Herbs for Summer Health

Hay fever and summer allergies

Nettle, Elderflower, Ground Ivy, Eyebright, Plantain and Chamomile have all been used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever - traditionally picked from a hedgerow and infused to make a tea. This combination of herbs opens up the airways and eases congestion in both the lungs and head. They have a strengthening effect on the mucous membranes and will help to dry up excessive mucous production and produce antihistamine and anti-inflammatory activity.

Sinus and catarrh

Echinacea angustifolia is well known for its anti-catarrhal actions and its ability to clear up infection so is useful in sinus congestion.

Itchy eyes

Eyebright helps to dry up excess secretions, and acts as a restorative to the delicate mucus membranes. It is excellent in eye baths and eye creams where it has a soothing effect. Can also be drunk as a tea.

Fluid retention and swollen ankles

Herbs for occasional use in cases of fluid retention are gentle and rich in potassium which is so often excreted from the body with conventional water tablets. Dandelion leaf with its country name ‘piss the bed’, has been used for centuries as a diuretic. A simple tea drunk through out the day can be very effective. Nettle, Cleavers and Parsley Piert are also mildly diuretic and can be used as part of a detox programme.

Travel sickness

Ginger is a wonderful remedy for travel sickness (and also morning sickness). It is no coincidence that traditional 'ship's biscuits' were made of ginger. Ginger tea (flavoured with honey and lemon) can be taken in a flask. Or it can be bought as a tincture or capsules.

Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) taken from the early Spring on, helps to reduce pollen sensitivity by triggering an antihistamine
effect in the body.

Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) helps to dry secretions and soothe itchy areas near the eyes.

Elderflower (Sambucus nigra) is antiviral and also helps with catarrh and sinusitis.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is an excellent diuretic and helps relieve fluid retention.