Nobody chooses to be allergic, but some of us are just destined to battle runny noses, burning eyes and congestion while the rest of the world is busy welcoming the scents, blossoms and colours of spring! And speaking of spring, one of the most dreaded conditions for springtime sufferers is hayfever – a pollen induced allergy that can suck all the fun out of crisp, sunny days and warm, starry nights.
Avoiding pollen altogether during a road trip or a camping holiday isn’t really feasible. But what you can do is stock up on a few essentials that can prevent the onset of hayfever, and help you manage your symptoms if you’re already affected. You should of course have an emergency supply of antihistamine tablets in your caravan’s first-aid kit, but what’s even more important is to take the preventive route and incorporate some natural anti-allergic ingredients in your daily diet.
In order to prevent hayfever (or at least give it a good fight), here’s what your caravan’s pantry should be stocked up on:
Honey is packed with the goodness of bee pollen, which upon entering the body acts as a barrier for other allergy-causing pollen, thus preventing hayfever. If you’re planning a caravanning trip in the spring or early summer, start incorporating a spoonful of honey in your diet at least a month in advance. Continue this throughout the duration of your trip. Use honey as a tea sweetener, as a replacement for syrup in your breakfast, or simply as an early morning infusion in warm lemon water.
Vitamin C is known for its immunity strengthening properties, especially when it comes to respiratory tract conditions. You can carry Vitamin C tablets along on your caravanning holiday, or just ensure that you eat at least one citrus fruit every day. Oranges are a great option, being easily available at local markets around the country, and having a good shelf life to boot.
Another easy ingredient to incorporate in your diet even if you’re on the road, garlic has great immunity boosting and decongesting properties. It also contains a natural antihistamine known as quercetin.
Chamomile tea is known to alleviate symptoms of hayfever, including congestion and swollen eyelids. Carry a bag and a tea infuser, and brew yourself a cup every day. What’s more, Chamomile tea bags can also be stored in your caravan refrigerator, and used as cold compresses for your eyelids if they happen to be feeling agitated or watery.
Carotenoids are naturally occurring antioxidants found in foods such as carrots, pumpkins, sweet potato and spinach. Include any of these ingredients in your daily diet, preferably in each of your meals. Carrots are by far the easiest to incorporate on account of their long shelf life and ability to lend themselves to a variety of recipes.
A few more tips
Plan your caravanning route before you leave, and avoid spending too much time in areas where the pollen count can be on the higher side. Beaches and coastal areas are usually a better bet for allergy-prone people. Similarly, choosing your campsites wisely can help. Avoid being around too many trees, or even grass if that’s something that gets your allergies going. Stay alert, stay smart, and keep eating right. With any luck, hayfever will leave you alone on your caravanning holiday!