By Beth and Rustina, Contributing Writers
While many of us are joyfully skipping our way into spring others are hunkering down for the discomfort of allergy season. However, there is a lot you can do that can ease and stop the discomforts before they even get going in full swing. One of my favorite ways to do this is honey. What’s even better than plain raw honey? Herbal infused raw honey of course!
Symptoms of allergy season include:
- Runny nose
- Watery, red eyes
- And all around feeling miserable.
So What Are You To Do?
Partake in the honey and herbs! Consuming small amounts of raw honey may build up your tolerance to local flower pollen by reducing your reaction to it. This has long been a passed down pearl of wisdom, and many people swear by it. The very few studies into this have not shown a response short term, but do indicate long term use may be more beneficial (1,2).
What Herbs to Use
Honey is a great choice with its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, plus it even soothes the throat.
Ginger is anti-inflammatory, warming, and soothing.
Rosemary is anti-inflammatory and antihistamine.
Sage is antibacterial, helps with coughs, antinociceptive (pain relieving), and anti-inflammatory.
Nettle is anti-inflammatory and helps relieve itching, sneezing, and runny noses.
Garlic is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and very helpful for colds and allergies.
Lemon is more than just a yummy flavor, it also brings vitamin C and antioxidants to help.
Goldenrod is a drying herb that helps with congestion caused by colds, allergies, or sinus infections.
Echinacea supports the immune system and is an antihistamine.
Mullein helps support mucous membranes and reduce congestion. It is especially helpful with coughs that come from that “ticklish” feeling.
There are so many more options too!
Some are more beneficial for allergy symptoms such as sage for coughing while others like lemon are more for flavor. Try different combinations and find out what works best for you. The honey can be eaten by itself or used in meals or drinks for flavor.
Herb Infused Honey
- 1 Cup of Local, Raw Honey (If you don’t have local, try this one)
- 2 inches of chopped Ginger
- 1 tsp of Rosemary
- 1 tbsp of Goldenrod
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- 1 Lemon, squeezed for the juice
Herb Infused Honey Extraction Method:
Method 1 is time consuming. Not so much of your own time, but more so a waiting game. The benefits, however, come from the fact that it is not heated. By not heating the honey you are able to keep all the good stuff intact.
- Place honey and herbs in a jar.
- Seal with lid and shake.
- Let sit for 2-3 weeks. (Yes, it really is that simple!)
- If you see the herbs starting to not really be meshing with the honey and instead being sitting on the top just give it another good shake and keep waiting.
Herb Infused Honey Double Boiler Method:
But wait, you don’t have a few weeks to wait around? You can infuse your herbs and honey in a double boiler. However, you should keep in mind that heating honey can take away some of its medicinal properties.
- Place honey and herbs in the top pot/bowl/jar of the double boiler. If you have reusable tea bags, the herbs can go in tea bags. If not, just place them in the honey.
- Heat on medium-low for 10-15 minutes, stirring as needed.
- Strain the herbs through cheesecloth/washcloth or lift out the tea bags, squeezing out the excess honey from the herbs.
- Place your honey in a jar and use as you need.
*Note: Keep in mind honey is not recommended for children under 1 year of age. However, some feel that Babies Can Eat Honey (Sometimes).*
Disclaimer: This post is not intended as medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and nothing in this post is intended to diagnose, treat, or cure anything. If you have questions, please do your own research or seek advice from a health professional.