Teas for Allergies:
If you’re suffering from allergies, you might be tempted to reach for over-the-counter or prescription medications to help bring your symptoms under control. Unfortunately, over time these drugs can create side effects that are even worse than the original symptoms and, in rare cases, have actually killed people.
One way to keep allergies under control without the use of potentially dangerous drugs is to drink herbal teas specifically formulated to help soothe allergic reactions and regulate the immune system and breathing passages. Here are some of the most effective teas for allergies that doctors and herbalists recommend.
Why tea can be powerful allergy fighter
It’s true that tea can be powerful allergy fighter. Tea is a natural antihistamine—which means it helps control allergy symptoms by decreasing histamine production. It also contains antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation associated with seasonal allergies.
Some teas, such as chamomile or peppermint, may help improve your ability to fall asleep by soothing stomach upset or anxiety. No one tea is appropriate for everyone, so talk to your doctor or health care provider about what might work best for you. Here are a few popular options
The Best Herbal Tea Blends
The most effective herbal teas blend multiple herbs together to maximize their effectiveness. These blends make sense because many different plants have similar active ingredients—and similar preparations. For example, multiple herbs can be used as expectorants, which help relieve coughs, by thinning mucus in your throat.
A good allergy tea will include thyme, licorice root or fennel; lavender, chamomile or peppermint; ginger, lemon balm or eucalyptus leaves; white horehound leaves or wild carrot seeds…and on and on! Check out our all natural herbal tea recipe for a blend that contains 11 herbs!
What You Should Know Before You Switch To Herbal Teas
While some of these teas are healthy, others can be harmful to your health or cause other side effects. If you plan on trying herbal tea, it’s important to discuss it with your doctor or a certified herbalist first. For example, chamomile teas can often be used as sleep aids, but those with estrogen sensitivity should steer clear because chamomile may mimic estrogen in the body and cause problems.
Similarly, ginger is often used to relieve nausea during pregnancy but has been linked to miscarriage if taken in large doses. Herbs should always be consumed after consulting a medical professional. Without their guidance and support you could do more harm than good while trying to fight an allergy.
Studies show that consuming lavender can help reduce allergy symptoms in rats. Lavender contains rosmarinic acid, which has antihistamine properties; it also acts as a sedative to calm you down if you’re feeling anxious or stressed. To try it yourself, brew a cup of herbal tea (dried lavender flowers are available at most health food stores).
If your allergies are severe, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of dried flowers or 2–3 drops of lavender essential oil to your cup. Drink up to three cups per day, particularly on days when pollen counts are high.
Chamomile is one of the best herbal teas you can take to soothe allergies. The German Commission E approved it to treat hay fever, making it a safe option for patients. While chamomile’s antihistamine properties are effective at relieving symptoms, it’s gentler than conventional medications like Allegra or Zyrtec.
However, you should still follow your doctor’s instructions before taking any new medication without consulting them first. Plus, there are no adverse effects associated with consuming chamomile in tea form (in contrast to taking capsules).
Peppermint is not only one of the most soothing teas around, but it’s also anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antiviral, and energizing. The word peppermint comes from peppermint oil—which is why mint tea acts as a decongestant. It was traditionally used to treat headaches and stomachaches as well.
Some people may experience mild stomach upset if they don’t eat something before drinking peppermint tea; other people are fine. Either way, drink up! Peppermint contains many healing properties that will help with allergies (and more).
The allergen contained in pollen, dust mites, and pet dander is a type of protein called an allergen. The body’s immune system recognizes that protein as harmful to our bodies when it enters through our nose or mouth.
An allergic reaction occurs when we have an over-reaction of our immune system; causing inflammation in those areas where we come into contact with that allergen.
By drinking rooibos tea, you’re essentially tricking your body into not reacting to these allergens because rooibos tea itself has anti-inflammatory properties. Rooibos tea contains antioxidants which help reduce inflammation in your body; especially if you suffer from seasonal allergies.
Green Tea with Mint
Dr. Labbate recommends a combination of green tea with mint (specifically peppermint) to help relieve symptoms of allergies. Green tea contains flavonoids that have antihistamine effects, helping to reduce inflammation in your nose. It’s also rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which can strengthen your immune system.
Add peppermint extract to give it a nice flavor; drinking it will help you sleep better at night by lowering stress levels and relaxing muscles. Dr. Labbate recommends 3–4 cups of green tea per day. To make green tea more palatable, add a little honey or lemon juice as sweeteners instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners like Splenda® that can cause more cravings for sweets later on down the road.