Spring is here! Sunshine, daffodils, lambs, and a welcome respite from the cold… what’s not to love? Well, for those who suffer from seasonal hay fever, the start of spring can be a bittersweet experience.
What is hay fever? Put simply, it's an allergic reaction where body’s immune system over-reacts to pollen and spores. A runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, tiredness and cough can really take a toll on health and happiness.
Luckily, experienced Health Practitioners work at each of our six Commonsense stores. They have the skills and experience to offer advice and assistance for just this sort of health complaint. We asked Dianna Tawharu, Naturopath at our Wellington City Store, for her top tips in battling hay fever symptoms this spring. Dianna is trained in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Nutrition.
1. Eat your colours
Dianna recommends starting your crusade against hay fever in the produce department. A healthy and diverse diet can go a long way in aiding the immune system and relieving symptoms. Organic leafy greens, fresh fruit, berries and colourful veges are good sources of important nutrients that support the body, including Vitamin C, an effective antihistamine.
2. Take a Vitamin C & Bioflavonoid supplement
A combined Vitamin C and Bioflavonoid supplement could be the right side-kick in your fight against hay fever. Bioflavonoids are antioxidants found in many natural foods alongside Vitamin C: together they function as effective antihistamines. For smooth relief throughout the day, Dianna suggests halving 1000mg tablets and taking 500mg 4-6 times a day.
3. Take an all-round herbal allergy remedy
If you're looking for a solid all-round allergy remedy, this Kiwiherb Herbal Allergy Formula with Manuka Honey may just do the trick. It can help balance the immune system and soothe the body’s allergic response.
4. Try a homeopathic remedy
Homeopathic remedies are extremely safe treatment option that may rapidly combat hay fever symptoms. For those suffering from itchy eyes, Weleda Gencydo Eyedrops can work wonders, although Dianna advises that your eyes may sting briefly after application. Weleda A.G.E. tablets may offer respite from runny nose and sneezing, and New Era Combination H. Tissue Salts can be an excellent and effective choice for young children.
There are a range of homeopathic options for nasal, throat and hay fever complaints at Commonsense. For further suggestions, visit one of our six stores and chat with one of our friendly Health Practitioners.
4. Use a neti pot
This ancient Ayurvedic therapy uses a saline solution to gently cleanse the nasal passages. Neti pots are becoming increasing well-known as a treatment for colds, congestion and allergic reactions. Dianna suggests that using a neti pot may help relieve hay fever symptoms by rinsing out irritants - such as pollen – from the nasal passages.
5. Foster good gut health
If the body’s elimination channels are working well, there will be fewer toxins in the body. Fewer toxins result in less strain put on the body, meaning that the body's immune system will function better.
Dianna recommends fostering good gut flora to help keep the immune system in balance. Ethical Nutrients' Allergy Control is a probiotic that has been clinically trialled, linking to reduced severity and frequency of allergy symptoms, including runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and itchy throat.
6. Get the basics right
Drinking enough water, reducing stress and getting enough sleep can go a long way to increasing immune system health and decreasing hay fever symptoms.
If you’re suffering from severe hay fever, this could point towards poor diet, poor gut health, body toxicity or the effects of long-term stress. If this sounds like you, visit one of our stores and ask one of our friendly Health Practitioners for more advice.
Dianna Tawharu, Wellington Store Naturopath