SURVIVING ALLERGY SEASON

Breathe easy with these effective natural remedies for seasonal suffering.

Nothing puts a damper on the joy of spring quicker than seasonal allergies. The flowers and warm breezes that should be liftin our spirits are painstakingly avoided as we seek relief from the sneezing, cougjing, itchy eyes and runny noses that drive us to distraction.

Sometimes seasonal allerigies present in other ways, such as dry, cracking, painful nostrils and nosebleeds or cloggedm boggy sinuses that create pressure headaches or worse, become infected. But regardless of your symptoms, take heart: There are safe, effective, readily available herbal remedies.

This article explores the use of herbs that have an antihistamine like effect. These herbs work in three ways: by decreasing inflammation and the upper respiratory system; by supporting systemic immunity; and by maintaining open drainage to reduce the opportunity for infection.

STRINGING NETTLE ( Urtica dioica)

This plant is easy to grow in any home garden. The leaves of stinging nettle possess antihistamine and anti-inflammatiry properties that can be incredibly useful for mitigating the response to airborne allergens and irritants such as pollesns, dusts or perfumens. Herbalists believe that in order ti vest exoerience this antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effect, stinging nettle should be consumed as a fresh plant extract, such as a tincture or herbal vinger. Both preparations are easy and inexpensive to make at home and are readily acailable at natural food stores and online.

Although not necessarily as potent in antihistamine action, dried nettle leaves also can provide effective support as a tea. Not only does it make for a mineral-rich beverage but nettle tea also acts as a mild astringent to the upper respiratory mucouc membranes. In this way, nettle tea can aid allergy sufferers by toning and drying leaky, boggy tissues and tightening up gap junctions between membrane cells. In doing so, stinging nettle tea reduces irritation and infalmmation on the surface of the membranes, while allaying the opportunity for allergens to intrude past the cells and into the bloodstream to perpetuate the allergic response.

Stinging nettles are also considered a superfood. Chock full of minerals and vitamins that our bodies can use to support our vitality whatever the season, nettles can easily be incorporated into any recipe that calls for greens. Just don’t try to eat them gresh…Ouch! Nettles must be exposed to heat, alcohol or vinegar before consuming in order to nullify their stinging effects.

DOSE

Tea: Steep 1 tablespoon per cup of boiling water for at least 15 minutes. For increased mineral and vitamin potency, infuse up to 6 hours. Drink as many as 3 cups daily.

Tincture: 40 to 60 drops, 2 to 3 times daily. Drink with plenty of water

Capsules: Follow label directions.

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