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. . . HERB CORNER


MulleinEyebright

Herbs for the Allergy Season

SPRING is in full bloom!. . . bringing with it a plethora of pollens and other air born particles that make some people sneeze, sniffle and wheeze.

If you are someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, there are several herbal remedies that can offer relief.

If for you Spring means getting everything from sneezing and watery eyes to congestion and swollen mucous membranes, you can combine the following 13 herbs in the amounts indicated by herbalist Peter Quenter. As each herb has its own role to play with regards to allergy symptoms, the herbs listed can also be custom blended according to your individual needs. Ask a knowledgeable herbalist for assistance.

Alfalfa leaf - 4 parts
(mineralizing, alkalizing)
Astragalus root - 4 parts
(immune support; congestion)
Chrysanthemum flower - 4 parts
(headaches; dry, swollen, watery eyes)
Elder flower - 4 parts
(water - mucous elimination, cold symptoms)
Eleuthero root - 3 parts
("adaptogen" - supports adrenals; helps with environmental stress)
Eyebright herb - 5 parts
(standard traditional herb for itchy, watery eyes & nose)
Meadowsweet herb - 3 parts
(respiratory tract inflammations)
Mullein flower - 5 parts
(demulcent, soothing; protects mucous membranes)
Nettle leaf- 5 parts
(detox, nourishing, allergy symptoms)
Parsley - 3 parts
(rich in minerals, vitamins, mucous detoxifier)
Peppermint - 3 parts
(congestion, swollen mucous membranes, headaches)
Plantain - 4 parts
(antiseptic, mucous congestion, hoarseness)
Reishi mushroom - 3 parts
(immune support, stress, allergies)

Before starting any herbal treatment you should first check with your health care provider to ensure the herbs are not contraindicated with any other medicines you may be taking or any medical condition you may have.

To Make Your Dry Allergy Herb Mixture

Combine all herbs in the amounts indicated and mix thoroughly. Store in a tightly covered glass jar away from direct light. Please note that heavier herbs may settle to the bottom of your dry mixture so stir thoroughly before using.

To Make a Tea

Add one teaspoon dry mixture to one cup spring or distilled water and bring to low simmer. Water should be moving but not bubbling. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. If desired, strain through unbleached coffee filter or bamboo strainer. You can make this tea in small one cup batches for immediate use, or you can make batches large enough to last two days when stored in the refrigerator. You can drink leftover tea cold or warm depending on your preference. If you choose to reheat, avoid use of microwave, and do not allow to boil.

To Make a Tincture

Place dry herbs in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Ensure there is about two inches clearance from top of jar. Pour food-grade alcohol (about 40 proof) over dry herbs until covered by one inch. You can choose whatever type of alcohol you like such as vodka, brandy or pure grain alcohol. Allow to sit away from direct light for about four weeks or longer; gently shake jar periodically. At the end of the four week period, strain tincture through unbleached coffee filter. Bottle in amber tincture bottles and label.

Although a tincture takes longer to make than a tea, it can be more convenient in the long run. Once it is made, it is ready to use throughout the allergy season without any additional prep work. The alcohol will preserve the herbs for years. Those with a sensitive palette may find a tincture easier to take than a tea.

Adult Dosage Throughout the Allergy Season

Tea: Begin by drinking one cup of tea per day. Over the course of one week gradually increase dose to two or three cups per day.

Tincture: Take 20 - 40 drops in a little water once daily, gradually increasing to two or three times daily.

If you wish to use this allergy formula (or any variation thereof) for children under the age of 12, consult with a qualified herbalist for the correct dosage and for ongoing supervision.

Other Allergy Remedies

Fenugreek Powder

This herb reduces mucous/catarrh. Take 1/2 teaspoon with water/tea 2 - 3 times per day. Children under the age of 10 take 1/4 teaspoon.

Lemon Juice

Mix fresh squeezed lemon juice with 1/2 liter water and 2 tablespoons raw organic apple cider vinegar. Add grated ginger root (raw) if desired. This mixture will help break down mucous. Sip all day.

Diet

Eliminate dairy, avoid sugars and drink lots of pure water.

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This herbal formulation was created by Peter Quenter, herbalist and homeopath, for Rainbow Natural Foods. Reprinted with permission.

Recipe published: Spring, 2006

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Herbal Recipes

Above photos: left: mullein flower (Verbascum thapsus); right: eyebright herb (Euphrasia officinalis).

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