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Blooming nature may be beautiful, but there’s nothing amazing about a runny nose, nasal congestion, red and itchy eyes and sneezing. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you are not alone. Many people experience strong hay fever symptoms at least once in life. The good news for allergy sufferers? There are teas that may help you fight off those annoying symptoms.

What is an allergy?

What is an allergy?

Seasonal allergy or allergic rhinitis is an “inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen[1]”. It’s most common during allergy season – blooming spring, summer and early autumn –  but other allergens such as dust, feathers or animal hair may cause it too[2]. While seasonal allergies may not be life-threatening, they may significantly influence the quality of life.

What kind of teas are good for allergies?

Many teas may help relieve the symptoms of seasonal allergies. All Camellia sinensis teas and many herbal infusions may provide a strong anti inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Both may be  helpful, because boosting immune system may help reduce the risk or severity to hay fever[3]. However, when trying to find the best tea, those with antihistamine activity may be the best choice. To get the best benefits, how you drink your tea is important too. Single cup of tea may not be enough, but regular drinking habit may be able to help you forget about allergies altogether. For tea to help, it’s advisable to drink it daily over at least several weeks[4].

So, what are the best real and herbal teas for allergies?

Green tea

Amazing health benefits of green tea are far from a mystery. While many tea drinkers look for antioxidant, anti inflammatory and anticancer activity in this type of tea, it may provide so much more. Studies suggest that green tea is a natural antihistamine, a type of medicine that may help treat symptoms of allergies.  While all green teas may help, one type was specifically invented with allergies in mind – benifuki. Benifuki is a type of steamed Japanese green tea, made from benifuki tea cultivar.  Benifuki cultivar is rich in a specific type of EGCG catechin, that may provide a strong anti-allergic effect[5]. This tea may be the best possible natural allergy relief in the world of tea.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle or Urtica dioica is a plant usually growing as a weed, but popular for its medicinal purposes. Nettle contains histamine, serotonin and acetylcholine[8]. It has a flavor similar to leafy green vegetables, with and earthy sweet note. Studies suggest that nettle may be helpful in relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis[9]. Avoid stinging nettle if you are pregnant or breastfeeding[10].

Licorice root

Sweet, delicious, stomach soothing, mood lifting and great for allergies too – licorice roots are all that and much more. Studies suggest that glycyrrhizic acid, an important active ingredient in licorice root, may provide significant anti-allergic activity. Not only it may help with allergic rhinitis, but other allergic reactions too[11].Licorice is one of herbal ingredients that should be taken only in small doses.

Tulsi

Tulsi or Holy basil is not only an amazing adaptogen that may help with all sorts of stress, it shows an antihistaminic activity too. Holy basil is a herb similar to basil, with a very distinctive basil-like flavor. It’s available in loose leaf and powdered form. Tulsi of often an ingredient in many Ayurvedic teas. Studies suggest that this plant may also help with allergic inflammatory diseases[12].


Lemon Balm

Lemon balm or Melissa officinalis is a plant similar to mint, but with a more aromatic, less minty and light lemony flavor. Melissa is often used for garnishes and making tea.  It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties[13]. Rosmarinic acid in lemon balm may help improve mood and cognitive function, too. Traditional use of lemon balm and lemon balm oil[14] includes relieving the symptoms of allergies too[15], although science still needs to confirm these claims.

Rooibos

Rooibos or red bush tea is a South African plant used for both flavor and medicinal purposes. This amazing plant may provide dozens of potential health benefits and is often used as a caffeine free replacement for real tea. Rooibos contains quercetin and luteolin, two compounds that may block the release of histamines[16]. Although more research is needed to support antihistaminic activity of rooibos tea, its high antioxidant activity has already been proven[17]. Rooibos is available in two styles – red and green or fermented and unfermented.

 

Dislaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Every person is different and may react to different herbs and teas differently. Never use teas or herbs to treat serious medical conditions on your own. Always seek professional medical advice before choosing home remedies.

References:

[1] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/allergic-rhinitis/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5963652/

[3] https://www.mdvip.com/about-mdvip/blog/control-your-allergies-strengthening-your-immune-system

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2104550/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2104550/

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26403321/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7171779/

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3845706/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5963652/

[10] http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productid=107&pid=33&gid=000003

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5543155/

[12] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313833311_Effect_of_Ocimum_tenuiflorum_Linn_Extract_on_Histamine_Mediated_Allergic_Inflammation_in_Human_Mast_Cells

[13] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/635975/

[14] https://www.herbsociety.org/file_download/inline/d7d790e9-c19e-4a40-93b0-8f4b45a644f1

[15] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7144806_Lemon_balm_Melissa_officinalis_L_an_evidence-based_systematic_review_by_the_Natural_Standard_Research_Collaboration

[16] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/16020135_The_effect_of_rooibos_tea_on_the_type_I_allergic_reaction

[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3897768/


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