Spring is here and for many of us that means allergy season!
HOLY BASIL, , often referred to as Tulsi, is a herb that can be made into a tea and sipped daily. This herb is not the same as the garden basil often seen in Italian cooking, as it’s native to India. Tulsi is an adaptogen which helps the body cope with everyday stressors and supports normal cortisol function. Additionally, it helps strengthen the respiratory system making it great for allergies, hay fever, and asthma. This tea would ideally be used before your normal allergy season begins and consumed daily.
Chamomile is another herb that makes a delicious sweet flavored herbal tea and is a great choice for children. When purchasing in bulk, four to six grams of flowers can be infused in eight ounces of boiling water to create a tea that is useful for allergies, hay fever, and asthma. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe inflammation in the throat when a cough is present. Chamomile has a calming effect that can be soothing and relaxing in times when we are feeling run down due to stress or illness. If a ragweed allergy is present chamomile should not be used in the treatment of allergies.
Lemon Balm, a natural antihistamine, can be made into a tea using two to four grams per eight ounces of boiling water. It has also been shown to be beneficial in relieving respiratory symptoms associated with allergies such as coughs and asthma. Additionally, lemon balm is calming and useful in treating irritability, anxiety, and restlessness which may be particularly beneficial when allergies are at their peak.
For additional benefits, mix in a spoonful of raw local honey which has been shown to be beneficial in treating seasonal pollen allergies specific to an area. A great place to find this would be your local farmer’s market.
Essential Oil Blends
Essential oils can also be used in order to reduce allergy symptoms naturally. Ideally, these would be diffused into the air to receive the maximum benefit through inhalation, which can be achieved through a traditional diffuser. If you don’t have a diffuser you can still receive the benefits of inhalation by placing a few drops of essential oil on the shower floor and allow the scented steam to penetrate the room. Another option would be to place a few drops on a cotton ball or tissue under a pillow or in a pocket close to your face. The following oils are all found to promote a feeling of clear breathing and reduce allergy symptoms such as sinus headaches. Try any combination of the following oils or use them individually to suit your personal needs: eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, fir needle and lemon.