Most of us look forward to spring, as the air warms and plants start to bloom. However, a significant percentage of the population also dreads this season. These are the folks who suffer from hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis.
Stinging Nettle for Allergies
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One of the more popular folk remedies for hay fever is natural stinging nettle tincture.
Pollen is a common culprit in allergic rhinitis. The immune system recognizes this fine powder, which, at certain times of the year we can see covering the ground and our windshields. It sees it as something it needs to attack. So the immune system goes into overdrive, producing a histamine-containing antibody.
It’s histamine that results in the red eyes, sneezing and runny nose that causes all the misery. Seasonal allergies are very common, affecting anywhere between 10 to 25 percent of the population that lives in the developed world.
Over-the-counter antihistamines are very popular. However, these may cause unwanted side effects, including drowsiness. Or, these drugs may, paradoxically, keep people alert when they’re trying to sleep.
Does Stinging Nettle Work for Allergies?
In any event, natural hay fever remedies exist. One is stinging nettle, scientifically known as Urtica dioica, is a weed that grows abundantly throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It’s also an herbal medicine with a wide range of applications, including the ability to naturally reduce histamine. This is why we often see before and after pictures on the Internet of hay fever suffers after using a home remedy, made from stinging nettle. Their visible hay fever symptoms of red, watery eyes seems to have disappeared. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any of these that I could legally use.)
Natural stinging nettle has developed a reputation as a hayfever remedy, even though, to date, there aren’t a lot of studies.
On its website, the University of Maryland Medical Center cited a study showing nearly half of allergy suffers in that sample believed this botanical did a better job than pharmaceuticals in controlling allergy symptoms.
It’s believed this natural herbal remedy is also good for a number of other conditions. However, I do need to point out that I’m not a doctor or a professional licensed herbalist. What I’m discussing here are historical uses, rather than controlled studies. In addition, I need to stress that I’m not claming or promising this or any other remedy will solve a particular health problem.
- Stinging nettle is a folk remedy for female hormonal problems. One common problem is estrogen excess, which this herb can alleviate by helping the body process this hormone. For this reason, some herbalists also recommend it for fibroid tumors.
- Arthritis pain and inflammation may respond to stinging nettle.
- Nettle is also considered good for digestive disturbances, such as bloating, excess gas and acid reflux.
Below is a bottle of Herb Pharm Stinging Nettle Blend tincture. Herb Pharm is a brand I know, trust and use myself.
Sometimes, stinging nettle is taken as a tea. An easy way to prepare nettle tea is by using just a couple drops of herbal tincture in hot water. Stinging nettle tea is one of my natural remedies I use to help control inflammation. For me, this is essential, since I suffer from a potentially crippling nerve disease.
By successfully controlling my chronic inflammation, I can live a normal life, practically free of symptoms. If I didn’t do this, I’d probably be in a wheelchair. I am so thankful for all of the natural remedies God has given us.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use herbal remedies, unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.