From honey to hot peppers treating your hayfever could be rather tasty.
We hate to break it to you, but hayfever season is already upon us. All the cetirizine in the world won't be able to relieve those eyes as the pollen count hits its peak, but did you know you could defeat your sore throat and stop the sneezing through your diet? If you're sick of downing those hayfever tablets, snorting those sprays and even injections, here are the seven essential natural hayfever remedies you need for a sneeze-free summer.
1. Local honey. Whether you spread it on toast or gloop it on granola, taking local honey for hayfever fights pollen with pollen and desensitises your body to itching, sneezing and streaming eyes. The bee pollen in the nectar gives even better hayfever relief if you buy locally, as the honey will specifically fight the pollen in your local area. Even better? It's of the tastiest natural hayfever remedies going!
2. Vitamin C. The reason those trusty hayfever tablets work is down to their antihistamine levels, but you could be getting your hit the natural way. Oranges, lemons and grapefruits are packed full of vitamin C, a natural antihistamine and decongestant that should stop that runny nose stat.
3. Hot peppers. As the weather heats up, so should your diet. Capsaicin, an active ingredient in hot chilli peppers, will stem your sneezing and allow you to breathe freely – even though your tongue might be on fire. Chop a red pepper into your salad for a quick natural hayfever remedy if you can’t handle the heat.
4. Carotenoids. Nope, we’d never heard of them either, but they seem to be in anything orange and edible. Carrots, pumpkins, apricots and sweet potatoes will reduce inflammation in your airways and even improve your immune system. The black sheep of the carotenoid family? Spinach – a natural hayfever remedy!
5. Chamomile tea. Giving a new meaning to ‘tea break’, chamomile tea can solve your red eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat all in one. An antioxidant, antihistamine and anti-hayfever in general, sip chamomile tea straight or make a cold compress to relieve inflamed eyes.
6. Garlic. Maybe save this natural hayfever remedy for when you’re home alone, or use it as an excuse to order that extra side of garlic bread… Start adding crushed or raw garlic (if you can take it!) to your meals one to two months before those hayfever symptoms really hit home.
7. Onions. An onion a day keeps the hayfever symptoms away! Well, two. A couple of medium sized onions in your omlette, packed lunch and evening meal could have anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effects, thanks to the quercetin they contain in their skins. Not sure they’d soothe your itching eyes, though…
Struggling to squeeze these natural hayfever remedies into your diet? Why not add one or two to a delicious smoothie? Check out Fashion Editor Arabella Greenhill's favourite Nutribullet recipes...