Spring Allergies? Spice it Up!

Cal Orey

Callie’s Cabin

Guess who’s coming to dinner at Lake Tahoe? Achoo! Seasonal allergies! Sneezing? Sniffling? Scratchy throat? Symptoms can be miserable for locals and tourists. Psst! The word is, we’re having an early spring. That means those pesky allergens are paying us a visit right now. On this week’s menu are alder, elm, and mulberry. 

During the spring, like clockwork I go online and check out the allergy chart; it’s like a weather forecast, but for your allergies. You type in your city and state, and it will rank the level of allergens! (FYI:  If the numbers are off the charts high, like they have been this week, I bring out my arsenal of nature’s cures. 

Read on!

Some awesome anti-allergy herbs and spices for you –



Thanks to pollen or ragweed (they’re coming soon!) a cough can be a bother. Cardamom boasts anti-inflammatory compounds. When you consume the ground spice it can help quell the tickle in your throat. Why not try sipping tea? Add a dash of cardamom powder in an 8-ounce up of tea. Black or green tea is best because of the double dose of immune-enhancing antioxidants. Add a bit of local honey (a super antioxidant allergy fighter if you prefer a sweeter flavor and instant results to soothe a raspy throat). 



Research studies have shown hot and spicy foods can rev up blood circulation. This, in result, is like a humidifier; it can help open clogged and inflamed nasal passages and you may breathe easier. Use once or twice per day. Include cayenne, dried and ground or fresh and chopped in food, such as salsa or in a salad. Also, try ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder mixed in 1 cup of black tea or a mug of hot chocolate.



Garlic is a super decongestant like cayenne. Give credit to its compound allicin. It can lessen inflammation that clogs airways and cut that nuisance of mucus in your nose and throat. Mix 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced with ½ cup vegetables or chicken soup (homemade or store bought, low sodium is recommended). Repeat twice a day during the season of allergies.


Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence is a Mediterranean mix of dried herbs (and occasionally spices). The blend can include oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.Spices and herbs, like these, contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial compounds that work to break down the post-nasal drip—the stuff in your throat that can drive you nuts.Try eating an 8-ounce cup or bowl of hot herbal vegetablebrothor pasta with tomatoes, garlic, and 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence.



During or after a flight your ears may aches due to changes in cabin pressure and altitude—made worse if you have allergies and are congested. It has antibiotic and antiseptic compounds, which may help fight a throbbing earache. Use ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder into 8 ounces of hot water. Steep for 3 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of honey. Repeat a few times per day, preferably as a preventive measure before an upcoming event that could trigger an earache.

So, follow your judgment and personal preference. For instance, if you do not like to eat garlic you can try a garlic supplement. These anti-allergy herbs and spices, and honey can be found at the grocery store, health foods store, or online. 

Adapted from The Healing Powers of Herbs & Spices: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Timeless Treasures published by Kensington.

Chocolate_4_CalCal Orey, M.A. is an accomplished author and journalist specializing in topics such as health, science, pets, and relationships. Her hugely successful Healing Powers book series include: The Healing Powers of Honey, The Healing Powers of Chocolate, The Healing Powers of Coffee, The Healing Powers of Vinegar, and Herbs & Spices: Timeless Treasures. She lives in Northern California.

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