Yes, I’ve blogged about this before, but the annual misery of hay fever is on the rise, and there are ways of treating it that don’t involve stunning yourself with antihistamines or hiding indoors in a darkened room. And this is one area where the herbs, if you take them consistently, really do change things for the better.
At the most superficial level, there is first aid: herbs that are ‘tonic’ to the respiratory membranes, reducing swelling and discharge
These would include thyme – which also discourages infection – goldenrod, mullein or elder. There are plenty of herbs that also have an antihistamine action of varying strength, from things like chamomile, nettles and ribwort that are gentle enough for children, to eyebright and yarrow, to the more powerful herbs like Ma Huang (Ephedra sinensis) or spurge, whose use is restricted to practitioners only.
When you combine them in the right way for the individual, they reduce the body’s reaction to the allergen, and so alleviate your symptoms
In the longer term, you can work on calming down your system’s response to things that should not be a problem. Obviously, this can take time. The allergic response may begin after a massive exposure to pollen, spores, fungus or whatever, or when there is some other stress operating at the same time, like a cold or some emotional trauma.
Once started, it can become chronic, so the focus of herbal work is to help your body to turn it off again
Besides the sort of herbs mentioned above, you would use nervous system tonics, anti-inflammatories, and general immune system supporters.
If you start some time before your hay fever season begins, you’ll increase your chances of getting off lightly, or maybe not suffering at all.