Sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes: every spring there are more and more people suffering from hay fever. Pollen can be carried on the wind for kilometers thereby reaching places that are far from woods or meadows. So even in your town apartment you could suddenly note an itchy sensation in your nose. Some people have suffered for years, others notice the symptoms for the first time, and there are others who have never felt the effects as severely as in this year. Time for a few thoughts and tips for dealing with hay fever, without using excessive amounts of chemicals.
Why does hay fever even occur? In the case of hay fever and other allergies the immune system has a disproportionately vigorous reaction to an essentially harmless stimuli, respectively to certain substances. These substances are incorrectly categorized by the immune system as disruptive and trigger an allergic reaction. These substances are called allergens and they are present in various forms in the environment, foodstuffs, everyday commodities and cosmetics. Unsuitable care products, hair dyes and medication are just as able to trigger an allergic reaction as are foodstuffs and jewelry (e.g. nickel). But our environment too can cause allergies (pollen, sun).
The skin’s natural barrier is damaged: depending on the severity, the reaction could take the form of itchiness, erythema, dry scalp or papules. Because of these strong, usually painful skin reactions or respiratory difficulties, sufferers are massively restricted in their quality of life. Hay fever can manifest itself through many symptoms: runny nose, running and itchy eyes, asthma attacks or an itchy rash. Sometimes even diarrhea, bloating and stomach ache occur.
The colon plays an important role
There are natural remedies which can alleviate or even eliminate allergies. There are the antihistamines usually prescribed by doctors, but these frequently have unpleasant side effects. Homeopathic alternatives have achieved good results. Contact a homeopath and find out which treatment would suit you. But regardless, whether antihistamines or a homeopathic treatment – both just treat the symptoms. Time to think about the colon because it plays a central role in the topic of allergies: approximately 80% of the immune system is firmly embedded in the colon. Because allergy sufferers have severely weakened immune defenses, it makes sense to strengthen them. A healthy diet can often bring relief!
One such traditional folk remedy which gradually acclimatizes the body to local pollen is honey. However, you can’t just take any honey sold in a supermarket. For the best results you need to buy from local farmers because the honey should always be collected from local bees. Furthermore it should be raw, not heated, natural and unfiltered. Enjoy a spoonful every day either as is or dissolved in a glass of warm water.
Herbs are also reputed to have healing properties, especially chamomile, elderberry flowers and yarrow. Garlic, angelica and yam root also strengthen the immune system.
Eat nuts, broccoli and spinach
Eat as many organic foods as possible. Nuts, sprouts, dried fruits, leafy greens that are rich in antioxidants – and can be prepared as a delicious smoothie. Broccoli (contains high levels of vitamin C!), berries (secret weapon: elderberries, also good for colds) and citrus fruit can strengthen your immune system and make you less susceptible to allergies.
Packaged meals and convenience foods from the supermarket contain sugar, artificial additives and sweeteners which all weaken your immune system. Cover half your plate with raw fruit and vegetables – they are particularly nutritious. If you make a point of doing this at every meal you will soon feel more energetic and more balanced. Try to drink as much pure water as possible and avoid sweet drinks. You will soon feel you have more energy which is a great help if you have allergies as they tend to sap your energy and leave you feeling drained.
Less meat and mild products
There are no strict rules for healthy eating, but if you suffer from allergies you should try to avoid certain foods. Many sufferers feel much better when they reduce or eliminate milk products, certain grains and some fruits from their diet. Additionally locally grown fruits and vegetables are generally better tolerated than those which have been flown half way around the globe.
A further tip worth taking to heart is this: adapt your lifestyle. Too much stress can have a negative effect on the body and exacerbate allergies. Spend an evening at home occasionally, even if you’ve been invited to yet another BBQ in the neighborhood, and the children are almost certainly allowed to spend a weekend doing something with their grandparents. Take time for yourself. Less is often more – listen to your inner self.
Don't undress in the bedroom
The following tip is quite logical, but often forgotten: avoid pollen wherever possible. Air your house well every morning and evening, but leave the windows shut during the day. If possible vacuum daily, if only briefly, especially in the bedroom. Don’t take off the clothes you’ve been wearing all day in the bedroom, and don’t store them there. Change your pillowcase often because pollen collects there from your hair – and wash your hair regularly (see expert tip below). If you suffer from allergies, it is better not to wear contact lenses during the flowering phase. Wear close-fitting sunglasses. They prevent too much pollen from getting in your eyes. If your eyes are still itchy: try not to rub them as this causes the pollen to penetrate deeper into the eyes causing irritation. Dab eyes carefully with a clean flannel and soothe them with eye drops. Two slices of cucumber can also help calm swollen eyelids.
Besides optimizing nutrition there are of course supporting care tips from our expert Dr. Katharina Heinrich. She is head of Research and Development and has the following advice for you:
My tip for all hay fever sufferers: wash your hair thoroughly at night so the cleansing power of Heartseed SENSITIVE SHAMPOO hypoallergenic can wash out the pollen and it isn’t spread over the bedding. This eases the symptoms considerably, as has been confirmed by many of our customers.
Here you can find all the products and information on the Swiss Allergy, Skin and Asthma Center. As the first line of products for allergy sufferers in Switzerland, the RAUSCH Heartseed SENSITIVE LINE hypoallergenic has been certified and awarded the official aha! Seal., which RAUSCH has developed in cooperation with the