The long winter and the late start to spring have resulted in the highest pollen counts in decades. These extraordinarily high levels of pollen are now wreaking havoc on hay fever sufferers throughout the UK, with urban area residents suffering the most.
Antihistamines are the conventional treatment for managing hay fever symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose. Seasonal allergy symptoms are the result of immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE) detecting the pollen ‘antigens’ and activating mast cells and T helper cells (specifically type 2 or Th2 cells)  which is known as a histamine response. Antihistamine drugs focus on reducing the immune response to harmless pollen particles and eliminating the aggravating symptoms of hay fever.
There are natural alternatives to antihistamine drugs, which are often full of chemicals and may only offer a short-term solution for allergies. Various nutrients, which have antihistamine actions in the body, include Vitamin C  and Quercetin . Cherries and dark berries, such as elderberries, have high concentrates of both vitamin C and quercetin. Other types of phytonutrients provide anti-histamine benefits as well. For example, oleic acid and cyclo octasulfur compounds are potent natural anti-histamines and are both found in reishi mushrooms. 
Lifestyle practices are helpful in reducing hay fever symptoms. A few strategies include:
- Closing windows at night and in early mornings when the pollen counts are high.
- Using barrier methods such as balms to block pollen from around the nose.
- Boosting immunity via diet or supplementation.
- Using a nettie pot to clear nasal passages.
Finally, for long term management and to help prevent severity of seasonal allergies, it is best to start addressing immune imbalances months before the onset of allergy symptoms, if not year round. A great ingredient which helps support immune function and modulation is bee propolis.
Bee propolis, a resin which bees collect from buds of plants & trees, contains a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and is high in phenolic compounds, potent antioxidant substances which have anti-inflammatory properties . Propolis has been found to effectively modulate the immune system without over stimulating it  and is a great natural remedy for hay fever.
Quality supplementation is key to help relieve allergy symptoms naturally. An effective combination for immune modulation and antihistamine supplementation would be Bee Prepared Immune Support Max Strength. Bee Prepared Max Strength contains therapeutic doses of bee propolis extract, elderberry extract and reishi mushroom extract and is a high quality source of natural antihistamine and immune supporting agents to help aid in the prevention and treatment of hay fever, naturally. The Bee Prepared Daily Defence is also helpful for helping manage seasonal allergies.
Why not try to manage your allergies the natural way this season? The combination of the above actions may be helpful in supporting long-term treatment for hay fever. Seasonal allergies can be managed naturally with quality foods, supplements as well as lifestyle changes.
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