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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Ward Off Spring Allergens with Nettle Leaf Tea: Something as simple as drinking nettle leaf tea prior to and during early spring can be a helpful preventive practice.

If it seems too cold outside to take precautions against spring allergies, think again. By the time we start feeling symptoms, we’ve missed our best window to arm our bodies against allergy season, says Lorraine Hughes, registered herbalist and owner of Empowered By Nature. Something as simple as drinking nettle leaf tea prior to and during early spring can be a helpful preventive practice, she says.

According to The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, an essential text of Chinese health and healing, “Treating an illness after it has begun is like suppressing revolt after it has broken out.” That philosophy directly pertains to the prevention and treatment of seasonal allergies, Hughes says.

As a practitioner of herbal medicine and nutrition, she has spent 13 years helping people find relief from allergies, digestive issues and autoimmune imbalances through prevention, diet, lifestyle and stress reduction. She offers several tips to help prevent or lessen the body’s response to seasonal allergens, beginning with diet.

“While eating balanced meals is always a must, you should keep your diet in sync with the weather,” she says. “During winter or in cold climates, eat warm, nourishing foods, drink herbal teas and use spices that aid digestion. On the other hand, stay away from cold fluids and dampening substances such as refined sugars, dairy and cold juices.”

As some foods can trigger an allergic response, she also suggests eliminating the major culprits—wheat, corn, soy, dairy and nuts—to see how the body reacts. Eliminate them one at a time, starting with dairy.

Meanwhile, get in the habit now of drinking nettle leaf tea. “It’s detoxifying, reduces inflammation and contains quercetin, which helps to lessen the body’s histamine response to allergens,” Hughes says.

Another precaution she recommends is keeping the home free of environmental triggers, such as pet dander, mold and dust.

For a more individualized approach to preventing spring allergies through natural means, now is the time to schedule a comprehensive consultation with an herbalist, Hughes says.

For more info, contact Lorraine Hughes at 845.416.4598 or [email protected], or visit