A gin and tonic could be the hay fever remedy you’ve been waiting for

We all know how grim hay fever season can be. If you suffer from allergies, you’ll no doubt be dreading the next couple of months, which are peak hay fever hell. From streaming eyes to itchy throats and constant sneezing, hay fever sufferers have got it bad.

What’s more, it is fairly well know that drinking alcohol can worsen symptoms of hay fever, as it contains histamine, the same substance that’s released in your body when you have an allergic reaction. Bang goes those lazy sunny Sunday afternoons in the beer garden, then…

gin and tonic hayfever
Alamy Stock Photo

The good news is that not all alcohol contains high levels of histamine, meaning you can opt for more ‘hayfever-safe’ drinks come summer time. One which is often hailed as a better option is a good old gin and tonic.

Indeed, Asthma UK recommends sticking to clear spirits to best help symptoms:

‘Clear spirits like gin and vodka are considered more “asthma friendly” because they contain less histamine and fewer sulphites,’ its website reads.

Gin does not usually contain sulphites, due to its unique distillation process. Likewise, as Asthma UK points out, it is generally low in histamine levels.

On the no-go list? Wine is officially out, unfortunately; ‘Wine is the most common trigger and there’s some evidence that it brings on symptoms the most quickly,’ says Asthma UK.


Along with red and white wine, cider and beer drinkers may be disappointed, as they are also not recommend for asthma or hayfever sufferers.

So although drinking a gin and tonic may not solve your hayfever symptoms, it probably won’t worsen them, and is safe to drink in the summer months.

In the meantime, it’s nearly time to crack open that big box of tissues, invest in some antihistamines, and have your sunglasses handy at all times.

Happy hayfever season!