In this post you’ll see common causes and symptoms of allergies, the herbs healing past, all the information on nettle to make sure you get the best results and are completely safe.
Alright, let’s get those allergies under control.
Common Causes And Symptoms Of Allergies – It’s Not What You Think
According to well known natural health expert James A. Duke it’s not necessarily dust that causes allergies and sneezing; it’s actually your bodies reaction to them and the chemicals released that prompt sneezing.
According to Duke “allergies are abnormal reactions to everyday substances.” This is caused by the immune system’s overreaction to histamine which is a chemical that the body releases to fight microbial invaders. The problem is dust, pollen and other common causes of allergy symptoms aren’t harmful and your body shouldn’t be reacting this way to them.
The problem is a confused immune system. There’s about 40 million Americans with allergy problems so it’s very common.
Famous herbalist Jethro Kloss agrees in his book Back To Eden. He recognizes Ragweed and pollen are traditionally recognized as the most common causes of allergies. However he points out that “it would be a rare thing for anyone to have hay fever (allergies) who had good digestive organs and whose nasal membranes were in healthy condition.” He goes on to say wrong eating habits “may have much to do with it.”
So is it pollen and ragweed that cause allergies or is it a digestive problem, poor eating and an improperly functioning immune system? It’s most likely the latter.
Whether or not you believe that there are common symptoms everyone can agree on. They are:
- Stinging, tickling and prickling sensation in your nose
- Watery discharge
- Itching and watering of the eyes
- Difficulty in breathing, like a smothering feeling
The fall and spring is the are most frequent time but it can be a year long problem.
Why You Should Avoid Standard Treatments
FDA approval isn’t the end all be all. Want to know why? To get a drug, supplement or herb FDA approved for something it costs nearly 500 million dollars. You don’t see many herbalists driving around in Rolls Royces and flying in private jets. You do, however, see pharmaceutical executives in those.
These huge companies are the only ones who can afford these high costs because they’ll make the money back quickly. It’s probably safe to assume pharmaceutical companies have a major influence on the FDA and how they operate. It’s also safe to assume pharmaceutical companies are most interested in profits and will do what’s necessary to keep most profits for themselves.
It turns our prescription drugs kill more people than all illegal drugs combined in the United States. Pretty interesting.
The point I’m trying to make is don’t let FDA approval stop you from taking alternative medicines. Or natural medicine. No amount of government regulation and approval will beat your own personal research.
Some people give herbs a bad name by making outrageous claims. Again, it’s up to you to uncover what’s true and what isn’t.
The two most common medical treatments for allergies are decongestants and antihistamines. Decongestants open clogged nasal passages and have a drying action. Antihistamines suppress the body’s ability to release histamines.
The problem is you are only treating the symptoms and not the underlying cause; poor digestion, improper diet and a confused immune system. Decongestants can cause insomnia and raise your blood pressure while antihistamines can cause drowsiness. They tend to lose effectiveness over time too.
Let’s start looking at some nettle now.
Background Information On Nettle
Botanical Name: Urtica dioica
Common Names: Common stinging nettle, stinging nettle, common nettle
Part Used: Entire plant
Medicinal Properties: Pectoral, diuretic, astringent, tonic, styptic, rubefacient
History Of The Nettle Plant
I’m a big fan of history which probably puts me in the minority of the general population. If history bores you just skip to the next section. If you want to see how previous cultures used this plant throughout history keep reading.
For centuries and round the world, people have used nettle to treat nasal and respiratory troubles. Also, it was used for:
- Runny nose
- Chest congestion
- Whooping cough
- And even tuberculosis
In ancient Greek nettle juice was used to help snake bites and scorpion stings and internally as an antidote to plant poisons. Hippocrates, nicknamed the father modern medicine, came up with over 60 remedies for this plant.
Roman soldiers would rub the prickly herb all over their bodies in cold climates. The stinging would create a warm sensation and lead to the use of nettle in arthritis. The ancient Egyptians drank an infusions of it to cure the same problem.
The Danish buried people in nettle fabrics as far back as 3000 BC. Early Europeans used nettle to to fight tuberculosis and cough. They even recommended smoking it to fight asthma.
Nettle juice gained a reputation to help grow and keep hair illustrious in the 19th century and some people swear by it today.
17th century herbalist Nicholas Culpepper claimed “a decoction of the leaves in wine is singularly good to provoke women’s menstruation.” Native American women drank nettle tea during pregnancy to strengthen the fetus and ease delivery. Nursing mothers drank it to increase milk supply.
In the 19th century nettle was used as a diuretic to treat kidney, bladder and urinary problems. Also as a treatment for infant diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and eczema.
As you’ll see a little later these cultures of the past were pretty spot on in their uses.
How To Take Nettle And Dosages
If you read the history section you may want to hear what modern herbalists and science have to say about all this. Pretty much everyone in is in agreement that nettle is very helpful in allergies.
This herb gets an endorsement from James A. Duke, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. John R. Christopher, and the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. Many other doctors approve it too.
They recommend taking the herb freeze dried. You can find freeze dried nettle capsules in many places. I’d recommend going to Amazon, they have a lot of choices. Follow the directions on the bottle for use.
According to The New Healing Herbs you can try an infusion or extract too. To make an infusion use 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried herb per boiling cup. Steep for 10 minutes and then strain. Drink up to 3 cups a day.
If you are taking as an extract take 10 to 20 drops in water or juice up to 3 times a day.
What Else Can Nettle Do For Me?
Commission E is the German counterpart to the American FDA. Herbs are more mainstream and prescribed more often by doctors in Germany. They are also tested more. Commission E tested over 300 herbs for their medicinal value and found 200 to be useful. If Commission E approves something as a treatment it can be trusted.
Commission E has approved nettle for various problems including the prevention of urinary tract infection and kidney stones. This herb is useful for this problem because it is a diuretic. Diuretics promote the production and secretion of urine and can flush bacteria out of the bladder.
Diuretics are often used to treat high blood pressure and in America doctors prescribe pharmaceutical diuretics. For this reason it can be helpful in congestive heart failure and premenstrual syndrome. German doctors certainly recommend nettle for all three.
Commission E also endorse a nettle perpetration for benign prostate enlargement (BPH). Nettle does this by inhibiting an enzyme (5-alpha-reductase) that plays a key role in the overgrowth of prostate tissue that’s characteristic of BPH. Saw Palmetto is very good for prostate problems.
German tests also find it useful in arthritis and scurvy. Additional benefits people believe it to have are:
- A blood purifier
- Hair tonic
- Expel phlegm from lungs and stomach
- Stopping fever and colds
- Stop hemorrhages in urinary organs, lungs, intestines, nose and stomach
What Safety Concerns Are There?
The plant has small sharp spurs that can cause severe irritation and pain that can last hours. So if you harvesting the plant you should handle with care. Also, old plants can cause kidney damage if eaten without being cooked.
You shouldn’t give this herb to children under 2. For older children and people over 65 you should give lower dosages and increase if necessary. Since it is a diuretic it depletes your body of potassium. Eat plenty of high potassium foods like bananas and fresh vegetables.
Always get a proper diagnosis before you start treating yourself and make your doctor discuss natural treatments. I say make because they most likely won’t bring it up themselves.
Other Allergy Tips
The following herbs are known to help with allergies:
- Vitamin C
Dissolving a heaping teaspoonful of salt in a pint of warm water and using as a gargle will provide great relief. Blow your nose and sniff the salt water into your nose.
Deep breathing can also have great effects. Here’s a great workout that incorporates deep breathing and can help with your allergies. Other than that try to identify the irritant that’s causing your problems and try to avoid it.
Did You Find This Helpful?
I really hope so! Nettle has helped people for thousands of years and can provide you with much relief. The herb gets a lot recommendations from from very respectable people, doctors and the authority on German health, Commission E.
If you wish to buy the herb or an extract I’d like to recommend Starwest Botanicals. They are a well known supplier of herbs and herbal products. This is personally where I purchase my herbs and have never had a problem. There’s a 100 percent satisfaction gurantee too.
If you have any further questions comment below and I’ll respond as fast as possible. Also, share on social media for friends and family to see. They can benefits a lot from seeing it.
Thanks for reading!