On The Spot Relief: Alternative Treatments
While over-the-counter medications in your local pharmacy can provide effective relief, they do tend to carry side effects to varying degrees. Many people find that natural treatments carry fewer side effects and can provide effective relief in addition to medications or perhaps even replacing them completely. Many traditional remedies have shown success for centuries in treating allergies such as hay fever and they can provide immediate relief for your pesky hay fever symptoms.
Olbas OilOlbas oil is a blend of pure plant oils, which include peppermint, menthol, eucalyptus and several other effective herbs. The oils in Olbas oil can be purchased separately but they tend to be quite effective when used together in the formula. They work to clear congested nasal passages and encourage clear and comfortable breathing. The fragrance to the oil is strong but most people don't find it unpleasant. It is the vapours produced by the oil that, when inhaled, provide relief from a runny nose. An easy and convenient way to use Olbas oil is to simply place a few drops on a tissue and inhale deeply. You can also purchase throat drops, which will still relieve nasal congestion and provide a 'clear' head. They do, however, tend to also ease an itchy or sore throat so for hay fever symptoms alone, the oil is likely the ideal option to relieve hay fever symptoms.
Natural Nasal SpraysThere are a variety of spray products for treating nasal congestion that occurs from hay fever. Most contain ingredients that are similar to those found in Olbas oil. They also tend to contain immune boosters such as vitamin C and homeopathic treatments that are believed to be effective for hay fever, such as butterbur. Essential oils that are commonly used include eucalyptus and peppermint.
BalmsBalms can help to open up nasal passages and relieve the aching, stuffy feeling that many hay fever sufferers experience in their head. They can also soothe itching skin. Look for ingredients such as Aloe Vera and essential oils such as peppermint. Some balms should be dabbed under the nose, which allows you to inhale the vapours and experience lasting relief upon application. Other balms are meant specifically to soothe irritated skin and can be used liberally on the face and body.
Herbal TeasFor immediate relief and a quick pick-me-up, you may find herbs such as chamomile, stinging nettle and elderflower helpful for relieving congestion. Both elderflower and nettle leaf have anti-inflammatory actions and can help clear respiratory passages. Chamomile is thought to have a calming effect on the immune system and can also benefit the anxiety and emotional distress that comes with hay fever symptoms, particularly when they strike at work or in other high-stress places.
Black TeaThe caffeine in black tea can actually be very beneficial for relieving the inflammation and redness in eyes that occurs as a symptom of hay fever. Try briefly steeping two tea bags and then place them over eyes for a few minutes to provide instant relief from irritation.
HoneycombHoneycomb is believed to have both antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which can relieve hay fever symptoms. These properties are due to the presence of propolis. Chewing a small piece several times a day can provide an immune system boost and may offer relief for some hay fever sufferers. Some naturopathic doctors recommend a spoon of honey each day to provide a small amount of the pollen allergen, although evidence is largely anecdotal regarding its effectiveness.
Medications have their place in your hay fever treatment plan, but it's helpful to try natural remedies to quickly treat your hay fever symptoms. You may find that through a plan that includes the best of both medications and natural treatments, you can experience greater hay fever relief.