Spring has sprung and for many of us that means itchy eyes, runny noses, body aches, and sensitive gut issues. We’re seeing lots of people come in with plant allergies already so we’d like to introduce you to a few of our favorite herbal allies to help duck under the seasonal sniffles.
A celebrated member of the Mint family (Lamiaceae) Lemon Balm is our go-to for many things. First, we love the delicate lemony aroma and flavor this hardy herb offers. It grows very well throughout the Salt Lake City area in gardens and in pots making it an accessible and fun tea plant to grow yourself. Next, Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is an often overlooked ally in helping lift the mood. As a daily tonic tea it can be a fantastic friend in helping to keep spirits high while brightening the dark patterns of depression. Finally, Lemon Balm is fantastic as a support during seasonal allergies. It helps to deliver antioxidants, deep cleansing, and easier breathing. We like using Lemon Balm as a base herb in creating custom tea blends for our clients.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) saves its sting for chasing away allergies when used in herbal tea form. The drying process renders the sting inert while preserving all the good stuff. The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of Nettle have an affinity for the respiratory system where we need them most during spring allergies. The sting of this plant is also thought to help inoculate or train the body on how to deal more appropriately with seasonal allergy triggers. While you’re enjoying Nettle tea you’re also getting a powerful dose of essentials vitamins and minerals – it’s one of our favorite tonic herbs and Nature’s true multivitamin.
When people see Goldenrod for the first time they are often convinced that it’s going to give them allergies- not soothe them. Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea, Solidago canadensis) looks nearly identical to ragweed which is the culprit behind many springtime sniffles and itches. Goldenrod’s pollen is actually far too heavy and sticky to be carried through the air into your respiratory system- it needs pollenators like bees and butterflies to help with distributing its genetics to other plants. As a gentle astringent and diuretic with an affinity for the respiratory system and urinary system, Goldenrod helps tone, tighten, and dry out mucousy, drippy sinuses. For water eyes, clear-phlem coughs and nose drips, and all around feeling of annoyance with an otherwise lovely spring, goldenrod is a champ!
There is perhaps no mushroom we love more than Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum. Ling Zhi). The others are all great- but Reishi definitely holds a special place in the hearts of all Greenthread Herbs family. We can, and probably will, dedicate an entire post to just this one medicinal mushroom- but let’s focus on one of our favorite gifts that come from this fungi friend. Reishi is a deep immunomodulator. This means that it finds the ways in which the immune system may be overreacting to harmless things like pollen, cat dander, or even our own body processes and help to gently tonify that system and turn down the excess. At the same time it feeds and fortifies this same system with wisdom and energy so that we can stay healthier. Like all mushrooms, Reishi brings wisdom into the body. It adapts to our unique needs and meets us where we are.
Herbs for Your Allergies
Each of us has a unique constitution, energy, and narrative. While it’s empowering to explore the direct benefits of many herbs like those in this list, herbalism works best when we honor the individual person and the individual plant and work to bring them together in harmony. Stop in anytime and we’ll help you find your own healing herbal allies!