Hay fever. Grrrr, it’s sooo annoying.
What Causes Hay Fever?
Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system misidentifies a normally harmless substance as a threat to the body. An inflammatory reaction takes place in an attempt to eject this substance from the system, resulting in a variety of symptoms.
Common allergens (substances that produce allergic reactions) are foods, pollen, animal dander, mould, insect venom, drugs and dust mites.
There are other insidious factors that can set you up to be much more reactive as your immune system is already on alert and trigger happy.
Factors That Make You More Vulnerable To Hay Fever
These factors may be standing in the way of your ability to reduce hay fever severity.
If the lining of your small intestine is compromised, instead of absorbing nourishing minerals and digested goodness from food, small food particles are getting through into your blood.
This can cause the body to freak out. Your immune system wakes up to attack the foreign particles, causing either local inflammation of your gut wall or systemic inflammation throughout your body.
Gluten and dairy are common culprits.
Either you don’t have the co-factors and minerals needed to naturally fulfil your daily detoxification processes, or your lifestyle is putting pressure on your liver to do its job. This can drive inflammation in the body also.
The Adrenals + Stress
If you have depleted cortisol stores, you lose the anti-inflammatory power of that powerful hormone.
The Immune System
If you are already immunocompromised and not in great health, your resistance to inflammation is not going to be very effective.
10 Hot Tips to Reduce Hay Fever Severity
- Wash your hands more than usual when you come in from outside.
- Where possible, take extra showers when returning home and change your clothes, especially on windy days. Now I’m not talking bubble boy but particularly those of you who are simply affected by pollen, get into this one.
- Wear an extra layer. Four seasons in one day is the dayum truth here in Melbourne. If your immune system is firing up or on the edge, you will be less susceptible to a severe hay fever attack if you stay warm.
- Treat wind as though it is a pathogen. Limit your exposure to wind and stay out of it.
- Cut out dairy and gluten, pretty much the major players that can fire up the immune reaction of the gut.
- Limit alcohol and sugar. Australians are renowned for our binge drinking. This particular habit, especially outside on high pollen-count days (sunny days), can be disastrous for hay fever as it weakens your gut, pressures the liver and drives inflammation sky high.
- Detox. On a detox you cut out things that can be toxic triggers for your immune system and put in place dietary changes, supplements and practices that support your body’s growth and repair processes. You move into optimum health and therefore have increased resilience and recovery ability.
- Increase your fitness.
- Do Gua Sha – a traditional Chinese massage technique that involves scraping the skin to enhance blood and qi flow. It’s thought that Gua Sha creates a histamine response, stimulating the body to produce a natural antihistamine. Typically done on the back, Gua Sha is difficult to perform on yourself, but it’s a great home remedy for friends and family to do for you.
- Vacuum under your bed! Seriously, have you seen what’s under there?
The Morning and Evening Facial Ritual to Reduce Hay Fever Severity
- Use a neti pot.
- Do some alternate nostril breathing – nadi shodhana on the daily.
- Warm some coconut or black sesame oil. Sniff it into the nostrils and massage up towards the eyebrow centre and circle the eyes.
- Use essential oils (such as eucalyptus, peppermint or a little bit of a Chinese herbal liniment called Po Sum Oil) on pressure points. If you don’t have essential oil, just do acupressure.
- Do acupressure on tender points at the beginning of your eyebrow, centre of your eyebrow, next to the outer edge of your nostril and rub up the line on the side of your nose, on your temples and on the little notch on the bone underneath your eye.
- Finish off by tapping the centre of your chest.
Do you have some other remedies to reduce hay fever severity?