Post Written by Samantha Allaker

_While summer for most people means enjoying the outdoors and basking in the sun, for hay fever sufferers it means months of battling a runny nose, swollen eyes, sneezing, coughing, headaches and incessant itchiness.

Around 13 million people in the UK suffer from hay fever and while there is no cure for the condition, there are a number of natural remedies and simple lifestyle changes that can prevent and alleviate the common symptoms. That’s right, taking an antihistamine isn’t your only cure for the summer sniffles. Try a combination of these natural remedies for a worry-free day in the sunshine._

HERBAL REMEDIES
There are a number of natural medicines you can try to prevent or alleviate the common symptoms. In this article, we’re going to run through three of the most popular on the market today.

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica): In the wild, this little plant can give you a nasty sting — but don’t judge it too harshly. It is actually an effective natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. Stinging Nettle can be taken as a herbal supplement, usually in the form of capsules, or bought as a tea.

Gingko (Gingko Biloba): High in quercetin, a bioflavonoid also found in red wine, onions, apples, and black tea. Gingko is used as an antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Eyebright: As its name suggests, eyebright helps reduce congestion and secretions, making it great for those suffering from itchy eyes, sneezing, and excess mucus.

Disclaimer: Herbal remedies can occasionally cause stomach upset or headache. Do not exceed the recommended or prescribed dose, even if the herb does not give the desired result. While herbal remedies rarely have significant side effects, make sure to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements or medicines.

Diet
Let’s kick off this list with some simple dietary changes you can make to help both prevent and alleviate the common symptoms of hay fever.

Vitamin C
While all the foods listed above can do wonders to help prevent and alleviate hay fever symptoms, if you are going to target just one essential vitamin we highly suggest vitamin C. Think of it as a natural antihistamine. Plus, what’s great about this little vitamin is that it easy to get your recommended daily dose from your diet alone.

For example, try switching up your morning brew with a cup of hot water and lemon. Strawberries, blueberries, guavas, European black currants, gold kiwis, peaches and papayas and are also great sources of vitamin C, plus they make an easy and healthy snack

Foods to avoid: Avoid dairy products as these encourage the production of mucus in the respiratory tract, exacerbating hay fever nasal congestion.

Meanwhile, fill your diet with natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods such as onions, oily fish, pineapple,
apples, turmeric, seeds, broccoli, garlic and tomatoes.

Essential oils
If you don’t have an oil diffuser at home, you can try out the effects of this remedy by filling a bowl with boiling water and adding a drop or two of some essential oils such as tea tree, eucalyptus or lemon myrtle — all of which are believed to help with hay fever symptoms. If you can, place the bowl in the centre of the room.

Clean home
If you skipped your spring clean, get out the duster and give every surface in your house a good wipe over. Dust mites, which can aggravate hay fever, are constantly drifting through the air and settling on every surface of your home so it’s important they are regularly cleaned.

Your bed, for example, can harbour a variety of allergens, including dust mites. If you haven’t already, make the switch to hypoallergenic pillows, duvets, bed sheets and mattresses. It will help keep those symptoms at bay at night and first thing in the morning. Plus, they will help you get a deep and restful sleep.

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