Do you or a loved one suffer with the symptoms of Hayfever at this time of the year? Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, allergic reactions are just some of the annoying symptoms caused by histamine levels rocketing as the body reacts to pollen.

At Pastures New, many of our clients come in to chat about such inconveniences and we stock several natural products that have an antihistamine action to help relieve the reaction. One such product is Vitamin C, which we advise to take in small doses regularly throughout the day. Stepping up your intake of natural sources rich in Vitamin C is also a good idea, like fresh fruit, peppers, tomatoes and green, leafy vegetables. Also, by increasing foods full of beta-carotene in your diet, e.g. carrots, tomatoes, dried apricots, sweet potatoes, mangoes, spinach and watercress, from which your body makes Vitamin A, you will be helping to keep your mucous membranes healthy.

Nettle tea and tincture can also be effective at reducing histamine-type reactions, as can ginger, which also acts as a decongestant.

A.Vogel produce a herb called Luffa, particularly useful if symptoms manifest around the eyes and nose, dealing with both blocked and runny noses, as well as watery and itchy eyes and a tickly throat. It is taken internally and isn’t contraindicated with other medication. Luffa complex retails for £9.75 and pairs well with Vogel’s soothing eyedrops, providing welcome relief from sore, itchy eyes, or their nasal spray (£7.99)

Hay Max is a natural, organic allergen barrier balm that is applied to the rim of the nostrils. HayMax (£6.95) has been proven to reduce dust and pet allergens and more than a third of pollen from entering the body. Less allergen, less reaction.

Another popular supplement during the hayfever season is an extract derived from the bark of French maritime pine trees, known as Pycnogenol. There is research to show that it can improve the symptoms of hayfever and other allergic reactions. At Pastures New we stock Pharma Nord’s Pycnogenol 40mg, £23.95 for 60 tablets.

Another useful natural agent for the treatment of hay fever is Quercetin. This ‘bioflavonoid’ compound appears to reduce the release of histamine from immune system cells known as ‘mast cells’. We sell Lamberts Quercetin 500mg, £20.45 for 60 tablets. We also like an effective combination from Natures Aid, which combines Quercetin with Ester C and Pycnogenol for£15.95.

Another popular homeopathic remedy, which has a loyal following of customers who come in for it every year when hayfever symptoms strike is Combination H New Era tissue salts, £7.95. Other homeopathic products include Weleda’s Hayfever Relief Mouthspray (£9.95) and Mixed Pollen 30c (£6.95)

As well as supplementing the diet with the things mentioned above, it is important to keep alcohol intake low and reduce caffeine as it triggers histamine release. Avoid dairy products because they cause mucous formation that exacerbates hayfever symptoms. Avoid refined sugar which affects blood sugar levels dramatically and, in turn, causes adrenalin surges that activates histamine.

Finally we thought we would share these few practical tips from A.Vogel:

‘When the pollen count is high, dry your clothes indoors as damp clothes will collect pollen. If you have been out for the day, get undressed in the bathroom not the bedroom. There may be pollen on your clothes and you don’t want it floating around the bedroom starting you sneezing at bedtime.’

We hope that by following this advice for minimising hayfever symptoms you can enjoy Summer to the full and not be held back or left feeling miserable with the hayfever blues!