No doubt you’re a sufferer and as Spring is almost upon us, you are thinking about what to do in order to avoid the symptoms of Hay Fever…
It was in fact an English Physician John Bostock (1773 – 1846) who first accurately described the disease. In 1819, he presented a study called “Case of a periodical affliction of the eyes and chest”, his patient was known as JB (it was in fact himself John Bostock).. He described the patient who had a rather delicate constitution to suffer from sneezing, itching and watery eyes during the summer months.
Although John was the first to write about Hay Fever, he wasn’t responsible for its name. In fact, the term Hay Fever takes its name from a popular idea in the 19th century that the smell of hay in the summer irritated the body. John instead preferred to call the problem “catarrhus aesivus”.
Hay Fever also goes by the name Allergic Rhinitis which causes sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes, itching of the nose, eyes and in some cases roof of the mouth. Around about 8% of the Aussie population suffer from this problem and typically the condition worsens during the onset of spring or early summer.
What is in the air that causes things to go out of whack?… Well, symptoms are usually caused by release of pollens from trees, grasses or weeds or airborne spores. Symptoms can kick in almost immediately with the most common complaints being sneezing and watery eyes. Severe forms of hay fever may include sweats, headaches, loss of smell and taste, facial pain caused by blocked sinuses and itchiness spreading from throat to ears and nose.
There are a number of over the counter preparations that are used to treat the symptoms however; not all will do the trick and each set of symptoms may need a different type of remedy. The list of medications is quite large and includes antihistamine sprays or tablets, eye drops, nasal corticosteroids, oral corticosteroids & immunotherapy.
Herbal allies that may assist in the Hay Fever battle are well established as natural medications and can offer support by way of Decongestant and expectorant herbs, which work to break up the blockages in the sinus cavities, Antimicrobial herbs, to fight off bacterial or viral invaders and Supportive (tonic) herbs, to strengthen the system and enhance overall immune function
The recommended herbs which can be taken individually or mixed together in a formula.
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra): This wonderful expectorant herb assists the respiratory system in eliminating excess mucus. Licorice also replenishes the mucous membranes, helps to clear the bronchial system, breaks up congestion in the head, and has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities. Licorice is an excellent choice for children with sinus problems.
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus): Used for centuries by Native Americans to ease upper respiratory congestion, this expectorant herb soothes irritated mucous linings, relieves coughs, colds, and sore throats, and subdues the pain and discomfort associated with bronchial tissues that become inflamed due to postnasal drip.
Osha root (Ligusticum porteri): This extremely powerful antimicrobial herb offers fast and effective relief for sore throats and acute sinus infections.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): This antimicrobial, antibiotic, and immune-boosting herb works to heal inflamed mucous membranes and generally supports the Liver’s ability to detoxify allergens and other toxic substances.
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia or Echinacea purpura): This tonic was adopted by European settlers and is now used worldwide. It is renowned for its immune-enhancing antibiotic and antimicrobial actions.
The most effective way to take your daily herbal dose is to find a quality liquid medicine which contains a mixture of key herbal ingredients. These liquid medicines are available online or from reputable health food stores. Liquids are convenient to take and are taken up rapidly by the body to provide fast onset of action.
Welcome Spring with a strategy to combat Hay Fever with some great herbal remedies.
Be safe and stay healthy