turmeric to treat hayfever

Spring is here! And while I’m rejoicing, many of you have already mentioned to me that you’re dreading enduring Spring because it’s when your hayfever hits.

I’m lucky enough to not have to deal with it, but I can’t say I blame you – constant sneezing, itchy nose and eyes, headaches, snot. Yeah, sucks to be you right now.

Hayfever is an allergic reaction to, most commonly, air-borne pollen, which is at an all-time high during Spring. So you can take the arrival of this season as nature’s way of saying, “Haha! You’re fucked.” Sorry.

Fortunately, I may have a bit of relief for you.

As I mentioned, hay fever is an allergic reaction, during which your immune system mistakes a harmless substance for a threat and essentially overreacts, flooding your system with chemicals like histamine. These chemicals cause inflammation in your nose, eyes, throat, and sinuses. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

Now, we all know curcumin (found in turmeric) has anti-inflammatory properties. But did you know it also has anti-allergy properties, too?

Several studies have suggested that curcumin may inhibit the release of histamine, as well as reduce inflammation. Given the anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties of this amazing substance, including more turmeric in your diet could be extremely beneficial in alleviating some of your hayfever symptoms.

If you don’t already use turmeric, you might feel a little bit lost. Here are 10 ways to eat (or drink) it:

  • Learn to love Indian food. That is, if you don’t already. I cook Indian dishes a lot at home and include turmeric in just about all of them. It’s quick and easy to make your own curry pastes for dishes like butter chicken, kadai chicken and veggie korma. The taste blows those jar sauces out of the water, and you can throw in as much or as little turmeric as you like.
  • Include a little bit in your veggie ferments. Add it to your sauerkraut or cultured carrots, or whatever tickles your fancy. The good news is that much like consuming turmeric with pepper, fermenting it also increases its bioavailability.
  • Grate a small chunk and put it in your morning smoothie.
  • Make a beet and turmeric kvass, Sarah Wilson style.
  • If you can handle beans and lentils, add some to your home-made baked beans. This recipe from Cut out the Crap already includes turmeric and I can promise it’s delicious.
  • Skip the coffee and make golden mylk instead.
  • Add a teaspoon to your soups. It goes beautifully with cauliflower and pumpkin.
  • Add a little turmeric to your scrambled eggs in the morning. Those yolks will look extra orange.
  • When making cakes and muffins, sprinkle some turmeric into the mix. It gives citrus cakes a beautiful colour.
  • If you juice, add a little knob of fresh turmeric in with your fruit and veggies, along with a little knob of ginger.