Will you soon be sneezing again and walking around with big eyes? The hay fever season is a disaster for many. Alder, hazel, birch, and various grasses are the main causes. Swollen eyes, sore throat, and a runny nose are the main complaints. Many people suffer from it and prefer to stay indoors when the pollen from trees or grasses is released. This is very unfortunate, but perhaps there is something that can be done to reduce your complaints. In addition to the complaint, nature also provides part of the solution. Such as the blossom and the juice of the elder, which together with other plants provide relief from hay fever complaints.
The elder to relieve hay fever complaints
Fortunately, nature has many medicinal plants that can help you with relief from hay fever complaints. The elder or Sambucus nigra is in bloom in May, June, and July. So when you go for a walk, especially in the countryside, pick some blossoms from this shrub. Elderflower lemonade is made in this way, or you can make delicious tea from it. You can find the recipes at the bottom of this blog.
The Latin name for elder, Sambucus, is derived from the word Sambuca which means triangular harp, an instrument made of elder wood. Nigra means black and refers to the blackberries. It is a shrub that can grow up to three to ten meters high. It likes to be in the partial sun on nutrient-rich and nitrogen-rich soil. The flowers bloom from May to July, depending on weather conditions. After flowering, berries appear that are ripe in the autumn.
The Sambucus nigra is also known as ‘the countryman’s medicine cabinet’. It has many beneficial effects and is widely applicable. Mainly resistance-enhancing, anti-inflammatory, microbial, and antipyretic.
The man and the plant
The plant tells a lot about the type of person that suits it. The powerful roots of the elderberry stand for perseverance. The white flowers represent a soothing and harmonizing effect on the lungs. The type of person that suits the elder is a go-getter, perhaps a little too much so that the balance is lost.
He or she likes to have control in his or her life. Outwardly, the elder type seems calm, but inwardly there is a lot going on that is not expressed. This affects the liver. It is someone who wants to convince another and likes to be an individualist within a group. Do you want to know more about the message plants can give you? Read more about signature leather here.
The Sambuca nigra is good for blood circulation and has a cleansing effect. The berries protect blood vessels and reduce damage from too much stress. It is medicinal for anemia and spring fatigue. It has an anti-inflammatory effect on the respiratory tract and is soothing for colds and sore throats. It helps in coughing up phlegm, dry cough, and bronchitis.
Also works on the digestive system, and is antispasmodic and astringent for the stomach and intestines. Mentally and emotionally, it has a calming and soothing effect on tension and unrest. It promotes sleep and especially the berries increase stress resistance.
For the immune system, the flowers and berries are antimicrobial (against bacteria and fungi). The berries activate the resistance through cytokine production (cytokines are messengers between the immune cells. They give the immune cells an extra boost). They boost kidney function and eliminate toxins and heat. Can also be used as a gargle for sore throats and mouthwash for canker sores and inflamed gums.
Medicinal herbs to reduce hay fever
How does hay fever develop?
Hay fever is partly caused by genetics, but environmental factors also have a major influence. Long-term stress or imbalance in the gut microbiota, for example, due to the use of antibiotics at a young age. Diet also has a major influence. Chronic stress and incorrect nutrition can negatively affect the body’s mucous membrane barrier.
The body’s immune system overreacts, thinking there is danger and producing histamine (histamine is a messenger substance that widens your blood vessels, allowing white blood cells to reach the site of inflammation.) What happens is that the mucous membranes swell and produce more mucus. . The result is watery eyes, a runny nose, sore throat, and fatigue. It costs your body a lot of energy because it is constantly in a state of readiness.
What can you do?
Strengthening the mucous membranes, the microbiota of your gut and your immune system is very important. For this you can use elder in combination with skullcap, scuttelaria , very well as a preventive measure. It is then best to start well in advance, for example in November, preferably at least 6 weeks in advance.
Strengthening your mucous membranes and overall resistance:
- Elderflower : daily use of elderflower tea has a preventive and healing effect.
- Skullcap , scutellariae: causes less histamine to be released. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. For scutellariae, take supplements.
- You increase your overall resistance with echinacea. It strengthens your immune system. For this, take the tincture.
- Nettle also strengthens the immune system in preparation for the hay fever season.
- Plantain is restorative for the intestinal mucosa, anti-inflammatory and has an expectorant effect.
Soothing for the eyes:
- Eyebright: Eyebright reduces mucosal inflammation and is anti-inflammatory.
- Chamomile: Chamomile can also reduce the symptoms of hay fever. Chamomile can be used very well as an eye compress against burning and swollen eyes. For a compress, make chamomile tea, let the tea cool and dip a cotton ball in the tea. Put this on your eye.
Lifestyle and diet
Increase your resistance and take herbs 2 to 4 months before the hay fever season that help relieve hay fever complaints.
In addition, it is important that you also adjust your lifestyle and diet. In addition to genetic predisposition, too much stress is one of the biggest causes for the manifestation of the complaints.
- Lifestyle changes, including avoiding too much stress.
- Adjust nutrition, no longer use dairy products, sugar, wheat and gluten.
- Improve the mucous membranes of your intestines, you can do this, among other things, by using (high-dose) probiotics.
- Take nutritional supplements, especially vitamin C and magnesium.
- Take herbs that support your immune system and help improve your mucosal barrier.
Do not eat unripe berries, there is a risk of prussic acid poisoning. Once heated, this danger is gone. Do not use the roots and bark. The leaf can also sometimes provoke a sensitivity.
You use the berries and the flowers.
- Tea: you can use fresh flowers for the tea.
Elderflower tea is very easy to make yourself. Take 4 flower heads and pour over (slightly cooled) boiled water and let it steep for about 5 minutes.
- Berry juice: can be used to cleanse the blood and at the first signs of flu. (for example, buy it at a health food store)
Can also be used for inflammation of the oral mucosa, ulcers, and sore throat.
- Tincture: The standard use of tincture is 15 drops 3 times a day. Are you in doubt and do you want specific advice? Then go to a herbalist or herbalist.
- 2 liters of water
- 8 to 10 elderflower screens
- 1 large lemon (or 2 small) preferably organic, otherwise wash well
It is very simple to make. You put the blossom and the sliced lemons in a large bowl and let it stand for a day. Then it is ready to drink.
Enjoy it and let us know if it has helped with the relief of your hay fever complaints!