Natural treatments for – Hay fever and Sinus Problems


Hay fever

Hay fever refers to the abnormal reaction that occurs in some of us, of excessive sneezing which may be accompanied by runny nose and watery inflamed eyes, occurring in response to triggers such as dust, pollen, etc.  These triggers are not the cause that is why most people do not suffer from these abnormal reactions. Normal sneezing is the body’s natural response to reject foreign matter entering the airways.

The abnormal reactions occur because of hypersensitivity of the mucous membranes (wet outer layer of skin) that line the airways in the nostrils. Why are they hypersensitive? Mostly, they are hypersensitive because the cells that make up the mucous are sick, and like us when we are sick, are irritable and hypersensitive and want to be left alone.

Two things responsible for the ill health of these cells are - that individuals may lack certain nutrients that support the health of these cells, and the probably more important reason is, that we don’t wash out our noses. The modern shower does not help. We clean our outer bodies and fail to remove all the trapped stuff in our noses. Dust and toxins remain there for days until we get the urge to have a pick at it. It is this stuff that makes the cells of the mucous membranes sick.


Our lymphatic system comprises of vessels similar to blood vessels which run throughout our body to drain waste from our tissues.  The sinuses are part of our lymphatic system that drains waste from the nose. In some of us the sinuses block creating uncomfortable pressure, and can also lead to infection. This is caused by either, an individual’s weakness of their lymphatic system and/or because of the excessive burden placed upon it, by inhaling excessive air pollutants and by not cleaning out the nostrils regularly.

We observe how our nostrils get a clean out when we have a swim in the sea, river or pool (without regard for the other bathers). We may have noticed how clear our nostrils are afterwards. We need to maintain good health of our airways by keeping them clean and clear always, and this can be accomplished by systematically doing a ‘nasal wash’ at least every day.

Nasal Wash
While under the shower, cup your hands and hold it to your face as you would if you were collecting water to drink, let the shower fill it and let the level cover the nose. Allow the water to go into the nose, and help it, by ever so gently sucking in the water. Hold and blow out, and repeat about 3 times. This can be irritating for some at the start, but after a few weeks it becomes better.  Put up a sign in the bathroom for you to remember.  This can also be done in the sink and Celtic Sea Salt can be mixed into some water for this purpose also.

Herbal Medicines
Herbs can be used to treat the symptoms of Hay fever and Sinus problems very effectively, and other herbs can treat some underlying problems, without side effects. Eyebrite is used to treat runny nose and inflammation of the eyes, while Feverfew, Calendula, Chinese Scullcap and Licorice all work as anti-inflammatories. Golden Rod, Catnip and Ground Ivy can clear blocked nostrils and remove mucous in the head & Echinacea is used if there is an infection and/or fever. Long-term treatment will incorporate mucous membrane tonics such as - Astragalus, and Ribwort, lymphatic tonics and stimulants such as Clivers, Calendula, and Pokeroot. Liver herbs are also an important part in helping to alleviate allergies.

Of course, good fresh Flax seed oil or Udo’s Ultimate Oil blend are very important as they provide essential fatty acids that are very anti-inflammatory, reducing all types of allergic reactions.

Philip A. Franco – Naturopath / Medical Herbalist