Is there a more effective way to treat hay fever than popping the usual anti histamine pills and using a decongestant spray? Oh yes there is, let's take a look ...

If you suffer from hay fever, or live with someone who has, you'll know just how debilitating it can be, for weeks on end! There's nearly 15 million sufferers in the UK, that's 20% of the population (Source: BBC News). This post explores 8 natural ways of tackling it rather than going down the mainstream anti histamines and decongestants route – and it's all thanks partly to the followers on my Facebook Page who generously contributed to a recent post on this subject.

Just remember, you may have to try different ones to find the one that fits your body and type of allergy – it's got to be worth a shot though, right?! I've added links to products I've used before and rate, I hope they help.

1. Turmeric

The king of spices! A study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research in 2008 found that turmeric prevented mast cells from releasing histamine. You can either just take ½ tsp per day or buy it in tablet form. Just makes sure it's high grade and contains black pepper to improve the absorption of it within your body. I use this one by TAKA.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

There are endless health benefits from using Apple Cider Vinegar and it's been known to stop allergies dead in their tracks within hours. Dilute up to 3 tbsp per day in water and drink away. 

3. Quercetin

Quercetin is a plant flavanol that acts to protect against allergic reactions, it stabilises those mast cells and prevents them releasing histamines. You can find high levels of quercetin in Apples, so get munching! It also comes in supplement form.

4. Kefir

A fermented drink often made from cow or goat milk. It's a great natural way to kick hay fever to the curb and give your gut a massive probiotic boost. It comes in ready to drink formulation (e.g. from the lovely team at Chuckling Goat) or you can make your own with a starter kit from Happy Kombucha

5. Nettle leaf

Similar to Turmeric, Nettle leaf is a blood purifier. Nettle is a great herb to use for spring allergies. Nettle can be taken as a tea, tincture or in capsules. (3-4 cups of nettle tea, daily, or 1/2 teaspoon of nettle tincture three times day, or 2-4 capsules of nettle leaf taken 2-3 times a day.)

6. Acupuncture

This had the strongest reaction from my followers and it would always be a ‘go to' option for me if I got hay fever, I'm not sure there's anything Acupuncture can't help with! I've seen massive changes in friends who've had acupuncture treatment for hay fever. In Acupuncture terms hay fever is seen as a signal that your energy is not flowing through your lymphatic system properly. Acupuncture can restore this flow of energy. Your defences should then become stronger and your immune response should become more balanced. 

7. Bee Pollen

A natural product that will reduce your histamine levels. Always buy local to ensure you're building up an immunity to the plants in your area. While it does come in pill, powder, or liquid form, it's best to consume the actual granules that the bees make. The granules have a sweet taste and powdery texture that can be used in smoothies or sprinkled on yoghurt.

8. Local honey

It's no surprise that the honey bees make might help you too, they eat the pollen, so you eat the pollen indirectly to build your resistance to the allergy. Source local, raw honey made within 5 miles of where you live (or as close as you can get to ensure the pollen is local. Don't buy the mass-produced commercial stuff - commercial honey found in shops goes under pressurized filtration through micron size meshes which removes pollen. Eat a teaspoon a day or add to your baking and smoothies.

Did I miss anything, I'm sure there are other tried and tested cures? Wishing all you hay fever sufferers success!