Sensory Solutions


Mar 16, 2018

Herbs to Help Prepare for Hay Fever Season

By the Seed SistAs


Are you dreading having itchy eyes, a tickly throat, streaming nose and sneezing? Those that suffer with hay fever know why they call it a fever. The foggy head associated with hay fever season can be hugely debilitating, making it nearly impossible to be outside for some folk.

Hay fever gets its name because it's often grasses that produce the trigger pollens. It can potentially be a reaction to so many different pollens that it is usually hard to tell the exact origin. It is however, usually air-born pollens that are the culprits, rather than those dependent on insects for fertilisation. Often the two types of pollen are released at the same time, so many flowers get blamed when there are other pollens at work.


Why do some folk react and others don't?

Factors that can predispose someone to succumbing to hay fever includes things like stress or anxiety, vaccination reactions, high exposure to agricultural sprays, inherent predisposition (genetic) and dietary intolerances. Hay fever is classed as a hypersensitivity Type I reaction (which also includes asthma and eczema), meaning that the immune system overreacts to allergens (in this case pollen) causing inflammation and a series of uncomfortable symptoms.

As Sensory Herbalists, we look at physical manifestation of symptoms as a map to their underlying causes. In this context, the hay fever response implies that the system is over-responding to stimulus and overly protecting the body. This is often an indication that those afflicted with hay fever may be emotionally 'hypersensitive' too. Folk presenting with these kind of conditions are often highly sensitive individuals, being very aware of their surroundings and the emotions of others. While this can create the environment to understand and respond to those around you, it is also the case that life can be a little overwhelming sometimes. Hay fever tends to have more severe symptoms where there is prolonged stress present. It is the case that with emotional support, some temporary dietary changes and the correct herbs, balance can be restored. Treating the emotional body is a big part of this.

Even with a more deeply focused treatment plan under the guidance of a Sensory Herbalist, who would be addressing the root cause of the reaction, its still desirable in the meantime to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of hay fever. Here are our favourite herbs to help you do just that...


 Stinging Nettles


Seed SistAs Top Herbs for Hay Fever Relief

Elderflower  Elderflower gives the feeling of drying out the mucous membranes by redistributing mucous. The elderflower helps to create a barrier of protection, toning the mucous membranes and desensitising them to allergens.

Plantain — Plantain is cooling and soothing to mucous membranes, and reduces inflammation of nasal and lung membranes.

Nettle — Nettle has a similar effect on the body as pharmaceutical anti-histamines but without the drowsiness or immunological effects associated with these drugs. A pot of infused fresh nettle tips drunk over an hour can give unto 3 hours of relief from hay fever symptoms.

Mint — Flavonoids in mint have been shown to reduce histamine reaction. The aromatic oils of mint clear congestion from the sinuses and offer antimicrobial support to protect from pathogens that may linger when a lot of mucous is present.



Earth Clarity Drops  £15 + p&p
A soothing blend of elderflower and plantain to help slow, soothe and cool the inflammatory reaction caused by hay fever.
£15 + p&p


Clear The Head Tea  £5 + p&p
Drink 3-5 cups of this refreshing blend of elderflower, mint, yarrow and wash your hay fever symptoms away.


Pollen Facts

  • Rapeseed is not classed as allergenic
  • Grasses, tree pollen and weeds are generally wind pollinated and produce the most pollen which is smooth and aerodynamic
  • Insect pollinated plants produce heavier or sticky, bulky pollen, not usually reactive
  • Some volatile organic compounds with a cabbagy smell can be an irritant to the nasal passages.
  • Flowers that open at the same time as grasses release pollen which are then often blamed for hay fever



Late March to May - Tree pollen, Birch (main cause of hay fever)

Late May to end July - Main grass pollen season

Late July to August - Mugwort (classed as allergenic), airborne


* Info courtesy of University of Worchester - National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit

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Sensory Solutions


Fiona Heckels (BSc Hons, IYN, PESS)
Telephone: 07830 195 745

Karen Lawton (BSc Hons P.E.S.S. & I.Y.N.)
Telephone: 07865 081927

Belle Benfield (P.E.S.S., M.A.)
Telephone: 07818 430241