processed foods. You can also try adding super foods to your diet – here are two ideas…
You may have heard that eating local honey is a great remedy for hay fever, but how about bee pollen? John Howat, secretary of the Bee Farmers Association of the UK, says: “I used to suffer dreadfully myself until I had been keeping bees for a couple of years. Since then, hardly ever. I don’t eat much honey, so the effect could be related to all the stings I’ve had, or to burying my head in beehives every week.” (The Telegraph)
Bee pollen is not only thought to be effective at helping hay fever symptoms, but is is also considered to be one of nature’s most complete foods. It is rich in B vitamins and essential minerals.
Ashwaghanda powder is a true superfood, being the Number One remedy in Ayurveda. It helps the immune system, and also the respiratory system, and can be useful in treating the symptoms of hay fever.
An easy and delicious way to add these superfoods into your diet is with this fantastic summer breakfast, packed with vitamin C.
I’ve also used ashwaghanda powder in a green juice, which you can find the recipe for here. Both bee pollen and ashwaghanda powder can also be added to yoghurt or a smoothie.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas for natural remedies for hay fever that you can try at home this summer. All of the products that I’ve used are available from Indigo Herbs of Glastonbury. They ship worldwide and have free, fast UK delivery for orders over £30.
This is a collaborative post with Indigo Herbs