Hay fever affects at least 20% of the population every year. Many people's lives are made a misery with constant sneezing, runny noses, watery, red, gritty and itchy eyes when they are exposed to pollen in spring and summer.
The symptoms of hay fever are caused by the release of histamine triggered by over reaction of the immune system to substances that should normally be tolerated. Substances like house dust, house dust mite and animal fur can also trigger symptoms.
But now researchers have found that diesel fumes are causing "Urban Hay Fever" in up to 60% of city dwellers because pollen attaches itself to exhaust fumes and becomes even more irritating. Dr Adrian Morris says that exhaust particles are particularly adept at carrying the pollen deep into the airways.
Sales of antihistamines and decongestants soar at this time of the year as people try to subdue the symptoms that make their lives a misery. Researchers in Switzerland have shown that the herbal remedy Butterbur has similar affects as antihistamine medication and does not have any side effects.
But it is possible to beat your hay fever naturally with regular detox, an anti-allergy diet and some anti-allergy supplements. A healthy body should be able to cope with pollen, dust and other potential allergens. But the immune system can malfunction if your body is overloaded with toxins.
Many people find that as they reduce their toxic load they react less and less to pollen or other trigger substances. Regular detox will help to get rid of chemicals and metals that can interfere with the normal function of your immune system. Of course it helps to start to detox early in the year but it is not too late to start one now or at least try an anti-allergy diet.
1. Avoid gluten grains like wheat, rye, barley, oats. People with hay fever often react to other members of the grass family.
2. Avoid dairy products and red meat as these can contribute to the inflammation caused by the allergic reaction
3. Eat plenty of different coloured fresh fruit and vegetables, especially raw, to get increased nutrients.
4. Increase Omega 3 oils from oily fish, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and linseeds (flax seed) to help to fight inflammation.
5. Avoid alcohol which overloads the liver, slows down detox and interferes with digestion making allergy more likely.
6. Drink plenty of pure water. The body works better when well hydrated.
7. Increase red onions, citrus fruit, berries and apples which contain quercetin, a flavanoid that acts as a natural antihistamine.
8. Get tested for hidden food allergies and exclude foods that you react to.
Nutrients that can help you beat hay fever naturally are:
Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant and natural anti-histamine. Take 500 mg a day as well as eating more red onions, apples, citrus fruit, and berries.
Vitamin C promotes a strong immune system, is anti-inflammatory and can immediately calm down allergic reactions. 2 - 4 grams a day would be a good dose taken throughout the day as it goes out of the body within 6 hours. Increase your vitamin C intake through food by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, although you would have to eat an enormous amount to get up to 2g.
Omega 3 fish oils are potent anti-inflammatory nutrients, with many other health benefits. Although you can obtain these from eating oily fish (avoiding those fish such as tuna, swordfish and sea bass which are often high in mercury) you can supplement 1,000mg of combined EPA and DHA a day.
Glutamine helps to support good immune function and can reduce allergic reactions as it repairs the linings of the digestive and respiratory systems. Take 500mg a daily.
MSM has significantly reduced hay fever symptoms in many people in studies and is another extremely powerful natural anti-inflammatory substance. Take 500 - 1000mg a day.
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, has considerable anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling properties. Take up to 300mg daily if you are having an allergic reaction or 100mg daily to reduce your allergic potential.
Improving your general health with regular detox, enough relaxation, restful sleep, exercise, a healthy diet and ensuring your body has all the right nutrients can, in time, cure your hay fever.