Hey, are you having hay fever? Here's your natural arsenal against this allergic condition

Hey, are you having hay fever? Here's your natural arsenal against this allergic condition
Load up your meals with vitamin C and antioxidants to fight hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis. © Shutterstock

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, can hit you at any point of time in the year. Here we brief you about the natural remedies to fight this condition.

Written by Aishwarya Vaidya |Updated : July 29, 2019 2:18 PM IST

Hay fever means an allergy that affects your nose. It is also known as allergic rhinitis. When your your nose and/or eyes come in contact with environmental allergens like pollens, dust mite, moulds and animal hair you get hay fever. Your nose acts as a filter and that tiny hair and mucus which line the nasal passages tend to trap dust, pollens and other particles. A person with hay fever is allergic to some of the particles that get trapped in the nose - pollen. An allergic reaction means that your immune system treats a harmless substance as dangerous and attacks it. So, the nasal passages tend to become inflamed and more mucus is produced.

There are various factors that add up to your risk of getting hay fever. These include genetic predisposition, asthma, history of allergy, so on and so forth. A recent study published in the journal Nature Genetics revealed new risk factors associated with hay fever: Loci, the position of a gene on a particular chromosome. The study roped in 900,000 participants.

The symptoms

Continuous sneezing and coughing, a runny or a blocked nose, red and watery eyes, loss of smell, head and earache, fatigued, itchy throat, mouth and nose, are some of the symptoms one may experience if he/she is suffering from hay fever. Consult your doctor if the symptoms interfere with the quality of your life, or the condition doesn't subside on its own or your over-the-counter meds don't work.

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Include antioxidants in your diet

Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments which can be termed as flavonoids. Various studies suggest that it can help prevent the release of histamine, which is an inflammatory chemical involved in allergy symptoms such as sneezing and itching. "Quercetin is found in certain foods, such as apples (with the skin on), berries, red grapes, red onions, capers, and black tea. You can also opt for honey which is a humectant in nature and can help you get rid of a cough. Water can be beneficial for you as it helps to rinse the throat of allergens. However, it also stops your throat from getting dry and helps with coughing and soothes a sore throat," says Ankita Ghag, Clinical Dietician, InBody India. Foods like mackerel, salmon, walnuts and chia seeds are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids and can help people with allergic rhinitis. This is so because omega-3s are rich in anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce inflammation.

Have enough vitamin C in your diet

"You should up your intake of vitamin C as well. It is a natural anti-histamine meaning it can help you to tackle your hay fever symptoms caused by the immune system's release of this chemical when it comes in contact with pollen. Vitamin can also help support your immune system. So, try to include oranges, broccoli and green peppers in your daily diet. Eating garlic which has anti-inflammatory properties can also be a good idea," informs Ghag.

Rely on good bacteria

Furthermore, according to a study conducted by The University of Florida, probiotics had a positive effect on hay fever symptoms. According to the research, the good bacteria found in probiotics can help reduce your body's immune response to allergens like pollen.

Sip on peppermint tea

It can act as a decongestant and can help you to get rid of the mucus and the phlegm.

You can opt for chilli peppers

They contain capsaicin and can help you to get rid of chest congestion and stuffy nose.

Keep your home clean

If you wish to get rid of dust mites and pet dander then just opt for weekly cleaning. Remove those old carpets, bed sheets and pillow covers filled with dust. See to it that your vacuum cleaner has a good filter and try to replace and clean it on the regular basis. To ward off allergy-inducing bugs like cockroaches try to wash your dishes and empty your bin, immediately. Discard your old furniture which may have mites. De-clutter and see to it that your house is free of dust, pollens and pet dander. Wash your bed sheets and pillow covers from time to time.

Maintain a distance from your furry friend

You may be a pet lover but if you have allergic rhinitis then keeping them at home will not be a good idea. It can trigger your symptoms like a cough. Pet dander (dead skin flakes) can also trigger hay fever symptoms.

Don't spend too much time outdoors

You should avoid stepping out of the house frequently which can help you minimize your exposure to pollens and dust. In case you are outdoors, you can wear glasses to protect your eyes, wear a hat and cover your face.