Ask The Herb Lady: Natural Remedies For Seasonal Allergies

With Cathy Schram

Q: My allergies are driving me crazy. My eyes keep watering and I feel like I sneeze constantly. Besides never going outside, are there any natural remedies that might help me?

A: I guess we are called “the allergy capital” for a good reason. You are not alone in your suffering. Whenever we are exposed to allergens (pollen, mold, dust mites, etc,) our white blood cells, particularly mast cells, release histamine and other inflammatory substances. These are what causes coughing, mucus production, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.

Anti-histamines are usually prescribed for our symptoms, but they often can cause drowsiness, dry mouth, upset stomach and sometimes bowel changes. So they don’t always make you feel better.

Fortunately, there are many remedies that you can try to help your symptoms. One of my favorite formulas to help ease allergic reactions is called “Histablock”. This formula contains Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, Bromelain and Fructus Aurantia (bitter orange). Together, these nutrients enhance immune function while inhibiting the release of histamine. It does not have the side effects that common over-the-counter antihistamines have.

So, I recommend taking Histablock as a preventative when allergy season arrives.
As far as treating the symptom, I like a formula called “ALJ”. It is great for sinus and upper respiratory congestion, sneezing and itchy, watery eyes. ALJ contains the following herbs:

Boneset – Helps stimulate production of mucosal fluids to remove allergens. Acts as a mild expectorant to relieve bronchial congestion.

Fennel – Increases production of digestive fluids, reduces inflammation and acts as an antiseptic, diuretic and mild expectorant. It is also an antispasmodic to help relieve chronic coughs. It helps to promote deeper breathing.

Fenugreek – Increases production of mucosal fluids to remove allergens. Acts as an expectorant and antispasmodic to loosen phlegm and stop coughing.

Horseradish – It is a strong digestive stimulant which increases gastric juices. It also stimulates circulation and increases the production of mucosal fluids.

Mullein – It helps provide soothing relief to the lungs and throat. It contains mucilaginous substances, called polysaccharides, which protect mucous membranes and prevents them from absorbing toxins. The cooling properties lubricates tissues, reduces inflammation and enhances healing.

There are other choices to help with your allergies, but these are my tried and true favorites.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.