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7 Essential Natural Remedy Tips for Spring and Summer Allergies

My hayfever and allergies have come and gone throughout my life, but since my mid-forties they have ramped up to a whole other level. Who knew that perimenopause and menopause make allergies and intolerances worse? I didn’t until recently, but it certainly explains why the last 10 years have been particularly bad. Oestrogen has an anti-inflammatory, protective role in women’s health, so as it decreases our food intolerances and seasonal allergies may get significantly worse.

Add that to the effects of climate change warming up the temperature and lengthening the pollen season, and it’s the perfect storm for more severe seasonal allergies that last much longer. Scientists warn that seasonal allergies are only going to get worse if the climate crisis continues on its current trajectory, and if you are anything like me, that’s not good news.

So, what can we do about it? Well, we can reach for the usual pharmaceutical products like antihistamines, or we can lock ourselves indoors for extended periods over spring and summer. Let’s face it, neither of those options are much fun. Alternatively, we can look for ways to reduce our inflammatory load by managing allergens in our homes and meals and by increasing the natural anti-inflammatories in our diet.

Did you know that certain herbs have a natural antihistamine effect? Green tea, chamomile, lavender, ginger, peppermint, cinnamon, rosemary, and fennel can limit the effects of hay fever, especially if sipped in hot water or infused in tea throughout the day. Here are some traditional remedy favourites used for centuries throughout the world to help manage hay fever and seasonal allergies:

Peppermint: Minty and refreshing with a potent fragrance, peppermint releases a menthol terpene that aids the sinuses by loosening mucus and opening the nasal cavity. Peppermint has also been found to support the immune system, helping us clear out pesky infections.

Rosemary: The potent scent of rosemary is known for its ability to aid memory, but this multi-use oil is also helpful for calming inflammation of the sinuses. The terpenes present in rosemary make it wonderful to add to a bath or hot cup of tea for easier breathing and enhanced relaxation.

Lavender: Lavender oil is a first-aid superhero! Helpful for headaches, tension, cuts, burns, and sleep, it’s also wonderful for easing the symptoms of seasonal aggravations.

Tea tree: is one of the most popular essential oils. It can destroy airborne pathogens that cause allergies and acts as an antiseptic agent. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve allergy symptoms such as inflamed nostrils and sinuses.

Lemon: Lemon essential oil can also help clear your sinuses and reduce congestion, including the common symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Chamomile: For those who suffer from congestion and stuffiness, chamomile essential oil will help clear up your air passages with its anti-inflammatory benefits. It will also help promote feelings of calm and relaxation for optimal recovery, soothing the senses.

Clove: Clove oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, and can help to reduce allergy symptoms.[1]

Ancient approaches to treating hay fever allergies

As a clinical hypnotherapist for over 30 years, I’ve assessed and used many complementary therapies to help my patients overcome all sorts of issues. One of the most useful healing traditions I have utilised is Ayurveda. In fact, the Ayurvedic system of chakras and plant-based remedies are cornerstones of our Cephyra® Activated Oils™. Ayurveda is an ancient healing system, originating from the Indian subcontinent, that looks at all elements of a person’s life to diagnose lifestyle imbalance and focuses on whole body healing. It divides people and the environment into 5 elements[2]. A combination of each element results in three humours, or doshas, known as vata, kapha, and pitta.[3] These doshas are believed to be responsible for a person’s physiological, mental, and emotional health. Every person is said to have a unique ratio of each dosha, usually with one standing out more than the others. For example, a person may be mostly pitta while another may be mostly vata. An Ayurvedic practitioner can help you determine your dosha, or you can work it out online by completing a questionnaire or reading the summaries for each type.[4] Many years ago an Ayurvedic practitioner determined that I was dominantly Pitta. I continue to return to this system when mainstream medical treatments don’t provide relief.

According to Ayurveda, hay fever affects mainly the respiratory system – the chest, sinuses and mucus membranes – areas where Kapha is dominant, usually producing sinus congestion, watery eyes, catarrh, phlegm, a cold, coughing (with mucus), and sneezing.  However not all seasonal allergies are the same. In Ayurveda practitioners divide allergies into two categories – Kapha or Pitta.

Kapha allergies are usually caused by dampness and mould and usually dominant in spring, due to airborne pollens such as clover, wattle, willow, birch, elm etc. According to Ayurveda, people who suffer mostly from springtime pollen often also have a low digestive fire (mandagni) where they experience lack of appetite, heaviness after eating, usually accompanied with sleepiness and dullness.[5]

Pitta allergies (my type of allergic reaction) are caused by heat and sunlight and manifest more in summer, usually due to grass pollen and allergens such as sorrel, rye, hay, house dust, and flowering plants like jasmine. Pitta symptoms are burning eyes with redness, excessive thirst, yellow nasal discharge, inflammation of upper respiratory lining with sharp throbbing headaches. They can also suffer with skin conditions such as eczema, heat rashes, or allergic dermatitis.

When Pitta affects health there is strong appetite but poor digestion, causing acid-reflux, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea, and sometimes vomiting.[6]

Balancing Kapha

According to Ayurveda, if you suffer mainly around Spring it’s likely to be a more Kapha dominant allergy. To balance Kapha its best to:

  1. Keep warm and dry.
  2. Exercise in a warm environment – hot yoga is especially good.[7]
  3. Follow a Kapha pacifying diet: avoiding cold, heavy and stagnant foods like cheese, yogurt, milk, cream, wheat, and red meat, as well as excesses of sweet, sour, and salty tastes.
  4. Choose foods that are bitter, spicy, and astringent in taste.
  5. Drink clarifying teas made with cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and ginger, which not only improve Kapha digestion but help to eliminate excess Kapha.
  6. Use small amounts of locally sourced honey, which helps digest Kapha but also builds resilience to local pollen.
  7. Cephyra® Mars[8] and Sun[9] can used together to help balance Kapha. These edible essential oils can be added to teas and dairy-free smoothies, or be taken as drops under the tongue throughout the day.

Balancing Pitta

For Pitta type of allergies its best to:

  1. Stay cool.
  2. Avoid sudden changes of temperature.
  3. Avoid exercising during the daytime when it’s hot – choose calming exercise like Yin or Restorative Yoga[10]
  4. Follow a Pitta pacifying diet: avoid spicy, salty, sour foods, and concentrate on bitter and astringent tastes like green vegetables. Pitta aggravating foods are peanuts, strawberries, bananas, citrus fruits, eggs, onions, pork, hard cheeses, yogurt, fermented foods, potatoes, and aubergine.
  5. Make sure food is always cooked.
  6. Avoid raw foods, such as salads.
  7. Cephyra® Mars[11] and Sirius[12] can be used together to help balance Pitta. These edible essential oils can be added to teas and dairy-free smoothies, or be taken as drops under the tongue throughout the day.

I have found that following the above steps to manage my Pitta type of seasonal allergy has reversed the symptoms, reduced my overall inflammatory load (including bloating) and just made the change of seasons something to be enjoyed rather than feared, and I love using our edible essential oils rather than pharmaceuticals to manage my day!

Yours in wellness,

Elisabetta Faenza | LeafCann CEO

We’re offering 20% off Cephyra® Activated Oils™ in the lead up to Christmas! Shop the Cephyra® range now!

[1] https://www.alchemybioservices.com/botanicals

[2] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vata-dosha-pitta-dosha-kapha-dosha

[3] Ibid

[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vata-dosha-pitta-dosha-kapha-dosha#the-three-doshas

[5] https://triveda.co.uk/blogs/journal/managing-hay-fever-naturally

[6] https://triveda.co.uk/blogs/journal/managing-hay-fever-naturally

[7] https://www.doyou.com/how-to-find-the-right-yoga-class-for-your-dosha-31630/

[8] Cephyra® Mars™ contains activated essential oils of tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia), lemon (citrus limon), fennel (foeniculum vulgare), cinnamon (cinnamomum verum), clove (syzygium aromaticum), and cardamom (elettaria cardamomum) in a macadamia oil base. 

[9] Cephyra® Sun™ contains activated essential oils of rosemary (salvia rosmarinus), peppermint (metha x piperita), and lemon (citrus limon) in a macadamia oil base. 

[10] https://www.doyou.com/how-to-find-the-right-yoga-class-for-your-dosha-31630/

[11] Cephyra® Mars™ contains activated essential oils of tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia), lemon (citrus limon), fennel (foeniculum vulgare), cinnamon (cinnamomum verum), clove (syzygium aromaticum), and cardamom (elettaria cardamomum) in a macadamia oil base. 

[12] Cephyra® Sirius™ contains activated essential oils of lavender (lavandula angustifolia), chamomile (chamaemelum nobile), bergamot (citrus bergamia), and lemon myrtle (backhousia citriodora) in a macadamia oil base.