Pollen is in the air, and a Deep Rooted reader has requested ideas for preventing and coping with spring allergies.
One, according to Brittany Nickerson’s Herbal Homestead Journal, is to take a spoonful every day of raw local honey, and to do this for at least three months. The honey needs to contain the pollens you are allergic to, so it should have been harvested in the season when those pollens were abundant.
Another, according to Elson Haas’ Staying Healthy with the Seasons, is to nibble a few local, edible flowers every day or to brew tea from them, as a way to become desensitized over time to the allergens. Haas also recommends eating local, in-season fruits and vegetables, and eliminating processed and chemical foods from your diet, as well as all sugars except small amounts of pure maple syrup or local honey.
According to Andrew Chevallier’s Herbal Remedies, elderflowers can be used to reduce the sneezing, itchiness, and runny nose associated with hay fever. See the post on Making Elderberry Syrup for simple instructions on how to make syrup from elderberries, water, and honey. Using raw local honey that contains the pollens you are allergic to could increase the effectiveness of the elderberry syrup. Chevallier recommends combining elderflower with nettle, which is currently in season and available in local farmers markets. Chevallier also says that eyebright can help with the itchy eyes caused by hay fever. Eyebright is available as a tincture. An infusion of eyebright can also be applied to a partially closed eye. In his Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, Chevallier recommends nettle for hay fever.
Another option is to use a neti pot to clean your nasal passages. For more information about how to use a neti pot, refer to the post on Using the Neti Pot in Your Spring Cleanse.
Chevallier, Andrew. Herbal Remedies. New York: Metro Books, 2007.
Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with the Seasons. New York: Celestial Arts, 2003.
Nickerson, Brittany. The Herbal Homestead Journal. United States: Brittany Wood Nickerson, 2015.