Updated date:

About Seasonal Allergies, Pollen Allergy, Hay Fever and Natural Home Remedies to Control Them

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

What Is Allergy

In simple terms, allergy is an increased reaction to an external harmless substance, also called an allergen, that causes the body's immune or defence system to react strongly to it.

This reaction is seen in some individuals who are then said to be allergic to that particular substance or allergen. The majority that does not exhibit any reaction to that very substance is said to be non-allergic to it.

Allergy is not a disease but a condition whose reactions can be from mild to life-threatening.

Some common factors have been noted between allergies and allergens. They are:

  • The immune system is always involved and is a must factor.
  • The allergens cause allergic reactions that might be instant or delayed.
  • Prevention is at least as important as treatment.

Why Are Incidences Of Allergy Rising?

Worldwide, incidences of allergy are increasing. Initially, the rise was in the UK, USA and Europe but with increasing industrialization, it has spread to the developing countries as well.

Also, starting with respiratory allergies like hay fever and asthma, now we see a jump in food allergies as well. The factors responsible for this change and all allergies, in general, are believed to be :

  • Our increased dependence and consumption of refined and processed foods rather than vegetables and fruits which was the norm decades ago.
  • Increased use of certain nuts like peanuts in some communities.
  • Decreasing levels of Vitamin D which is very necessary for proper immune system development - firstly because of the changed food habits and secondly, due to lower sunshine exposure by way of staying indoors more and increased use of sunscreens today.
  • Increased use of skin creams with ingredients coming from certain nuts that are allergenic though the evidence for allergy through the use of cosmetics is limited.
  • A very strong reason is our reduced exposure to environmental bacteria and microorganisms due to our use of sanitizers and cleaners which kill these bacteria and consequently reduce our immunity and increase our susceptibility.
  • Hereditary factors where increasing incidences are seen in families and their offsprings in succeeding generations due to vertical transmission.

How Mast Cells Act Under Attack By An Allergen

What Happens During An Allergic Reaction?

Harmless substances do not cause any reaction in most people. However, some people are sensitive to these very substances which though harmless cause allergic reactions in those sensitive to them.

As the body perceives these allergens to be harmful and a threat, the immune system reacts by producing special antibodies to counter this allergen. These antibodies are Immunoglobin E (IgE) and are allergen-specific. The allergen attaches itself to the IgE and also to the mast cells and basophils which are the body's soldier cells.

The mast cells are present in tissues that come into contact with the external environment like the nose, mouth, eyes, skin, throat and the gut.

The first attack produces no symptoms only the production of the IgE. The next encounter is identified by the mast cells and they then start producing histamines, a chemical which is meant to fight the allergen. It is this histamine that produces the characteristic inflammatory, allergic symptoms like itching, watery eyes, runny nose, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, wheezing and tightness of chest etc.

Types Of Allergies

Allergies can be broadly classified into 2 categories :

  • Food Allergy - Includes all that is consumed or eaten.
  • Environmental Allergy - Includes various external triggers like dust, mites, weather changes, pollution, smoke, grasses, pollen etc.

In this hub, I will deal with ways to tackle and reduce the severity of allergy due to pollen.

About Pollen Allergy / Seasonal Allergies / Hay Fever

Pollen allergy symptoms occur from the months of March to September depending on the individual's sensitivity to the type of pollen. Pollen from different plants is in highest concentrations at different times during these months.

  • Pine pollen is more during March & April.
  • Grass pollen during May, June & July.
  • Weed pollen from August to September.

The severest allergic symptoms are encountered with the grass and weed pollen generally.

Pollen contains the male reproductive cell of the plants. Since pollen has to be dispersed by air in a major way, they are very light and produced in huge numbers so that some reach the female flowers and attach to the stigma, which contains the female reproductive cell. This is necessary to propagate the plant species and is nature's way to keep the plant generation running.

However, this becomes a bane for those who are allergic to pollen.

Pollen allergy is also called allergic rhinitis and hay fever.

The symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, headache, sore throat, cough, sleep difficulties and difficulty in breathing.

Repeated attacks can lead to it getting chronic and manifest as asthma.

How Are Allergies Treated Medically?

The normal practice is to prescribe antihistamines which are medicines that counter the allergic symptoms caused by the release of the chemical histamine. Side effects of these medicines include drowsiness.
Some antihistamines like fexofenadine do not cause drowsiness, though.

Corticosteroids are also used to relieve allergy symptoms but their side effects are more severe and include weight gain, high BP, fluid retention in the body, weakening of the bones, cough etc.

Inhalers or bronchodilators are also used to control allergic asthma which eases breathing as they dilate the bronchi and bronchioles, the airway passages. But their side effects include high BP and heart problems.

As opposed to all this, there are lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can help one tackle allergy to a large extent and by being persistent in one's efforts, it can be controlled to an extent that it does not become a major problem.

Some Ways To Reduce Pollen Contamination

During the season of high pollen production, pollen is everywhere in the atmosphere. Some precautions that can help to prevent overexposure to pollen and thus reduce the severity of the symptoms are ;

  • On windy or breezy days avoid going out in the mid-morning. Go out if necessary only in the afternoon or after it has rained.
  • After you've come back from outdoors, have a bath, preferably take a head bath as well, and change clothes to reduce the pollen load and also to prevent it from spreading it all over the house.
  • Keep windows and the outside door closed. Use an air conditioner during this season.
  • If you work outdoors use a mask.
  • Do not mow grass or rake leaves during this season.
  • Do not dry clothes outdoors as they could collect free-flying pollen.
  • When travelling keep car windows rolled up.

Some Lifestyle Changes To Adopt

In addition to the above, take the following precautions :

  • Consume less of refined and processed foods, fats and oils. Increase intake of fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Stay away from humid places and dampness.
  • Do pranayama or yogic breathing exercises.
  • Change bed linen every few days during this season.
  • Take extra supplementation of Vitamin C and E. Preferably, eat fruits rich in Vitamin C like the citrus fruits.
  • Reduce or better still stop consuming white sugar. and aerated drinks.
  • Try doing Jal Neti.
    It is the practice of passing warm saline water through one nostril until it comes out of the other nostril. Then do it the other way around. Learn to do it correctly from a naturopathy canter.
    It removes the pollen that has lodges in the nostrils and reduces the allergy symptoms.

Some Natural And Home Remedies To Control Allergies And Pollen Allergy In Particular

  • HONEY - LOCALLY AVAILABLE, PREFERABLY

Consume 2 tbsp of local honey available every day. Honey made from flowers that are within a radius of about 10 miles helps in developing immunity to the local pollen.

  • GARLIC

Consume 5 cloves of raw garlic daily early in the morning.

  • GINGER

Chop fresh raw ginger into thin slices and put in a bottle. Add lemon juice to cover these slices. In a couple of days, it will be ready to eat. Eat a few slices every day.

  • APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Mix 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar in 250 ml of water and drink.

  • EUCALYPTUS OIL

Mix a few drops of this oil in hot water. Inhale the steam to open up blocked nasal cavities and relieve headache.

  • PEPPERMINT TEA

Drink peppermint tea.

To make, steep about 15 grams dried peppermint leaves in about 650 ml hot water for 5 minutes. Strain, cool and add honey to sweeten, if needed.

Peppermint has a decongestant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effect.

Exercise caution when giving peppermint to children

  • Consume more of citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges to boost the Vitamin C levels.

  • Drink Chamomile tea, Stinging nettle tea.

  • Drink 1- 2 cups of green tea every day. It controls histamine production.

  • Drink Thyme tea. Steep 1 tsp dried thyme in boiling water for few minutes. Take 1 cup daily.

    Adding honey to all the above teas makes it more effective.

  • In the morning but before taking breakfast, add 3-4 drops of castor oil in 1/2 cup of fruit juice and drink.

  • Take 1 tsp honey mixed with 1/2 tsp lemon or lime juice.

  • Take Quercetin, one 400 mg capsule, 2 times a day between meals.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has been found to be an excellent remedy to control the symptoms of pollen allergy.

See that you use Therapeutic-grade lavender oil and NOT Food grade.

It can be used in the following ways :

  • Diffuse the oil in the air around the bed area.
  • Apply a little oil to the soles of the feet.
  • Wash the face and dab a little afterwards.
  • Lavender oil can be consumed internally.

For ingestion, fill 10 drops in a blank capsule. Fill the rest of the capsule with vegetable oil, preferably olive oil before taking it orally.

Another Article On Pollen Allergies

  • Seasonal Pollen Allergies
    What can you do to treat your seasonal allergies? Learn about seasonal allergies and some natural, prescription, and over the counter methods that you can use to end your allergic misery.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.

Some of my other hubs on Health Conditions

What Is Allergy?

An Easy And Natural Treatment For Pollen Allergy

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 06, 2013:

@Au fait-Thanks and I hope this hub is of some help to you. Appreciate the votes and sharing.

@carter-I'm glad this information is of help and thank you for reading. Also appreciate all the votes and sharing.

Mary from Cronulla NSW on August 06, 2013:

This really is an excellent article and ever so helpful rajan..your hub caught my eye as I'm suffering quite badly at the moment from both hayfever and asthma.. this is such a good read as I'm reminded of stuff I knew already and learning new insights..thanks for such a well written informative hub..

Voted UUAI shared here & on social media..cheers

C E Clark from North Texas on August 06, 2013:

I am allergic to everything in the world and I should have my very own bubble to live in but they are so expensive . . . as you say, allergies of all sorts are becoming more and more prevalent around the world. I am a person who has allergies year around but some people suffer only in the spring and fall. With fall approaching, perhaps this hub will be helpful to people who would like to try a more natural approach.

Voted up, useful, and will share!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 20, 2012:

Thanks for the read and visit, myawn. I hope the tea works for you.

Thank you.

myawn from Florida on October 19, 2012:

very nice hub about the allergies I am allergic to many things/ I will drink the peppermint tea and honey

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 13, 2012:

Thanks, Mycee.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on October 13, 2012:

that's a fantastic intro to allergies as well as the suggestions for curing them!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 28, 2012:

Bee pollen, that the bees use as food for themselves, is an excellent source of an extremely wide array of nutrients. It is thus definitely better than a pill. Glad you liked the tips the hub provides to reduce and possibly avoid seasonal allergies.

Christin, thanks for all the votes and I appreciate your sparing time to read the hub.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 28, 2012:

Bee pollen, that the bees use as food for themselves, is an excellent source of an extremely wide array of nutrients. It is thus definitely better than a pill. Glad you liked the tips the hub provides to reduce and possibly avoid seasonal allergies.

Christin, thanks for all the votes and I appreciate your sparing time to read the hub.

Christin Sander from Midwest on June 28, 2012:

Great hub! I know local honey really does help a lot. We also take grains of bee pollen daily and it's better than any pill. You have a lot of wonderful suggestions in this hub - voted up useful, interesting, etc. :)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 31, 2012:

@ tillsontitan - most of us realize that processed foods are doing us more harm than good, though they save our time. I'm glad you appreciate and like the hub.

Thanks for reading and giving your votes.

@ TToombs - I'm sure with proper precautions and use of these home remedies, these allergies will be controlled and will not bother much. It has to be a constant effort to stay away from allergens.

Thanks for stopping by and voting.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on May 31, 2012:

Outstanding and informative. My son and I both suffer from allergies, year round. I see several things in your hub I am definitely going to try. Voted up and more. :)

Mary Craig from New York on May 31, 2012:

Very well written. You have researched and covered the subject so well. I agree with your blaming processed foods and deficiencies in Vitamin D for contributing to the rise in allergies.

You also have some good home remedies!

Voted up, useful and interesting.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 29, 2012:

Yes, allergies are too troublesome. Jal Neti is one great way to keep them in check. Thanks for stopping by, appreciating the effort and for the birthday wishes, Linda.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on May 29, 2012:

Mold is my culprit. As long as mold spores are high which is often in Florida I suffer. I do like my neti pot, it's very useful. Allergies are no fun. Very informative hub.

Happy Birthday!:)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 19, 2012:

Thanks for the read and kind words, Vellur. Much appreciated.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 19, 2012:

Great hub, lot of useful information and natural home remedies. Your hubs are very interesting to read. I learn a lot from them. Voted up.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 19, 2012:

This is news, aurelio! People shifting to the desert to escape pollen allergy. In case of allergies prevention strategies help controlling flare ups.

Thanks for the read, vote and comment.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on May 18, 2012:

There's garlic again, my favorite food. How useful it is. I know some people who've had to move to desert areas to avoid pollen allergies. Voting this Up and Useful.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 18, 2012:

Thanks for your feedback Polly. I appreciate your stopping by.

Pollyannalana from US on May 18, 2012:

Excellent article. Messing with mother nature can be very bad for us I see. I take over the counter anti histamines and they work much better without side effects than any prescription I was ever given. In fact I only got an allergy when I used a lotion that was also made by a company that make allergy medicine. I find that highly suspicious.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 18, 2012:

You are absolutely right Mary. Have you learnt the procedure from someone who knows how to do Jal neti the right way? I learnt quite a few things from a naturopathic centre here.

Thanks again for the linking.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 18, 2012:

Hi rajan jolly, you are right about using the neti. The instructions tell you to gently blow your nose after using. This would get rid of the excess water, if any. When I have a sinus infection or I feel one coming on, I use the Neti. You get instant relief. I also believe honey (native to your area) helps too. Thanks for allowing me to link. Have a great day!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 18, 2012:

Mary, the only precaution to be used with jal neti is that water that passes through the nostrils has to be completely removed otherwise it might go up in the sinuses and create other problems.

You certainly can link my hub to yours. I'll be checking out this hub of yours too.

Thanks for reading, voting it up and linking.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 18, 2012:

You are one of my favorite writers because you do such good research on your subjects, and write in such a way that the material is easily understood. I live in S. Fl. where we have a lot of pine pollen. You mention the Jel Neti,I use the Neti Pot that you mention. We can get those from the drug store. I will vote this Hub UP,etc. May I link this Hub to mine that I did "Ah, Spring is Here!, So Is My Hay Fever"?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 17, 2012:

Nell, sorry to learn about your eczema. You can apply Manuka honey on the affected area. Simultaneously, you can take internally, a mixture of 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp honey mixed in a glass of warm water, once a day in the morning, for as long as needed.I'm sure this will help.

Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate the votes.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 17, 2012:

Christy, it's always a pleasure to see you here. Glad you liked the hub and happier still to know you are free of allergies. I hope all of us can be with sensible prevention and use of natural remedies.

Thanks for stopping by.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 17, 2012:

@ iamaudraleigh - it needs to be emphasized that prevention is more important in any allergy. We should try to stay away from allergy triggers as far as possible. However when the need arises to treat them natural remedies are easier on the body.

I appreciate your feedback and I hope you benefit from this hub.

Thank you.

@ Dex - thanks for your visit and support.

Nell Rose from England on May 17, 2012:

This is so helpful. I am usually okay with hayfever, but this year I have terrible excema which is another way of being allergic. I will try the extra vitamin c, and all your other great ideas. I love honey too so thanks for such a really useful hub, voted up and thanks for sharing!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on May 17, 2012:

How interesting that the number of allergies is increasing. I do see what you mean about the rise of processed foods as part of our diets. What a thorough hub. I am glad I do not presently have any allergies (that I am aware of).

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on May 17, 2012:

Outstanding hub with some great advice. Thanks for sharing!

iamaudraleigh on May 17, 2012:

I have suffered from allergies all of my life. There is a lotot of info that can benefit me here! Thank you for writing and sharing your hub with us! Voted up for useful!!!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

Glad you like the write up Roohi. Thanks for reading.

Roohi Khan from India on May 16, 2012:

Excellent Remedies for Allergies!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

SEO IT, I totally agree with you. As it is we are being bombarded with synthetic chemicals everyday in the food and environment. If we have a natural option that works we should go for it.

Thanks for sharing your views and supporting this hub.

Karla Domanski from Cadillac, Michigan on May 16, 2012:

Excellent information. I'm a big believer in the natural remedy over conventional medicine. If you can find the treatment in the natural world, there is no reason to pay high dollars for something that costs more and tends to cause more side effects.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

Ruchira, thanks for reading, voting, sharing and bookmarking the hub. I'm glad I could provide some useful information. Hope this helps.

Thanks for your continued support.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

Rahul, I appreciate your input and thanks for giving the hub a read and expressing it in so many kind words.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

Thanks Vinaya. I appreciate your input.

Jools, chemical anti histamines have their side effects while some of these natural remedies are also anti histamic in nature. I hope you benefit by using them.

Thanks for reading and appreciating.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

Absolutely right, John. Allergies have taken a firm hold in our life and only through a combination of some lifestyle changes and natural remedies can we hope to tackle them.

Thanks for your support and appreciation, as always.

Ruchira from United States on May 16, 2012:

this is a good hub. lavender oil...no clue about it's benefits until now.

sipping green tea 'cause it has histamines...wow that is news to me!

thank you rajan.

voted up and bookmarking it and sharing across!

Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on May 16, 2012:

This Hub is surely going to help me...Thank you Rajan Sir! Needless to outline the craft and creativity and the details of your work which is invincible... I must say this hub has all needed to maintain a healthy daily life style!!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on May 16, 2012:

Rajan, I have hay fever and it is just starting now :o(. I am going to give some of your ideas a try because I cannot take anti-histamines. Good hub, very useful!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on May 16, 2012:

I will remember home remedies to allergy.

Rajan, as always this hub is useful and informative.

JCielo from England on May 16, 2012:

Over 20 years ago I used to coach 12 to 15 year old kids at soccer and several of the squad used inhalers. Even then I was surprised at that number. And it's been increasing steadily ever since. I know of a wee girl who isn't 6 yet who has been prescribed one!

Very well researched hub once again Rajan.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

Bill, not many people are as lucky as you are! This hub is an effort to present to these people some natural remedies that do help and can be used.

I appreciate your visit and comments. Thank you.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

anusujith, I hope some remedy works for you. Thanks for reading and appreciating.

Harsha, thanks for the input. I appreciate your visit and comments.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 16, 2012:

cloverleaffarm, of course, how did I miss this one? Stinging Nettle can be taken either as tea or as a dried extract the dose being about 250 mg a day.

Thanks for the input. Your visit, vote and comments are much appreciated.

vocalcoach, I'm glad you liked the hub. The variety of options makes available a wider choice in case some are not at hand or if some work better than the others. Thanks for all thevotes and I appreciate your sparing time to read and leave comments.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 16, 2012:

I am blessed in that I do not suffer from allergies and for that I am grateful. Excellent hub, well researched.

Harsha Vardhana R from Bangalore on May 16, 2012:

Thank you, Rajan.

Local honey - it is a great tip. Often we buy some branded and processed honey which might have come from 1000 miles.

Jal Neti - I vouch for it. Once a month is a good precaution and everyday during affected time.

Also 1 more angle is about mind-body connection. According to Louise Hay, a possible cause for allergy can be the feeling of not being safe or friendly with the world

Anoop Aravind A from Nilambur, Kerala, India on May 16, 2012:

Pretty useful hub.I am an allergic person. Dust on my near gave me two days of cold. Thanks for the remedies. Voted up.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on May 16, 2012:

Congratulations! This is an excellent and informative, well written hub on allergies. I like the variety of choices for treating allergies. I vote up, useful, awesome and interesting. Thank you.

Healing Herbalist from The Hamlet of Effingham on May 16, 2012:

Great hub. May I add that Nettle is the herb to start taking as allergy season hits. It has natural antihistamines.

Vote up

Related Articles