It’s spring and that means hay fever season.
I used to only suffer from pollen-related allergies in the fall, when the weeds and grasses are at their peak. But, in my early twenties I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for a time, and when the yellow chamisa bloomed in the spring, my nose would turn into a faucett.
Runny nose, frequent and unstoppable sneezing fits, red and itchy eyes… those are just the most obvious symptoms that I’m suffering. The most annoying ones include the irritating itching on the roof of my mouth, right on the palate, and how the skin on my face constantly tickles, begging to be scratched at a deeper level at risk of permanent scarring or at least visible damage. With my body in histamine overdrive it’s no wonder hay fever makes me feel like I’m interacting with the world through a thick pillow and leaves me wiped out by mid-afternoon.
For years I seasonally took prescription anti-histamines like Zyrtec and Claritin. They took away the itching, sure, but left me dehydrated, wired, and chemically-dependent. Now, I try to manage the hayfever with natural remedies instead of drugs.
My first line of offense is the locally collected bee pollen I find in the refrigerated section of my local Vitamin Cottage. (Check with your local health food store, or look for bee pollen collected in your area online.) An 8-oz. baggie runs me about $3.20 and may last me almost the entire season. I start each season slowly, with just about 1/8 teaspoon of pollen dissolved into a few ounces of juice or lemonade. Since bee pollen is like concentrated honey, it makes a sweet drink and I start to breathe easier quickly.
Once I’m sure I tolerate the pollen again this year, I gradually increase the dosage up to an entire teaspoon, if needed, as frequently as required. True confession: I don’t always wait for the pollen beads to fully dissolve before drinking them down. What can I say, allergies make me desperate!
This year, my homeopath also recommended a homeopathic remedy for hay fever that seems to be effective as well: Sabadilla. With homeopathy, you take a dose in an empty mouth and see what happens. If it works and the symptos abate for a while then return, take another dose. Discontinue when symptoms disappear or are not affected at all (which indicates you’re using the wrong remedy). While you can get a good selection of homeopathic remedies at a good health store, this one is hard to find and may be best ordered online.
Another homeopathic remedy for histamine reactions that may not necessarily be from hay fever is Histaminum. This was the only thing that worked to end my two-year old’s lifelong runny nose problem.