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How to relieve hay fever naturally?

by Michelle Sanchez - Naturopath, Nutritionist and Medical Herbalist for CNM College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Hay fever is a common condition that occurs in spring and early summer due to the pollen from trees and certain grasses; and also in late summer and early autumn due to ragweed.

It is caused by an immune system reaction that is triggered when a person comes into contact with airborne particles such as pollen or dust mites. The immune system produces antibodies, which signal the release of histamine, a natural chemical produced by the body. Histamine causes sneezing, itchy eyes, nose and throat, watery eyes, congestion, sinus pressure and discharge from the nose.

Ways to relieve hay fever

  • Eat plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine and also helps reduce inflammation in the body. Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, tomatoes and strawberries contain lots of vitamin C.
  • Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods including garlic, onions, ginger, leafy greens, omega-3 (avocado, flaxseeds, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, sardines, mackerel), walnuts, almonds, lentils and chickpeas.
  • Supplement with probiotics, especially the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains of bacteria, as they help to repopulate your gut bacteria and reduce an overactive immune response which is linked to allergies and hay fever.
  • Supplement with quercetin which is a key antioxidant with anti-allergic and antihistamine properties that helps to balance the immune response and prevent it from overreacting to allergens such as pollen. Food sources of quercetin include apples, berries, broccoli, grapes, peppers and red onions. Green tea and black tea also contain quercetin.

CNM trains successful practitioners in a range of natural therapies. Voted Best College/University in the 2021 IHCAN Education Awards.
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