If you’re looking for an effective, but gentle, solution to help you manage your hayfever symptoms; herbal remedies offer a natural, powerful, alternative to over-the-counter medication.

Discover which herbs can help you ease the symptoms of hayfever, such as itchy eyes, sneezing and a runny nose, and find out how to take these herbs so that you can get back to your normal routine as soon as possible.

What is hayfever?

Hayfever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common allergic condition characterised by a runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing. It’s thought that as many as one-in-five people are affected by hay fever at some point in their lives.

What causes hayfever?

Hayfever occurs when a person has an allergic reaction to pollen. High concentrations of pollen are released into the air at certain times of the year, for example:

Tree pollen – released in the early part of spring

Mould spores – released in spring and autumn

Grass pollen – released at the end of spring and the beginning of summer

Weed pollen – released from early spring to late summer

Hayfever symptoms are caused by the release of inflammatory chemicals, such as histamine. These chemicals are at their strongest in the late morning and early evening, and hay fever sufferers often find that their symptoms get worse during these peak times.

What are the symptoms of hayfever?

Common symptoms of hayfever are:

– Runny or blocked nose

– Watering eyes, redness of the eyes

– Sneezing

– Itching of the eyes, nose, mouth, throat and/or ears

Differences between hayfever and the common cold

After reading so far, you may be wondering how you can tell the difference between the symptoms of hayfever and those of the common cold prednisone pills. The main difference is that hayfever is caused by pollen and a cold by a virus.

One of the easiest ways to work out the difference is to check the colour of your catarrh or mucous. If secretions are green or yellow-coloured, it can be a sign that infection is present, and this would indicate that you have a cold virus.

Also, if you have a virus, your body’s thermo-regulatory system kicks in, raising your body temperature in an attempt to kill off the virus. This is why we may experience a high temperature or fever when we have a cold. With hayfever, there is no infection present and, therefore, no rise in the body’s temperature.

Hayfever red flag symptoms

If you experience any of the following, it is wise to see your GP:

– Symptoms that are constant and are not eased with over-the-counter medication or home remedies

– Worsening symptoms of asthma if you suffer from both conditions

– Side-effects from hayfever medication

– Symptoms that occur in winter (this is unusual) or that occur in only one place – further tests may be required to work out if you’re allergic to something other than pollen

Look for Part 2 next week – all about the herbs that can help reduce your hayfever symptoms.  Don’t forget to subscribe to my RSS feed for more great information on hayfever and how to effectively deal with it