Have you got hayfever?

Hayfever Pollen Image

Are you feeling tired, depressed and irritable? You may have hayfever!

Only 200 years ago, hayfever was virtually unheard of and now it has become a serious problem in the UK. Symptoms vary from fatigue and mood swings to a runny nose and itchy eyes maybe even full blown flu like symptoms.

What’s the problem?

Pollen of course, but some will react worse than others. For example, there have been links to blood sugar level fluctuations – drops in blood sugar can cause adrenalin to kick in which produces histamine and worsens inflammatory symptoms.

A poor digestive system can lead to slow absorption of nutrients, essential in helping with the immune system.

Living in a city is strangely worse than in the pollen coated countryside. Researchers have found that exhaust fumes are causing “Urban Hayfever” in up to 60% of city dwellers because pollen attaches itself to exhaust fumes and becomes even more irritating. Dr Adrian Morris, a Harley Street Allergy Specialist, says that exhaust particles are particularly adept at carrying the pollen deep into the airways.

So what can you do?

Over the counter antihistamines and decongestants have been know to have side effects, and some people even find that they have no effect from the non prescription antihistamine they take. So lets talk natural…

Local honey:
It has been suggested that eating honey desensitises the body to the pollen that is in it, so that it no longer causes a reaction.A kind of natural vaccination. This in turn reduces hayfever symptoms. This is no overnight cure though. it is recommended to take 1 teaspoon a day for up to 4 months before your symptoms begin to help to lower your hayfever response however it has been noted that some get results in as little as a month.
Quercetin:
a powerful antioxidant and natural anti-histamine. It is recommended to take 500 mg a day as well as eating more foods such as red onions, apples, and broccoli which naturally contain quercetin.
Bromelain:
an enzyme found in pineapples, has considerable anti-inflammatory and anti-swelling properties. Take up to 300mg daily if your hayfever symptoms are worse, or 100mg daily to reduce your your possible reaction.
Vitamin C:
shown to promote a strong immune system and anti-inflammatory effect. Some have seen an immediate calming of allergic reactions. Smaller doses  taken throughout the day of traditional ascorbates are better as Vitamin C usually leaves the body within 6 hours. Increase your Vitamin C intake through food by eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, although you would have to eat an enormous amount to get over 2g. Everyone has various tolerance to vitamin C it is better to start with 500mg doses as even a lower dose may cause loose stools or diarrhoea. Use Ester C if you have a sensitive stomach or any gastric irritation, but as Ester C stays in the body for a lot longer you should not take very high doses of this.
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC):
is an antioxidant and natural amino acid derivative of L-Cysteine and helps break down mucus. It also boosts the levels of the antioxidant glutathione to help stabilize cell and liver function to help with the detoxification that is often needed in an allergy response.
L-Glutamine:
An amino acid said to support good immune function and can reduce allergic reactions. Among other jobs, it repairs the lining of the gut allowing for better absorption of nutrients.
MSM:
It has been seen to significantly reduce hay fever symptoms of many people during studies, and again has extremely powerful natural anti-inflammatory actions. It has also been known to improve gut health and has a balancing effect on the immune system.
Omega 3:
These oils are potent anti-inflammatory nutrients, with many other health benefits. Although not a primary treatment in allergies it is often used alongside any anti inflammatory treatment regime.

Please remember that natural supplements can interact with pharmaceutical medication. Please speak with your GP or health care practitioner if on any medication or have any health concerns.

Panacea stock a wide variety of herbal, nutritional and homoeopathic supplements for hayfever and staff are always happy to help. We also have qualified staff members in store and online available for advice just in case you feel you may need a bit more advice choosing the right supplement.