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Independent health store advice for hay fever

Looking for advice on natural health and wellbeing? Your local independent health store can offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise. This month we speak to Marie Longman from Peak Health Food in Staffordshire

Hay fever season seems to have started early this year and we have noticed an increase in customers coming into our store and asking for advice. I suffer with hay fever myself so I know how miserable it can be, with the symptoms of a runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing. Whenever a customer asks us for advice on how to tackle a particular health issue, we always ask them questions about their health, lifestyle, symptoms and any medication that they are taking. Safety is paramount, so we want to make sure that we are recommending products that won’t interact with any medication the customer is taking.

We ask lots of questions because we like to deal with things at grassroots level rather than just deal with the symptoms alone. It’s no use taking natural remedies if you’re doing something in other parts of your life that is exacerbating your symptoms.

Food and supplements

We always ask customers about their diet and will make dietary recommendations if necessary. For example, with hay fever, eating more prebiotic foods supports the gut flora and a strong gut can help the body in its defence against allergies. There are also one or two probiotics that are known to help lower histamine levels. With people who suffer with hay fever, the body releases histamine in response to the allergen (pollen) and this causes their symptoms. So, foods and supplements that have an antihistamine effect can be helpful. Quercetin is another supplement which can be quite effective in reducing histamine levels.

In terms of natural remedies, we tend to recommend A.Vogel’s Pollinosan tablets, which is a homoeopathic remedy suitable for adults and children over the age of 12. It’s a good, safe remedy that won’t interact with any medication that people are taking. We also recommend Combination H tissue salts as that’s another homeopathic remedy that can be taken by those who are on medication. Another product we like to recommend is HayMax barrier balm. It’s a very simple remedy that you apply to the nostrils and it helps to stop the itchy nose that so many people get with hay fever. I find it works well for pet allergies too.

Local honey

Another thing we recommend is local honey because this may help to reduce a person’s sensitivity to local pollen and in turn reduce the symptoms of hay fever. We have found that for many customers this does the trick on its own. Our honey comes from a local supplier, Rob’s Bees, and we have even converted people who don’t like honey! It can be particularly helpful if you have a sore, itchy throat to take a teaspoon of honey and hold it at the back of the throat as this has a wonderful soothing effect. Lastly, we recommend that people wear sunglasses when they are outside and wash their face and hands when they come in to get rid of the pollen.

I think that when someone is faced with a health issue like hay fever it’s like putting a jigsaw together. There isn’t usually just one thing that will help – you have to put the pieces together. Food is the ultimate therapy and then the right supplements or natural remedies along with lifestyle changes can really help.

Peak Health Food

Peak Health Food is based at 21 Market Square, Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 2BJ.

Peak Health Food is a family owned and operated health food store based in the market town of Rugeley in Staffordshire, in a beautiful building dating back to the 1800s.

The shop has been in existence for 27 years and has been run by Marie Longman and her partner Jason Parrish for the last 12 years. Marie has numerous years’ experience in the health food industry and has also gained industry qualifications.

Customer service is paramount to Marie and her team and they strive to provide the best in both quality and service. The store stocks a range of whole foods, supplements for all health conditions, as well as natural homecare and personal care products. They operate a recycling scheme as well as a refill service for home and bodycare products.

To contact the store, call 01889 807060, visit or follow the store on social media: @peakhealthfood

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