Nettle - urtica dioica - tea decoction is a safe, effective method for helping our bodies remain balanced in the presence of some common allergens. Personally, I’ve had a dramatic improvement in lifelong, debilitating allergy symptoms and one of my chief interventions has been nettle tea. I start drinking 4-8 ounces every morning on New Year’s Day as I live in the desert southwest and juniper starts helping noses run and eyes water around Valentine’s Day. Prior to starting this habit about 3 years ago, I lived on double daily doses of zyrtec, benadryl and flonase - just to keep myself functioning. Even with these, I would have to call in sick a couple of days every spring because my eyes would swell shut. This was after years of allergy shots. I never thought I would be able to leave antihistamines behind, but I’m thrilled to report it’s been 3 years since I’ve regularly had any over the counter, prescription or other pill, spray or big pharma aid in preventing allergic symptoms.

I make a strong decoction (soaking the crushed leaves for 4 hours or more) every week and have observed that in clients who simply make a tea, soaking a bag and drinking right away, or who start when symptoms are already felt, the effect is not impressive. this 2009 article abstract, experiments are described that “provide for the first time, a mechanistic understanding of the role of nettle extracts in reducing allergic and other inflammatory responses in vitro.” And in this 2018 review, urtica dioica is one of the herbs documented as anti-inflammatory, further investigated for these effects as supportive for rheumatoid arthritis in this 2013 article.

I have a tea pitcher in which once a week I place about half a cup of organic crushed nettle leaves, cover in boiling water and leave out overnight. After a 4-8 ounce glass the next morning I store in the fridge and have a little every morning. Easy peasy and pretty yummy.

This simple, inexpensive and natural, side effect free and immune system supportive tea is one way to reduce the obstacles to healing our lives and bodies. Try it let us know how you fare this allergy season.