BATTLE SEASONAL ALLERGIES WITH HERBS!
BY DAWN MARTUCCI
There are few things in life better than the gifts Spring and Summer have to offer. Emerging from that long period of social hibernation and frigid temperatures, we enter these delightful seasons with anticipation of new life. The sun comforts us and the blooming flowers tease our senses.
Then we walk outside, and it hits like a freight train.
Teary eyes, relentless coughs, and that daunting postnasal drip. Welcome to allergy season! Thankfully, we can turn to those very plants that are blooming for some relief. Whether steeping them in a mug or adding them to our favorite dishes, they are here to help.
The most common symptoms can be relieved by starting with a hot steam. This is something we all have access to and is extremely effective. Simply boil a pot of water on the stove. When it boils, shut it off and throw in a handful of fresh thyme. Tent yourself with a towel, and breathe deeply until the steam has stopped. I strongly recommend doing this any time there is congestion present.
Goldenrod is a favorite for battling seasonal allergies. Many blame Goldenrod for their seasonal allergies but it’s actually ragweed, which blooms at the same time. This plant has antihistaminic and anti-inflammatory actions. It has a tonifying effect on the mucous membranes which helps with a drippy nose and phlegmy lungs. Enjoy this as a tea as its flavor is very mild.
Another plant with antihistaminic activity is Nettle. This amazing herb also has antibacterial, antifungal, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties. Nettle is a very high mineral plant which nourishes the body and cleans the blood. Not only can it inhibit inflammation but block immune cells from releasing chemicals that trigger those pesky allergy symptoms. It’s safe for everyone and can benefit all bodies. With its powerful purifying effects, Nettle can assist in driving toxins out of the body.
For anyone suffering from a dry, hacking cough, Mullein will be your very best herbal friend. With its relaxant and expectorant actions, Mullein will calm the bronchial tissue and help break up mucus. This is a highly effective herb for unproductive coughs and my personal favorite for breaking up congestion. It also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial actions. As if that’s not enough, Mullein is very calming to the body. A hot cup of this amazing herb will have a relaxing and sedative effect. Don’t pass on this herb. It seriously works.
There are some amazing plants out there to help with allergy symptoms. First and foremost, we need to build up our immune systems, so our bodies are equipped to fight germs and become less reactive to allergies. This presents a challenge to many people with auto immune diseases. There are, however, some herbal immunostimulants. Herbs with immunostimulant actions will modulate the immune system. It’s because of this ability to increase or suppress that these plants are safe for everyone. Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Two of my favorites are Maitake and Shitake mushrooms. Aside from the obvious fact that these forest dwellers are completely delicious, they provide a multitude of benefits for the body. They clean the blood, modulate the immune system, and even lower blood sugar levels. They have also been shown to inhibit tumor blood vessel growth. These have long been used in Asian and Japanese foods and given to elders, pregnant women and the sick for centuries. So, enjoy these mushrooms. They are widely available as of late. Cook with them or boil them for teas. These mushrooms should never be ingested raw. Support your body with Holistic methods and stay healthy!