The grass and weed pollen season typically peaks between April and August in the Pacific Northwest, according to the Northwest Center for Allergy and Asthma. But before you go to the pharmacy, the medical experts at Bastyr University say you could find some natural remedies in your backyard to help combat seasonal allergies.
"They do not have the same side effects as medications," said Dr. Jenn Dazey, who works in the Department of Botanical Medicine at Bastyr University. "(Plants) tend not to need to stay in their system while they are active, instead they treat the inflammation directly."
Dr. Dazey says look for three common plants that are found in abundance in western Washington.
First, the nettles. They have beet leaves and small spines that can sting the skin. But when it is submerged in boiling water, the bite disappears. Dr. Dazey adds vinegar, butter and salt to her once a day to combat allergies. She says it's better to prepare them like any other leafy green.
Chickweed with many drops of water.
Second, the chickweed. This is a matte floor covering with high content of minerals and flavonoids. Chickweed has white flowers that open and close with barometric pressure. You can put chickweed in a salad or in a smoothie or juice. Dr. Dazey says that chickweed can also fight eczema and asthma.
Galium apparatus blades and grip grass close-up In the spring
Finally, blades. This plant helps with lymphatics and reduces congestion. They are found in many local gardens and adhere to their clothes. But when added to a salad or smoothie, the blades can help to naturally drain the liquids in your head and neck.
Dr. Dazey says he can combine the three plants in a pesto for spring allergies. Here is the prescription …
Nettle Pesto for the relief of spring allergies
Jenn Dazey, ND, Department of Botanical Medicine, Bastyr University
8-10 cloves of garlic (Allium sativa)
2 cups roasted pumpkin seeds (Curcubita max)
1 teaspoon salt
Grated and juice of 1 organic lemon.
¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 cups of fresh nettle tops (Urtica dioica)
2 cups fresh chickweed (Stellaria media), chopped into large pieces
2 cups of fresh blades (Gallium aparine), chopped into large pieces
Boil a pot of water and use tongs to submerge the nettles for 10 seconds. Strain and let cold water run over the nettles to stop the cooking process. Add the ingredients to a food processor one by one, in the order indicated. Mix until smooth and serve or freeze.
To use this pesto for acute allergy symptoms, be sure to eat at least one tablespoon three times a day. More is fine. Once the symptoms are eliminated, you only need one teaspoon per day to maintain them.