- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Hay Fever and Allergies Begone! Great Herbs for Alleviating Hay Fever and Other Allergies
There are so many people that suffer from hay fever and allergies that making medicines for it has become a booming industry. I have also noticed that when something actually works, after a while you can’t find it anymore. Or they change it to make it “better” and it doesn't work as well as it did before. Not to mention all the side effects that so many pharmaceuticals have. It’s scary how many have side effects that are worse than what you are taking it for! That’s why I love herbs so much. They work, you can find or grow them, they can't be changed into something else, and if you do your research it is rare to have any side effects unless you are allergic and didn't know it.
Helping Your Body Heal Itself
It amazes me how many people I hear saying they will never get over this, that, or something else, and that they have to "live with it" for the rest of their lives and most likely take medication for it as well. I just don’t agree with that. The human body has an absolutely amazing ability to heal itself. It just needs the right nutrition to be able to do it. We all need a little help sometimes, and that goes for our bodies as well. If we give our bodies a little boost every once in a while it can do wonders for our health.
Herbs for Health
Adding herbs to our daily diet is an easy and affective way to support our bodies. You may not realize it but they are packed with nutrients our bodies need, and in this day and age probably aren’t getting. Many of us already use herbs in our cooking, but how much do we know about them? Take parsley for instance. It is used a lot in cooking but did you know it is also a natural antihistamine? That’s right Parsley (Petroselinum crispum ) can help you get rid of your allergies and hay fever. It is also used to help relieve water retention and help fight infection internally. It has a bunch of nutrients, many of which are depleted in the body due to toxins we come into contact with on a daily basis, which the body uses to repair itself. Parsley gives our bodies an extra boost toward wellness that it sometimes needs. Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, purpurea, pallida ) is one herb, or actually three, that we all know is touted for helping get rid of colds and flu. Did you know though, the same immune building action that makes it good for colds and flu also makes it beneficial for relieving hay fever and allergies? If our immune system is in peak condition it can block out the things that cause our hay fever or allergies.
A Tea for Health
Teas are a simple way to boost your nutrient intake, and fight off allergies or hay fever as well. Parsley is rather bland tasting when made into a tea, so it mixes well with other herbs. Some of my favorite combinations are:
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita ) and Parsley
- Rosemary (Rosamarinus officinalis ), Parsley, and Plantain (Plantago major )
- Parsley, Rosemary, and Sage (Salvia officinalis ).
- Rose hip (Rosa canina, rugosa, centifolia ) and parsley tea also tastes great and provides a lot of nutrients as well.
Parsley also mixes well with most other herbs. The teas you can make are only limited by your imagination. Well that and your taste buds. In all the years I have been making teas, I have only made two that didn't taste good.
Looking For More Information?
Using herbs and experimenting with different combinations is a great way to learn about them. The internet also has a whole host of options for getting more information on different herbs. If you would rather take a class, there are many schools available. I have taken several online at the American College of Healthcare Sciences. I love collecting different herbals. One of my favorites is by Victoria Zak because it has a huge listing of different herbs, their uses and actions, contraindication, and vitamins and minerals. In the front it also has a handy guide that lists different ailments and under each, the herbs used for them. You should read each entry for the herbs though, as not all of those that are good for a specific ailment are listed under that ailment. Parsley is a good example of this. It states that parsley is an antihistamine in the information on the herb, but doesn't list it in the front section that lists herbs for allergies or hay fever. 20,000 Secrets of Tea
The first book I got on herbs and herbal remedies was and Christopher Hedley. Unfortunately it is now out of print. It gave step-by-step (with pictures) instructions on how to make different remedies as well as information and recipes on a handful of different herbs. My favorite part of it though was a chart in the back that listed ailments, the herbs and spices that could be used for them, and what kind of preparations to use. This is the first book that I learned the benefits of parsley from, and used while making my first tea blend for my mom's hot flashes. It also turned out to be excellent for getting rid of her hay fever completely and over time significantly reduced her tape, nickel, and pine allergies. Herbal Remedies by Non Shaw
A Word of Caution
Herbs are great, but you do need to use some caution as well. There are many herbs that are emmenagogue. This means that they affect the female reproductive system. So if you are pregnant, you would not want to use these herbs since many of them can cause uterine contractions. Parsley, sage, and peppermint are just a few. Sage also naturally helps control blood sugar, so if you use insulin you probably shouldn’t drink sage tea medicinally. If you are nursing it is also recommended to avoid sage since it can decrease milk production. Although if you are in the process of weaning your child your might want that. You should always research any herbs before you use them. This may sound like a chore but it is important to do and besides it is so much fun to learn about herbs and create your own teas.
This information has not been approved by the FDA. It is meant for informational purposes only and not meant to treat or diagnose any illness or disease. Always talk to your doctor and/or naturopath before using herbs, especially if you are currently taking medication.