7 Of the Best Hay Fever Hacks

Drug-free solutions for a happy summer


Puffy eyes and a red runny nose are not the summer look we're going for.

And if you're among the 1 in 5 people in the UK that suffers from hay fever, you'll know that the joy of the arrival of summer is tinged with the utter dread of a season of streaming eyes and violent sneezing. 


Hay fever is a nightmare and it can feel like the only solution is to spend your pay check in a pharmacy buying all the drugs and spending the season high on anti-allergy medication. BUT it doesn't have to be like that.

Kids, say no to drugs. You can beat hay fever in a more holistic way.

We spoke to nutritional therapist Jacqueline Newson to get her best advice. 

Hay fever is usually caused by something such as grass pollen, which triggers an immune response.


Typical symptoms of hay fever include a runny nose, constant sneezing, congested sinuses, wheezing and itchy eyes which are caused by the immune system releasing the chemical histamine into the nasal passages. 

If you are looking for a more natural route to alleviating symptoms, Newson recommends trying the following.

1. Make quercitin your new best friend

Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, especially cranberries, peppers and onions which contain quercitin. This flavanoid has been found to stop the production and release of histamine. If taking via a supplement, the recommended dose for hay fever is between 250-600mg, three times a day about 10 minutes before eating.

2. Eat pineapples

Introduce pineapple to your diet as it contains bromelain, a natural protein digesting enzyme, which has been shown to enhance the efficacy of Quercitin. Bromelain is also a powerful anti-inflammatory which on its own may be useful for reducing inflammation especially of the nose and sinuses. A supplemental dose of 90mg a day is thought to be beneficial.


3. Embrace Vitamin C

Let’s not forget good old vitamin C, something we already strongly associate with helping our immune system. Studies suggest that it may also be beneficial for treating hay fever by preventing the secretion of histamine, which appears to increase when there is a Vitamin C deficiency. A good dose of 2g daily is thought to reduce symptoms, however getting just 1g of vitamin C would require you to consume approximately 100 strawberries, so supplementation in this instance could be an easier option.

However it is important to choose the right supplement, as it is difficult for the body to absorb large amounts of vitamin C all at once. Try, Altrient C.

4. Try Self Hypnosis

Recent studies have found that hayfever sufferers reported fewer symptoms after they were taught hypnotherapy. When the pollen gets too much and you feel the symptoms setting in, try and close your eyes, focus on your breathing and take deep breaths, this should help relieve some of the symptoms

5. Stockpile probiotics

Top up on friendly bacteria. Ensuring you have the right balance of gut flora supports your immune system, helping to protect you from allergens. Research has identified that Lactobacillus acidophilus in particular has a role to play in reducing allergic reactions to pollen. Probiotic supplements come in mabut healthy bacteria can also be found in fermented foods like yogurt, cheese and kefir or in fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and pickles.

6. Discover butterbur (Petasites hybridus):

Not something you commonly find in your medicine cabinet, but this herb has long been used traditionally to treat asthma and bronchitis and reduce mucus. Research has found that an extract of butterbur was as effective as a commonly used medication in treating hay fever. The recommended dose is 500mg a day for a maximum of 16 weeks.

7. Drink up

It is thought that histamine is naturally produced when we are dehydrated so drink up.

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