Do natural remedies really work?

Spring is over but don’t start celebrating yet.

Pollen levels have hit the roof and so have we, now crashing down with a runny nose and itchy throat.

For many of us this means we need to keep treating ourselves, especially because it ‘tis the season to be jolly.

But it’s not as easy as it seems. Seasonal hayfever sufferers are facing dilemmas. Do we continue to take medication after 3 months, or is it time we go down the natural path?

Having tried a few natural hayfever remedies myself, such as honey and camomile tea, I have come to the conclusion that they don’t work for me. However, I know many people who refuse to take medication after using it for a few weeks.

My advice is if you would rather not use medication consider avoiding your triggers and to not consume food that can increase inflammation such as wine, chocolate and nuts.

So what do we really know about natural remedies? Here we sort fact from fiction:

  1. Honey – fiction

The medical profession do not believe honey can treat hayfever. A study was conducted in 2002 with 36 patients treated with either honey or placebo at The University of Connecticut.  The study found that honey did not provide any relief of hayfever symptoms.

  1. Himalayan crystal lamps – fiction

There are no known studies on Himalayan crystal lamps, meaning there is no evidence that they have any medical benefits.

  1. Healthy diet – fact

Any food containing quercetin, pycnogenol or antihistamines will aid in the reduction of histamine in the body. You can find these in some citrus fruits, kiwifruit, broccoli, capsicum (especially yellow), berries, onions, garlic, and apples. Ensuring you have a healthy diet at this time of year will help keep you on top of your hayfever!

  1. Medication – fact

There are medications available to help relieve hayfever symptoms. Typical hayfever medications come in the form of antihistamines and corticosteroids. Some medication is over the counter whilst some are prescription only. See your doctor to work out what is best for you.

(Photo credit: Flickr photo by Dino Giordano)