It’s Spring time again and with it comes the blooming of new things - nature in all her glory! For some, however, “bloomin’ nature” is the word as you suffer in a cloud of pollen — together with all the symptoms of hayfever. The symptoms of hayfever can include any of the following:
- Constant sneezing
- Runny nose
- Itchy, red, puffy runny eyes
- Sinus congestion
- Headache – and with it muddled thinking!
- Chest tightness and wheezing
Natural Remedies to Build ImmunityRather than taking pharmaceutical products to mask symptoms, building your immunity will help your body deal with what is, in fact, an allergic reaction to certain air-borne particles. These particles are the pollen from flowers, grasses and trees (the many London Plane Trees around Sydney can cause severe allergic rhinitis at certain times of the year). Dust mites and mould can also cause these same allergic reactions but then the problem is constant rather than seasonal. Your body produces inflammatory histamines in response to the irritation and it is they that cause the symptoms you can suffer from. You can build your immunity in several ways.
1. Use Supplements to Build Immunity
- Vitamin C – has been shown to stimulate immunity. Hence it’s wide use in the prevention and alleviation of cold and flu symptoms, some of which are similar to hayfever. Vitamin C has been shown to reduce histamine production when taken regularly.
- Bioflavonoids – which occur naturally with Vitamin C, once again help to inhibit the release of those inflammatory histamines
- Garlic – again widely used as an immune stimulant but also as a respiratory tract antimicrobial
- Horseradish – another antimicrobial which is stimulating and alleviates congestion. You probably know how potent this herb can be at clearing sinuses! However as a supplement you can benefit from the same properties without the explosive force!
- Fenugreek – is a great anti-inflammatory and helps alleviate mucous congestion
2. Exercise for Stress Relief and Fun!Any activity which you enjoy, be it yoga or going for a run, swimming or dancing will reduce your stress levels. Stress reduction will prevent your body using up the nutrients it needs for immunity. Exercise will also improve your mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, which in turn reflects on all aspects of your health—including immunity. Just remember to exercise out of doors at the time of day when pollen levels are lowest. You can check the pollen count online easily at the 4-Day forecast on the WeatherZone website. Another tip is to make sure you don’t dry your clothes out of doors on days with a high pollen count. You don’t want to end up wearing the allergens and inhaling them all day!!
3. Eat WellFoods to include – for maximum nutrient and immune system stimulant value:
- Garlic which we’ve already mentioned
- Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables – for their Vitamin C and Bioflavonoid content
- Fresh fruits including Mixed Berries
- Fresh vegetables
- Shitake Mushrooms
- Chicken soup (scientifically proven to inhibit certain white blood cell production which in turn lessens mucous production). Find a quality source of organic or hormone-free chicken.
- Dairy foods – as they can cause excess mucous
- Red meat
- Wheat products – particularly if you are even slightly sensitive to wheat