To combat allergies this fall, try herbal remedies. Here are 11:
1. Elderberry tones the respiratory tract and keeps the airways clear from phlegm. Research confirms that elderberries contain compounds which benefit the immune system and help ward off infections.
2. Sarsaparilla is a rich source of flavonoids. Flavonoids in sarsaparilla have been proven effective in reducing inflammation caused by allergies, asthma and bronchitis.
3. Horseradish root relieves coughs and bronchitis, and it soothes inflamed tissues. Horseradish root opens and facilitates drainage of clogged sinuses. Our sinus cavities often have poor circulation of blood. Horseradish root improves circulation of the whole body, including the sinuses. As a result, immune compounds from the blood reach the sinuses more efficiently to fight infection.
4. Echinacea is well-known for its tonic effect on the immune system. While some people use it as a preventative herb, I prefer to use it for acute, short-term use.
5. Spilanthes possesses immune-supporting compounds which help ward off infection. It has a tingling, numbing effect, which makes it useful for relieving the discomfort of a sore throat.
6. Garlic lessens symptoms of allergies, runny noses, fevers, coughing, sinus congestion, bronchitis and shortness of breath. Its immune and circulatory-enhancing effects aid the body’s immune system and relieve infections.
7. Horehound has been used since antiquity and is a superb remedy for sore throats. Horehound enhances immune health. The herb is useful for treating upper and lower respiratory tract illnesses. Horehound possesses decongestant properties which hasten healing.
8. Licorice root combines well with other herbs used to relieve respiratory ills. In fact, it strengthens the actions of other herbs. Licorice has been used for centuries to support respiratory health. Modern science confirms that licorice enhances immune health. Licorice works as a decongestant, clearing mucus and hastening healing. Its sweet flavor helps make less tasty herbs more palatable.
9. Goldenseal root is a perennial herb that many people use to treat minor respiratory ills. It is an at-risk plant, so I prefer to use goldenseal only for serious infections. The most active compound in goldenseal is called berberine. Berberine is found in Oregon grape root and barberry root. For minor ills, I prefer to use these herbs as alternatives to goldenseal. If you opt to use goldenseal, purchase organically cultivated roots only.
10. Yerba mate contains compounds which open up air passages, making it useful for the treatment of allergies, asthma and other respiratory ills
11. Andrographis prevents and treats the common cold, influenza, bronchitis, tonsillitis, allergies, pneumonia and sinusitis. It is a powerful herb which has been the subject of several studies which confirm its healing benefits for the respiratory system.
Using Herbs to Relieve Allergies, Colds, and Sinus Congestion
Herbs are available in many forms, including capsules, tablets, tinctures and in bulk.
I usually prefer to use herb teas to relieve upper respiratory ills. The warm beverages help to unclog sinuses and soothe sore throats.
Tinctures are convenient; herbs which are in tincture form are readily absorbed. Alcohol-based tinctures often extract plant compounds that teas cannot.
Try making a gargle with herbs. Gargles are excellent tools for preventing illness and relieving symptoms if illness occurs. They help to relieve sinus congestion and post-nasal drip.
One of the most effective methods of herb administration is to make an herbal steam. Simply place a few spoonfuls of a bulk herb in a pot over steaming hot water. Sit facing the pot with a towel draped over your head. Eucalyptus, thyme, oregano and rosemary make good antibacterial steams.
Herbs are among the most effective tools available for preventing and treating respiratory ills. Unlike pharmaceuticals, most herbs are well-tolerated, with no or few side effects. If you have a serious respiratory illness or long-standing health problems, first consult with your health care provider.
What are your favorite herbs for fall allergies? Leave your reply in the section below: