Did you know that you can be allergic to certain herbs?
Just like seasonal allergies from plant pollen can affect people by giving them itchy, watery eyes, a sore throat, cough, and hives and food allergies which cause all sorts of problems from stomach cramps, to itching and hives, to full out anaphylactic shock, herbs can cause allergic reactions as well.
Small amounts. Large amounts. First-time use. Hundredth-time use.
These days, allergies are more common than they used to be, and if you’re going to use herbs, you want make sure you’re using ones that agree with your body right away. Thankfully allergic reactions to herbs are usually mild.
So how do you know whether you are allergic to a particular herb?
You need to take your current allergies into consideration. If you have allergies to ragweed (a common allergen), then chances are they may have allergic reactions to plants in the Asteraceae family such as chamomile, calendula, and yarrow, to name a few.
If you think you may be allergic to a particular herb, or if you’re not sure, there’s a way you can find out.
You can test yourself for allergic reactions.
Now before you go testing yourself for herbal allergic reactions, if you currently have a large number of allergies or have any allergies are severe, it’s best to test herbs for allergic reactions under the supervision of your doctor to play it safe.
How To Test Herbs For Allergic Reactions
- Begin by rubbing the fresh herb on the skin on the inside of the wrist and wait to see if a skin reaction occurs before testing the herb by ingesting it. If you only have access to dried herbs, soak them in a bit of warm water and rub the moistened herb on the skin first. If no reaction occurs, move on to step 2.
- Make a strong infusion and drink 1 teaspoon. Wait 30 minutes.
- If no reaction occurs, drink 1 tablespoon. Wait another 30 minutes.
- If no reaction occurs then, drink 1/2 a cup.
- Wait again, then try 1 full cup.
If you don’t have any sort of reaction after all of this, it’s very unlikely that they are allergic to the herb you’re testing which means you can go ahead and use the herb. However, it’s important to remember to start small with the doses and work your way up anyway. That’s always a safe way to dose herbs.