Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, refers to seasonal allergies that are suffered by many people. The usual irritant is pollen and other airborne irritants. Some people are affected more by grass pollen, others by tree pollen or mold spores. Some doctors also include pet dander, feathers and other environmental sensitivities as being a prime cause of this unpleasant ailment.
Hayfever symptoms can range from sneezing fits, running eyes and nose, sore throat, as well as an itching sensation in the eyes, nose or both. These are the initial symptoms you are likely to encounter, more severe symptoms may be nosebleeds, itchy skin or hives, reduced energy and a general feeling of malaise. If you also suffer other allergies, such as eczema or asthma, hay fever might make these problems worse.
Doctors don't really know why some people's immune systems go into overdrive when exposed to pollen and other environmental substances. Heredity seems to play a part, and so do environmental factors. The symptoms of hayfever are due in part to inflammation that is triggered by the immune system. By strengthening the immune system, you may be able to better treat your seasonal allergies.
Severe allergic reactions can trigger immediate dangers. The throat can swell up and make it difficult to swallow. If you feel a severe reaction coming on, get immediate help.
There is a lot of folklore that suggest many herbs for the treatment of hayfever symptoms. Many of these herbs have not undergone rigorous clinical trials, so there is no concrete clinical proof available. A trial involving stinging nettle found that nearly 50% of patients found it as effective as their previous medication.
- Butterbur this herb is thought to block histamines, the inflammatory chemical involved in allergies. It has been shown in studies to relieve the symptoms of hay fever, although those who are allergic to ragweed, daisy or chrysanthemum should not use this herb. Butterbur can be taken as a tea, an extract or as capsules.
- Chamomile drink a tea made of chamomile to lower the duration of hay fever occurrences. Use this herb with caution if you are allergic to feverfew or daisies.
- Ephedra this herb provides relief from nasal congestion and helps reduce bronchial spasms. Use with caution however, since ephedra has been known to cause problems when used improperly. Follow the directions on the label or from your care provider.
- Eucalyptus is useful for congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to steaming water and inhale the steam to help clear the nasal passages.
- Eyebright take a tincture or capsules of this herb to reduce hay fever symptoms.
- Ginger this herb is known to reduce inflammation. It is also antimicrobial.
- Licorice licorice root helps reduce inflammation. This herb is also antibacterial and antiviral. Take as directed for the best results.
- Stinging nettle the extract of this herb is a natural expectorant and it helps reduce inflammation in the sinuses. A tea of this herb taken daily is nutritious and supports the immune system.
- Rooibos this herb has antihistamine components. Rooibos tea is widely available in many grocery stores now. Drinking this tea can help relieve symptoms of hay fever.
- St. John's wort if you get sinus headaches with seasonal allergies, take St. John's wort capsules.
- Aloe vera this herb is a mild antihistamine. Drink the juice after it has been diluted with water. It can also be used externally as a gel for hives and rashes.
- Oats this herb is nutritious and nourishes the body on many levels.
- Evening primrose oil this herb helps reduce inflammation in the bronchial tubes. This oil can be taken twice a day.
- Reishi this herb inhibits histamine release. It also helps the body utilize oxygen more efficiently.
- Eucalyptus - can relieve congestion when used in inhalation
Essential oils that may be useful in the relief of discomfort caused by hayfever include:
Used in massage, bath, burner or inhalation, suggested blends are:
- Lavender 3 drops, lemon 3 drops, tea tree 3 drops
- Lavender 3 drops, lemon 4 drops, eucalyptus 2 drops
Hay Fever Herbal Remedies Top