There’s a growing consensus that this allergy season will be pretty bad. The hot summer means many plants are producing more pollen than normal and ragweed allergy season may last into November. For the 20 percent of us that suffer with hay fever, the beautiful autumn days can be tarnished with constant sneezing and itchy eyes. Although that doesn’t mean you can’t use effective and natural hay fever remedies to relieve yourself of these symptoms.
“(Hot temperatures) are telling plants to produce more pollen, in some cases 3-4 times more pollen than usual,” says allergist Dr. Cliff Bassett, a Fellow with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
According to the Weather Channel, the season will be longer and more intense than normal. “The ragweed season may be lasting up to 4 or more weeks longer than usual because of all of this warm weather throughout the country,” reports Dr. Bassett.
While we commonly know it as hayfever, it’s actually a ragweed allergy that hits many of us in the fall. And while you may feel like you have no choice but to run out and get some pill to lessen your symptoms, there are natural hay fever remedies that can help.
Effective Hay Fever Remedies
Thousands of people swear by honey, and not just any honey will do—but local honey. Local bees make local honey by traveling around local plants and gathering local pollen, and it’s this local pollen that you are reacting to when you have hay fever. By ingesting local honey you create immunity to the allergens. This isn’t a quick-fix, however, you should be eating local honey throughout the year to get the most benefits.
Try a delicious ginger drink by boiling half of a thumb-sized root in 2 cups of water. Add a tablespoon (or two) of coconut milk and honey to loosen phlegm and help the immune system. And in addition to the numerous health benefits of honey, using locally made honey will help your body recognize that local pollen is not a threat worth all the inflammation and excitement!
An herb treasured for its calming qualities, chamomile may help with hay fever. You can usually buy a high quality tea in a health food store, but you can also find the loose herbs for teas and inhalation.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used to help treat truly countless ailments, and is also included in hay fever remedies. As reported on EarthClinic: “Apple Cider Vinegar is hands down our favorite remedy for stopping most allergies like pollen, dander, dust, animals food, etc. We aren’t kidding! We wish more people knew about this amazing home remedy for allergies.”
One way to consume apple cider vinegar is to dilute 1-3 tablespoons in water and consume the drink throughout the day or over the course of a few hours. Sometimes you need to take ACV up to three times a day, but the best part is that whether taken daily or taken on command to stop the allergies – it works. Allergies could easily vanish within a couple hours of taking the magical liquid, although it could take a little longer if you’ve been experiencing the allergies for a day or more.
As mentioned, this is only one of many apple cider vinegar cures.
Okay—what can’t ginger do? Ginger is a natural antihistamine and can break up congestion. A quick ginger tea with honey is a great scratchy-throat soother too.
Turmeric is another spice that could help with treating hay fever and other allergies if other solutions don’t work for you. A study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research in 2008 found that turmeric prevented mast cells from releasing histamine. Turmeric is such an amazing spice that you’ll want to definitely check out the other health benefits of turmeric.
“In animal studies, turmeric prevents the release of histamine from mast cells (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, September 2008). If it works similarly in humans, this would prevent allergy symptoms from developing,” the LA Times reported.
“WOW. For about 3 weeks now I have been taking 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric every day. My allergies are GONE. It worked in a matter of days. It works so well that I can hardly remember how bad my allergies used to be,” says Rebekah Athens on EarthClinic.
Not only does the vitamin c in citrus fruits help with symptoms, but grapefruit in particular may provide extra relief. Simply boil the fruit with some lemon juice and honey, creating a sweet tea.
Butterbur reduces inflammation and blocks histamines and leukotrienes, and could be effective for relieving itchy eyes, sinus congestion, sneezing, and headaches.
Something else to look out for is a chemical called triclosan, a chemical we don’t hear of often. Triclosan is found in cleaning agents and soap, often those touting an anti-bacterial label. It is added to reduce bacterial contamination, but while the FDA says the substance is not currently considered hazardous, they admit that some valuable studies have linked it with several different problems. Young people, aged 18 and younger, who were exposed to higher levels of the chemical were found to be more likely to have hay fever and allergies.
Other options include calendula, green tea, peppermint, and even onions. While those allergy pills that cost $30 for a box of ten might help temporarily, they come with unknown ingredients and side effects. These natural hay fever remedies can help you fight hay fever without the financial and physical costs.