Hayfever

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. Every summer I suffer terribly with hayfever. What natural approaches can I take to get through this season naturally?

A. Approximately 20% of the Western population experience hayfever which occurs as a result of an allergic reaction to wind-borne pollens, grasses or weeds. Or it could also be a reaction to dust, moulds, feathers, pesticides. The itchy eyes, nose and palate and the constant streaming mucous becomes unbearable.

Two homoeopathic remedies which can be effective for hayfever are allium cepa 30c (onion) and sabadilla 30c. These are available in chemists who stock Weleda or Naturopharm homoeopathics.

Vitamin C has the ability to reduce histamine release, you can take 3000mg daily in order to prevent an episode; or if hayfever strikes, take 1000mg vitamin C hourly until you have reached saturation point (this is when you get a loose bowel movement), then reduce the dosage to 3000mg daily.

Drink plenty of fluids. Caffeine 400mg (1-2 cups of coffee) in one study, temporarily relieved the symptoms by 50%.

A human study demonstrated the ability of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) at 2,600 mg per day for 30 days, to significantly reduce the symptoms of hayfever.

Pycnogenol strengthens the cell membranes of mast cells and reduces their propensity to release inflammatory histamine and serotonin in response to the underlying antigens associated with hayfever.

Quercetin which is rich in onions, green tea and cranberries may exert an anti-histamine effect in hayfever sufferers also. Quercetin is also available as a supplement – dosages of 900-1200mg per day are recommended.

Herbal medicine such as the Cold Decongestant Formula (available on this website) contains the herbs echinacea and eyebright to improve immunity and decongest.

Allergy tests are worthwhile, although you can’t avoid grass or pollen, by reducing food sensitivities, gives the immune system a lighter load to deal with and so the hayfever symptoms can reduce. There is more information on the allergy test under the About section on this website.