The dangers of hay fever medication – and how bee pollen may be the answer

A toddler playing in long grass with a dog.

Spring is nearly here, and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to ditching the winter coats and making the most of the warmer weather! However, for approximately 10 million people in the UK, spring isn’t just about longer evenings and sunnier days. It also signifies the start of hay fever season, which certainly isn’t such an appealing prospect!

Common Condition; Unpleasant Symptoms

Hay fever varies from person to person, with some only experiencing minor sniffles, while itching eyes, headaches, violent bouts of sneezing, and fatigue plague others. In severe cases, it can be debilitating, causing people to take time off work owing to hay fever-related illness.

The conventional way to ease symptoms is to head to the local pharmacy and purchase hay fever tablets. However, recent news reports have shown that this short-term solution could pose serious long-term health problems.

Hay fever medication linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia

In a study by the University of Washington, scientists discovered a distinct link between over-the-counter hay fever medication and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. Many of these readily available drugs work by blocking a chemical in the body called acetylcholine, which assists in transmitting electrical impulses between the nerve cells.

People living with Alzheimer’s lack acetylcholine, which has led scientists to suggest that hay fever tablets could inadvertently trigger the condition.

Bee pollen – the natural solution

Before you panic about trying to survive the spring without hay fever medication, don’t worry; there may be another solution, and it’s entirely natural.

The solution is pollen, and bee pollen is believed to be highly effective at combatting hay fever symptoms, though the exact reason for this remains scientifically proven.

According to John Howat, secretary of the Bee Farmers Association, bee pollen did work miracles regarding his hay fever. However, the condition plagued him until he began keeping bees. It was after a few years that he noticed the difference. He comments, ‘I don’t eat much honey, so the effect could be related to all the stings I’ve had or to burying my head in beehives every week.’

Studies exploring the potential of bee pollen have been scanty, though it undeniably offers some significant medicinal benefits. Research demonstrates that it is an effective antibacterial agent and promotes healing within the body, making it a preferable alternative to conventional remedies for colds, sore throats and flu.

Using bee pollen to battle hay fever

The jury is still unsure exactly how much difference bee pollen can make to hay fever symptoms, although many sufferers claim that it does help ease their streaming noses, red eyes and headaches.

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