Powder Making Hay With Hay Fever

Hay fever sufferers can add cellulose powder to their treatments

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Hay fever, which is caused by a pollen allergy, is the most common seasonal allergy. Itchy, sneezy, runny noses are just some of its nagging symptoms.

Scientists from the Sahlgrenska Academy and the department of plant and environmental sciences at the University of Gothenburg have shown that cellulose powder significantly reduces hay fever symptoms in children.  

"Ask your allergist if cellulose powder is good for you."

Nils Åberg, M.D., associate professor in the department of pediatrics at the Queen Silvia Children's Hospital in Sweden, reports that cellulose powder, which is derived from pine trees and forms a barrier on mucous membranes when inhaled, has no adverse effects, making it a particularly attractive treatment for children.

It has been used increasingly all over the world, but until now, there had been no scientific study proving the effectiveness of cellulose powder in children during high pollen season.

Dr. Åberg remarks that the study showed significantly reduced nasal symptoms in those who were using the cellulose powder. The best effect was obtained at low to moderate concentrations of pollen. 

"The complete absence of adverse effects makes this treatment admirably suited to self-care, and particularly for the treatment of children," Dr. Åberg said. This study suggests that cellulose powder is an appropriate supplement to traditional methods of treating hay fever, which includes antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec) and cortisone nasal sprays (Rhinocort, Nasalcort, Flonase, Nasonex and Vancenase). 

The study included 53 children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 18 who suffer from hay fever. Participtans were told to puff cellulose powder through the nose three times a day for four weeks, or take a placebo. They also received a daily antihistamine tablet.

Additionally, pollen counts were taken daily on the top of the hospital roof and were then analyzed with the symptom report data.

Findings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed jounal.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 28, 2011
Last Updated:
July 8, 2011