Every year I suffer terribly with hayfever and every year I always resort to medication because I can’t handle it. My symptoms include: unbearable itchy inner ears, throat, and also eyes. Streaming eyes, and eyes that are puffy and inflamed. Groggy, drowsy and generally feeling like I’m coming down with a virus. Sometimes I get headaches and the pressure makes me need to lie down and shut my eyes. Every morning I wake up feeling like I have a mild hangover and my throat is sore and my eyes are shut tight together.
I Google natural remedies every year for hay fever or go to medical research to find a natural cure as I try to avoid taking medication unless I really need to. But every year I seem to half-heartedly give natural remedies a go as they never immediately relieve my symptoms.
So even though I have used antihistamines this year, I’ve really stuck to a more natural approach and have managed to stop taking medication for well over two weeks now. I’ve noticed symptoms are no way near as severe and some symptoms have gone completely.
I reached out to you guys for your tips and also my nutritional therapist friend who is a fountain of useful knowledge in this area and gave me some sound advice.
Suggestions from everyone included:
- Vitamin C = Natural AntihstamineBromelain Protiolitic enzyme help with sniffles and nasal drips.
Quercitin Red Onions (500mg)
MSM (sulphur is a natural antihistamine, properties also in garlics and onions, cabbage etc)
Glutamine strengthens the mucous membranes to prevent pollen getting in.
Essential Fats EFA’s Anti inflammatories.
Take out Wheat and milk.
Reduce the total load of allergenic substances / triggers.
Sleep with window open at night and closed during the day (I’m out and about in the day so not great for me but might be a good tip for others).
Put coconut oil in and around nostril to prevent pollen getting in
- Include a lot of the following foods in the diet:Dark green, leafy vegetables
Deep yellow and orange vegetables
Nettles, bamboo shoots, cabbage, beet tops, beets, carrots, yams
Onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne, horseradish, tumeric.
Kiwi fruit, pineapple.
Out of this comprehensive list I’ve been doing the following:
- Taking a higher dosage Vitamin C supplement every day as well as having extra lemons and oranges.
- MSM powder in my water first thing in the morning. Product linked.
- Even though i have a very healthy balanced diet I consciously increased the following in my diet – ginger, garlic, red onion, spinach, cayenne, turmeric, cabbage, beetroot, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, lemons.
- Reduced dairy and wheat (but not completely cut out).
By continuously doing the above and not giving up after a few days I have noticed a significant difference. My symptoms aren’t completely gone but they have certainly improved. The itching in my ears has completely gone and so have the headaches. I still get a little bit of an itchy nose and a bit of pressure behind the eyesbut this has certainly reduced. So I’m pretty pleased with the results and can enjoy being outside more.
I hope this has been helpful in some way. Let me know if you try any of these and how you get on.
Love Lea xx
I work in the health industry and work out in the community, so I’m exposed to everyone’s coughs and colds. A few ways I try to stay on top of my health and wellbeing are outlined below. Of course I sometimes fall short (like now *coughs and sniffs*) but that’s why I like to come back to a short check list to make sure I’m doing all the right things to help combat the winter bugs and blues.
- Start the day right. This means having a healthy balanced breakfast. If you follow me on Instagram you know I love my porridge topped with fruit, nuts and seeds. For me, this provides the nutrients and energy I need to kick start the day. I also recommend introducing some lemon and ginger in hot water for your first drink of the day. This is great for breaking up the caffeine in take throughout the day too. I find it definitely provides that soothing and healing quality to a drink particularly when you’re feeling fragile. If your feeling massively adventurous my Mum swears by a shot of organic apple cider vinegar first thing. Now, I don’t do this very often, but when I do it really does settle my stomach. I might give this a try this winter.
- REST, REST, REST. Particularly as we come in to the festive season. It’s so easy to start burning the candle at both ends. You must learn to relax and let your body and mind rest. Schedule a night in with your pj’s on and a good book or an afternoon of films and sofa snuggles. With rest in mind, this also means, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. I always tell myself “when you’re sleeping your healing”. I would say I definitely sleep more in the winter. I think nature wants us to sleep more in the winter months.
- Keep active. It’s so easy to lose sight of your fitness levels as we head in to the colder and darker evenings. Social engagements creep up and our appetite for exercise tends to dwindle as we wrap up in extra layers. My advice would be to sign up to a fitness event like a run, or book in a term of yoga sessions, if you’re a member of a gym schedule in a weekly class. Or, if mobility or funds are an issue for you, get out walking with some friends.
- Up your fruit and veg. Keep your fruit and vegetables up throughout this winter, it’s so tempting to up the carbs as it gets cold but don’t let your fruit and veg slide. You’ll need extra vitamins and nutrients to fight off the cold and flu viruses.
- Spend a little bit of time out in nature and the fresh air. I’m talking wintery woodland walks, blustery beach strolls, hilltop hiking. Wrap up warm and get out in the fresh air. This will do your physical and mental health the world of good.
I will do another post going in to a little more detail of particular benefits of certain foods and exercises that will help to keep winter bugs at bay. I think being a little bit more specific in this area is useful when trying to keep your health in tip top condition. I am a little snuffly today so I’ve put some spinach and watercress soup on the hob, only took a few minutes of preparation and I will have some of that a little later. And obviously hope it works miracles immediately ; )
These are just a few hints and tips that I’ve tried and tested. Please share with me all your hits and tips in the comments below or connect with me on Instagram where I post a lot of meal ideas and healthy lifestyle tips.
Lots of love
I work with a lot of people who see exercising as a real challenge and something that only very fit people seem to be able to adhere to. Exercise to many is joining a gym, which some people find boring or not particularly enjoyable. Often the idea of exercise musters up unhealthy ideas about body image and what a fit person should ideally look like aesthetically. When really exercise should be about keeping a healthy mind and body through movement. Healthy comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. And the way you keep yourself healthy should be something that works for you.
I like to bring it back to basics. Activity. I always ask patients/clients “what activities have you been doing?”. Activities can mean anything from a walk along the beach with the dog and the family, gardening, painting your living room, to a 20 minute hiit session in the garden. Just make sure you move! Of course, there are some that want to push themselves and set themselves goals to push themselves further. Great stuff! But I also urge those that get very little activity in to their lives from one week to the next to just start small. Start small and build up. Go for a walk and some fresh air in your lunch break, go for a swim, take a walk with the kids to the park. Just keep moving and find something you enjoy. Keep your mobility going and keep your energy up and try to adhere to it. I work with someone who has arthritis in one of his knees which makes a lot of exercise very difficult, this summer he’s discovered kayaking. He cannot get enough of kayaking, and has been going three or four times a week.
I’ve personally had a very busy summer and the autumn/winter looks like it’s heading the same way. This means my running and yoga tends to be the things that get reduced in my schedule. This is something that really frustrates me but often I’m just juggling too many balls (desperately wanted a better phrase here). But one thing I never remove is walks with my little Amelie and my Oli. When Amelie was a baby we would go for walks with her in the pouch (baby carrier) or the buggy. Sometimes we would do this every day, sometimes just a few times a week. So when running and all the other crazy sports/hobbies I’ve tried over the years were out of the question, walking was always something I could do and enjoy. This has just been our ritual ever since. Amelie loves going for walks and exploring. Come summer, autumn, winter, spring, our walks are always constant. Don’t get my wrong there are times when she likes to have a little carry (as per picture above) but she’s getting far too big for this now, something she refuses to accept.
So, I’ve set myself a few little goals to keep me active and keep me smiling. One is a winter 10k run with friends (we get a medal AND a mince pie at the end) and one is a yoga challenge to keep my practise consistent. So book some time in your schedule, do something ACTIVE, keep your body moving!! Don’t let the autumn/winter season keep you from doing your activities.