It's one of the few downsides of a warm and sunny summer season: hayfever season arrives with it. Tree pollen season begins as early as March, followed by grass pollen and weed pollen (which can continue into September), meaning there can be six month period of experiencing hay fever symptoms. The runny nose, sneezing, itchy throat and eyes all make summer a bit more unpleasant. You may find yourself heading to buy medication to help ease your symptoms, but did you know there are natural remedies for hay fever too? Read on to discover 10 natural remedies for hay fever, as explained by our nutritionist and health expert.


For more like this, check out our guide to 10 foods that can help fight seasonal allergies and hay fever. Get your day off to a great start with our five tips for your morning routine and then wind down in the evening with our mindful evening routine tips.

10 natural remedies for hay fever

1. Minimise pollen exposure

It sounds obvious, but prevention is often easier than cure. When the pollen count is high, avoiding spending long periods of time on green and grassy areas can help to minimise hayfever symptoms starting and being aggravated. Even if you're not heading out on a picnic, simply keeping windows shut during the day is also a top tip that will help limit your exposure to pollen coming in when you’re inside. This will also help your sleep, as it stops pollen getting in to your home and causing symptoms at night.

New York Central Park Grassland

2. Create a pollen barrier

Limit how close pollen can get to your face, eyes and hair by creating a pollen barrier. Applying a balm or oil around your nose may help trap pollen before it can enter your nasal passage and set off hayfever symptoms. A dab of everyday olive oil can be used for an easy DIY balm. Wearing a sunhat and sunglasses when outside will also help prevent pollen reaching your eyes or settling in your hair.

use Vaseline

3. Try zeolite to remove histamine

Zeolite is a natural clay-like substance. It binds to histamine in the digestive tract and directly eliminates it via the stool. By reducing levels of histamine in the body, zeolite helps to reduce common allergy symptoms that appear when suffering from hayfever, such as itchiness and a runny nose.

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While there are many zeolite powders available, experts suggest using natural clinoptilolite zeolite, as it has been the most thoroughly researched in this area.


4. Wash away pollen

If you've been out and exposed to pollen, taking a shower or bath when you get home may be helpful in removing it from the body and therefore helping to prevent symptoms from lingering. Changing and washing your clothes immediately will also help to reduce your exposure, as pollen may have settled on you.

Point Of View - Person Having Bath

5. Try nasal saline

Is a blocked nose one of your main hayfever annoyances? Try a neti pot of saline nasal spray. These clear clogged nasal passages and can be used one-two times daily. You can find these at most health food stores or pharmacies.

Sick young woman using nasal spray

6. Use an air purifier

Consider buying an air purifier to plug in at home to help filter the air around you. In the height of pollen season, an air purifier can help to capture airborne particles such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites, helping to further reduce allergy symptoms.

Close up hand of a mother turning on home air purifier for her newborn baby who is sleeping in the crib in the nursery. Fresh air. Cleaning and removing dust and bacteria. Healthier life and living concept

7. Try quercetin

The flavonoid quercetin is a powerful natural antihistimatic. It is a natural compound found in lots of common foods, including onions (it's also what gives red onions their deep colour), turmeric, dark berries, red wine and citrus fruits. It’s been shown to reduce the release of histamine in the body by stabilising the cells that release it. Quercetin can be consumed through diet (read our full guide to 10 foods that can help ease hay fever symptoms for more like this), or you may want to try a quercetin supplement. Speak to a nutritionist or health professional to find the right option for you.

Rote Zwiebeln (Allium cepa), ganze, Hälften, dunkler Untergrund

8. Consider allergy shot therapy

Allergy shots essentially work like a vaccine – exposing patients to their allergen to help their bodies become desensitised or more tolerant. For hay fever, small amounts of pollen are injected into the body, allowing the immune system to create antibodies and stop symptoms from occurring. This is generally done early in the pollen season. Speak to your doctor or an allergist for more information.

Hands, medical and doctor with patient for vaccine in a clinic for healthcare treatment for prevention. Closeup of a nurse doing a vaccination injection with a needle syringe in a medicare hospital.

9. Be careful with cut flowers

Avoid bringing pollen into your own home! Bouquets of cut flowers, especially high pollen varieties such as lilies, daisies and sunflowers should be avoided during hayfever season. Instead, brighten up your home with a vase of in more hay fever-friendly varieties such as peonies, roses or hydrangeas.

Peonies in a vase

10. Choose garden plants wisely

Just like flowers, the plants in your garden may have a big impact on how you feel during prime allergy season. Trees such as birch, oak, cedar and mulberry are known to be major culprits for triggering allergies. Certain plants such as aster, chamomile and dahlia may be high in pollen too. Instead, try plants like antirrhinum (snapdragons), gladiolus, cornus and roses, which tend to be less troublesome.

View of rose garden


Tracey RayeRegistered Nutritionist

Tracey Raye is the Health Editor for Olive and BBC Good Food. She oversees all health, nutrition and fitness related content across the brands, including the bi-annual Healthy Diet Plan, monthly Health Edit newsletter and health column in the magazine.

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