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We look forward all winter to the arrival of sunshine and warm weather, but for many people this time of year can mean runny eyes, itchy sneezing noses and a sensitive palate. These symptoms can only mean one thing: that the dreaded hayfever season has arrived. For some people these symptoms can be a minor irritation but for others it can be very disabling. The symptoms are caused by an allergic response to the increase in pollens in the air caused as plants burst into life in spring. At Woodland Herbs we feel that nobody should suffer these symptoms unnecessarily, because there are plenty of options available for self help.
Teas: In our years of experience we have found that herbs teas can be helpful in easing symptoms. Herbal teas you might like to try;
- Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) - This herb is very drying and has a specific action on the eye, making it particularly suitable for the watery itchy eyes that are associated with hayfever.
- Nettle (Urtica dioica) This herb has natural antihistamine properties. It can be taken throughout the day to ease the inflammatory reaction which causes many of the symptoms associated with hayfever. It has a pleasant fresh taste and can be mixed with other herbs if you feel you need more than one.
- Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) This tea is traditionally taken to ease a blocked up nose and has a pleasant and refreshing taste.
- Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) This
herb is also antihistamine and helps dry up mucous secretions. In
other words it helps to stop you sneezing!
Our Plantain and Nettle tea
combines these popular herbs in a nice tea blend.
Rhinodoron Nasal Spray is a personal favourite, which I find gives me the cleared nose sensation similar to swimming in the sea. One I recommend in the shop all the time for blocked noses and even some sinus problems, Graham.
Alternatives to Teas: Tinctures or tablets may be taken as an alternative to teas if you prefer not to have to make up a tea. In addition simple measures such as wearing sunglasses when in an area where there will be a lot of pollen, washing you hands and face after coming in from outside, or adjusting the ventilation settings on our car and keeping the windows closed can all help reduce the exposure to pollen and reduce the symptoms of hayfever.
In summary there are natural aids to reducing the effects of hayfever. It is normally best to start a few weeks in advance of your hayfever season and to take the remedy 2 or 3 times a day.
Featured Natural Remedy – Sytrinol for Cholesterol
While raised cholesterol levels are not an illness, they are an indicator of increased risk of heart disease. At Woodland Herbs we see lots of products that make amazing claims not backed by research but we have found that Sytrinol is a product that is backed by research and may help reduce cholesterol levels by 30%. Sytrinol is a product that has been developed from natural citrus constituents called polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs). These are one of the many bioflavonoids found in foods.
In Sytinol specific PMFs have been found to help lower LDL cholesterol by inhibiting the creation of its building blocks: apolipoprotein B and triglycerides. Triglycerides are also one of the primary risk factors in metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. If you are thinking about helping improve your cholesterol levels please feel free to contact us and we should be able to provide more information about sytrinol and other natural ways to help.
Please remember to speak to your Doctor or other health professional if you have an existing heart condition or taking prescription medicines (e.g. statins).
Natural Help from Herbs, Herb of the Month, Eyebright
Eyebright is a useful herb for hayfever but also can be useful for a range of other upper respiratory problems. Probably the most traditional use is as an eyewash for watering eyes - just remember to filter all the bits out of the infusion and allow it to cool. Typically people find taking the tea 3-5 times a day very helpful. We sometime suggest a mix of chamomile and eyebright if your eyes are already quite dry as eyebright on its own may be too drying. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and another very traditional eyewash. Our empty tea bags could be used to lay over the eyes as an alternative to making eyewash.