If over-the-counter hay fever medicines leave you drowsy and miserable, try one of our top 10 natural hay fever remedies to keep you feeling fine and hay fever free all summer long!
Ready to give a few new natural hay fever remedies a try?
If you suffer from dreaded hay fever, then you’ll know just how uncomfortable, annoying and downright unbearable it can make the warmer weather, which is why finding some hay fever remedies that actually work is crucial! But have you thought about trying natural hay fever remedies to kick your symptoms to the curb?
While others are out enjoying the summer months, you’re stuck with the worst possible hay fever symptoms you can imagine, including streaming, stinging eyes, a blocked or runny nose, an itchy throat and so much sneezing. Oh, and let’s not forget the most annoying itchy throat you can possibly imagine…
NHS describes hay fever as ‘a common allergic condition that affects up to one in five people at some point in their life’, and comes about through an allergy to pollen – so it’s clear that not only is this condition tricky to avoid in the summer, it’s also incredibly common too.
If you’re a hay fever sufferer, we’re willing to bet you’ve tried a whole host of tablets and medicines that you’ve grabbed from your local chemist, all promising to stop the discomfort hay fever brings. But what about trying a more natural hay fever remedy approach?
There’s lots of natural hay fever remedies you can try when your symptoms start to flare up, and they could make a welcome change from constantly reaching for the drugs – especially when most medicines make you feel drowsy. These natural remedies, from good ol’ Vit C to honey, can work even when the pollen counts are at their highest!
The best part? You probably already have most of these hay fever remedies around the house already, hiding in kitchen cupboards of all places, meaning you can beat hay fever the natural way without spending a fortune! Result!
Take a look through our natural hay fever remedy gallery to see which of these hay fever remedies could work for you.
Honey is said to be a natural remedy for hay fever because the bee pollen in honey can desensitise your body to other pollens. Increasing honey in your daily dietary intake should reduce hay fever symptoms significantly. Make sure you use local honey to your area to see the best results.
When to take: daily before hay fever season starts.
Try our honey recipes for more ideas
Vitamin C is a known natural antihistamine and can be found in oranges, lemons and grapefruit. Also present are bioflavonoids, which have powerful anti-allergy effects. The combination of vitamin C and bioflavonoids together provide a natural decongestant and antihistamine for sufferers and help alleviate symptoms.
Oranges are a good source of vitamin C or you can take a supplement.
What to take: 1,000mg of vitamin C a day.
Red and chilli peppers contain an active component called capsaicin. When eaten, capsaicin opens the nasal passages, helping to reduce congestion.
What to take: Add red and chilli peppers to your daily diet, on salads or cooked with your evening meal.
We have loads of ideas for tasty stuffed pepper recipes
Naturally occurring pigments in plants, carotenoids act as powerful antioxidants to help reduce inflammation in your airways and improve your immune system. A good source of carotenoids can be found in foods such as carrots, apricots, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach - natural remedies for hay fever can actually be pretty tasty!
When to take: One to two servings of carotenoid-rich food per day.
We have loads of ideas for carrot recipes you can try
An antioxidant and antihistamine, chamomile tea contains flavonoids that act as an anti-inflammatory agent. While best taken as a cuppa during the day, chamomile tea can also be used as an eye compress to cool swollen, red eyes.
What to take: Daily as a cuppa or as an eye compress. Make sure to use a fresh compress for each eye to avoid infection.
Making and using a compress:
Step 1 - Submerge an instant chamomile teabag in water. Leave it there for at least 3 mins.
Step 2 - Dump out the water and gently squeeze the excess water from the teabag.
Step 3 - Refrigerate the chamomile tea bag for 15 to 30 mins and remove from the fridge once cool.
Step 4 - Hold the cool tea bag against the swollen eye for up to 5 mins at a time.
Step 5 - Allow your inflamed eye to breathe for an hour before attempting to re-apply a new compress.
Increasing your dietary intake of garlic can help boost your body's immune system, while also acting as a decongestant and helping to alleviate minor hay fever symptoms. It's also an anti-inflammatory and a good source of quercetin, a natural antihistamine.
When to take: With meals, one or two months before the hay season starts, but most effective when eaten crushed or raw. If you can't stomach that, try garlic capsules from your local pharmacy.
Research has found that the ancient Chinese medicine of acupuncture can be a natural hay fever rememdy, helping to reduce hay fever symptoms, such as a runny nose and itchy eyes, dramatically. Using sterile needles, acupuncture pinpoints specific areas of the body and helps relieve any symptoms caused by current ailments. Studies have shown that acupuncture has a positive effect on alleviating hay fever symptoms.
When to try: Sufferers should have four to six acupuncture sessions before hay fever season starts to see the best results.
Recent studies have shown that sufferers trained to use self-hypnosis saw a dramatic reduction in their hay fever symptoms, such as a runny nose and irritated throat. They were taught a special self-relaxation technique and soon noticed less discomfort when the first symptoms of hay fever appeared.
When to try: Prior to hay fever season.
Spreading a thin layer of Vaseline inside the lower nostrils can help combat hay fever and reduce symptoms significantly. The Vaseline traps pollen entering the nostrils, effectively blocking it from entering the nasal passages and stopping hay fever symptoms from worsening.
When to take: Daily during hay fever season, before leaving the house.
Onion skins are a good source of quercetin, a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory proven to reduce symptoms in hay fever sufferers. Onions contain three times as much quercetin as kale and 10 times as much as broccoli and can be eaten throughout the day in a variety of meals, so they're one of the easier hay fever remedies to try.
When to take: Daily with meals, although one option suggests you chew raw onions as an alternative - we only recommend this if you're staying in.
Try our onion recipes for more ideas
Would you ever consider trying reflexology for your hay fever symptoms?
That's exactly what Facebook user Luke Ireland recommends, who posted this picture of just how you can target pesky hay fever using the power and pressure of reflexology.
He posted the snap with the caption: 'For all you hay fever sufferers out there. Find the same area on your hand as the x is on mine. Then apply pressure several times, it will help as it will stimulate the body's own anti-histamine. x Please share. #Reflexology'
Hay fever symptoms occur because when pollen enters the body, your immune system can think it's under attack and release the chemical histamine - the symptoms of which are just like a cold.
It's thought that by applying pressure through reflexology, you can help reduce inflammation and therefore start to breathe more easily. Worth a try!