Herbal Remedies for Seasonal Allergies
Up to 40% of children and 30% of adults suffer from allergies. Many of the millions of unfortunate folks with allergies are especially allergic to springtime pollen, so now begins a season of minor misery. As trees begin to bud and flowers to bloom, pollen fills the air. It coats virtually everything on a windy day; not least the insides of our nasal passages. For many of us that sets off an allergic immune response, which prompts the body to release histamine. Histamine is an immune system protein that triggers unpleasant symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and scratchy eyes. It’s unclear whether allergies are really on the rise, or what impact, if any, changing weather patterns may be having on pollen counts. But one thing is certain. If you don’t get spring allergies, you can count yourself lucky!
If you do suffer from seasonal allergies, here are some herbal remedies you can try in your quest for relief.
Perhaps the best-researched alternative/complementary treatment for seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis) is butterburr (Tinospora cordifolia). An extract made from this herb, which is native to India, has been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies. In fact, some studies have concluded that it works as well as a common prescription antihistamine drug. Butterburr is considered safe and well tolerated.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is another old herbal remedy for various inflammatory conditions. Some people have reported success taking nettle extract for the control of allergic rhinitis symptoms. Research shows that nettle works by inhibiting several key inflammatory events involved in the production of seasonal allergy symptoms.
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). "The rise of spring allergies: Fact or fiction?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2014. .
Badar VA1, Thawani VR, et al. Efficacy of Tinospora cordifolia in allergic rhinitis.J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan 15;96(3):445-9. Epub 2004 Nov 23.
Käufeler R1, Polasek W, Brattström A, Koetter U.Efficacy and safety of butterbur herbal extract Ze 339 in seasonal allergic rhinitis: postmarketing surveillance study.Adv Ther. 2006 Mar-Apr;23(2):373-84.