Hay Fever

I love being in nature during the warm weather, but I suffer terribly from hay fever. Drugs don’t provide a satisfactory solution. Antihistamines suppress the runny nose and the sneezing, but do not relieve congestion. Decongestants can have unpleasant side-effects, like insomnia and irritability. Between the end of June and the end of August, I sleep in front of a filter-fan, and I try to balance the use of pills and nose spray, in order to avoid addiction. Oh my.

I came upon a simple and natural alternative: vitamin C. By taking vitamin C and multi-vitamins throughout the day, I am able to avoid most hay fever symptoms.

Antihistamines work by blocking histamine receptors. Vitamin C works (indirectly) by removing the histamine before it gets to the receptors. Basically, it enables the body to create more of the enzyme diamine oxidase, which breaks down histamine. In other words, it allows the body to overcome hay fever the way it was designed to.


First things first. Vitamin C only works in units of grams. People who think that vitamin C doesn’t work are almost always thinking small.

Secondly, Vitamin C seems to work in concert with other vitamins, that is to say, it participates in chemical reactions that require other chemicals. This is hardly surprising. However, vitamin C participates in many metabolic activities involving many chemicals. To cover these unknown possibilities, I use multi-vitamins. I’m not worried about taking too many. If it were possible, they’d be prescribed. Furthermore, if I am willing to eat pesticide-laden food every day, I may claim no credible fear of vitamins, which are, you know, the opposite of poison.

It is easy to take too little vitamin C (no effect) or to take too much (bowel rumbling). Worst yet, if I take the ‘right’ amount of Vitamin C, but not enough multi-vitamins, I get the rumbling and allergy symptoms. It took some practice to maintain a good balance, but it was a life hack well worth mastering.

Here are my notes over a recent four day period:

DayTimeMultiC (1.5g)

Whereas drug effects tend to get weaker over time, vitamin C works constantly, because it is taken regularly. The only exception is the mornings, after I have essentially slept through a dose. I usually awaken with a stuffy nose. It takes about twenty minutes after taking vitamin C for my breathing to become clear again.

image credit: Megan Ruth

One thought on “Hay Fever

  1. Nissa Tolton

    Update: I used Vitamin B6 one day without multivitamins and the Vitamin C worked as before. I repeated the experiment successfully. My tentative conclusion is that B6 is the mystery helper vitamin.

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