Ask An Herbalist: Seasonal Allergies

Carolyn asks:

Good morning! I'm hoping to hear some of your suggestions for dealing with seasonal allergies. I live in Vermont, so I'm not sure how New England allergens compare to those on the west coast, but my primary issues seem to be "weeds" (like ragweed, etc), tree pollen, and grasses. Any input/advice is much appreciated!


Hello Carolyn!

Oh man they can be down right brutal over here especially with the ton of micro climates we have in play on the west coast! But no worries there are quite a few safe simple herbal allies than can give us a hand out of our misery!

The first one I would be doing even if I didn't have seasonal allergies would be to dive head first into drinking a few cups of stinging nettle infusion every single day. It's not only amazing at helping our bodies deal with the onslaught of symptoms from seasonal allergies it builds optimum nutrition and gives real long lasting energy. You can watch a super easy how to video i made for herbal infusions here.

The next thing i'd consider is getting my hands on a golden rod tincture made with fresh plant matter. Tinctures made with dry plant matter are basically half the strength if not entirely useless. Many think this lovely ally is who is causing their allergies in late summer/early fall. This just is not the case at all and the irony is she is amazing at helping us battle our allergy foes! You see her pollen is sticky and does not blow into the wind. Ragweed does though and she blooms at the same time!

On top of all of this i would hunt down some truly local to you 100% raw honey and work a bit of that daily into my diet. I's also see if I could get my hands on some local bee pollen! Bees make honey out of the pollen of basically any blooming plant they can find, when we eat this partially digested (for all intensive purposes) it's kinda like giving ourselves a vaccine against the pollen's we are sure will be the death of us in just one more sneeze or rib breaking cough! Our body learns to deal with it better when we take it internally on a daily basis. But i would be sure my honey did not come from commercial orchard bees like the ones we have here. They can fly for miles and miles and miles and still really only find round up laced fruit trees to feed on and their honey is basically built off of those blooms and pure corn syrup. Which is bad for all sorts of reason bu unless you are allergic to like apple blooms or the like it's not going to help you build up any sort of immunity.

Another ally i like to use especially in spring in Blue Elderberry tea/tincture but any variety will do. She is a star at reliving allergy symptoms when used steadily. I like to give her to my kids especially as spring colds are going around this time of year anyhow so it's a two birds with one stone situation.

One last thing that I have seen work pretty darn well is making a tincture out of the thing we are allergic to (this for sure DOES NOT APPLY to life threatening allergies people!) if the plant itself is SAFE to ingest on a somewhat regular basis. This is the same principle as the local honey. We are essentially vaccinating (for lack of a better term) ourselves against the thing that's making us miserable!

Well I hope this gave you a bit of insight on some herbal options or allergy relief!

Kindest Regards,

April G.

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