Best Herbal Teas for Allergies and Allergy Relief
There are effective over the counter medications as well as prescription remedies for allergies but you might be surprised to find that many herbal teas are effective for helping with allergy symptoms and providing allergy relief.
They have anti-inflammatory properties and some work as natural antihistamines, damping down our immune system's response to the allergens that cause us such misery.
Sore itchy eyes, streaming eyes and nose, sore throat, sinus pain and constant sneezing are bad enough when you have a cold that just lasts a few days - but when the symptoms last a whole season in the case of hay fever, or strike suddenly in the case of pet hair and other similar allergies, it is time to take action!
A nice herbal cuppa helps you to stay hydrated and there are many other health benefits such as trace elements and vital antioxidants as well.
How To Prepare Herbal Tea
You can choose to prepare your own tea from fresh or dried herbs or buy ready to use packs of loose tea or tea bags.
You could just put a teabag in a mug and pour over boiled water or you could choose to use a tea infuser, either for use in a single cup or in a teapot with a 'built in' infuser.
Video Tutorials For Making Herbal Tea
The following videos have helpful advice on making tea with loose herbs and making an herbal tea infusion.
How To Make Herbal Tea With Loose Leaves
An Infuser Teapot
In my opinion, an infuser teapot makes the best herbal tea as the leaves can swirl freely in the hot water.
Teabags are the easiest and most convenient way to buy ready made herbal tea mixes but if you prefer not to use them, you can simply snip off the corner and empty the tea inside into your infuser.
I think this is a good compromise between making tea with loose leaves and the convenience of bags - plus, if you cannot get tea in unbleached bags, this is another consideration.
When making more than one cup of herbal tea an Infuser Teapot is a really useful piece of kitchen equipment. The link provided will take you to the Amazon product page where you can view a whole range of infuser teapots like the one I use (see picture below)
How To Make a Herbal Tea Infusion
My Top 6 Herbal Teas for Allergies
Here is my list of teas that can help with allergies.
One of the best natural antihistamines, Ginger has great anti-inflammatory benefits as well. These properties make it a great choice for those suffering from the misery of hay fever and sinus inflammation although it is probably better known as a natural remedy for upset tummies and seasickness!
Lemon Balm, as its name suggests has a citrus aroma and calming, soothing properties. For any allergy causing respiratory problems, it s a good choice although it has many other benefits including relieving headaches, lowering blood pressure and settling an upset tummy.
This is a great herbal tea for those suffering from hayfever as it is very good for all the usual symptoms of runny nose and sneezing and relieving those sore, itching and watering eyes too.
Peppermint can help to ease the congestion of the sinuses and nose that often come with allergic rhinitis. In addition, peppermint's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial action can help to prevent a secondary infection that can be a problem if blood vessels get damaged after repeated nose blowing. For these reasons, it is often used in combination with nettle (above).
This South African tea is naturally caffeine free and has a natural sweetness that makes it a very good first introduction to herbal tea drinking as some teas can be quite bitter and something of an acquired taste.
As a tea for allergies, Rooibos works by inhibiting histamine production in the body. The ingredients in the tea responsible for this effect are the bioflavinoids quercetin and rutin. The good news is that you can also use cooled Rooibos tea directly on your skin if you have an insect bite or sting or skin irritation.
This South American herb does contain caffeine so probably not a good choice of bedtime drink. But, as an effective allergy tea, it damps down the body's immune system response to allergens and reduces inflammation. It also helps with sinus congestion and colds because it helps to open the respiratory passages.
Any of the individual ingredients mentioned above, can be used alone or in combination with other herbs for effective relief of symptoms.
Some Sensible Precautions
As with all herbal remedies, not all ingredients are suitable for everyone.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding or taking any prescription medications, please consult a Health Care Professional before trying any of these herbal teas or the homemade allergy tea recipe.
If you have purchased ready-made herbal tea bags or loose leaf tea, consult the packaging for any contraindications before you use the tea.
Home Remedy Allergy Tea Recipe
If you would like to try making your own blend of allergy tea to help relieve allergic rhinitis, this blend is cool and minty with a nice, refreshing, citrus flavor.
Mix together a quantity of equal parts of the following dried herbs and store in a cool, dark, airtight container:
Fennel Seeds, Lavender (flowers), Lemongrass, Nettle, Peppermint and/or Spearmint, Red Clover,
When ready to make your tea use two teaspoons of the mixture per person if making a pot of tea or put two teaspoons into a tea ball infuser and place in a mug.
Pour over boiling water and leave to infuse for ten minutes or so before serving. Pour the tea through a tea strainer if you have made the tea in a teapot or simply lift out the tea ball from your cup or mug.
This tea is best drunk without milk or cream but can be sweetened if necessary with a little stevia or honey. It can be enjoyed hot or cold and will keep fresh for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Allergic To Herbal Tea?
Whilst the teas mentioned above are safe and effective, as with all things, there is always going to be someone who has an adverse reaction to some herbal teas.
One of the chief culprits is Chamomile tea and if you suffer from hay fever, although this tea is usually a very calming and soothing one, it might be one to avoid as it is a close relative of ragweed, the pollen of which is responsible for causing hay fever in many individuals.
Buying ready-made herbal teas, either loose or as tea bags will be helpful as the ingredients list will give you a warning of any likely allergic reactions and any contraindications such as medication interactions, etc.
What Do You Think
Do You Suffer From Allergies - if so, which answer would you pick below?
Many people take herbal tea all year long rather than waiting for the symptoms to strike, either with the start of allergy season or exposure to allergens such as pet hair or dander.
Using these teas as a preventative can have other health benefits as well because of the vitamins, trace elements and antioxidants they contain.
© 2014 Alison Graham