Look, we’re not trying to rain on the parade. It’s warm. It’s sunny. Sweet breezes abound. Yeah yeah, we get it, spring is magical!
However, if you are one of the more than 5 million people in Australia who suffer from hayfever, you’ll agree with us that not everything about this time of year is sweetness and light. Stuffy nose? Itchy eyes and throat? That irritating tickle-in-throat? Yep, hayfever is no joke.
There are plenty of pills and potions available at your local pharmacy – either over the counter or on prescription. But, for the majority of us who only suffer from mild to moderate hayfever, there’s no need to pump your body full of Zyrtec day and night. Natural remedies can make a real difference to your allergies, so try adding some of these hayfever heroes into your daily diet this spring:
A favourite spice in Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine, turmeric has also been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for a range of ailments, including hayfever. Turmeric contains curcumin, a phytochemical that offers powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are comparable to those provided by steroidal drugs. Curcumin has also been shown to inhibit the release of histamine, which is exactly what those over the counter anti-histamines are combatting!
Horseradish, garlic and ginger
Horseradish is a pungent root vegetable which acts as a decongestant, helping to clear nasal passages. Garlic also helps to clear nasal congestion and is a good source of quercetin, one of the best natural anti-histamines available. Garlic also offers potent antibiotic properties which can help prevent respiratory infections in those who suffer from chronic hayfever. Ginger is also a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce nasal swelling and associated hay fever symptoms.
When combatting hayfever, what you don’t eat can be as important as what you do. Certain foods can actually exasperate your hayfever symptoms, and the worst culprit for most people is dairy products. During hayfever season, try and limit your intake of cow’s milk and yoghurt and they can cause an increase the production of mucus in the respiratory tract, making the congestion from your hayfever even worse.