Advice on Summer Health

The warm weather is a welcome end to winter ailments and the start of the outdoor holiday season but it brings new challenges of its own.

Hay fever or Allergic rhinitis

Symptoms of hay fever include sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses, catarrh, excess mucus, sore throats, swollen glands and headaches although you may only have some of these symptoms. It is a reaction to tree, grass and flower pollens released into the air in the Spring. Daily pollen counts given on the news and weather website let you know how high the count is on a day to day basis.

Treatment includes cutting dairy products out of your diet, taking quercetin as a dietary supplement and adding prophylactic herbs - ideally taking these herbs daily from March of April to reduce sensitivity before your hay fever is fully fledged. Key herbs include nettle as it provokes and antihistamine reaction in the body and chamomile, elderflower, plantain and eyebright for their various soothing and calming effects.

Travel: Fluid retention

 If you are going on a long flight and want to avoid water retention and swollen ankles, avoid coffee and alcohol. Traditionally, we would have recommended taking some cold herbal tea but customs restrictions on fluids makes this more difficult. You can buy herbal digestifs or detox blends that contains diuretic herbs and these, in a 100 ml bottle, are easier to take on a flight and dilute once past security. 

Look out for digestifs that contains herbs like Nettle, Cleavers and Dandelion - traditional ‘spring clean’ formulae. These herbs are all mildly diuretic and can be used as part of a detox programme. Parsley Piert is also a mildly diuretic herb.

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Lane's Sage and Garlic Catarrh Remedy

Nettle leaf

Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) taken from the early Spring on, helps to reduce pollen sensitivity by triggering an antihistamine
effect in the body.

Don't struggle alone

If you have chronic health problems, we advise you to see a medical herbalist at Napiers or through the  National Institute of Medical Herbalists


Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) helps to dry secretions and soothe itchy areas near the eyes.


Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) is antiviral and also helps with catarrh and sinusitis.


Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is an excellent diuretic and helps relieve fluid retention.

Napiers, Mailorder Dept, 24 Tennant Street, Edinburgh EH6 5ND • Telephone 0845 002 1860 • Caring for you naturally since 1860