Before being labelled hay fever, pollen allergy or allergic rhinitis, this seasonal affliction bore the distinguished name of catarrhus aestivus or aestival catarrh. John Bostock, the doctor who first described the symptoms, thought it to be somehow heat related.
The dear man himself suffered from this horror. He studied it on himself and tried every possible cure he could think of – bleeding and opium taking included. None of them worked, until one day, he decided to spend his summers near Ramsgate. This exile helped him "nearly escaped the disease". The poor chap also struggled to get the medical establishment to accept that this painful inflammation of the nostrils was a real disease. Apparently, none of the other doctors suffered from it, nor did they have a single patient with the same complaint. Finally, the Times popularized the name and the ailment in 1837 by reporting that king William IV had "been subject to an attack of hay fever from which he has generally suffered for several weeks".
To relieve your nasal passages in dire straits, no need to bleed yourself dry nor to take a trip to poppy land. Good old saline irrigations work wonders. A simple nose cleansing routine will lessen your sufferings without going illegal.
Smile and ruthlessly attack allergic as well as non-allergic rhinitis with salt and water.
Prepare your saline solution with ½ a teaspoon of sea salt or Himalaya salt dissolved a mug of boiled water. Wait for it to cool down before filling your dropper or your neti pot – a small ceramic pot designed for nose cleansing. In Sanskrit, neti means nose cleansing – a few times a day.
You can also use ready-made sterile saline solutions or seawater solutions.
Choose your weapon – i.e. dropper, neti pot or syringe without a needle and fil it with the saline. Tilt your head backwards and to the side. Press your tongue firmly to the roof of your mouth to avoid swallowing the solution while you squirt it into your favourite nostril and expel it out of the other one.
If you find it difficult, keep your tongue against your palate and say K during the process. Do the same in the other nostril. Wash both 5 or 6 times. The whole thing is rather unpleasant but rapidly forgotten when you experience the intense happiness of breathing properly.