Along with the onset of sunny weather, warm temperatures and lovely long light evenings (well here on the sun dappled Channel Island of Jersey at least!), for many summer also means the onset of hayfever.
Hayfever is one of the most common allergic reactions, with an estimated 13 million people in the UK suffering from symptoms including; sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes. Hayfever is caused by someone having an allergic reaction to pollen which is a fine powder released by plants as part of their reproductive cycle. It contains proteins that can cause the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses to become swollen, irritated and inflamed.
There is currently no cure for hayfever, but many people are able to control their symptoms using a variety of methods. The most common of these are pharmaceutical based and include antihistamines (which can help to prevent the allergic reaction in the first place) or steroid treatments (which reduce inflammation and swelling). However, many people choose to use more natural remedies to either support these drugs or to replace them entirely.
So how can lavender help to control your hayfever?
Lavender is anti-inflammatory
One of the many healing properties of lavender is that it is naturally anti-inflammatory. This means that it can help to reduce swelling. Many hayfever sufferers have difficulty breathing normally when the pollen count is high, and this is often due to the inflammation of their nasal passages and their sinuses. However, a few drops of our gorgeous Jersey lavender essential oil can effectively and naturally help to reduce the swelling in these areas. One of the most effective methods for this is to add a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam for up to 10 minutes twice a day.
Bees love lavender
Now, you might be thinking that we’ve gone mad, as what on earth do bees have to do with hayfever but there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that eating a teaspoon of local (i.e. within a 3 mile radius of your home) honey a day will help to build up a tolerance to the pollen in your area. This is because the bees spread pollen from flower to flower whilst collecting nectar and some is then transported back to the hive making its way into your honey. However, the UK bee population is on the decline, so to support your local beekeepers make sure that you plant your garden full of lavender – it’s one of a bee’s favourite flowers!
To find out more about our full range of lavender oils and other products, visit our website today!