Summer equals warm mornings, budding flowers, the birds and their song…. But for many, summer (and spring) is also the period of hay fever. Do you suffer from hay fever? Then you know that it is anything but nice to constantly walk around with red, irritated eyes, a runny nose and sneezing fits.
But did you know you can do something about it yourself? Certain herbs or flowers can relieve the complaints. I'll list the nine most important herbs for you that help incredibly well against hay fever.
What is Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)?
First this: what exactly is hay fever? We know that one in five Belgians and Dutch people suffer from this, but how does it arise?
If you have hay fever, you are allergic to pollen grains (pollen) from certain trees, plants or grasses. Your body overreacts to these normal substances and therefore it goes into defense mode: extra histamine is produced to protect you against these substances, even though they are harmless. Histamine is the substance responsible for the swelling of your nasal mucosa: this causes the typical complaints such as a runny nose, irritated eyes, sore throat and fatigue.
The exact cause of hay fever is still unclear. Genetic predisposition could be the basis, so it is partly hereditary.
Medicinal herbs against hay fever
1. Elderflower dissolves mucus
The elderberry is in bloom from May to July, it is a shrub that you often find in nature during this period. It is a miracle herb with a healing effect: it will not only increase your resistance, but also dissolve mucus in your throat, making it very effective for inflammation of the airways.
You can make tea from it, make syrup or you can even use it as a nasal rinse by letting the tea cool down a bit.
2. Garlic blocks the allergic reaction
Do you like to eat garlic? Then I have good news for you because garlic contains a huge dose of quercetin: this substance is able to block the allergic reaction to pollen. It will inhibit the development of histamine in your blood, histamine is the substance responsible for the allergic reaction.
In addition, it is also good for your immune system, making you less likely to catch a cold. Talk about a win-win!
3. Chamomile tea is anti-inflammatory
Chamomile has an anti-inflammatory effect and is therefore ideal for sore throats.
It also has a soothing effect.
Do you especially suffer from certain complaints in the evening? Then drink a cup of chamomile tea before bed: it not only helps to relieve the complaints, but you will also sleep wonderfully.
4. Nettle tea is full of histamine and vitamins
Nettles, healthy? The nettle is often viewed as a weed and we prefer not to come into direct contact with it. But did you know that this herb is actually super healthy?
It is packed with vitamins and minerals and yes, this herb naturally contains histamine.
Histamine is responsible for the complaints you have with hay fever. But if you ingest histamine through nettle, then you would build up some kind of protection.
And no, if you make tea out of it, the leaves will no longer sting. They give a nice spicy taste to your tea. :-)
5. Rooibos tea contains a large dose of antioxidants
Rooibos comes from a plant that only grows in South Africa. Rooibos tea is also very popular with us because it is full of antioxidants and quercetin, the substance that blocks your allergy.
Rooibos is a bronchodilator, that is, it widens the airways when they are narrowed, which is often the case with hay fever. So it will make it easier for you to breathe.
6. Turmeric can fight inflammation
In a previous blog I already told you about the many health benefits of turmeric. And guess what: turmeric is also good against hay fever!
This spice owes this to the substance curcumin, a super antioxidant that limits the production of histamine. In addition, turmeric is ideal against inflammation, helping your body to recover from that annoying hay fever.
Tip: combine it with black pepper because that increases the absorption. We do the same in our Golden Matcha with turmeric .
7. Ginger boosts your immune system
Like turmeric, ginger will inhibit the production of histamine. You can certainly add this spicy tuber to dishes more often. If the production of histamine remains limited, you will also get fewer complaints. In addition, ginger has an antimicrobial effect, so it will keep your resistance strong.
Brew a cup of our ready-to-drink Lime & Ginger tea or add some ginger to salads, soup or other dishes for a spicy touch.
8. Liquorice is often used for respiratory problems
Licorice root works well for inflammation and arthritis because its action is very similar to that of cortisone. It works anti-allergenic and ensures that you can cough up mucus more easily. Licorice also provides relief from sore throats.
It is important to know: do not exaggerate with your intake. Half a liter of tea a day is allowed, but never for longer than 14 days. If you have high blood pressure, you should not drink liquorice tea because this causes a higher blood pressure.
9. Thyme is high in vitamins A and C
Thyme is an amazing herb with wonderful benefits. For example, it will strengthen your immune system due to the high amount of vitamins. In addition, it is also often used for respiratory infections. Thyme dissolves mucus, which, like liquorice, makes it easier to breathe.
A tip: you can make tea with thyme, but you can also buy essential oil and let it evaporate in a diffuser. The diffuser spreads healthy air in the house that is good for your respiratory tract.
A few more tips against hay fever
- Are you going out? Then smear some vaseline under your nose and wear sunglasses. This protects your body better against pollen.
- Shower before bed. This way you literally wash those pollen from your skin and hair, so that your throat and nose are less bothered at night.
- Keep your immune system strong with vitamin C. Eat plenty of healthy foods rich in vitamins.
- In warm, dry weather it is best to keep the windows closed. Do you want to ventilate the house? Do this in the morning, evening or after a heavy rain shower.
- Sore throat or stuffy nose? You can also steam your airways. Fill a bowl with warm water, hold your nose over the bowl and cover with a towel. The warm steam will clear your nose again.
How do you deal with hay fever? Do you have tips that work well? Let us know in the comments.