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Breathe Easy this Spring: Herbal Allies for Allergy Relief

Breathe Easy this Spring: Herbal Allies for Allergy Relief

Springtime is here and it brings the promise of renewal as our seasonal depression lifts and our Vitamin D depleted bodies can finally bask in some sun. However, for many, the arrival of spring also heralds the onset of seasonal allergies. As pollen fills the air,  those susceptible to allergens find themselves amidst a battle against sneezing, itchy eyes, fatigue, headaches, and nasal congestion. The bees and herbs are here to help us.

Honey is a wonderful ally for hay fever and seasonal allergies. Local honey introduces various pollens, weeds, and flowers to your body which enables the immune system to recognize these allergens and therefore become less sensitive to them. You want to get raw, local, humanely-produced honey as this will contain the pollen in your environment that your immune system is reacting to. It will also be the most antibacterial and immune supporting. Try a spoonful or two of Sonoma County Bee Company’s honey daily before and during allergy season.

One of the cheapest and easiest allergy fighters is a strong nettle infusion. Nettle is a natural antihistamine, anti inflammatory, kidney supporter, and is full of bioavailable minerals. All of these traits work together to curb allergy symptoms and make your immune system more resilient. Simply place two to four heaping tablespoons of dried nettle (you can buy nettle from your local herb shop, health food store, or trusted herb supplier like Oshala Farms) to a 32oz mason jar and fill with boiling water. Let this steep for at least four hours or overnight, strain, and enjoy most days of the week. You can keep this infusion in the fridge for up to 48 hours. 

Sometimes we think we have seasonal allergies when really we are reacting to poisons in the environment. Spring is a time of heavy pesticide and herbicide use, which could be why traditional hay fever remedies don’t work for your “allergies.” In this case, I recommend (if possible) to reduce your exposure to vineyards and conventional farms, both physically and when buying products. You also want to support your body and its natural detoxification process (aka liver, kidneys, digestion, and skin) as much as possible. Eating a diet with lots of fiber (aka plants) and less of the foods that you know make you inflamed, mucusy, or bloated (common ones include dairy, gluten, certain oils, eggs, alcohol, soy, refined sugar - use honey instead! etc.) will go a long way in reducing inflammation and allergy symptoms you may experience. Herbal allies for supporting our liver and kidneys include burdock root, dandelion root, dandelion leaf, goldenseal root, Oregon Grape Root,  parsley, cilantro, celery, cleavers, and turmeric.

-Lily Johnson

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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