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20 natural remedies for hay fever sufferers

Tips for those of us battling with hay fever...

While we’ve welcomed the warm weather with open arms, we’re less keen on the hay fever it's brought with it.

If spring and summer see you struck down with streaming eyes, a blocked nose or a killer headache, you'll know there's so much more to hay fever than a few sneezes. Many hay fever sufferers opt to stay inside to avoid the onset of symptoms. 

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Whilst over-the-counter medicines often help to reduce symptoms, these can bring annoying side effects such as drowsiness. Luckily there are plenty of natural hay fever remedies that actually work to lessen the symptoms. 

Read on for tried and tested natural hay fever remedies that actually work.

1. Dry your clothes inside

While drying clothes in the fresh air is one of summer's greatest simple pleasures, this brings pollen into your home without you realising it. Dry your clothes inside even when the sun is beaming, to limit the pollen brought inside.

2. Acupuncture for hay fever

Meghan Markle loves acupuncture for anxiety and stress, but the ancient Indian practice of marmapuncture, a specific type of acupuncture that uses fewer needles, can also help with hay fever.

Marmapuncture helps with hay fever because your reaction to pollen is an immune response - it’s your body’s way of dealing with an irritant. Acupuncture helps balance the body’s energy system and immune response.

3. Wash your hair before bed

If you're normally a morning hair wash person, it might be time to switch to bedtime bathing. A quick rinse in the shower rids your hair and body of pollen that can irritate you during the night. Wash your sheets more in the summer too, to cleanse them of pollen particles.

4. Try gua sha

The art of gua sha is touted as being good for everything from clearing inflammation to refreshing the skin, and fans of the practice say it can help with hay fever too.

Keep your gua sha tool in the fridge ten hold the chilled stone next to your nose and over your sinuses to draw out heat and help clear the sinuses

Hayo'u Beauty Restorer Rose Quartz Tool, £6.75, Asos

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5. Shut the windows

Not an appealing prospect when it's too hot to sleep, but closing your windows stops extra pollen from making its way into your life. Invest in Amazon's bladeless fan instead to keep your room cool and pollen-free.

Bladeless cooling fan, £175, Amazon

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SEE: The best cooling bedsheets, pillows & mattress toppers you'll love if you're too hot at night

6. Quercetin for hay fever

There have been numerous studies into the powerful anti-histamine effect of this flavonoid, which can help to reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter hay fever relief tends to inhibit the effect of histamine, but quercetin inhibits the release of histamine, stopping the reaction in its tracks.  To up the quercetin in your diet, opt for foods including berries, parsley, onions, and peppers. 

Quercetin capsules, £26.95, Amazon

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7. Biotin for hay fever

Biotin is a B vitamin which helps to maintain the healthy function of mucous membranes which can be found in your nose, sinuses, throat and even the tear ducts. Try consuming more fish, egg yolks, avocados, green leafy vegetables and nuts to get your recommended dose.

Herbal tea can help to ease symptoms of hay fever

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8. Garlic for hay fever

An underrated food that can help block the production of histamine and soothe hay fever symptoms. Try to incorporate garlic into your daily meals or opt for a good quality supplement.

SEE: This garlic press has over 24k positive reviews on Amazon and it's 47% off in the sale

9. Herbal teas for hay fever

Certain herbs have a natural antihistamine effect. Opt for green tea, chamomile, elderflower, ginger, peppermint and anise to limit the effects of hay fever and sip these herbal teas throughout the day. They will also help to keep you hydrated, so it's a win-win.

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10. Probiotics for hay fever

Healthy gut flora is essential for a strong immune system. Don't be fooled by probiotic drinks - to really help replenish your gut flora, opt for a multi-strain probiotic supplement. You can also get probiotics naturally through fermented foods such as sauerkraut, bone broths, gelatin, natural and Kefir yoghurt. 

11. Local honey for hay fever

There is strong evidence to show that consuming local honey can help to limit the effects of hay fever as it exposes you to the same pollen, helping your body to naturally form a tolerance. If you like honey, it is certainly worth a shot, but it is key to source local honey, which can normally be found in local independent health stores.

12. Vitamin D for hay fever

A vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the development of allergies and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D also supports the healthy gut bacteria. Try to spend time outdoors every day, or incorporate a supplement containing Vitamin D into your diet.

MORE: 10 best supplements that will actually make a difference

13. Ditch the contact lenses

According to Specsavers' Clinical Services Director, Giles Edmonds, hay fever sufferers who wear contact lenses may notice the vision through their lenses can appear smeary and eyes can generally feel uncomfortable which can be calmed down with contact lens-friendly eye drops. Wearing prescription glasses (particularly wraparound sunglasses) can prevent pollen from getting into your eyes. He also suggests that those suffering with hay fever could also try daily disposable lenses during the summer months.

14. Try an eye humidifier

If you can't bear to part with your contacts (or just suffer from very dry eyes) this portable eye humidifier from Peep Club is a game-changer. The gentle mist replaces moisture in the air to help your eyes stay hydrated and the benefits extend to your skin, too.

Hydrating portable humidifier, £55, Peep Club

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15. Switch to gin

Asthma UK says that while alcoholic drinks like beer and red wine often make hay fever and asthma worse due to the histamine and sulphites they contain, switching your regular tipple to gin might help to relieve symptoms more than other drinks. Clear spirits like gin and vodka both have a low histamine content, while gin also contains no sulphites, so it is especially good for people who are suffering from itchy eyes and a runny nose. As happy as we are to hear this, it's important to note that G&T won't cure your hay fever, it is simply the best option for sufferers who want an alcoholic drink.

Tanqueray gin, £15.50, Amazon

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16. Stock up on Vaseline 

Applying a thin layer of Vaseline inside the lower nostrils can help combat hay fever and reduce symptoms. The Vaseline can put a stop to the pollen entering the nostrils.

RELATED: Hay fever sufferers claim Vaseline is the ultimate hack for minimising symptoms

17. Add a bit of spice

Turmeric is known for its healing powers, and it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties which can help to ease nasal congestion for hay fever sufferers. The yellow spice can be added to your food, taken in capsule form or even made into a milky drink.

Turmeric, now £1.79, was £3.10, Amazon

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18. Cut down on dairy

Dairy products increase the production of mucus in your respiratory tract, worsening hay fever symptoms. The good news is there are so many delicious alternatives these days. Try switching to oat milk or almond milk and vegan butter.

READ: Princess Beatrice's pre-wedding vegan diet might surprise royal fans

19. Tie your hair up

Allergens can collect in your hair when you're outside, so a simple trick to prevent hay fever symptoms is to keep it tied up and off your face, away from your eyes, mouth and nose. 

20. Massage your eyes

BeGlow brand ambassador and skincare expert Danielle Hudson shares her top tips for soothing hay fever-induced eye irritation. 

"Swollen and puffy eyes are commonplace for hay fever sufferers and aside from their visual appearance, can be a cause of great discomfort. Inflammation can often remain for a few hours as it can take time for the blood vessels to reduce to normal and excess fluid in the tissues to be re-absorbed. 

"The skin around the eye area is tissue-thin and so it’s important to give this delicate area the utmost care and attention in order to limit damage and preserve skin elasticity. Using a sonic device such as BeGlow TIA with its cooling titanium plate (£199, John Lewis) can help to assist drainage in the area – the ultimate eye reviver."

BeGlow TIA, £199, John Lewis

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