Thursday, September 22, 2011

Natural Hayfever Remedies


I don't know what is going on this year, but for the last two months I have been suffering from the worst hayfever and sinus issues for as long as I can remember. I have just started following a three-pronged approach to try and solve my issues with some natural hayfever remedies.

Firstly, I am taking a tablespoon of raw, local honey daily. The idea behind this is that the local honey will contain small amounts of pollen found in my local area, and this will help to desensitise my immune system. It is really important that the honey is a) local, and b) raw and unfiltered.

Secondly, I am finally starting to use a neti pot to wash out my sinuses. My doctor has been recommending using one for a long time, but the thought of it just grossed me out. Basically, you pour salted water into one nostril, it runs through your sinuses, and exits out the other nostril. Gross, right? But, oh my goodness, it works! It is meant to help rehydrate the mucous membranes, and rinse out any pollen or allergens that you have breathed in. I use 1 teaspoon of salt in about half a litre of water.

Lastly, I made up a batch of hayfever tea, and am drinking a cup a day throughout the hayfever season, up to 3 cups a day if my symptoms are particularly bad.  This tea will keep for quite a while, especially if kept in a dark place. To make it up, I used equal parts of the following dried herbs:

Elderflower - noted for soothing both inflammation and the respiratory tract.
Yarrow (flowers) - also used for its anti-inflammatory effects
Nettle (leaves) - used for treating allergies
Chamomile (flowers) - a great all-rounder, used this time for its anti-inflammatory and immune boosting effects
Peppermint (leaves) - it's a great decongestant, and breathing in the steam from the tea takes advantage of its essential oils which are great for sinusitis.
Lemon Balm (leaves) - I mostly used this as a flavouring herb, but also for its cooling properties.

Use 1-2 tsps in a mug of near-boiling water, and steep for 10 minutes before drinking.


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