“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”
As winter’s blanket melts into the earth and replenishes our lakes, we are welcomed by cheerful sparrows, budding crocuses, and that inevitable springtime allergen, pollen. This fine powder floats along with the breeze, fertilizing plants, grasses, trees, and weeds, and triggers certain immune systems to release a chemical called histamine. For many of us, this chemical can elicit an array of unpleasant symptoms, ranging from sneezing and nasal congestion to watery eyes and wheezing. But before we let the unparalleled joy of springtime be dampened by a reaction to nature’s fertilizer, let’s explore how herbs and essential oils can provide seasonal allergy relief.
Nettle, or Stinging Nettle, is a perennial flowering plant often found in temperate climates and along rivers and trails. This edible species entrusts a multitude of healing properties within its leaves, roots, and seeds, and has become a staple in herbal medicine. More specifically, Nettle offers a natural anti-inflammatory that inhibits our body’s reaction to allergen proteins and reduces allergy symptoms.
Another easy to find herb, and one that pairs well with Stinging Nettle, is Dandelion Root. This pesky plant enjoys an extensive resume of medicinal benefits in its leaves and root and offers seasonal allergy relief by detoxifying the liver and blood, improving immune function, and fighting inflammation.
Goldenrod, also known as Woundwort or Blue Mountain Tea, flourishes in forests and fields, and blossoms with beautiful golden flowers in the fall. This herb is frequently considered an invasive weed, but contains abundant therapeutic value in its leaves and stems, offering relief to seasonal allergy sufferers.
If you’re feeling the pull to unleash your inner herbal healer, try out the following recipes from JJ Pursell’s book The Herbal Apothecary:
Nettle Infusion & Tincture
Goldenrod Eye Wash Infusion
Allergy Relief Capsules
Consider vegetable gelatin capsules and either purchase powdered herbs or grind them yourself.
Take 2 to 4 capsules as needed.
Adding essential oils to your morning cup of tea, evening bath, massage oil, diffuser, or natural cleaning products can significantly reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. In fact, many natural healing practitioners advocate for the use of essential oils as a way to cleanse the body of seasonal toxins and recover internal balance.
Peppermint, or Mentha Piperita, essential oils are extracted from the plant’s leaves, often through the process of steam distillation. Commonly used in cooking and as herbal medicine, the medicinal properties of this versatile plant are known to reduce inflammation and indigestion, improve circulation, boost immunity, and aid in respiratory issues, to name a few.
Eucalyptus, or Eucalyptus Globulus, essential oils offer allergy sufferers a decongestant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and an alternative means for treating exhaustion and respiratory problems. During allergy season, the essential oils sourced from eucalyptus leaves can also be used as an antimicrobial agent by adding them to your wash.
Lemon, or Citrus Limon, essential oils are full of immune-boosting Vitamin C and encourage a calming and detoxifying effect on the body. Extracted from peels using a cold expression, this essential oil also acts as an antibacterial and antiseptic.
Frankincense, or Boswellia Sacra, provides seasonal allergy relief and fights to reduce the stress caused by allergies through its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The essential oils from this tree resin are extracted using steam distillation and are best used in diluted form (i.e. behind ones’ ears) or inhaled through a diffuser.
The use of herbs and essential oils for seasonal allergy relief is growing in popularity as clinical studies increase and demand for natural healing alternatives rises. That being said, one must remember that these natural alternatives may also cause allergic reactions in certain individuals and that it is essential to start with small amounts and monitor your body’s reaction. In addition,
speak with your local Naturopath about incorporating these elements into your allergy relief plan or visit the knowledgeable staff at Back to Earth to learn more about products like the Allergy Relief Synergy Oil Blend.
Written By: Zoë Tomichich
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