For some people (like my poor husband), spring doesn’t just mean flowers, ducklings and warm weather; it means tissues, eye drops and avoiding flower shows. And while dosing up on antihistamines daily can be effective, it doesn’t get down to the core of the issue – the air around you. Whilst you can’t do much about the pollen outdoors, there are a few remedies you can apply in your everyday lifestyle to make your home a more pleasant place for you to spend your time. These are a few that I use in our house to help Reis and perhaps they will make a difference to any hay fever sufferers in your household. I’ve also included how we manage dust mites, which can be just as much of a problem, if not a bigger problem than pollen. Unfortunately they aren’t restricted to spring so many of these steps will be good to practice all year round.
Home Solutions for Hayfever Sufferers
1. Shut those windows
I know the weather is getting warmer and the fresh air coming into the house is so welcome after a long winter; but having the windows open, particularly in the bedroom at night, can make a mild sufferer become a severe sufferer. Pollen can rise in the heat of the day and then come back down to the ground at night. Shut the windows and use a fan to circulate the inside air instead.
2. Natures Remedies for Hayfever – Let Food Be Thy Medicine
Quercetin, Bromelain & Vitamin C
The natural compound quercetin which is found in all types of red, green and purple coloured fruits and vegetables, is a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine. Bromelain (found naturally in pineapples as well as supplement form) and vitamin C also contain natural anti-histamines.
Turmeric is part of the ginger root family and is a natural anti-inflammatory that people have found effective for helping allergies. Some people take turmeric supplements, but I just like to incorporate it into as many meals as I can, like this Broccollini, Zucchini and Turmeric Tofu Salad (which also contains other ingredients with quercetin and vitamin C). I also use it in this natural green tea recipe to help with a blocked nose.
Another interesting one I have heard time and time again (but have not seen scientific evidence as of yet) is to eat your local honey. If you are ingesting your local pollens, your body may build a resistant to it, meaning less severe allergies. And you are supporting local bee keepers in the process. Try mixing some local honey with hot water, lemon and ginger to make a hayfever fighting tea!
3. Essential Oils for Allergies
Essential oils are having a bit of a moment and for good reason. They can have some real benefits, including helping with allergies. Peppermint oil is the best popular choice for hayfever relief – you can diffuse it, burn it, apply topically or even ingest it (make sure it is pure oil and the packaging says it is suitable for consumption). Eucalyptus is also a popular choice and is great for clearing a blocked nose. My personal favourite to clear the sinus’ though is a blend grapefruit peel oil, lemongrass oil and peppermint oil. So if you are having trouble breathing, put some drops on your pillow before sleep, on the shower floor while you’re having a hot shower or in some boiling water and breathe in the steam with your nose.
When shopping for essential oils, make sure you are buying good quality organic pure oils. Health food stores are generally a good place to start looking.
4. Wash sheets regularly
Wash your sheets once a week in hot water. If you a particularly severe sufferer, dry the sheets (and your clothes too) inside rather than outside to avoid the material any pollen fragments. If washing and changing the sheets weekly is a struggle for you (me too!) at least wash your pillowcase to target the pesky dust mites. If you have curtains, it is also wise to wash these regularly as well.
5. CLEAN OFTEN
I know this isn’t what you really want to hear, but there is a reason this is in capital letters. If you go to a doctor or specialist about your allergies, they are pretty much guaranteed to tell you to clean all the time. Pollen and dust mites don’t take long to appear and need to be kept at bay. And one of the the only ways to do this (if not THE only way) is to vacuum. Vacuum the floors as often as possible, at least every few days or if you have pets, consider vacumming more often. Vacuum instead of dusting too. When you dust, a lot of the time you are just wiping it off one surface on to another, so try to vacuum instead of dust with a cloth.
If you are needing to vacuum so often it is important that you choose the right vacuum cleaner so:
- a) you aren’t frustrated by your equipment – because let’s face it, if you have a hard to use vacuum there is no chance you will be vacuuming often.
- b) it is actually doing a good, thorough job.
I would highly recommend the Hoover Allergy Power Head Bagless Vacuum from Godfreys, specifically designed for allergy sufferers. It is even approved by the acclaimed National Asthma Council’s Sensitive Choice Program. It is lightweight and easy to move around, includes seven different attachments, with one particularly designed to remove pet hair from furniture (essential for us with Honey’s hair!) and another which cleans mattresses. I also really like this bendy brush head (pictured below) I find it good for those hard to reach surfaces.
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This post has proudly be sponsored by Godfreys. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love and that make Eat Pray Workout possible!