This is a continuation of a previous blog post, Got Allergies?
Now back to the wild weeds (herbs) – When we are working with allergies, we want to look at herbs that have one or more of these actions, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, decongestant, liver support & adrenal support. Look for these herbs on the labels when purchasing on the retail market.
Echinacea is a great herb to stimulate the immune system and it is also a great anti-inflammatory so here we have an herb with 2 of the actions already. Licorice is decongestant and is a well known adrenal tonic so helps clear congestion while helping the body adapt to the stress it is under as it deals with your allergies. Wild yam find its place as a anti-inflammatory and antihistamine.
Other herbs to look for – antihistamine herbs – burdock root, sea vegetables like kelp, algae's like spirulina or chlorella and gotu kola. Anti-inflammatory herbs like St. Johnswort, Tumeric, burdock, calendula and dandelion root. Decongestant herbs like fennel seed, ginger root and garlic.
Here is a great traditional allergy protocol that works great:
• Right away begin taking Echinacea Tincture. Traditional dosage: 1 dropper full every waking hour for 3 to 4 days to stimulate the immune system.
• Begin drinking a high quality Sinus/Allergy Tea blend. 1 cup 3-4x day. Note: this tea is used to help dry up without drying out the sinuses.
• Vitamin C to bowel tolerance
• Start with 1000 or 2000 I.U. Vitamin C 3 x day. If you do not get diarrhea then increase until your stools become loose then cut back until diarrhea stops.
For pain, swelling and congestion you can also try the following:
• Use Neti Pot or saline rinse to irrigate sinuses
• Do a Eucalyptus Steam for 10 minutes 2-3x day, especially before bed so you can sleep
• Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add 1 drop Essential Oil of Eucalyptus to water. Drape a large towel over your head and pot to form a steam tent. Close eyes and mouth and breath deeply through your nose. Your nose will begin to clear out mucus quickly so keep Kleenex handy. Note: Keep face about 12” above steaming water being careful not to burn your face.
• If sinuses are painful and swollen, you can put hot/cold compresses on sinus area
IN BETWEEN FLAIR UPS:
When your body is creating all that mucus, your liver can get congested. Also if you have been taking drugs for the allergies then we all know that they can damage and impact the liver too. Drink 2-4 cups daily of a Daily Detox Tea to help clear congestion from the liver. Herbs to look for in a liver detox blend are dandelion root, burdock root, yellowdock root, pau d arco, licorice, milk thistle seed etc.
There are natural alternatives for allergies and herbs are definitely part of that answer. Give them a try – you may be surprised at your results.
Keeping it green,
Kathleen Gould, Herbalist AHG
Kathleen Gould, Herbalist RH (AHG) has studied, taught and lived herbalism for 25 years. She is a professional member of the esteemed American Herbalist Guild and has studied herbalism throughout the U.S. with internationally known herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, Tieroana Lowdog MD, James Duke Ph.D., Michael Tierra, David Hoffman, Patch Adams, and Susun Weed. She is the former owner of both the Herb Corner and Learning Center and The Southeastern Center for Herbal Studies in Florida.
Kathleen is currently proprietor of the SW Herb Shop in Mesa, Arizona, where she conducts private herbal consultations and teaches an Herbal Certification Course on the selection of appropriate herbs to address conditions of the organ systems. The course includes preparation of appropriate teas, tincture, syrups and salves. She has lectured at holistic, alternative and health organizations, environmental groups, herbal symposiums including Calloway Gardens Herbs Days in Georgia and in Florida at Lew Garden's annual herbal conference.
Kathleen has been interviewed by Prevention Magazine/Rodale Press books, The Book of Healing Herbs – Secrets from 90 Top Herbal Healers by Sari Harrar & Sara Altshul.