5 supplements to help treat hayfever naturally

If you’re tired of looking like you’re crying every time you step outside, experts say these supplements may help with hayfever relief.

Spring is in the air and for more than 4.6 million Australians, so is hayfever.

It can be challenging to admire the flowers when you’re dealing with symptoms such as sneezing, a runny or blocked nose and red, itchy, watery eyes.

While medication such as antihistamine tablets and intranasal sprays may be effective in providing hayfever relief, experts say it may also be worth looking into adding certain nutrients to your diet.

Here are five expert-backed hayfever-busting nutrients to try:

1.   Vitamin C

A 2018 study found a reduction in allergy-related symptoms in those who take vitamin C.

Researchers found the vitamin is associated with a histamine-reducing effect, beneficial for those with symptoms aligned with allergy-related respiratory conditions such as rhinitis.

Naturopath and nutritionist Madeline Calfas says for hayfever sufferers, their body produces more histamine than others during the spring.

“Essentially the pollen, grass and dust are recognised by the body as a foreign object and stimulate histamine production and mast cell activation,” Madeline says.

Madeline says tackling this may be key in controlling hayfever symptoms.

“Vitamin C can act as a natural antihistamine by helping reduce the amount of histamine your body produces in response to allergens,” she says.

2.   Diamine oxidase

Madeline says while antihistamines are beneficial, diamine oxidase (DAO) goes the extra mile for those who require the supplementation.

“Antihistamine only blocks the histamine from binding to the histamine receptors but leaves the histamine still circulating in your blood… DAO actually helps your body to break (it) down from your body,” she says.

“(It) isn’t traditionally used to help with allergies, but rather it can help with histamine intolerance.”

3.   Bioflavonoids

Sydney naturopath Lisa Guy recommends bioflavonoids for more effective hayfever relief.

“Bioflavonoids are beneficial for providing relief from allergies and are commonly used to treat hayfever… (it) has been found to have potent antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties,” Lisa says.

Lisa, founder of Bodhi Organic Tea, says bioflavonoids also work best when paired with a vitamin C supplement.

4.   Licorice root

Licorice root is a well-known traditional remedy to soothe allergic reactions.

“(It) is beneficial for alleviating hayfever symptoms… as it has a soothing effect, helping to reduce irritation and inflammation of the respiratory system,” Lisa says.

“Licorice can be taken as a herbal supplement or enjoyed as a herbal tea.”

5.   Quercetin

Both Lisa and Madeline say quercetin is another antihistamine flavonoid that may also offer hayfever relief.

“Especially when taken with vitamin C, it stabilises the mast cells that cause the allergic reaction,” Lisa says.

A 2016 study suggests quercetin is not only effective against allergic rhinitis but also asthma.

Madeline says this flavonoid is also an effective antioxidant, which can either be taken as a supplement or added to your meal plans for a quercetin-rich diet alongside onions, apples, kale and cherries.

Written by Melissa Hong.