Monday, 4 May 2009

Poisoned by Nature

The First Mate is one of the 12 million people in the UK that suffer from Hay Fever, or to be more medical, Rhinitis medicamentosa.

It's an allergic reaction triggered by pollen, which contains male plant DNA.

When an irritant such as pollen is inhaled by a sufferer, it triggers antibody production.

Mast cells are stimulated by pollen and histamine is released.

This causes swelling and mucus production and creates the symptoms that most of us are familiar with.

Allergic rhinitis triggered by the pollen of certain trees or plants, is usually what we mean when we say "Hay Fever". It tends to be at its worst from around now to early summer.

The type of weather we have this weekend, also increases the likelihood of Hay Fever; warm, dry and windy. The pollen is released and distributed by the wind.

Some specfic species of trees, such as Birch and Willow are said to be main contributors and Common Grass and Nettles can also be high on the list of major pollen generators. 

Simple preventative cures like petroleum jelly around the nostrils to trap the pollen before it enters your nostrils, wrap-around sunglasses to prevent pollen getting in your eyes or taking the dog into the countryside with you (it will act as a fuzzy pollen trap) can help.

We have also been told that Nettle Tea can help to alleviate the symptoms of Hay Fever.

We sometimes have Nettle Soup and as soon as we get the opportunity to collect some more fresh nettles, we will make some tea, so the First Mate can give it a try.

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