We look forward all winter to the arrival of sunshine and warm weather, but for many people this time of year can mean runny eyes, itchy sneezing noses and a sensitive palate. These symptoms can only mean one thing: that the dreaded hayfever season has arrived. For some people these symptoms can be a minor irritation but for others it can be very disabling. The symptoms are caused by an allergic response to the increase in pollens in the air caused as plants burst into life in spring. At Woodland Herbs we feel that nobody should suffer these symptoms unnecessarily, because there are plenty of options available for self help.
In our years of experience we have found that herbs teas can be helpful in easing symptoms. Herbal teas you might like to try;
Eyebright Euphrasia officinalis – This herb is very drying and has a specific action on the eye, making it particularly suitable for the watery itchy eyes that are associated with hayfever.
Nettle Urtica dioica This herb has natural antihistamine properties. It can be taken throughout the day to ease the inflammatory reaction which causes many of the symptoms associated with hayfever. It has a pleasant fresh taste and can be mixed with other herbs if you feel you need more than one.
Elderflower Sambucus nigra This tea is traditionally taken to ease a blocked up nose and has a pleasant and refreshing taste.
Plantain Plantago lanceolata This herb is also antihistamine and helps dry up mucous secretions. In other words it helps to stop you sneezing!
Our Plantain and Nettle tea combines these popular herbs in a nice tea blend.
Nasal Sprays for Hayfever
Rhinodoron Nasal Spray is a personal favorite, which I find gives me the cleared nose sensation similar to swimming in the sea. One I recommend in the shop all the time for blocked noses and even some sinus problems, Graham.
Alternatives to Teas
Tinctures or tablets may be taken as an alternative to teas if you prefer not to have to make up a tea. In addition simple measures such as wearing sunglasses when in an area where there will be a lot of pollen, washing your hands and face after coming in from outside, or adjusting the ventilation settings on your car and keeping the windows closed can all help reduce the exposure to pollen and reduce the symptoms of hayfever.
Other Options for Hayfever
There are various ways to use essential oils including as a skin rub in a carrier oil, in the bath with a dispersant such as full-fat milk, via steam inhalation using hot water, in an oil burner, or as a spray in water/alcohol.
Oils that may be helpful for hayfever include German Chamomile Matricaria recutita, and Lemon Balm Melissa Officinalis which may help reduce the overall allergic reaction. Drops of Lavender Lavandula angustifolia often help with associated ear and head pain and can reduce nasal inflammation when taken in a steam inhalation.
People with rhinitis often test positive for dust mite allergy and in 1997 researchers at the University of Sydney discovered that washing mite-infected blankets in warm water and Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus globulus oil got rid of 99 percent of the infestation. Eucalyptus is also an expectorant, antibacterial and antiseptic and contains the flavonoid quercetin.
See our section on homeopathy for help selecting a homeopathic remedy for hayfever.