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Goodbye springtime allergies

Cal Orey / Special to the Tribune
Tea cup with rosemary, honey and lemon.
Getty Images

‘Tis the season in the Sierra when pesky allergens pay us a visit. Dander and dust, especially, are “extreme” and colds are “High” according to Accuweather … Rather than losing the dog or cat or moving to the desert, home remedies come to the rescue.

So if you’re wondering what to do to tame a scratchy throat, cough, sniffles, and sore throat, you’ve come to the right place. It’s the time to turn to teas and honeys in your kitchen cabinet.

1. COLDS (Warm Up Baby) During the spring months, cold season hits more often because we’re indoors more than less. Also, if traveling contracting a virus from someone else isn’t uncommon. If your immune system is under attack — a cold can be prevented or the severity lessened with tea.



What Tea Rx to Use: Drink one 8-ounce cup of black tea (hot while the air is still cold) with or without 1 teaspoon honey two to three times per day.

Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific: Tea researchers believe it’s the compound antigen in black tea that bolsters the body’s immune system and may help guard against colds. Also, the tannins may help to stave off viruses like a cold. I recall one doctor’s story about how he turned to tea for comfort. He was traveling in the Alaskan wilderness. While in a van traveling with a lot of people, one had a cold as he did. The doctor had tea and drank the liquid. And it helped the good doctor heal.



2.  COUGHS (Cease the tickle) Coping with a cold can be annoying, but coughing which can be caused by seasonal allergies, and that spells dander and dust. If you’ve got a pet or dust bunnies, think a scratchy throat and a hacking cough.

What Tea Rx to Use: Opt to brew 1 12-ounce cup of black or white tea. For an extra throat soother, add 1 teaspoon of honey. Repeat as necessary.

Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific:  Tackling a cough takes a bit of sleuth work to discover why you are coughing—and then it’s time to be proactive and deal with the problem with other tricks, too. If allergens are the issue, for instance, it’s time to get an air purifier, vacuum and dust more, and add tea with honey to your diet repertoire—soon you’ll be doing the happy dance without stopping to cough.

3. SORE THROAT (Treat the pain) Before a cold you can get a telltale sore throat. Not to forget allergies with other allergens. Rather than run to the doctor for an allergy medication, why not take an alternative route and turn to tea?

What Tea Rx to Use:  Chamomile is a good pick. Put 1 teaspoon or tea bag of the herbal tea of your choice in 1 cup of hot water. Steep for a few minutes, then strain. Add honey to taste.

Why You’ll Feel Tea—rrific: Chamomile can reduce swelling and inflammation, due to flavonoids. Also, honey boasts anti-inflammatory benefits, too. That means the less pain, and relief.

4. SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (Blast the blues) Now this isn’t an allergen but feeling down and sluggish with SAD, coined by Dr. Norman Rosenthal, is another monster to face. Since our sunshine is less than more right now, due to a long winter-ish season tea is on the list come early spring.

What Tea Rx to Use: Brew 1 cup of hot water and use 1 teaspoon green tea leaves or tea bag. Steep for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times per day.

Why You’ll Feel Tea-rrific: Green tea has 45 milligrams of caffeine (which can give you a physical and mental burst of energy). But also, green tea contains L-theanine—a compound that enhances brain chemicals including serotonin and that can give you a calming sense of well-being. A bonus: It can rev up your metabolism, fill you up and not out. Read: Lose unwanted pounds and body fat to be healthier come May and into the summer.

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cookbook Club.) Orey’s new book is Soulmates with Paws. Website http://www.calorey.com

Cal Orey and her beloved Australian Shepherd.
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