The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, your nose is running, your eyes are itching as is that one spot in the back of your mouth that no amount or variation of throat contortions can scratch. Ah, the joys of spring are well upon us.
I’m sure many of us can relate to this delightful assemblage of symptoms. I for one am well accustomed to them and have been for several years now, unfortunately. As a result, for several years now I have sought solace in antihistamines whose packets proclaimed drowsiness free allergy-relief but in fact provided more of a soporific sneeze-free experience, charmingly accompanied by potential side effects such as impaired motor function, dizziness, dry mouth and throat, blurred vision, urinary retention and constipation; not to mention possible liver damage in the case of long-term use.
Then just last year a wonderful doctor gave me a prescription for plantain. Not the type that you chop up and fry or grill whole on a fire, but rather the broadleaf plantain (plantago major), indigenous to much of Europe.
Considered by many as little more than a bothersome garden weed, this plant can actually be used to treat a myriad of conditions. For millennia now, its analgesic, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties have made it an ideal remedy for insect bites, wounds and sores. Its astringent properties also make it the perfect treatment for diarrhea when consumed as a tea, replenishing lost nutrients while simultaneously providing hydration. Proponents of this versatile plant also proclaim its value in the treatment of asthma.
With regards to seasonal allergies, the effects are equally impressive. I first took plantain last spring and a year later I am officially a convert. During the first day, to my horror, I was extremely drowsy, however this was short-lived and a very small price to pay for the subsequent long-term relief. The treatment begins a few weeks before the allergy season and continues for its duration. For those of us who don’t have the luxury of having a garden with this useful weed, you can find them concentrated in pill form, like so:
(and yes I’m well aware that this surely looks like some very sloppy product-placement, but I assure you this is merely the result of pure, unadulterated enthusiasm.)
For a reliable site: soin et nature – plantain