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Six unusual hay fever remedies to beat the pollen allergy

Kick hay fever into touch – naturally – ahead of the mini-heatwave: Six remedies to try including pineapple, bee pollen and an ancient ‘neti pot’ that flushes irritants away

  • FEMAIL has rounded up six unusual remedies to help in the battle against pollen
  • From bathing your eyes in chamomile to lining your nostrils with vaseline 
  • Regular doses of bee pollen in tablet form also thought to help build immunity 
  • Some foods like apples are known to actually exacerbate hay fever symptoms 

A mini-heatwave is on the way but being outdoors in early May can see hay fever symptoms – itchy throat, sore eyes and runny nose – heighten for sufferers. 

From the blossom still falling from trees, to emerging blooms and hazy summer grass, pollen is currently at peak levels. 

So, how can you reduce its impact without endless antihistamine popping, nasal sprays and eye drops? 

Aitchoo! Hay fever season is upon us but there are natural ways to relieve symptoms

Here, FEMAIL rounds up remedies that may just rid you of the pesky pollen allergy without a trip to the chemist: 

VASELINE AND PREVENTION 

More than just a moisturiser, Vaseline works as a barrier – trapping pollen before you can breathe it in. 

However, there’s a trick to getting this to work effectively, you must apply it to the INSIDE of your nose to really feel the benefit. 

You should try to apply the greasy substance daily at least two weeks before you expect your symptoms to begin. For even further protection, you can wear wraparound sunglasses to prevent pollen from getting in your eyes and irritating them. 

For ultimate protection, try and make time to have a shower to wash away any stray pollen on your hair and skin, and put all clothes straight in the wash.

After spending time outdoors, try and make time to have a shower to wash away any stray pollen on your hair and skin, and put all clothes straight in the wash

On a side note you should try to shower at night so that you don’t lay in the debris of the outdoors by bringing pollen into your bed.  

And AVOID hanging your washing outside as the pollen in the air can cling to your clean clothes and linger on the materials.

BEE POLLEN AND IMMUNITY 

Many people swear that a teaspoon of local honey each day desensitises you to pollen and helps alleviate hay fever symptoms. Sadly, there is no scientific evidence to support this.

However, this theory isn’t completely redundant as there are now bee pollen tablets on the market. 

Seems a bit of a conundrum though? Taking something that you are potentially allergic to, to cure it?

Donia Hilal, senior nutritionist at Holland & Barrett, explains that bee pollen is produced by young bees when they land on a flower. 

She says that the unique compound contains a number of nutrients, essential fatty acids and flavonoids strengthening the immune system and reducing inflammation, potentially combatting your hay fever symptoms.   

It is recommended to only take a small amount of bee pollen and it is important to remember that it is different to honey, which can contain other substances. 

A PINEAPPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY  

Pineapples are packed with an enzyme called bromelain, which fights inflammation to help reduce the swelling and irritation brought on by pollen and other seasonal allergens

Yep, you are reading this correctly, eating pineapples can really help your hay fever symptoms.

The tropical fruit is packed with an enzyme called bromelain, which fights inflammation to help reduce the swelling and irritation brought on by pollen and other seasonal allergens. 

Pineapple also contains vitamin C and bromelain even helps to reduce symptoms of asthma such as coughing and chest tightness by preventing the irritation and inflammation throughout your entire respiratory tract.

Whilst bromelain can be taken as a supplement, eating pineapple is the ONLY tasty way to keep hay fever symptoms at bay… plus it screams summer. 

CLEAN COSMETICS

A common symptom of hay fever is panda eyes, after smearing your mascara all over your face to satiate your itching eyes.

But you can opt for hypoallergenic make-up such as  La Roche-Posay Respectissime Volume Mascara Black, bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer SPF30, and Jane Iredale Smooth Affair Eyeshadow. 

In particular think about your eye make-up. 

…BUT APPLES DO NOT

Some foods can in fact exacerbate hay fever symptoms and a key fruit to stay clear of is apples. 

Apples react with certain types of pollen and can cause an itchy mouth and swollen tongue.   

This is a particular problem for those who have a birch pollen allergy. According to healthline this is because the similarities of a protein found in apples is related to a protein in birch that is linked to the allergy with birch pollen.

Healthline explains that symptoms of an apple allergy can present themselves as swollen lips, itchy feeling in your throat or back of your mouth, swollen eyelids, stomach pain or cramping, diarrhea and skin rash or hives.   

TRY USING A NETI POT

Just like Aladdin’s lamp this original Ayurvedic medical masterpiece can deliver magic to hayfever sufferers. 

It works to ease nasal irrigation, flushing a saline solution through the nostrils in order to thin mucus and wash away allergen irritants.   

Healthline says that people have used neti pots for hundreds of years to clear nasal congestion. 

However it is important to read the instructions carefully before flushing out your nasal passages.  

Peppermint tea not only contains antioxidants but it’s strong fragrance can clear nasal passages

HAVE A CUPPA TEA 

And if all else fails you can always try a cup of tea! Not only is it the nation’s answer to absolutely everything but in this case it actually works.

Tea has antioxidant properties that can reduce inflammation, however it does depend on what your favourite cup is as too much caffeine can trigger histamine.

Peppermint tea is a good choice as not only does it contain these properties but it’s strong fragrance can help clear nasal passages.

It has also been suggested that chamomile tea can also be used as an eye compress to cool swollen, red eyes.

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