Is this really the cure for hay fever?

Break out the Bombay Sapphire

alcohol hay fever symptoms
(Image credit: MCT via Getty Images)

Break out the Bombay Sapphire

If you’re prone to a pollen-induced sneezing fit, you might want to look into hay fever remedies and bring a bottle of gin along to your next boozy picnic. While it's been proven that alcohol worsens symptoms of hay fever and asthma, Asthma UK has revealed that swapping to clear spirits like gin and vodka are an easy way around it - meaning a gin and tonic could be your drink of choice this summer.

Does alcohol trigger hay fever and asthma?

More than 64% of asthma sufferers say that alcohol can make their allergies worse. It all boils down to science and more specifically, two triggering chemicals: histamine and food preserving sulphites. Darker, fermented alcohols such as red wine and beer are rich in the stuff and are actually proven to make both hay fever and asthma worse, so a nice cold brew isn’t on the table unfortunately.

However on the other hand, gin and vodka are kinder on hay fever sufferers than their trickier brother and sisters. While every person has different triggers, Asthma UK has named spirits such as gin and vodka ‘better options’ due to fact that they’re ‘very low in histamines and sulphites’. Gin in particular, due to its distillation process, doesn’t have any sulphites unless a brand’s getting fancy with their recipe and Absolut Vodka revealed that their products are free of them too.

If you're still partial to a glass of wine however, there's a little fix. The allergy experts recommended that it's worth looking into specialty low-sulphite wines and organic wine specialists are a great place to start.

So continue boozing on, everybody - just maybe with a different drink in hand.

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.