24 Oct 2019

HAY FEVER – It’s that time of the year again.

A few tips from your Naturopath:

  • Avoid, where possible, known plant triggers. At the moment bottlebrush is a culprit.
  • Line the inside of the nose with sesame oil to prevent pollens adhering.
  • Leave clothing in laundry, not in the bedroom. To prevent introducing outside pollens, grasses, etc.
  • Wash your hair before bed to prevent carrying pollens, grasses, etc. into the bedroom
  • Dissolve one heaped teaspoon of salt in one litre of water – snuff up the nose, and gargle.
  • A herbal combination of Albizzia, eyebright, yarrow, feverfew, and nettle. Phone if you wish we to dispense this
  • A homeopathic nasal spray Heel Luffa is great for quick relief.

Hay fever was, and still is mostly an illness of the wealthy.   We have evolved living with all sorts of bacteria and parasites.  Regular interaction, not just with germs but even with friendly bacteria and parasites, helped to teach and hone the immune system and train it.

Those of us who live in wealthy countries, with high hygienic conditions are fortunate in many ways.  However, it is now understood that our excessive cleanliness is contributing to the increase in allergies by removing childhood challenges to our immune system.

Our immune system doesn’t encounter as many bugs when we are babies. This is not just because our homes are cleaner, but also because our families are smaller (fewer older kids are bringing home the germs), our foods and water are cleaner.

What does the immune system do when it’s not properly trained?

It can overreact. It becomes aggrieved by things like dust mites or pollen. It develops what we called allergies, chronic immune system attacks — inflammation — in a way that is counterproductive, irritating, and even dangerous.

A scientist who led efforts at the World Health Organization to develop global policy to limit use of antibiotics said that we’re not safer when we try to eliminate every risk from our environment.