There are a lot of over-the-counter and prescription antihistamine medications that help us relieve the symptoms of allergies, especially during the spring season. However, some of us just can’t get rid of their side effects, including drowsiness, moodiness, and nausea.
To help you combat the symptoms of allergic reactions naturally, our experts have listed some of the best herbs for allergies, explaining the science behind them. Remember, however, that it is best to consult a medical professional if you have recurring allergic reactions.
Well-known as a natural remedy for migraines, numerous studies have shown that butterbur also significantly improves unpleasant allergy symptoms. In fact, a British Medical Journal research conducted among 125 people with hay fever found out that it worked just as well as cetirizine.
If you want to get rid of your allergy symptoms without suffering the sedative effects of antihistamines, butterbur can be a smart choice among herbs for allergies. It contains an active ingredient called Petasin which is thought to combat the leukotrienes and histamines that lead to an allergic reaction.
2. Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
Horehound is a member of the bitter mint family herb known for its ability to ease wet coughs and improve expectoration in chest congestion. Additionally, it is also one of the excellent herbs for allergies that relieves its symptoms. It helps thin and move mucus in acute and chronic cases, particularly the allergies that involve excess congestion, thick mucus, and post-nasal drip.
The horehound plant prefers dry, sunny, and sandy spots in the garden and along roadsides. Any portion of this plant which grows above the ground is safe for consumption. It can be made into a tea or taken orally by mixing it with food or solely as a supplement. Horehound leaves and flowers can be cooked too — you can even add them into salads and soups!
Echinacea is popularly associated with cold and flu treatments. But, similar to the above-mentioned herbs, it is also surprisingly beneficial as one of the herbs for allergies. This plant helps strengthen the immune system which helps maintain the body’s resistance to allergens.
Though often sold as a herbal supplement, you can best consume echinacea where it has been freshly harvested. When it undergoes production process, this plant can lose its beneficial properties. If you have plant allergies, however, it is best to ask a physician or pharmacist if it is safe for you to consume this herb.
Quercetin, which is a top histamine-lowering compound effective in improving the symptoms of spring allergies, is present in garlic. This plant also has anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties which make it a popular natural remedy for various health issues.
In fact, quercetin found in garlic is a key ingredient among many allergy-fighting supplements and drugs. You can either add fresh garlic to your favourite cooked meals or bake a head of it cut in half and spread it in bread or crackers.
5. Stinging Nettle
Medicinally used for ages, stinging nettle is a perennial flowering plant which has shown excellent anti-inflammatory abilities that helps fight the symptoms of seasonal allergies. These include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. In fact, some studies also found out that the bioactive components of stinging nettle can actually restrict multiple inflammatory events, therefore preventing allergy symptoms.
When collecting nettles, make sure to use working gloves and a long-sleeved shirt as their hairy leaves can sting the skin. Once you’ve cooked them a little, or soaked them in hot water, stingers are deactivated and the plant becomes edible.
Aside from being a commonly used spice among Indian, Thai, and other ethnic cuisines, turmeric also has an endless list of health benefits. When it comes to allergies, this member of the ginger family contains a powerful active compound called curcumin. It has been shown to significantly reduce and restrict allergic responses.
To consume it, heat water in a pan and add turmeric powder. After stirring it well, pour the concoction in a glass. You can best drink it with honey twice a day to relieve allergy symptoms.
Meanwhile, turmeric and honey are beneficial to the skin too! Check out our DIY face masks blog to learn more.
7. Vitamin C (found in various fruits and vegetables)
According to various studies, oxidative stress plays a key role in allergic diseases. And since vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant and has inflammatory properties, it can act as an effective remedy against allergies.
Research shows that high doses of intravenous vitamin C reduced allergy symptoms. A study from 2000 suggests that taking 2 grams of vitamin C daily can act as an effective antihistamine. In fact, vitamin C deficiency can also lead to allergy-related diseases.
It is present in a lot of fruits and vegetables including the following:
- bell peppers
- cantaloupe melon
- citrus fruits
- tomatoes and tomato juice
- winter squash
This spring, take advantage of your garden and plant some of the most beneficial herbs not only for allergies but also for a variety of health problems. Starting a herbal garden is worth a try! Check out our blogsite for a constant supply of gardening tips from our experts.