Beautiful coral-shaped candles

Beeswax Candle
Beeswax candle made entirely from renewable resources

I remember the first time I learnt about beeswax.

It’s amazing how many uses it has…

Lip balm, polish, crayons, sealant, waterproofing and lubricant to name a few.

But the really interesting thing for me is that burning beeswax candles is believed to ionise the air and rid it of pollutants and so it’s useful to people with skin and breathing sensitivities.

Beeswax also burns very slowly and produces a honeyed scent and, of course, it’s a natural substance straight from mother nature.

Candles Naturally make beautiful coral like beeswax candles with attention to environmental sustainability. The coral structure glows like a lantern while the wax burns down inside, leaving the elegant structure of the shell behind.

True to their environmental instincts they only harvest the wax after the bees have left the hive so that no bees are harmed in the process.

The company makes a lot more besides beeswax candles too, including Coconut Shell Candle with essential oils made from sustainable soy oil, which burns for approximately 40 hours!

Hayfever season will last an extra month. Stay protected.

The chaotic weather means that high levels of pollen will continue well into August.

While rain normally suppresses pollen, it helps the flowers grow and store up even more pollen which is released during the warm sunny spells. Any wind just makes the situation worse.

It’s led to a high number of calls to NHS Direct from hayfever sufferers, which isn’t surprising as pollen counts have climbed to double the amount seen in the last couple of years.

If you’d like to increase your protection I’d highly recommend Haymax which is made from beeswax and can be used to stop pollen getting up your nose and irritating your eyes.

People are experiencing eye problems, sneezing and runny noses, and then there’s the more serious issue of asthma attacks too. Hayfever can make some people’s lives intolerable.


The ‘free from’ times, they are a changing… for the better!

Everyone’s getting excited about this year’s Allergy & Free From Show this May. It’s the biggest event yet for everyone affected by an allergy or intolerance with the latest products, information and up-to-date support.

Tickets are free so come and see us there.

Tom Treverton, Event Director at The Allergy & Free From Show, tells us how it’s going…

As our team enters the home straight towards this year’s Allergy & Free From Show (18 – 20 May, Olympia, London), our third edition as organisers, the excitement in the office is really building.

This is an event that we all love working on. Since we took it on in 2010, year-on-year growth (in terms of visitors, exhibitors and sponsors) has been staggering. 2012 is set for another record year; pre-show ticket registrations are already 4,000 higher than they were at this stage in 2011 (and last year’s show ultimately attracted over 10,000 visitors!).

Naturally, these kinds of trends will make any event organiser very happy, though they are certainly not the only reasons we enjoy working hard to progress this show each year.

Another massive reason: this is an extremely important event to our visitors, because it’s the only UK public-facing show that exists for people living any kind of ‘free from’ life, for reasons of health (i.e. due to allergies, intolerances, coeliac disease, chemical sensitivities) or lifestyle. Our job is to provide the best possible live forum, where visitors can discover product / treatment solutions and take control.

In direct contrast to the woefully inadequate UK provisions of skilled healthcare professionals in this space (supply still nowhere near demand!), we are constantly amazed by the incredible number of fantastic ‘free from’ products that are emerging – seemingly on a daily basis – and are becoming part of the show! These are positive changes; this constant influx of improved products and new choices can only enrich the visitor experience.

We’ve instigated a few changes of our own. The show will take residence in the larger, recently completed West Hall at Olympia, London. We’ve also tweaked our show name, replacing ‘gluten free’ with ‘free from’, in order to better reflect what the show has become. Yes, we are (and will always remain) 100% committed to serving those that need to exclude gluten from their diets, BUT we also exist for those living free from… nuts, dairy, eggs, soya, wheat, pet hair, dust mites and pollen (to name just a few!).

A final change… there will be two editions of the show in 2012! Alongside the London show in May, we are launching a northern edition of the event, taking place later in the year in Liverpool from 27 – 28 October. We can’t wait to replicate the buzz of the London show on Merseyside.

The UK ‘free from’ market is rapidly maturing, and is undoubtedly one of the best on the planet. We relish working on a show that’s right at the heart of that market and delivering a multi-sensory, exciting live event that places the leading brands alongside the thousands of people that are looking to discover them!

See you on the show floor!

Tom Treverton, Event Director, The Allergy & Free From Show

London show: 18 – 20 May 2012, West Hall, Olympia, London
Liverpool show: 27 – 28 October, BT Convention Centre, Liverpool.
Tickets: Access FREE tickets for either show at
Exhibiting enq: / +44 (0)1442 289927

Free tickets to The Allergy and Free From Show: 18-20 May 2012

Got an allergy? Is your diet Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Casein Free, Lactose Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free?

The Allergy & Free From Show 2012 has teamed up with GoodnessDirect to give you unlimited FREE tickets (worth £10 each)!

Taking place from 18 – 20 May at London’s Olympia, this is Europe’s largest public event dedicated to delivering solutions for free from lives. If you suffer from asthma, eczema, sensitive skin, hay fever, chemical sensitivities, food intolerance, coeliac disease or other allergies or intolerances then this is for you.

Last year’s event was an enormous success…

This year there are more free from features and exhibitors than ever before:

  • Try and buy the latest free from foods, skincare and household products
  • Consultations, seminars and workshops with the UK’s top Allergists, Dieticians and other specialists
  • Free from cooking demonstrations
  • Charities, support groups and thousands of like-minded attendees

And a host of additional exciting content!

Come and see us there (Stand 135) for free…

Book unlimited free tickets for you, your friends, family and colleagues at

The UK’s biggest allergy show is coming soon – bigger and better – and GoodnessDirect will be there

We’re getting excited about the upcoming Allergy & Gluten Free Show this May. It’s the best chance for everyone affected by an allergy to get the latest information and up-to-date support. And tickets are free.

Here’s a behind the scenes peek at everything that’s going on…

News from the show floor…
The Allergy & Gluten Free Show 2011
Tom Treverton, Event Director

Come and see us...<br> 6-8 May, 2011
Come and see us... 6-8 May, 2011

Working on live events presents certain challenges. Like a number of other professions, months and months of hard work boil down to a brief moment in time, where all elements must seamlessly converge to deliver fantastic experiences for visitors.

Consequently, your working life becomes markedly improved when an event concept falls onto your desk that both energises and inspires. A concept craved for by the sector it represents, one that delivers genuine answers to questions as yet unanswered, and one that resultantly fulfils a ‘need’ sought after by a sizeable chunk of the UK population. The Allergy & Gluten Free Show is one such event.

This year’s show…
It’s taking place at London’s Olympia from 6 – 8 May 2011. This is the UK’s most comprehensive live forum on allergies, intolerances and autoimmune diseases (like coeliac disease), delivering the largest annual gathering of people with these conditions, as well as the leading health professionals that treat them.

We became involved in the show because we recognise the scale of its potential importance. In the UK, approximately one third of the population will develop an allergy at some point in their lives, with around 30 million estimated to have a food intolerance.

However, this major UK health issue is serviced by an alarmingly small number of experts. Poor NHS provision of skilled professionals means that supply does not meet demand, particularly at a primary care level (where insufficient training ensures sub standard advice).

The Allergy & Gluten Free Show 2011 is the only major exhibition designed to plug the knowledge gap, allowing members of the public to discover treatment and product solutions (thus taking control of their conditions) and health care professionals to access a high level of training to improve their service.

What you’ll find there…
First and foremost, this is a show for the public, and we are thrilled with the way the 2011 event is shaping up. Our objective is to make the show something that will both educate and entertain in equal measure; providing the best advice from prominent Consultants, charities, associations and brands, accessible via a diverse range of interactive content platforms.

Food is a massive part of the show. In addition to over 50% of the show floor being packed with ‘free from’ food producers, we are planning three days of…

  • Public seminars from healthcare specialists, including Consultants and Dieticians.
  • ‘Free from’ cooking demonstrations from top chefs.
  • Parent workshops (with strong dietary focuses).
  • Food related product and treatment demonstrations.

We are just weeks away now and the excitement is building amongst the organising team. Thousands more people are signed up to attend than at this stage last year, content programmes are almost complete and we already have more exhibitors than the show has ever attracted.

We are delighted that GoodnessDirect is one of the show’s partners, and will be exhibiting at the event (stand 42).

Indeed, via our partnership visitors to can attend the show free of charge. To generate unlimited free tickets, visit Simply enter a few details, click ‘submit’ and print out a personalised show ticket (worth £10!). his process can be repeated infinitely to produce additional tickets for friends and family.

See you on the show floor!

Tom Treverton, Event Director

Key details
Event: The Allergy & Gluten Free Show 2011
Date: 6 – 8 May 2011
Location: Olympia 2, London, W14 8UX
Tickets: Free, courtesy of GoodnessDirect at

Natural ways to defeat hayfever – how about kissing (and other options)

Only in Japan would researchers ask couples to kiss for 30 minutes to find a cure for hayfever.

Hayfever season... kiss me quick!
Hayfever season... kiss me quick!

But apparently scientists from the Satou hospital discovered that a good ol’ smooch will lower your histamine level which means you sneeze less.

But for those of us who haven’t got the time or perhaps a willing partner for so much loving, there are other natural alternatives to anti-histamine drugs which dry you up and leave you drowsy.

I have to say that the most encouraging natural solution I’ve seen out there is HayMax – a pollen blocking cream which you can rub just under nose. Many people testify to it’s fantastic results.

But I also have a friend whose husband used a homeopathic tincture – his hayfever was very bad – New Era H For Hayfever and Allergic Rhinitis might work well for you.

To really beat the hayfever blues the natural way you have to look at your diet and overall fitness. Eating the right foods really will build up your defences. For example garlic and horseradish are both good for sinus problems, garlic in particular is extremely anti-inflammatory and great for your immune system.

Fortunately, natural healers like garlic and echinacea are used in Potter’s Allerclear range, so immediate relief is available. It may pay to invest in their nasal spray, eye-drops and tablets.

Long term

For longer term solutions start early in the year before the pollen season hits.

Maximise your Vitamin C levels. This not only supports the immune system, but assists the body’s defences against too much histamine. It can also help reduce the release of histamine.

Eat vegetables rich in colour – the bioflavanoids will boost the Vitamin C effect and repress histamine even more. Quercetin particularly is a natural antihistamine and can be found in red and yellow onions, shallots, squash, courgettes, and broccoli. However, to get your entire quota you’d need to take quercetin in tablet form.

If you already have lots of antioxidant and omega 3 foods in your cupboard, you are doing well. Food with these properties have been found to defend against inflammation.

Also stock up on your nettle tea as your common stinging nettle also has immune-boosting properties and anti-inflammatory agents. A daily teaspoon of local honey in your tea is beneficial.

Final tip

A little tip I’ve picked up is to simply cover your bedding with a blanket during the day. This will ensure your pillow won’t be covered with pollen and give you a much easier night’s sleep.

Nelsons Pollena

Over half of us (53 per cent) suffer from hay fever and other allergies and in just under 30 years scientists estimate we might all be suffering from an allergy.

The really bad news is that people can suffer all year, with tree pollen starting as early as February, with grasses through the summer and mould spores right up to October. Hay fever sufferers reluctant to endure the potential drowsiness of traditional antihistamines (especially at exam time…) will be relieved to hear that homeopathic medicines really do work.*

Nelsons Pollenna has been formulated into easy to take tablets that contain a specially selected combination of natural remedies to bring soothing relief to the trials of sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes and throat. The homeopathic ingredients are:

Allium cepa, or red onion, helps with irritation to the eyes using the homeopathic principle that like treats like – that is, a substance which in large doses produces the symptoms of a disease will, in small doses, cure that disease.

Euphrasia, or eyebright, is good for treating sneezing and eyes that water all the time.

Sabadilla helps relieve spasmodic sneezing with a runny nose.

For best results take Pollenna when hay fever symptoms first appear, suck or chew tablets at two hourly intervals for six doses, then three times daily until symptoms subside.

Other tips recommended to hay fever sufferers: **

  • In the summer stay inside between 5pm and 7pm, when pollen counts are usually high. Keep windows and doors closed, especially at these times and when sleeping
  • Turn up the air conditioning whenever possible to help remove allergens from the air
  • Shower before going to be to remove the pollen
  • Damp dust and vacuum your home regularly, to keep irritating pollens and dust to a minimum
  • Air bedclothes in direct sunlight
  • Check out the pollen count (usually broadcast along with the weather) and avoid areas of high pollen concentration, e.g. long grass, lawn mowing and trees if allergic to these
  • Wear sunglasses, they can help protect the eyes from pollens in the air
  • Avoid smoke and chemical fumes
    * Recent research from Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital shows taht homeopathy can help hay fever sufferers. The research, published in the British Medical Journal reported that in a double blind study involving 50 subjects with perennial allergenic rhinitis, those taking a homeopathic treatment showed a 28% improvement in symptoms compared to the placebo group.

    **European Pollen Information –

  • Watch out! Grass pollen is about!

    For 96% of hayfever sufferers the summer of misery is about to begin as grass pollen starts to make itself felt by causing sneezing, wheezing and itchy eyes. Generally those affected will reach for the same anti‐histamines that they have always used but Allergy UK are advising that sufferers should consider reviewing their medication by talking to their pharmacist or GP.

    Over the last three months Allergy UK have been providing intensive training to pharmacists to increase their knowledge in allergy and now we have an ever increasing number of Allergy UK accredited pharmacists able not only to give excellent advice but also to take a full clinical history and make a diagnosis of the allergen triggering reactions. “People rarely have just one form of allergy” said Muriel Simmons Chief Executive of Allergy UK, it is important that anyone who suffers from continual runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing wheezing, skin rashes or difficulty with food as these can cross react with pollen, should get themselves checked out. The pharmacy allergy screening service for the first time allows people to find out if their symptoms are due to allergy and if so how best to manage it”. Practical tips for hayfever sufferers will be given by the pharmacist such as:

    • Smear Vaseline around the inside of each nostril this will act as filter for pollen.
    • Wear wrap around sun glasses to stop pollen getting to the eyes.
    • Wash hair before gong to bed to stop allergen transferring from the hair to the pillow and causing sneezy restless nights.
    • Don’t sleep with the window open or drive with the car window open.
    • Avoid sitting outside at the time of high pollen count particularly early morning and early evening.

    For further information on hay-fever or the pharmacy screening service contact:

    Jules Payne: 01322 619898 Muriel Simmons: 01322 611649 Lindsey McManus: 01322 619898 Email:

    Justin Fleming © Allergy UK

    The Detailed Ins and Outs of Hayfever

    Hayfever is a very common condition, affecting 2 to 3 million people in Britain every year. It is caused by an allergy to pollen or sometimes mould spores. In hayfever the body’s immune system over reacts to the presence of external substances, as if they were something toxic. This results in irritation and inflammation. Read all about it in detail now, the facts and the reliefs…

    Dr Caroline M Shreeve

    Hayfever is such a common complaint that most people know its symptoms. You have to have had the experience though to know exactly how wretched it can make you feel. To make matters worse, treatment can occasionally make it worse. Decongestant nasal sprays and drops tend to lose their effect after several days of continuous use and may harm the delicate lining of the nasal passages, making the symptoms worse.Certainly, not all, antihistamine drugs have a strongly sedative effect. This is the last thing you want if you are studying and needing to feel not only physically fit, but mentally alert and able to concentrate.

    As all hayfever sufferers know, attacks are commonest and most severe during the months of late spring and early summer. This is also the time when you are most likely to be sitting examinations and wanting to study hard. The best way to see that revision time and examination performance are not marred by watery eyes, sneezing and sniffing attacks or a blocked stuffy nose, is to get to know what triggers your attacks and what preventative measures you can take.

    This article sets out to give the facts about hayfever and about how to stop it interfering with your exam chances.

    Hayfever is a form of rhinitis which means inflammation of the lining of the nose. It is seasonal and caused by an allergy to pollen. Approximately three million people in the UK are thought to suffer from it and there is a tendency for hayfever to run in families. Men are affected more than women although the reason for this is unknown.

    Pollen allergy can appear at any age, but tends to be worse among teenagers and young adults. Some people get symptoms for five or six consecutive seasons and then never have another attack, while others suffer season after season for up to twenty years. A small minority of sufferers go on to develop bronchial asthma and/or nasal polyps (swelling in the mucous lining of the nose.)


    Attacks generally start suddenly. Frequent sneezing is associated with an intense itch inside the nose, occasionally more on one side than on the other. The feeling has been compared to having sniffed itching powder or hot chilli pepper as the mucous membranes feel ‘hot’ as well as irritating. Some people even develop lines across the lower parts of their nose from habitually rubbing its tip to relieve the itching!!!Soon after the irritation starts, watery fluid begins to flow freely down the nose, making frequent wiping a necessity. Even with the use of soft tissues, the repeated skin friction can make the sensitive area around the nostrils and upper lip sore, red and chapped.

    Itchy, watering eyes and a tickling feeling in the throat are also frequent symptoms. Bright lights make matters worse and the tendency to rub the eyes makes them swollen and bloodshot. Soon a blocked nose and the necessity to breathe through the mouth at least partly, completes the picture.

    Hayfever symptoms can last from a few hours to several days, depending upon the weather, the pollen count and other factors such as the sufferer’s emotional state, stress level and the general state of health.


    Strictly speaking, only an allergy to pollen can produce hayfever. This is why ‘hayfever proper’ occurs only during the pollen-producing months of spring and summer. Some people suffer from hayfever symptoms all the year round and this condition, known as perennial rhinitis, is considered in a later section of this article.Every year, several thousands of tons of tree and grass pollen are released into the air during the spring and summer months. It is in this way that pollen, produced by plants for the purpose of fertilisation, is able to reach its required destination of another plant of the same species.

    The wind is responsible for much pollen transport however, and it is windborne pollen that causes hayfever. Highly coloured and strongly scented flowers rarely play a significant part in this process. This is because they attract insects and are pollinated by the insect population that visits them. It is the lighter and more bouyant pollen of trees, grasses and weeds that are more likely to cause symptoms.

    Plantain and other common weeds are often responsible for hayfever symptoms. Once one of these pollens causes you allergy problems, the rest are likely to do so as well. That is why hayfever often starts as early as March and continues until July or August.

    Spring hayfever is caused mainly by tree pollens and the more severe summer variety by grass pollens with weed pollens triggering symptoms in the late summer and the autumn. Pollen (and mild spores) follow a seasonal pattern year after year, but vary with the geographical location.

    The quantity of pollen produced depends on the weather, symptoms tending to be worse on hot, dry, windy days. This is the reason why hayfever tends to affect suffers most severely during June and July. These are the months when the grass pollens are most abundant, responsible for four million working days lost per year in the UK. This is about twice the number of working days lost as a result of industrial injuries.

    The weather, in fact plays an important part in the production of pollen grains. In 1986, the pollen counts were higher than they had been for twenty-one years, registering over a thousand in contrast to the average of 190. Experts believe that the very cold spring firstly delayed the growth of flowers and that the subsequent mild weather made many species of flower bloom simultaneously, thereby releasing masses of pollen grains.

    Perennial Rhinitis

    This is a closely associated condition, producing much the same symptoms as hayfever. In all, it is estimated that about six million people in the UK (that is a tenth of the population) are affected. Sufferers complain of having an almost permanent head cold but it is necessary only to experience symptoms for an hour or more out of twenty four on most days of the year for perennial rhinitis to be diagnosed.So distressing can the perpetual sneezing, nose blowing, eye irritation and nasal stuffiness become that it is understandable that sufferers feel as though they are never free from them.

    The most prominent symptom in perennial rhinitis is nasal blockage, affecting five out of ten sufferers. Sneezing and watery nasal discharge affect three out of ten sufferers, but eye symptoms and itchy throat are less common in many cases of this condition than they are in pollen-allergy hayfever.

    Hayfever can cause perennial rhinitis during the spring and summer months. Allergic rhinitis due to causes (allergens) other than pollen also accounts for many cases. These include fungal spores, animal dander (scurf) and house dust.

    While it is an excellent idea to consult your doctor about troublesome hayfever and perennial rhinitis symptoms, there are a number of things you can do to alleviate your symptoms in a natural drug-free way which will in no way conflict with any treatment your doctor may prescribe.

    It is even possible to reduce the frequency with which you experience your attacks, if you are willing to take a little time and trouble sorting our your own “trigger factors”. Whatever your job or life style, this is well worth aiming at. If you are a student faced with weeks of revision and important exams it could make all the difference to your results and to your future.

    Lifestyle Hints

    For allergic rhinitis, including hayfever, prevention is in most cases better than cure. Here are some ways of avoiding some of the more common allergens.Keep a daily record of your symptoms and compare this with the pollen count. You will soon get to know whether your hayfever is really due to pollen allergy.

    If your are affected in this way, avoid open fields and freshly mown lawns, however inviting!

    Try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high. Wearing dark glasses if you must go out on dry, warm breezy days will help to protect your eyes.

    If animals affect you, avoid visiting friends with cats or dogs and if you have pets yourself, keep them out of the bedroom at all times.

    House dust may be your problem – dust and vacuum daily, not forgetting soft furnishings and curtains which should be washed or dry cleaned monthly.

    The minute animal called the house dust mite, living within house dust, is responsible for much allergic rhinitis. They are too small to be seen and tend to inhabit mattresses, pillows and other bedding. A sheet of plastic film over your mattress may help. Always air beds daily too, stripping them right back and exposing the bottom sheet to the fresh air. Keep bedroom windows at least partly open always, unless pollen is your problem.

    Deep freeze your pillows! The house dust mite dies at temperatures lower than 10 degrees Centigrade. Simply rotate the pillows you use, through your freezer, allowing several hours for them to thaw before you re-use them. Probably not the best of ideas though to sleep straight on them after freezing…

    Never use feather mattresses or duvets.

    Turn the central heating off in your bedroom at least during the night. Try increasing the humidity in various rooms you use during the day by placing a bowl of water in them.

    Experiment with ventilation too, to find out what suits you best.


    A change in diet is found by many sufferers to help. A balanced whole food diet which avoids junk foods and additives will improve your overall state of health and resistance to stress, whatever the allergen causing your attacks. When the chemical additives in processed foods or other dietary items are themselves to blame, improvement is often dramatic.Many natural therapists recommend hayfever sufferers to drink mineral water and diluted freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice for the first two days of an attack and a light diet to be followed for several days thereafter. By this they mean fresh fruit and raw vegetables, with herb tea or spring water to drink.

    The avoidance of mucous forming foods is also thought highly of as a form of hayfever treatment. These include white flour, white sugar and their products, refined, processed foods, including ‘doctored cereals’, fried food, animal fat, dairy products, chocolate, cocoa, salt, tea, coffee and alcohol.

    Emphasis should be placed upon raw or lightly cooked fresh fruit and vegetables, whole-wheat flour and its products, nuts, eggs, fish and white meat.

    Natural therapists also recommended certain food supplements for hay fever, including garlic capsules, vitamins A, C and E and seaweed products.

    How Your Doctor Can Help

    Recent surveys have shown that only about one in three perennial rhinitis sufferers (and that includes all the hayfever victims) go to their doctor about their problem. The majority buy over the counter remedies such as decongestant nasal drops and sprays, several million of which are sold by pharmacists annually.These are fine for a short-term relief, however you may find that their effect wears off after three or four days. In addition “rebound congestion” can sometimes occur with over use, causing swollen nasal mucous membranes similar to the condition you used the product for in the first place.

    It is better to seek active medical help from your doctor, than to run the risk of misusing sprays and drugs that might make your symptoms worse.

    However long-term use of any drug should be avoided wherever possible and if the side effect is drowsiness it is a serious impediment if you are sitting for exams or trying to study hard!

    New Era Hayfever Remedy

    There is a remedy for hayfever which has several advantages. It is made from natural ingredients. Its active ingredients are safe. So safe that even very young children can take it. It does not cause drowsiness and it will not conflict with any other medication. It is easy to take. It has been tried and tested over many years and has stood the test of time.It is New Era Hayfever remedy, Combination H, which has been formulated to give relief from the symptoms of hayfever and allergic rhinitis.

    There is no cure for hayfever but if you or anyone in your family suffer from this seasonal allergy, this article may help. Written by a doctor, it explains exactly what hayfever is and gives some useful hints on a life style which could help you cope more easily, plus some sensible ideas about diet.

    The advice in this article is relevant to all hayfever sufferers, so please take time to read it and try to follow the advice. And remember, to help ease the discomfort of hayfever, New Era’s Hayfever remedy is the natural choice.

    Dr Caroline M Shreeve

    About Hayfever

    Hay fever is a very common affecting many people in the summer months. It tends to be familial and occurs alongside asthma or eczema. It accurs where individuals are sensitive to particular substances, hence known as irritants or allergens and cold like symptons are produced in response. Spring and summer hayfever is likely to be be caused by allergy to flower, grass or tree pollens or fungus spores. However, other allergens which can cause more continuous hay fever are house dust or animal hair.

    The symptons of hayfever are well known and can be severe. Initially there may be itching of the nose, mouth, pharynx and eyes, followed by nasal discharge and watering of the eyes. Sneezing may occur and nasal congestion can develop. Some people suffer from swollen eyes and face.

    What Causes Hay Fever?

    The nasal sinuses (cavaties in the facial bones) are lined with mucous membrane. During the inspiration of air, it circulates through these cavaties before passing through to the lungs. In hay fever sufferers, the mucous membrane is more sensitive than in the normal individual and it allows the passage of the allergens through the mucous membrane. Healthy blood vessels and mucous membranes have a fine structure which only allows smaller protein molocules to penetrate, such as those absorbed from the food.

    The entry of the allergens causes an irritant reaction leading to the release of histamine. Histamine causes the swelling of the mucous membranes. Once the allergen has entered the blood stream, the eyes and face can become puffy.

    Diet and Hay Fever

    Other items of interest

    The diet can effect hay fever in 4 ways:

    • Vitamins are essential to the proper functioning of the immune system and hence a balanced diet is important to the hay fever sufferer. A deficiency of minerals, vitamins or trace elements may occur through eating refined foods and insuffient quantities of fresh vegetables and fruit. Vitamins of particular importance to the hay fever sufferer are vitamin A present in vegetables, vegetable oils and eggs) and vitamin C (present in fruit and vegetables).
    • An excess of foods such as milk and starches can result in the production of catarrh. Catarrh consists of protein and carbohydrate and the more protein and carbohydrate foods that are taken in the diet, the greater will be the tendency o catarrhal secretions.
    • Certain foods can act as allergens in particular individuals, e.g strawberries and shellfish. Some people can develop an allergy to ordinary foods simply taking an excessive amount over a number of years.
    • Additives and “junk foods” will raise the sensitivity of the immune system and so must be avoided.

    Medical Treatments

    The main aim of treatments of hay fever is to boost the immune system so that it can work properly and ignore the pollen.There are three current forms of medical treatment:

    • Densitisation. Infections of tiny amounts of bee pollen are given over a period of months before the start of each hay fever season. This is an attempt to acclimatize the immune system to small amounts of bee pollen so that it does not over react to it. This is successful to some people and there are no side effects in normal dosages, though an overdose may cause collapse and unconciousness.
    • Injection of steroids . This can lead to vunerability to ordinary colds.
    • Antihistamines. These can be bought over the counter in tablet form. They act by supressing the release of histamine. Can cause drowsiness.

    Alternative Treatments

    • A high potency multi-vitamin tablet, preferably with minerals as well, will provide vitamins required for the effecient working of the immune system.
    • The biochemical treatment for hay fever is a combination of 3 tissue salts: Mag Phos (magnesium Phosphate), Nat Mur Phos (Sodium Chloride) and Silica (Silicon Dioxide). They bring relief to itching eyes, itching throat and excessive sneezing.
    • Homeopathic remedies include a high potency pollen tablet which may desensitise. Allium cepa can help streaming nose, eyes and severe sneezing. Euphrasia can also be taken for itching eyes and sneezing and nux vom for for irritation and congested nasal passage.
    • Herbal remedies include garlic for catarrh and witch hazel for the eyes.