Spring is nearly here, and I’m pretty certain 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!
Hay fever varies from person to person, with some only experiencing minor sniffles, while others are plagued by itching eyes, headaches, violent bouts of sneezing, and fatigue. In severe cases, it can be really debilitating; causing people to take time off work owing to hay fever-related illness.
The conventional method of easing symptoms is, of course, to head to the local pharmacy and purchase some hay fever tablets. However, as recent news reports have shown, this short-term solution could pose serious long-term health problems.
In a study conducted by the University of Washington, scientists discovered a distinct link between over-the-counter hay fever medication and increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia. Many of these easily available drugs work by blocking a chemical in the body called acetylcholine, which assists the transmission of electrical impulses between the nerve cells.
Alzheimer’s sufferers lack acetylcholine, which has lead scientists to suggest that hay fever tablets could inadvertently trigger the condition.
Before you start to panic about the prospect of trying to survive the spring without hay fever medication, don’t worry; there may be another solution, and best of all, it’s entirely natural.
Bee pollen is believed to be highly effective at combatting the symptoms of hay fever; though the exact reason for this remains to be scientifically proven.
According to John Howat, secretary of the Bee Farmers Association, bee pollen really did work miracles when it came to his hay fever. He was plagued by the condition until he began keeping bees. It was after a few years that he really 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.’
At present, 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 also promotes healing within the body; making it a preferable alternative to conventional remedies for colds, sore throats and flu.
At present, the jury is still out as to exactly how much difference bee pollen can make to hay fever symptoms, although many sufferers claim that it really does help ease their streaming noses, red eyes and headaches.
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