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Even though spring is officially gone, my seasonal allergies are still going strong here in the great state of Texas. I swear I have an allergy to something during every season here! This season's allergies have been so frustrating that I decided it was time for me to find the best natural remedies to keep my allergies at bay throughout the year. Along the way, I stumbled upon an idea that turned out to be just what I was looking for! Vaping herbs can give you some of the same benefits as drinking them in a tea, creating a safe alternatives to over-the-counter drugs.
Natural remedies for seasonal allergies are plentiful
On my search for natural remedies for my seasonal allergies, I came across all sorts of remedies that many people swear by, but there were only a select few that really helped to keep my sinuses clear without having to deal with the brain fog of over-the-counter allergy medications.
- Local Raw Unfiltered Honey - Eating just a spoonful of local raw unfiltered honey a day can help build up immunities through gradual exposure to the allergens that are local to you! It's super tasty and one of the first natural remedies most people suggest! I like to add my honey to nettle tea to double up on the allergy relief! Make sure the honey you are purchasing is raw and unfiltered, otherwise it won't contain any of the good stuff!
- Nettle - This age-old remedy is used by millions around the world to help relieve seasonal allergies because of it's natural anti-inflammatory action. "Mittman (1990) conducted a clinical study in which more than half of patients suffering from allergic rhinitis reported symptom abatement after taking a freeze-dried stinging nettle leaf preparation, while all treated patients reported symptom improvement. Helms and Miller (2006) suggest that nettle’s anti-inflammatory action may be attributable to its histamine content." (4) Nettle can be consumed in the form of capsules, tea, or even made into a tincture to help relieve hay fever symptoms.
- Essential Oils - Essential oils are one of my favorite go-to's for anything having to do with the respiratory system and sinuses, simply because they are administered through inhalation and extremely effective. I love to use my Allergy Annialator essential oil blend in my diffuser during high pollen count days, and the best part is it's safe for the kiddos too!
- Sinus Rinse - As a frequent flier when it comes to sinus infections, I discovered the effectiveness of consistently using a sinus rinse from my doctor! This ancient Ayurvedic practice helps to cleanse and moisturize the nasal passages, as well as reduce inflammation in the membranes all with the use of a simple saline solution and a neti pot! You can easily make your own neti pot refills using my recipe, here.
- Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother) - Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar is used for so many things from weight loss to acid reflux, and can even be used to help relieve allergy symptoms. It's posited that raw unfiltered ACV reduces mucus productions and cleanses the lymphatic system, helping to relieve seasonal allergies. When allergies arise, combine 1 tsp. of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it 3x daily.
I was tired of drinking so many cups of herbal tea
Don't get me wrong, I love herbal tea but I have a LOT of tea remedies and I find myself drinking a LOT of tea during the day. I sometimes think to myself, I would like a different method of administering my herbs. This led me to a lot of experimentation and searching for more information on the different ways I could ingest my herbal medicine.
Did you know you could vape your herbs?
It hadn't occurred to me that my massive collection of herbs could possibly be used in a dry herb vaporizer (Vapornation has some great affordable options for dry herb vape pens and portable vapes that have great reviews! The dry herb vape that I personally use is the Storz & Bickel Mighty. while it is a bit pricier than some of the other portable vapes, it is by far my favorite portable dry herb vaporizer.) until I came across Mountain Rose Herb's Herbal Smoking Blend. I thought to myself if smoking these herbs will give you the effect, why wouldn't a vaporizer? I found myself contemplating all of the different herbs that I might be able to vape for their herbal benefits and bought myself a dry herb vaporizer to test my theories out with.
Nettle was the first herb I decided to vape
The day that I was trying to decide which herbs I wanted to test out in the vaporizer, my seasonal allergies were really getting the better of me and I went to go make a cup of nettle tea. While the tea was cooling down, I stared at it thinking about how I didn't want another cup of tea, then it occurred to me that my first herb in the vaporizer should be nettle. I ground up the dried herb, put it into the herb chamber of the vaporizer, heated it up, and vaped the grassy flavored herb. To my surprise, it took no more than 5 minutes for the incessant itching in my nose to subside. I could feel my chest and sinuses open up, and my eyes stopped watering so much.
What other herbs can I vape?
If nettle works so well in the vape, I was struck with a question. What other herbs can I vape? I began researching further into it and found that many of my favorite herbs can be vaped for a plethora of reasons! Lavender, chamomile, passionflower, and valerian can be vaped for relaxation and sleep. Peppermint, eucalyptus, thyme, and marjoram can be vaped to help with chest congestion and sinus issues. Even St. John's wort can be vaped to help elevate your mood! A whole world of ideas was opened up to me, and from it, I developed my very first herbal vape blend! I have plans for many more after testing out different blends, so keep your eyes peeled if you are interested in vaping your herbs!
DIY Herbal Allergy Vape Blend
You can store this herbal mixture in a mason jar, but I just love to use Mountain Rose Herbs Spice Jars with the Cork Lid because they look like herbal apothecary jars!
- Combine dried herbs in a mixing bowl and store in a jar in a cool dry location, the same way you would with loose leaf tea.
- Fill your vaporizer's herb chamber with the loose herb vape blend.
- Heat the blend ( 347°F-392°F if you can control the temperature with your vaporizer) to temp and vape your allergies away!
- During allergy season vape this blend 2x a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, to combat seasonal allergies. You can also vape this blend at the onset of hay fever symptoms, to soothe them quickly.
HERBAL SAFETY NOTES
NETTLE - Nettle is considered nutritive and safe for all ages.
PEPPERMINT - Peppermint may reduce milk flow in nursing mothers. People with GERD may find that peppermint aggravates their condition. (2)
GINGER ROOT - Ginger may interact with certain medications like warfarin, and medications for diabetes and high blood pressure. Ginger may increase the risk of bleeding. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners caution women who are pregnant not to use more than 2 grams of dried ginger a day (3)
(1) Gladstar, Rosemary. Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use (p. 158). Storey Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.
(2) The Herbal Academy of New England. Herbarium, Peppermint Monograph
(3) The Herbal Academy of New England. Herbarium, Ginger Monograph
(4) The Herbal Academy of New England. Herbarium, Nettle Monograph