Almost 40 per cent of Australians are affected by hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Typical hay fever symptoms such as runny nose, itchy throat, sneezing and itchy eyes occur when sufferers are exposed to pollen from trees and grasses. Their immune systems overreact thinking these are harmful and a series of responses are triggered, including the release of histamine which causes swelling and inflammation of the respiratory passages and excessive mucus production.
Here are Go Vita’s top tips to keep symptoms naturally under control:
1. Take a herbal supplement
Anti-allergy herbs can work quickly and the good news is they won’t make you drowsy. Choose a supplement with effective decongestant herbs garlic and horseradish, anti-allergy Ayurvedic herb albizia, and soothing marshmallow and fenugreek, as well as anti-inflammatory Japanese shiso (perilla).
2. Inhale tea tree oil
Cover your head with a towel and lean over a large bowl of freshly boiled water which has a few drops of tea tree oil added, inhale vapors for 5-10 minutes – this simple steam inhalation naturally treats congestion and clears excess mucus.
3. Avoid certain foods
It is highly recommended to reduce or avoid dairy products particularly milk as this can increase the production of mucus-making hay fever symptoms! Try alternative milk sources such as rice, almond, quinoa and coconut.
4. Take extra vitamin C
Vitamin C has been widely used to help treat upper respiratory tract infections. It enhances the ability of white blood cells to fight infections, due to its immune stimulating effects. Vitamin C also provides antioxidant support and reduces histamine levels in the body.
5. Nasal sprays
Some over the counter nasal sprays can have unwanted side effects, instead reach for natural xylitol based sprays for soothing relief to combat nasal congestion. Used daily, xylitol nasal spray not only hydrates and moisturises the sinuses, but washes away airborne contaminants and pollutants.