Why do we get Hay Fever
Hay Fever is an over-reaction by your body’s immune system to usually harmless things like pollens, grasses & dust. It’s more common in Spring as lots of plants are coming into flower and releasing a plethora of air-borne particles that we breathe in.
Once these particles come into contact with our mucous membranes in the sinuses our immune system has to decide whether they are benign or dangerous.
An immune system at the top of its game generally makes excellent decisions about what needs its attention and what can pass harmlessly by. So to prevent or cure hay fever the key is to have the immune system functioning at optimal levels.
An immune system weighed down by stress and already overburdened by exposure to toxicity through poor nutrition is more likely to over react and set off a chain reaction which we experience as a host of uncomfortable symptoms. Our mucous membranes – which are the front line troops of the immune system go into hyper drive – the result is the common copious sinus discharge, watery eyes & sneezing as the body tries to flush out the offending particles.
So how do we keep the immune system buoyant or restore it to balance?
One of the first things to do if you are prone to hay fever is to reduce or eliminate processed and highly refined foods for at least a month. It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol and reduce caffeinated drinks too. It may be necessary to address your living environment and minimising harmful organisms like mould and dust.
When stress is felt for a long period of time our stress hormones (cortisol) levels rise, which slows the productions of cells used to support the immune system. Long term stress exhausts the adrenals which can result in an inability to switch off and relax further depleting your energy and leading to physical and emotional exhaustion (if you find yourself in this state it’s time to seek help to get back in balance).
Our immune systems are well equipped to handle pretty much anything when supported by sound nutrition. Being visited by hay fever may well be a reminder to alter your diet to include mainly alkaline forming foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains, as well as limiting processed foods and foods containing preservatives and additives.
Helpful Natural Remedies
Burdock - Burdock is a superb blood purifier and lymphatic booster as well as an adrenal tonic. It’s just about the perfect spring tonic.
Dandelion - Similar to burdock although more cooling and calming to the nervous system and has the benefit of tasting quite good as a tea!
Nettle - Has some anti-inflammatory properties, and its extract acts as an expectorant. The leaves are often used in tea.
Eucalyptus - Has been used to relieve hay fever, sore throat, sinus congestion, and asthma. Eucalyptus aids in decongestion and is often used in aromatherapy applications. The oil must be diluted before being applied to skin or orally
Garlic - Is often used to prevent conditions of the heart and blood system and is thought to have several other benefits. It can aid in decongestion and has some anti-bacterial properties as well especially if eaten fresh. Many swear by horseradish and garlic tablets to prevent hay fever.