The Herbalist - - Dipaunka Macrides


Bless you , Gusendheit , Yasoo , it’s Springtime and for those of you who suffer Hay fever not a very pleasant time of the year . All those beautiful flowering trees and plants that look so good can be a bane for Hay fever sufferers . The characteristics of Hay fever for those that don’t know are sneezing , itchy eyes , nose , runny nose as well as post nasal drip . It is very debilitating and frustrating as well as being down right inconvenient . Things that trigger an attack are pollens , dust ,cat or dog hair , hay dust { hence the name } feather doona’s or pillows , aerosol sprays and some perfumes .

Part of the problem can also be a weak liver .The liver forms a large part of the immune system as well as being connected to the eyes in Chinese medicine . So in any treatment regime some herbs for the liver would be wise .

There are a number of herbs you can use for Hay fever and apart from the Liver we must remember to include something to soothe those inflamed and irritated mucous membrane linings . I remember when I first got Hay fever { I don’t anymore } I was down south at hay harvest time . It was one of the most unpleasant and debilitating times I have ever experienced .

So what herbs can you take ? I will list them then get in to specifics :: Echinacea, elder flower , { see July issue } , eyebright, garlic , golden rod , golden seal{ hydrastis cadensis } , horseradish, marshmallow root, mishmi bitter / chinese golden seal { Coptis sinensis ] and St. Mary’s thistle or Bupleurum for the liver .

Some practical things , keep your house as dust free as possible , stay away from cats and dogs , cut out or down on dairy products and mucus forming foods , get allergy free doona’s , pillows and wash your bed linen regularly . Taking pollen also helps as it works Homeopathically to immunise you against pollens , cool yes .
This months herbs Eyebright, Golden rod , Horseradish.

Eyebright - Euphrasia officinalis
As the name suggests this herb brightens your eyes , as hay fever sufferers know this is a biggie in the process . Also good if you have been overindulging , haven’t slept much or have been studying to much . Use it as a wash or a tea.
Parts used - Aerial parts .
Properties – Anti catarrhal , astringent , anti inflammatory , expectorant, tonic .
Uses : It is great for conjunctivitis in combination with chamomile and parsley leaf . Basically the astringent factor tightens the mucous membranes of the eyes , thereby reducing secretions. It can be used for blepharitis as well . It helps clear up catarrh and so apart from hay fever can be used for head colds, middle ear blockage, sinus and nasal passages . Obviously not to used for dry stuffy conditions .
Majikal and Folklore : Folknames used are Euphrosyne , red eyebright , it’s gender is masculine , ruled by the Sun, element is air . It’s powers are for mental powers and psychic powers .
Majikal Uses : When drunk it cleans the mind and aids the memory . If applied to the eyelids it brings clairvoyance . When you carry it your psychic powers can increase .

Golden rod - Solidago virgauria .
It is interesting that this herb which is considered a weed , can aggravate hay fever { ie: the pollen from the flowers } but is a remedy for it . Ain’t Mother Nature great ! Golden rod has been used since ancient times and by the Arabs, Germans, Italians, and English .In Croatia it is used to get rid of Kidney stones .
Parts used : Aerial parts

Properties : Anti Catarrhal , anti inflammatory, antioxidant , antiseptic, astringent, carminative , diaphoretic, diuretic .
Uses : If you have any genito- urinary problems like cystitis, nephritis, urethritis , this herb in combination with others will help clear it up . For upper respiratory catarrh , sinus congestion or inflamation this herb works well so I use it in a sinus mixture . Having problems with laryngitis and pharyngitis then make a gargle of golden rod with sage , thyme and a little honey .If you ever get thrush orally or vaginally , then this herb with Pau d’arco and myrrh will clear it up .
Majik and Folk lore : Folk names used are Aaron’s Rod , blue mountain tea , goldenruthe , gonea tea , sweet scented golden rod , solidago , verg d’or , wound weed , wound wort .

It’s gender is Feminine , ruled by Venus , element is air . The powers it has are money and divination .
Majikal uses : Use it in money spells or to seek out lost objects . You can wear a piece of golden rod to see your future love . If it springs up in your garden near the front door you will get good fortune .

Horseradish - Amoracia rusticana .
Some people love it on food , others hate it . Those of you that like Japanese food will know it as Wasabi . It has been included in vitamin supplements with garlic for hay fever .The old Latin name {Colchlearia } is an obsolete name for spoon , which the leaves look like .
Parts Used : Fresh root , dried in tinctures .
Properties : Carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mild laxative, rubefacient , stimulant .
Uses : If you don’t mind the taste and the stimulating effect of this herb it can be used in a syrup for the following : bronchitis , coughs , bronchial catarrh and as a digestive stimulant . Because it is a heating herb it is also good for stimulating the circulation and can be applied externally as a poultice for cold extremities . A caution do not use it on sensitive or broken skin and large doses can inflame the gastro intestinal tract .

As we are just coming out of winter , some of you may still have lingering flu’s or colds . If so a little Horseradish with your garlic, elder, peppermint and yarrow tea will help you sweat it out . Although not my herb of choice for urinary tract infections it can be used for this along with some demulcent herbs . Obviously used for hay fever but also can be used for Asthma . On the chemistry side Horseradish is high in sulphur { natural of course } hence it’s pungency but also natural antibiotic quality .

Majik and folklore . It’s gender is Masculine , ruled by Mars and element is fire . It’s powers are exorcism and purification.
Majikal uses : To clear your house of any negative energies or reverse any spells against you , sprinkle the dried ground up herb around your house , in the corners and on any steps .

I hope that this helps those of you hay fever sufferers.

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