Over 40% of people in the UK suffer from at least one allergy and it seems this percentage is on the rise. Seasonal allergies, such as hay fever, can be a particular problem affecting many adults and children.

Itchy, sore, watery eyes, runny or blocked noses, sore throats, sneezing and coughs – sound familiar? These are the main symptoms of hay fever, triggered by excess histamine being released in response to immune reactions to the pollens.

Hay fever can begin to cause problems for sufferers in early spring with the arrival of various grass, weed, flower and tree pollens. If the condition develops in spring, it is usually due to tree pollens. While in late spring and early summer grass and weed pollens are usually the culprits.

Here are some natural treatment tips to help

    • Try to avoid airborne allergens by using hypoallergenic materials in the house, particularly where you sleep; maybe think of installing an air purifier
    • Use natural cleaning products.
    • Look at your diet and keep a food diary. Try cutting out common food allergens like wheat, dairy, citrus.
    • Avoid food additives
    • A mostly vegan diet can be effective in reducing symptoms with the exception of oily fish and probiotic yoghurt.
    • Avoid adding salt to food and all processed foods which contain a lot of salt.

Nutritional Support

  • Increase levels of Magnesium and Vitamin C. Magnesium can help open up the airways and Vitamin C is very important for the health of the lungs.  Recommended foods: Cherries, pineapples, strawberries, sweet potatoes, dark leafy vegetables, brown rice, seeds, nuts 
  • Increase levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. This improves airways responsiveness to allergens and respiratory function Recommended Omega 3 Foods: Wild Salmon, Flaxseeds oil (Linseeds), pumpkin seeds, walnuts, avocados. 
  • Vitamin D3 supports the immune system and levels can be low after the winter months. Sunshine is the best way to boost levels but mushrooms are a good food source. Vegans be wary that D3 supplementation is often derived from animal sources. There are vegan supplement brands including Terranova that provide this.
  • Increase anti-oxidant intake. These include Vitamins A, C and E as well as minerals such as Zinc, Selenium and Copper. Inflammatory and allergic responses are greatly influenced by antioxidant mechanisms. Quercetin in particular helps to stabilise the cell walls of mast cells that contain histamine. It is particularly effective when taken alongside Vitamin C which also helps with absorption. Recommended Foods: Nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, olive oil, green tea. Quercetin is found in onions, green tea, apples, broccoli, tomatoes & berries.
  • Include Probiotics. Beneficial bacteria effects our immune systems and greatly influences immune responses. Recommended Foods: Miso, Kefir, yoghurt, raw honey, tempeh, fermented cabbage, onions, bananas, leeks, onions, garlic. The combination of Magnesium, Vitamin C, D and Quercetin in foods and if needed food-based supplements will offer a great deal of support for hay fever and often other allergic responses.
    The combination of Magnesium, Vitamin C, D and Quercetin in foods and if needed food-based supplements will offer a great deal of support for hay fever and often other allergic responses.