First, let’s talk about the different components and what they do.
Rooibos, also called Red Bush Tea, comes from South Africa. It is naturally caffeine-free and contains two bioflavonoids called rutin and quercetin. Both of these compounds block the release of histamine (the chemical our bodies produce in response to allergens.) Rooibos may also have benefits for skin irritations.
Peppermint acts as a decongestant, possible anti-inflammatory and has mild antibacterial properties.
Ginger has so many amazing healing properties! When it comes to allergies and colds, it works as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.
Nettles seem to be the very best and most often recommended remedy for seasonal allergies. Drinking tea or eating the nettles are both beneficial. You might have less than fond memories of stinging nettles from your childhood. These are the same nettles, but they turn from irritant to healer when boiled into tea. Boiling fresh nettles will remove the stinging properties, while taking them in capsule, fresh, or dried form can help relieve itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose.
Yerba Mate is very popular in South America. It contains natural caffeine and works to produce corticosteroids, which act as an anti-inflammatory in response to allergens. This can help open up respiratory passages and increase oxygen.
Lemon balm belongs to the mint family, but has a lemony scent, hence it’s name. It’s calming and it can help with headaches, the common cold, and other respiratory issues.
Contrary to popular belief, honey doesn’t actually help combat allergies, but it can soothe an itchy throat. I like to use local raw honey, but the regular kind will help coat a sore throat, too. The lemon acts as a detoxifier and source of Vitamin C to boost immunity. You can add one or both to your herbal tea for allergies.
Here are some simple herbal tea infusions you can make to help you combat spring allergy season. They can be taken hot or turned into an iced tea.
Mix together and store in an airtight container. Use about 1 heaping teaspoon per 8 ounces hot water. (Don’t exceed 212 degrees F.) Let steep for about 5 minutes, add honey or lemon, if desired.
Place the bags into a tea cup and heat the water. Pour over the top and let steep for 5-8 minutes. Can add honey and lemon, if desired.