Although spring brings many welcome things – sunshine, flowers, the end of the cold winter – it also signifies the beginning of allergy season. Say hello to itchy, red, watery eyes, irritated throats, and runny noses. Regardless of the source, there is nothing worse than not being able to enjoy the newly warm weather, so here are ten of the best natural herbal remedies to fight off seasonal spring allergies.
Stinging nettle acts as a natural antihistamine, helping the body’s immune system response to allergens and reducing symptoms like sneezing and itchy eyes. Nettles also are high in vitamins A and C! Take nettles in capsule form or drink fresh nettle tea three times daily.
- Ma Huang
Ma huang is one of the best-known herbs for fighting respiratory allergies. This herb is a natural source of epinephrine and has a similar (although milder) effect to adrenaline, which is why it is usually paired with other herbs to calm these stimulating properties. Combine ma huang with apricot seed for coughs and wheezing or create a concoction of 3 parts ma huang, 2 parts wild cherry bark, 2 parts mullein leaf, 2 parts elecampane root, 2 parts licorice, 2 parts platycodon, 1 part ginger root, 1 part wild ginger, and 1 part cinnamon for an allergy-relieving powerhouse.
Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory, which helps soothe dry, itchy eyes. For fast relief, place refrigerated, wet chamomile tea bags over your eyes for 3-5 minutes.
Peppermint acts as a powerful decongestant; steep fresh or dried peppermint leaves in boiling water to create a tea that will flush out your sinuses and make breathing a little easier.
Combined with honey, ginger makes a great natural pain killer that can help treat a sore, irritated throat. To create a nice cup of ginger tea, simmer 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or 1-2 teaspoons dried powder) in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes, and add honey as desired.
Honey has healing and soothing properties that can help reduce the symptoms of a cough or sore throat. A spoonful of honey, either alone or mixed into a cup of tea, should offer relief.
The cocklebur fruit is commonly used to clear stuffed nasal passages. Crush two fruit pods and mix with six spicy magnolia blossoms and a teaspoon of licorice root; steep in a covered cup of boiling water for 20 minutes to create a sinus-clearing drink.
This herb is often used to relieve runny eyes and sinuses. Steep 1 teaspoon in hot water and drink three times daily.
Thyme can be extremely helpful when it comes to treating coughs, congestion, and sore throats as it is an expectorant and antimicrobial. Steep 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme to make your own tea, or buy commercially prepared tea bags.
- Cayenne Pepper & Other Spicy Herbs
Herbs like cayenne pepper, black pepper, or ginger can help clear mucus from respiratory passages and make breathing easier. Mix one or several of these herbs into a paste with honey for quick relief.