Remedies: Tea for seasonal allergies and hayfever
One of my recent assignments for my Traditional Chinese Medicine class was to create a protocol for a condition from which I suffer. As a lifelong year-round allergy sufferer, I've tried just about every prescription and OTC medication on the market. I gave up the daily pills and switched to an all natural approach five years ago. Since then, my allergies have been drastically reduced, but I still have a few days each spring and fall when I suffer from hayfever so unbearable it leaves me wanting to end it all for the day and knock myself out with a dose of Benadryl.
I have never followed a very rigid or structured plan for relieving my allergies. I've read about different remedies and heard about things friends tried and I've tested those things out to see what works best for me. When I lived in Indianapolis, eating a tablespoon of local honey every day worked magically for me. When I moved to Detroit a few years ago, I tried several locally made honeys, but nothing seemed to offer me the same level of relief.
When this project was assigned, I was excited to put myself on a more structured protocol, experiment with different herbs and dosages, and observe the outcome. I'm happy to say it's worked really well...actually, better than anything I've ever taken for my allergies. I've had two high-allergy days in the last month and on both days, I was able to slightly increase my dosages and feel relief within an hour.
I won't share my full protocol, because what works for one person may not work for everyone. It is always important to consult with an herbalist or holistic nutritionist along with your physician before taking any kind of herb medicinally or drastically changing your diet to learn what is best/right for you.
With that being said, here is my recipe for the tea I've been drinking while on my protocol....
1t licorice root (anti-allergenic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral to aid in preventing sinus infections; lubricates dry/scratchy throat)
1t local bee pollen (antihistamine)
1t stinging nettles (relives itchy/watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose)
1/2t reishi mushroom powder (general immune booster, anti-inflammatory, strengthens liver function - liver distress can cause hypersensitivities and allergic reactions)
Place these ingredients in a muslin teabag and steep for ten minutes in 16oz of boiling water. Drink in two eight-ounce servings each morning and night. Licorice will be the predominant flavor of the tea, so if you're not a fan, add some local honey and/or lemon to taste.
Time Saver: I've found that I don't always have time in the morning, before work, to make this tea from scratch, so I tripled the amount of herbal ingredients while still using 16oz of water to make a concentrate. I stored it in a bottle in the refrigerator and I mixed four ounces of concentrate with four ounces of boiling water in my travel coffee cup to take with me to work.