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Tag: bee pollen

Natural Remedies for Hay fever

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.

Locally-collected bee pollen
Locally-collected bee pollen

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.

Hayfever remedies: Bee pollen

I mentioned the beginning of my hayfever remedies last week, but I didn’t get a chance to tell you about the discovery that has changed my life with allergies: bee pollen!

Specifically, locally-collected bee pollen.

Bee pollenDuring allergy seasons (for me, it’s spring flowering trees and late summer grasses through the first frost), I mix a teaspoon of the bee pollen granules into a few ounces of juice or water and drink it in the morning.

It’s truly amazing.

I don’t have to walk around carrying a box of tissues. I don’t sneeze uncontrollably every 5 minutes. And I don’t have to resort to chronic use of antihistimines, like I used for years before I went natural.

Not that I don’t sneeze these days. I do. Not that I don’t blow my nose this spring. I do. But my eyes aren’t itchy, my nose isn’t red and swollen, and my brain doesn’t have that fuzzy, allergy-ridden feeling where it’s hard to concentrate on anything beyond basic survival.

My state has two main zones: a mountainous, high-country region, and flat plains. My city is on the edge of the plains, so I got bee pollen collected from just east of us, on the plains. Before my next trip to the mountains, I will start taking some bee pollen from that region to build up my defenses.

I found my locally-collected bee pollen in the refrigerated section of my local Vitamin Cottage (a health food grocery store). Always try one or two granules first, to test for any allergic reaction, before committing to a large amount. And never give bee pollen or honey to children under 1 year old as they could get very sick.