After a long, and intensely cold Winter, Spring has finally arrived! The snow has melted and the warm Sun is giving life to a fertile Earth full of young green shoots, budding trees, and beautiful flowers. Plants are bursting open, animals are emerging from their hibernation, and plants are breaking through the soil. This is a very explosive time of year, but not just for plants. People, too, are feeling like their heads are about to explode from allergies. Thankfully, the Earth has provided us with all we need to prevent allergies. All we have to do is take her remedies.
Stinging Nettles are amazing at preventing allergies. They contain special compounds that act as natural anti-histamines and are naturally anti-inflammatory. They also contain an abundant amount of chlorophyll to keep the blood clear of pathogens, as well as many minerals to help alkalize the body. Read more about Nettles here.
How To Take: Add 4 tablespoons of Nettles into a mason jar, then fill it with four cups of boiling water. Close tightly with a lid and allow it to steep overnight. Strain in the morning and drink 2-4 cups each day. You may also make a strong infusion of Nettles by adding 10 tablespoons (or 1 ounce) to four cups of boiling water and let it steep overnight. You need only drink 1-2 cups each day of this strong infusion.
Local Bee Pollen
Local bee pollen is another fantastic way to prevent allergies. Aside from containing valuable minerals, vitamins, and enzymes bee pollen is loaded with, believe it or not, the pollen of flowering trees and plants. This works under the homeopathic principles of "like heals like". When the blood contains pollen, the body is naturally immunized to pollen in the air and is then unaffected during allergy season. It is very important, however, that your bee pollen is local. If you're living in New York but you're eating pollen from plants in New Zealand, chances are you're not living around the same plants and your bee pollen, though nutritionally sound, will do very little in the prevention of allergies. In addition to being local, make sure the bee pollen is organic or harvested from bees that gather pollen from wild plants, rather than pesticide-laden farmed ones. It's also very important to make sure that the bees are being treated with respect and that the farming principles work toward sustaining them, rather than simply farming them.
How To Take: Start by testing the bee pollen for any allergic reactions. Those who are allergic to bees may also be allergic to the pollen. Start by rubbing the pellets, along with some saliva, into the back of your hand. Look for a rash. If no rash appears, try a few pellets in your mouth but do not swallow. Spit them out after a minute or so and see if your tongue becomes swollen or itchy. If there is no reaction, go ahead and begin taking a dime-sized amount each day. You can work up to 1 teaspoon twice daily. If there is a reaction, try introducing it into your body in very small amounts until your body accepts it. If irritations persists, discontinue use.
I'm allergic to bees and I find that my throat begins to itch when I start taking bee pollen, however after three or four days it goes away and I can eat it without any problems.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid (a compound of citrus fruits and vitamin C) that works as a strong anti-oxidant as well as a strong anti-histamine. I have found 500mg of Quercetin twice daily, along with 1500mg of Nettles (or 2 C of strong infusion) each day to be very effective in treating and preventing allergies. Taking Quercetin with a whole food Vitamin C will double its abilities. It's important to also make sure that the Quercetin is a whole food supplement. I've seen synthetic Quercetin work as well, but nothing compares to the quality of a whole food supplement. Quercetin is mostly found in onions, garlic, and in the skin of red apples.
How To Take: Take 500mg of Quercetin 1-2 times daily.
My overall protocol for allergies is 1tsp. of bee pollen and 4 cups of Nettle tea each day. I find eating the bee pollen first thing in the morning is key to absorbing it and allowing it to work faster. Add Quercetin to your regimen if you find that the bee pollen and Nettles isn't working as well as you hoped. Reducing dairy from your diet is also very helpful in the prevention of allergies. The body will have less mucus and congestion this way. Starting this regimen six weeks before allergy season is key to making it work the best, but starting it two weeks ahead of time (now) can also help greatly.
Eating plenty of fresh young greens will keep the blood clean with chlorophyll and flush out excess pollen and pathogens that add to congestion and general allergy symptoms. Do not fear the Earth and shut her out due to allergies. Instead, give into her with Nettles, bee pollen, and get plenty of fresh air and outdoor exercise. You will, most likely, find yourself free of allergies and full of health.