Allergies Hayfever Remedy

Hay fever is a respiratory infection caused by specific allergens. Hay fever can be triggered by causes found year-round, such as dust mites or pet dander. More often, however, hay fever is triggered by seasonal allergens.

Common symptoms of hay fever include a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and itchy or watery eyes. Children and people who suffer from asthma, eczema or other allergies are most susceptible to hay fever.

Hay Fever Causes

Hay fever is caused by allergens, like pollen or mold, that enter our airways through direct contact. These allergens are harmless, but our white blood cells create antibodies anyway once they enter our airways. This is known as a hypersensitivity reaction.

When the antibody comes in contact with an antigen, it releases chemicals and hormones called mediators. Histamine is one such mediator that causes the symptoms of hay fever.

Traditional Hay Fever Remedies

Hay fever is often treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications. These may include decongestants, nasal sprays or antihistamines. These relieve the symptoms of hay fever, but they may make you drowsy or have other negative side effects.

For severe hay fever, or in cases where the infection is caused by a single known allergen, some doctors recommend allergy shots. These shots are given on a regular basis over a period of three to five years. They contain small quantities of the allergen to help the patient develop a resistance to the allergy.

Hay Fever Home Remedies

While traditional hay fever remedies have proven to be very effective for many people, they won’t do you much good if you can’t get to the drugstore for some reason. Fortunately, hay fever can also be treated with home remedies. While these methods have not been scientifically proven to work, many hay-fever sufferers swear by them.

The best thing you can do if you’re prone to hay fever is try to avoid allergens entirely. During the spring and early summer, limit your outdoor activity between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., when pollen counts are highest. Likewise, stay cool by using your air conditioner rather than opening windows. Dry your clothes indoors instead of outside on a line, where they could pick up pollen and other allergens.

If you’re looking for a particular non-medication hay fever remedy, many people swear by the following hay fever home remedies:

  • Apply petroleum jelly to the inside of the nostrils to soothe some of the irritation.
  • Boil chamomile in water and inhale the fumes. This trick opens up blocked airways.
  • Combine one cup Indian gooseberry juice with two teaspoons of honey. Drink twice a day over the course of a week.
  • Drink plenty of green tea, which is a natural antihistamine. If you can’t find green tea, black tea is an acceptable substitute.
  • Eat a lot of garlic. Garlic is a natural decongestant and an immunity builder against many types of allergens.
  • If you have hay fever, avoid drinking alcohol or smoking until the infection clears.
  • Include plenty of vitamin C in your diet.
  • Make a solution of boiled grapefruit, lemon and honey. Drink it three times a day.

To soothe a sore throat, mix one to two tablespoons of table salt in eight ounces of warm water and gargle.

Resources

AyurvedicCure (2009). Home remedies for hay fever. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from the AyurvedicCure Web site  http://www.ayurvediccure.com/homeremedy/hayfever.htm.

Mother Nature (n.d.). Hay fever. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from the Mother Nature Web site  http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Bookshelf/Books/48/101.cfm.

My Home Remedies (2003-2005). Home remedies for hay fever. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from the My Home Remedies Web site  http://www.myhomeremedies.com/topic.cgi?topicid=92.

Naturally Great Health (2006). Hayfever. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from the Naturally Great Health Web site  http://www.naturallygreathealth.com/main/hayfever.html.

WebMD (2009). Hay fever. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from the eMedicineHealth Web site http://www.emedicinehealth.com/hay_fever/article_em.htm.