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Nettles for hayfever

 
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Location: Gloucestershire, UK
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Hi there,

This is my first post on the forum! My husband has hayfever and is so uncomfortable in the summertime.  I read that you could use nettle tea to reduce the symptoms.  Has anyone tried this and how did it go? Do I need to harvest plants before flowering and just the top few leaves (as for eating nettles) or can I pick the whole thing? I was thinking I would dry some to try it out.

Thanks!
Zoe

 
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Hi Zoe, and welcome to permies! We usually pick the tips of the plants, maybe 3-4 sets of leaves. You can make tea from them fresh or dried. We haven't specifically used them against hayfever, but it's a nice mild taste and a generally calming tea.
 
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I use nettles medicinally, all the time. They do cut down my allergy symptoms, quite a bit, but I'll admit that because I'm under pretty constant barrage of allergens, I do still take an otc allergy med. I have, however, gotten off of my prescription ones! Since I don't have a local source, freight now, I've been buying beetle in bulk, from mountainroseherbs.com, and id be highly surprised if those bulk bags were strictly the tops. It's entirely plausible that while the tops may have the peak strength, in the plant, the rest of the plant is nearly as high in all the same constituencies, and the difference is only nominal. If I had a source in my yard, I'd use all the aerial parts, not just the tops. To get a good, therapeutic level of strength of almost all the herbs, it's typically recommended by clinical herbalists, to make your infusions at a rate of 1oz herb to 1qt water. Stir the boiling water into the herbs, and allow to steep until just warm, or room temp. Strain, pressing all the liquid out of the herbs. I use 1 cup, at this strength, as my daily dosage, and dilute with water, to a palatable strength. In summer, my solution is often with water and ice, and in winter, with very hot water. If you'd like to increase the allergy fighting benefits, sweeten with raw, local honey, to taste.
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