4 herbs for hayfeverSpring is not such a wonderful season for everyone – for some it means a season or two of sniffles, headaches, itchy eyes, sore throats.

My darling sister has been my chief guinea pig over the years for herbal potions to ward off the attack of the pollen on her.  I am happy to report she now has a much better handle on her condition than she did 15 years ago when I started ‘practicing’ on her!  She now also adheres to an anti-histamine diet which helps her through her general rhinitis problem the rest of the year too.

The 4 herbs I am going to tell you about are just some of the many herbs you can try, so if these don’t hit the spot – please don’t give up – there is natural help out there, and with the help of a Medical Herbalist you can find the right ones for you.  But for now – heres my favourite 4 if you want to try them for your self.

German Chamomile

As an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, this herb is much stronger than it looks!  Don’t waste money on tea bags – get the real thing – either from a herbalist (the Chamomile Clinic always has it in stock!) or a herbal shop.  Use at least a desert spoon per cup, brew for 15 minutes with a lid on and drink 3 per day.  You can also wash your eyes with the tea regularly to help soothe any itching and swelling – just make sure you strain it well, I use coffee filters to make sure i don’t get any bits of the herb in the eye which would irritate further.

Elderflower

A great decongestant at any time of year for stuffy noses everywhere.  It makes a delicious tea too and is about to come into flower so if you like your pharmacy for free then this is a great one to pick, dry and store for a year long supply of decongestant herb in the cupboard. Dosage – at least 1 teaspoon per cup, brew for 10-15 minutes.  Drink freely throughout the day, and at least 3 cups to be a medicinal dose.

Nettle

Another strong antihistamine herb, helpful for the itching experienced in eyes, throat and to help reduce histamine related inflammation.  I use this for any allergy.  And again – free if you have good gloves to go picking.  Or buy it already dried – which also means no risk of getting stung! It has the added benefit of being very nourishing with iron and other minerals to support a healthy diet.  Dosage – at least 1 teaspoon per cup, brew for 10-15 minutes.  Drink freely throughout the day, and at least 3 cups to be a medicinal dose.

Peppermint

Decongestant, uplifting to the emotions and a mild liver tonic.  This herb works best if you drink it as a tea with your head over the cup and inhale the vapours whilst you slurp.  This herb is readily available at the supermarket, or plant shop and is so easy to grow i have to keep in pots to stop it taking over my garden.  I have 6 types of mint at the moment, moroccan, spearmint, apple, pineapple, black pepper and peppermint (Mentha x piperita) which is the classic used in herbal medicine. But if you enjoy gardening and teas, all have similar properties and are fun to grow and compare, pineapple mint works great in a glass of Pimms by the way.  Doseage for tea – 1 teaspoon of dry, or 3 sprigs of fresh per cup.  Drink freely, at least 3 a day. It is also our Herb of The Month!

I tend to mix all 4 of the herbs for hayfever discussed in one tea blend for clients, perhaps adding one or two more depending on their symptoms.

If you are a hay fever sufferer, I hope this information helps you get through the spring and summer in a healthier happier way.  Please do get in touch if you have any questions.

 

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