A Medical Herbalist’s Guide to Fighting Hayfever

Guest Blog by Zen Maitri

With another beautiful summer on the cards, it’s time to dig out the sun cream, unpack the deck chair and enjoy those blue skies. But the summer months can be challenging for some. The birds are singing and the flowers are in full bloom, but that’s little comfort to those who suffer from Hayfever. If you’re sensitive to pollen, summer – or any time of year for that matter – can be more sneeze than suntan, with excess mucus, a runny nose, itchy eyes and that all too familiar ’bunged up’ feeling.

As Medical Herbalists, we consider a number of things when formulating a prescription for hayfever. The main aims are to reduce inflammation, dampen the excess histamine response – in turn reducing the itchiness and sneezing – and alleviate that discomfort as much as possible. To do that we select medicinal herbs with anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, anti-allergic and anti-catarrhal properties. The latter refers to herbs that help the body remove excess mucus.

Natural Hayfever relief

There are several herbs with properties that ease Hayfever symptoms. These include Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) and Elderflower (Sambucus nigra), which are anti-inflammatory and anti-catarrhal. Eyebright is very ‘drying’, and is especially useful whenever there are excess secretions in the mucus membranes and upper respiratory tract – something Hayfever sufferers will be used to. Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) is another herb with powerful anti-allergy properties, along with Nettle leaf (Urtica dioca), which is a natural anti-histamine. Our in-store Hayfever tea includes Baikal skullcap, Yarrow, Plantain, Nettle Leaf, Liquorice, Elderflower and Peppermint.

Looking to a Medical Herbalist for help with Hayfever

Before creating a bespoke prescription to help you deal with Hayfever, a herbalist will ask a few questions about any other health concerns you have and any medication you are currently taking. This process ensures we prescribe a herbal medicine that’s tailored to the individual and the circumstances. It embodies our personalised approach to health. We’ll also look to take a wider view. For example, excess mucus production is a common symptom of Hayfever. Our in-house nutritionist would suggest that you cut down or avoid foods that encourage mucus production, such as dairy products, and sugar – which is also inflammatory.

Zen Maitri’s Hayfever Tea is available in store now.

This article was written by the team at Zen Maitri’s Natural Health Apothecary. You can visit Zen Maitri and enjoy a free 15-minute consultation with a Medical Herbalist at 39 Turnham Green Terrace.

Zen Maitri are part of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme. They are offering Club Card holders a 30% discount across a range of products and services.