Some nutritional ideas to beat the seasonal sneezing
Spring/summer is a dreaded time of the year for some people who suffer daily throughout the season from the hayfever symptoms of runny nose, sore throats and itchy eyes. A wishful check on the day’s pollen count can bring either anticipated misery or a measure of relief depending on the level of pollen.
If you are not a hayfever sufferer, you know the season is upon us when the adverts for commercial anti-histamines start to appear on TV. But what if you find yourself ‘living’ on antihistamines every day for 3-4 months a year as I did? For me, the journey into alternative therapies has always been a preference to conventional medicine if I can find as good a cure or better for my symptoms or illness.
The same is true for hayfever. Over the years I have tried some appropriately coloured green tablets from the chemist which were labelled as natural; I have tried the bark from an African tree, local honey, less wheat and dairy consumption and, over the last 5 years, varying combinations of supplements. Each time I had to return to the prescriptive medicine. Until recently.
Last year, I took a potent multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplement, MSM (methyl sulphonyl methane) and vitamin C. This combination worked perfectly and I experienced no hayfever symptoms at all. BUT this same combination had not worked in previous years. The difference this time was I sourced all the vitamins from a quality supplier. The vitamins I had bought previously were from Holland & Barrett, Healthspan or other on-line suppliers.
An alternative to MSM is a herbal supplement called Butterbur. You must exercise caution when taking Butterbur because the plant naturally contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are harmful to the liver. The best supplier is Linpharma. This brand filters out the alkaloids and are the best quality of butterbur available in the UK. Adults can take for up to 6 months but you must take a break after this period before continuing use if necessary. I have also given the same to my children (age 6), with ½ of the adult single dose once a day for up to 4 months.
Other nutritional ideas
Nutritionists also recommend taking the following to combat symptoms:
- Increase intake of omega 3 foods such as oily fish, flax or pumpkin seeds, increase consumption of colourful vegetables which have powerful anti-oxidants, take ginger, turmeric and garlic, all of which are anti-inflammatories.
- If you need to supplement, you can try the bromelain (from pineapple) and quercetin (found in apples and red onions). Solgar, Lamberts and Biocare have ranges in MSM, bromelain and quercetin plus various strengths of vitamin C. These are all top quality supplements with which you can’t go wrong.
- Viridian have their own recommendations for combatting hayfever, which is to take Quercetin B5 complex (which includes bromelain) together with their herbal Bilberry & Eyebright capsule.