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Natural hayfever solutions

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Plant power

Gaia Herbs, Nettle Leaf, $13.99/£13.88 (1 fl oz/30 mL)

US:; UK:

Nettle extract can curb the inflammatory processes in the body that cause seasonal allergy symptoms,1 and a nettle preparation worked better than a placebo for hay fever in one clinical trial.2 This high-quality liquid extract, supplying the equivalent of 250 mg of the herb per mL, is made from certified organic stinging nettles and free of sugar, dairy, soy, gluten and animal products.

Suggested dosage: 30–40 drops in water 3–4 times daily


Go green

Imperial Teas, Japan Benifuuki Green Tea, £18 (3.5 oz/100 g)

The antioxidant compounds in green tea called catechins are known to have anti-allergic effects.3 One type of Japanese green tea called benifuuki—high in a specific group of catechins called O-methylated catechins—appears to be especially useful for hay fever, according to a couple of clinical trials.4 This loose green tea from specialist UK-based tea store Imperial Teas is available in various sizes with international shipping, although US shoppers can find alternative options on Amazon.

Suggested dosage: 2–3 cups a day; ideally start taking a couple of months before the pollen season starts


High-strength formula

Designs for Health, HistaEze, $47.21/£53.95 (120 tablets)

US:; UK:

This synergistic blend of nutrients and botanicals features a patented extract from the Ayurvedic herb Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), which has been found to dramatically reduce hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion.5 It also contains natural antihistamines vitamin C, quercetin and nettle leaf extract for extra defense, plus bicarbonate salts, which can help mitigate the potential drowsiness experienced by those who may also be taking hay fever medications, says the manufacturer. The supplement is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and vegan.

Suggested dosage: 4 capsules per day; Designs for Health products are meant to be used under the guidance of a qualified health practitioner


Gut goodness

Wild Nutrition, Multi Strain Biotic, $52/£37 (3.17 oz/90 g)

Some 70 percent of the immune system resides in the gut,6 so probiotics, those gut-supporting bacteria, may be helpful for hay fever. In fact, certain strains, such as Lactobacillus paracasei 33 and Bifidobacterium longum, have been found to ease symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes.7 This powder probiotic formula, designed to be mixed with water, contains eight microbiotic strains, including Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium longum, and supplies 30 billion colony forming units per dose. It’s all-natural with no added fillers or binders and is free of gluten, sugar, dairy, corn and genetically modified ingredients. 

Suggested dosage: 1 level teaspoon (3 g) per day


All-round support

Cytoplan, Aller-G Formula, $40.20/£25.70 (60 capsules)

US:  UK:

This multi-nutrient formula contains an impressive range of vitamins, minerals and plant antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. Star ingredients include quercetin and vitamin C, both of which are natural antihistamines,8 and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), found to suppress allergen-induced nasal inflammation in an animal study (although it may not apply to humans).9 The vegan formula is free of gluten, genetically modified ingredients and any added sugar, flavorings or colorings. 

Suggested dosage: 1  capsule 3 times a day


Other hay fever helpers

The natural decongestant

De Mamiel, Altitude Oil, $40.77/£30 (0.34 fl oz/10 mL)

This sensory blend of plant oils, including eucalyptus, pine and peppermint, can be sprinkled onto a tissue or dabbed under your nostrils to instantly clear a stuffy nose.


The barrier balm

HayMax, HayMax Pure, $16.95/£8.49 (0.18 oz/5 ml)

US:  UK:

Apply this 100 percent natural balm, made of organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax and vitamin E, to the base of your nose to trap pollen before it can cause symptoms. 


The sinus soother

Sterimar, Hayfever & Allergy Relief, £4.99 (1.7 fl oz/50 mL)

This natural saltwater spray, rich in marine minerals, is designed to prevent allergic reactions by washing out the nasal cavities. Sterimar is only sold in the UK, but similar products are available in the US.




Phytother Res, 2009; 23(7): 920–6


Planta Med, 1990; 56(1): 44–7


Cytotechnology, 2007; 55(2-3): 135–42


Allergol Int, 2014; 63(2): 211–7; Allergol Int, 2009; 58(3): 437–44


J Ethnopharmacol, 2005; 96(3): 445–9


Clin Exp Immunol, 2008; 153(Suppl 1): 3–6


Am J Rhinol Allergy, 2016; 30(5): 157–75; Clin Exp Allergy, 2006; 36(11): 1425–35   


Molecules, 2016; 21(5): 623; J Nutr, 1980; 110(4): 662–8


Int Forum Allergy Rhinol, 2013; 3(7): 543–9

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