Guest post by Natural Healthy Concepts
The season of stuffy noses and itchy, watery eyes is in full swing! Few of us are immune to the effects of allergies. Even if you take a daily antihistamine you may still show symptoms at the peak of the season. Sometimes we need a little something extra to support us without all of the drowsy side effects of some allergy medications. Luckily, there is a nifty little tea that is a huge aid for those who suffer from allergies, and it is all-natural!
Blessed thistle tea is brewed from the plant of, you guessed it, blessed thistle. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region but is now found throughout other parts of Europe and other more Southern and tropical climates. There are even some areas where it grows in the United States and Canada. The plant is in the same family as daisies, sunflowers, and even ragweed. It was cultivated by Benedictine monks and used to treat the plague. It is often referred to as St. Benedict’s Thistle. Over the years it has been used in folk medicine and Ayurvedic practices. It has several potential health benefits including but not limited to: digestion support, urinary tract health, skin health and wound healing, seasonal health, and breast milk production in nursing mothers. It is also good for upper respiratory health as well as stomach acid production.
As far as allergies go, blessed thistle has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe nasal passages and upper respiratory irritation. It has also been said to relieve hay fever symptoms, as well as soothe itchy and irritated skin, as it is proven to aid in hasty wound recovery when used as a warm compress. Many people experience seasonal allergies due to an overactive immune system, triggering histamine production. What makes blessed thistle bitter is its key component to combat allergies: sesquiterpene lactones, which provide defense against mild microbial attacks. These lactones are what also allow blessed thistle to nurture a healthy immune system.
It is important to take the proper dosage as too much can cause gastric issues, allergen sensitivity if you are allergic to ragweed, and it is best to steer clear if you are pregnant. It should not be used on young children either. Ingesting too much of blessed thistle can sometimes result in allergic reactions such as skin irritation or labored breathing. Taken correctly though, it has the potential to supply many healthy benefits.
If using it as a tea, use the following recommendation as a guide. Place 1.5-3 grams of dried blessed thistle flowering tops steeped in boiling water, or 1-3 tsp. of dried blessed thistle herb in 1 cup boiling water for 5-15 minutes. 1 cup may be taken three times daily, recommended by some to be used 30 min before meals. The tea may be bitter to drink, so add cream, sugar, or other herbs if desired.
Bio: Natural Healthy Concepts is a leader in educating people to change their lives through wellness and natural health. They have been offering education on essential oils, collagen, turmeric, and more since 2004.