Friday, April 17, 2009

Teas for Hay Fever

Chamomile tea from Greg
The time of allergies is almost upon us in the North! I have a couple of friends already suffering from the sneezing and the itchy eyes, which can take away some of the pleasure of enjoying the warmer weather (even after such a long Winter!).

Here is another fantastic article written by my friend Rebecca Mullins that was originally published in Alive and Fit. You can see another article of hers that I posted called Immune System Boosters here.

Hay Fever Ounce of Prevention by Rebecca Mullins

While most people enjoy the spring and summer sunshine, for those who suffer with hay fever, these season can be difficult. Allergies can cause a great deal of discomfort. You can find relief from the symptoms of have fever and other allergies through herbal teas. It is best to use herbal remedies as a preventative measure leading up to spring and summer, rather than only treating the symptoms as they appear.

Chamomile Tea

This can be used to reduce the duration of hay fever attacks. It is rich in anti-inflammatory agents and is gentle enough for children to use. Another way to make use of it is by making a simple eye compress. A natural alternative to over-the-counter eye drops is a chamomile tea compress.

Chamomile Tea Compress:

Make a cup of chamomile tea and allow it to cool. Soak a wad of cotton material in the tea. Gently place over the eyes for 5 to 10 minutes. This can be safely used three or more times per day. Always use a fresh compress for each eye to avoid infection. This homemade remedy should not be kept for more than a day, since it has no natural preservatives and may introduce bacteria to the eye.

Eyebright Tea

It sooths itchy eyes associated with hay fever, and is also known for its ability to relieve nasal congestion. It is an astringent that dries secretions and calms inflammation of the mucous membranes of the head, throat and upper respiratory tract. It also has the ability to constrict conjunctival and nasal blood vessels when the are in a reactive state. Two to three cups per day is recommended. It is odorless and has a bitter, salty taste.

Licorice Root Tea

This should be taken daily for a month or so before and then also during the hay fever season for the best results. There are substances in this herb, which have the ability to stimulate the adrenals to produce more cortisol, a hormone that decreases inflammation. For those who want a more natural remedy without ill side effects, this is slower and more gentle on the body, which makes it a good replacement for corticosteroid drugs. However, consumption should be stopped for one month out of every four so that cortisol levels don't become too high.

In susceptible people, licorice root tea can raise blood pressure or lower potassium levels; therefore, it is best to check with your health-care provider before consuming licorice root tea, It is recommended that you consume no more than three cups a day. Be sure to look for organic licorice root tea its natural for, which can be purchased from your health food store.

Nettle Tea

Made from fresh stinging nettles, it contains chlorophyll and formic acid, which strengthen the immune system in preparation for the hay fever season. It is also effective in reducing hay fever because it acts as an expectorant and also reduces sinus inflammation. It also acts as an effective antihistamine and an astringent to reduce itchy eyes and sneezing. Nettles are known as one of the great botanical blood cleanser, aiding the body in ridding itself of accumulated toxins, and contain many healthy minerals for our overall health. You can take several cups of strong nettle tea daily--mix with peppermint leaf to improve the taste, which is strong, grassy, and earthy.

Rebecca Mullins RHN can be reached at




Medusae said...

I've actually just starting drinking herbal teas this past winter. I really love them! I dunno though - that chamomile one in the picture looks kinda scary >.> Gloop!

nefaeria said...

Heh, it is one strong cup of tea! I find tea balls or the trusty bodum works nice to avoid chewing on your tea. ;)

Cammie said...

Great! Thank you for posting!


nefaeria said...

You're most welcome, Cammie! :)