Oh gosh its…Hayfever season!

As much as I love spring, I hate the thought of the dry itching eyes, running nose, consent sniffing and sneezing! Yes it’s that time where pollen is at its peak and if you are like me and suffer as your body’s mast cells go into overdrive releasing histamine and causing all sorts of internal discomfort! You want to know why, and how to best manage it!

Here’s the why…

Hay fever, also known as Allergic Rhinitis, is an allergic inflammation of the nasal passage, and eyes. Basically it causes grief to those with sensitised immune systems. The allergen which in this case is pollen triggers your body’s antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) This antibody binds to white blood cells known as mast cells and basophils causing them to release histamine, the histamine brings on our body’s natural inflammatory response, hence we get swelling, itching and excessive mucus production. As we are each unique our response to the allergen is different for us all. Some of us may just have the red itchy eyes, sneezing, itchy and runny nose with a clear, thin discharge others can get the more troublesome congested (“stuffy”) nose, postnasal drip, sensation of blocked ears, watery, bloodshot eyes, blocked ears, hives and welts, red skin rashes and experience fatigue as well as have trouble sleeping .

When you get hay fever in the spring it is usually in response to the pollen from the trees, if you get it later than spring, such as in summer it is often grass and weeds causing the discomfort.

My gosh it’s enough to make you want to run for the covers and not come up!

Ok so what can we do better?

So we need to support our liver, why? Because your liver is working overtime as Histamine is methylated in the liver and high levels of histamine as seen in Hay fever suffers indicate undermethylation by the liver. As another words your liver is a bit congested.

How can we support our liver?

Firstly we need to avoid mucous forming foods and foods that are known to cause an allergic response such as wheat and milk and in some cases grains. It may be that some hay fever sufferers become sensitised to proteins that are common to grains, grasses and possibly milk. Regardless eating a lot of dairy products encourages mucus production which you want to avoid.

Sugar and alcohol reduce your immunity, so look to greatly reduce your intake.

Eat sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds and Brazil nuts (unless you are allergic to these, of course) these are a rich source of selenium and zinc.

Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables, The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals within fruit and vegetables will help to build up your body’s immunity

Drink nettle juice or tea as nettle is a powerful natural antihistamine and eases coughs and other respiratory problems. Artemis is an excellent brand of tea that has excellent ranges of herbs within. Their liver support tea is a fantastic aid.

Vitamin C to boost your immunity and antioxidant levels.

If by making dietary adjustments doesn’t assist you with overcoming the frustration of the running nose, itchy eyes, blocked sinus, then I highly recommend a visit to a naturopath, a naturopath can aid your body in healing through therapeutic levels of vitamins, and herbal formulas. I have found in the past two years that a formula from my naturopath has had fantastic effects on enabling me to overcome the effects of Hayfever. Denise at Vitalise health would be happy to consult with you and see you through Paua clinic.

I wish you well in getting on top of those nasty hay fever symptoms so you can enjoy the beauty of the flowers and smells of spring.

Me xx

References

Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs, herbal formulations for the individual patient (K. W. Fons, K. Ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2011). Herbs & natural supplements an evidence based guide (Vol. 3). Chatswood, NSW 2067, Australia: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

Murray, M. T., & Pizzorno, J. E. (2012). The Encyclopedia of natural medicine (3rd ed.). NY: Atria Paperback.

Sarris, J., & Wardle, J. (2012). Clincal naturopathy an evidence based guide to practice (J. Window Ed.). Chatswood, NSW, 2067: Elsevier Australia.