My Top 9 Hayfever Tips

Over the years I have tried a number of strategies for managing and alleviating the symptoms of my hayfever.

In my life I have had years without it, but have suffered most years for the last 15 or so. Some years are worst than others - last year wasn't so bad as it happens. I usually suffer for the month of June and think it's triggered by grass pollen. I am not for one moment suggesting I have cracked it but the following seems to help.

My approach has 3 parts - 1, create barriers to pollen, 2, clean yourself thoroughly and 3, take supplements to your diet that have anti-histmine, anti-itching and immune boosting properties.

1, Use a balm or oil, particularly around the nostrils. I use Meridian Organic Sesame Oil - Cold Pressed and Unrefined - 500ml which is used in Ayurveda. Rub a small amount onto your gums and in your nostrils. Sometime I also use Haymax Lavender Organic Pollen Balm which is more soothing but only for the nostrils.

2, Wear wraparound sunglasses. I know they might not be your style but trust me they make a lot of difference. These Wraparound Sunglasseslook pretty cool to me

3, Close windows. Early morning and early evening are the worst times for letting pollen into your home. Try to keep windows closed, even in your car - if you're lucky your car will have AirCon with a built-in pollen filter.

4, Clean yourself thoroughly after being outside. Shower more frequently during the period you suffer and think about using a Neti potto deep clean your nostrils.

5, Drink elderflower and nettle tea 3 times a day. These plants have anti-histamine and anti-itching properties. Drinking them as a herbal infusion is an effective and low cost way to consume them. Ideally start a couple of months before your hayfever season. My friend Amanda Lewis Starks of Neals Yard Bath can give you more personalised guidance

6, Eat or drink local honey. The more local the better. Find local honey here or even start making it, see here.

7, Ayurvedic herbs. My ayurvedic advisor, Vikki Pitman from Bradford on Avon recommends Trikatu to me. I take it mixed with local honey before each meal. You might find these capsules more handy -Pukka Trikatu 3 spices - 90 caps

8, Try Acidofilius. A pro biotic can help boost your immune system. Viridian is a leading brand - Tri-Blend® Acidophilus Complex/FOS: 90 Veg Caps

9, Lastly reduce alcohol, caffeine, sugar, wheat and dairy over the time you suffer and in the build up. The stronger your immune system and the healthier you are the more chance you have of dealing effectively with your hayfever.

This is not a list of recommendations or indeed a comprehensive list of all the options. But it's what I'm doing and although I still suffer, I seem to suffer less and less.

Good luck and please share your hayfever stories, successful or not.

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