Herbal help for Hay Fever
Updated: Jun 15
People who suffer from hay fever often presume that it's something they will have to manage every season. They assume that the runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing is something that will bother them forever.
There are, however, quite a few things that a naturopath can do to help you reduce the symptoms for good:
1. Immune system support
Hay fever is an immune system over-reaction to triggers in the environment; things like pollens from trees, grasses and flowers; dust and other environmental triggers.
A naturopath can treat you with herbal medicine and nutrients that support a healthy immune system and lessen reactions to allergy triggers.
Herbal formulas are best when they are individually prescribed and taken for at least 8 weeks. Herbs such as Albizia, Baical skullcap and Echinacea have shown great benefits for people with hay fever.
Some nutrients in the diet such as zinc and quercetin, or taken as supplements, can support the immune system and reduce the symptoms of hay fever over the long term.
2. Healthy mucous membranes
The cells in your mucous membranes can also benefit from herbal medicine, nutrients and dietary changes.
Reducing or eliminating foods from your diet that are mucous producing, such as dairy and wheat can help stop the nose from feeling runny and clogged for many people. Try switching to oat, almond, soy or macadamia milk.
Vitamins such as A, E and D are beneficial for healthy mucous membranes and a naturopath can work with you to increase these vitamins in your daily diet. Some of the foods that might be recommended for you are carrots, eggs, oily fish, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and almonds.
3. Gut healing
Did you know that around 70% of our immune system is in the gut? Having a well functioning digestive system is important for reducing the symptoms of hay fever. If you regularly suffer from digestive bloating, pain, flatulence or other uncomfortable sensations, then you will benefit from seeing a naturopath for a digestive health consultation.
Gut healing always starts with looking at the diet and trying to pinpoint any food intolerances or nutrients that might be lacking. Other digestive problems that could lead to allergies are low stomach acid, low digestive enzyme production and dysbiosis (unbalanced gut microbiota).
Once you have improved your digestive health, you will be amazed at how allergy symptoms can improve and you should also feel more energetic, sleep better and think more clearly.
4. Histamine intolerance
The cells in the body release histamine in response to allergens such as pollens. Histamine is the compound that's responsible for the itchy, annoying symptoms of hay fever.
Some hay fever sufferers can benefit from a low histamine diet. Histamines are found in a variety of fermented foods and beverages such as beer, wine, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso and aged cheeses. Cutting back on these foods can bring relief to some people.
There are many common fruits, vegetables and processed meats that can also cause a histamine response in people. So it can be beneficial to work with a naturopath to figure out which, if any foods trigger a histamine response for you.
The role of histamine intolerance in women's health can't be underestimated. If you are interested in how your hay fever symptoms could be related to your menstrual cycle, please read my blog: the curious connection between and histamine and estrogen.
In my clinic I prescribe herbal medicine, dietary changes and supplements to manage hay fever. I have seen a great response to treatments for hay fever and my patients are able to manage their symptoms without needing to take time off work or resort to anti-histamines.
Please get in touch if you would like more information about working with a naturopath to improve your hay fever or histamine symptoms.
Hi! I'm Simone Jeffries. I am a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and certified wellness coach. I am also a foodie and an advocate for a whole food diet.
The information in this blog is from my Bachelor of Health Science degree, experience from working with women in my clinic, and continuing research.
This blog is for information only and not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please seek assistance for any medical concerns.