Spring means different things to all of us, but for more millions of Americans, it means watery eyes, scratchy throats and runny noses. If you suffer from seasonal allergies every spring, fear not! Mother Nature offers a number of herbal remedies to help ease our sniffles and sneezes.
Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory properties offer relief to dry, itchy eyes. Try placing refrigerated, wet chamomile tea bags over your eyes for 3 to 5 minutes.
Stinging nettle acts as an antihistamine in the body; it targets the immune system’s response to an allergen, helping to reduce allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and sneezing. Try taking 300 to 500 mg of stinging nettle capsules daily, or look for tea made from fresh freeze-dried leaves.
Peppermint: The combination of peppermint’s menthol oils and tannins makes it a powerful decongestant. Improve breathing by steeping fresh or dried peppermint leaves in boiling water to create a sinus-clearing tea, or try this Breathe-Easy Inhalation remedy.
Thyme: An antimicrobial and expectorant herb, thyme is useful at treating coughs, clearing congestion and soothing sore throats. Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme to create a tea, or try commercially prepared thyme tea bags.
Honey’s healing and expectorant qualities make it a great natural treatment for easing coughs and soothing sore throats. A spoonful in a cup of tea ought to the do the trick, or combine the powers of honey and thyme (or other expectorant herbs) in this recipe for Soothing Herbal Honey.
Ginger: A natural pain killer, ginger can help soothe the irritation of a sore throat. It’s especially powerful when combined with honey. Simmer 1 teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger or 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried, powdered form in a cup of water for five to 10 minutes to create a ginger tea. Add honey.
Cayenne peppers are rich in quercetin, a bioflavonoid that prevents the release of histamines and other inflammatory chemicals that can cause allergy symptoms. Cayenne pepper also helps ease pain from a sore throat. Try this Fiery Gargle remedy to for sore throat relief.
For more herbal remedies for allergies, check out the article “Sniffle-Free Spring” from Natural Home & Garden magazine.
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