It’s Spring Carnival time with beautiful blue skies and blossoms, but for many it’s dreaded hay fever time! Seasonal allergies: if you haven’t had them before, then move to Melbourne! From itchy eyes and a sneezy drippy nose to asthma thunderstorms, we have it all in Melbourne. The changing weather patterns make it perfect for grasses with lots of pollen.
This wreaks havoc on our immune system. How our bodies react and whether it’s due to environmental exposure as a child or not is debatable. If it is due to genetic factors, then is it out of our control? There are so many unknowns, but the real question to ask is, what can we do?
We always start with removing the triggers, which in this case where do we start removing pollen? Well, we start with limiting exposure by getting a good air purifier in the home, especially if you want to get some sleep at night! While you are at it, make sure you remove any foods which trigger any type of reaction, and any possible sources like body creams, soaps, or laundry powder. This lessens the load on our system so we can better deal with hay fever.
Clearing the nasal passages is so important because mouth breathing leads to other health problems. Get that nose cleared with a saline solution: Using a spray or a neti pot to clear the nasal passages. If it’s too congested, then steaming with a couple of drops of Eucalyptus in hot water helps to break up the mucus.
Whether it is dry or wet or runny or blocked, hay fever symptoms disturb sleep quality causing further degradation of health. A 2016 study found that a combination of Ravensara, Sandalwood, and Frankincense over 6 weeks, alleviated symptoms and improved life. When reading this study I did wonder if after 6 weeks the allergy season was over, but either way, it is a good combination with proven results, so there you go.
Unfortunately, I went the pharmaceutical nasal spray route many years ago. It worked, but left me with ongoing nasal dryness and painful infections. This is why restoring the mucus membranes in the nose is important, to improve the integrity of the nasal membranes.
As a Naturopath, I treat hay fever with both nutritional and herbal medicine. Vitamin C, quercetin, and Zinc can be helpful if deficient. Plantago lanceolata, Hydrastis canadensis, and Scutellaria baicalensis are useful Herbal Medicine options to consider. Individual assessment is important to know what is right for you.