Summer is approaching, bringing with it warm weather, beautiful flowers, freshly cut grass, and bare skin.
While these are some of the things we look forward to, they can have adverse side effects for allergy sufferers such as runny noses, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, itchy eyes, and skin irritation.
Facts about seasonal allergies in America:
- Seasonal allergies affect over 23 million Americans (7.5 percent of the population)
- Hay fever is not caused by a virus, but by your immune system attacking foreign bodies that it recognizes as needing to be eliminated
- Dust, grass, and/or pollen are common hay fever triggers.
- Hay fever symptoms include runny noses, watery eyes, itchy throats, and even headaches and earaches.
Reasons for the increasing rates of Asthma and Allergies in America:
- According to the hygiene hypothesis, we are excessively clean and are preventing our immune systems from being exposed to basic microbes
- Excessive use of certain medications, such as antibiotics and antihistamines
- Environmental changes
- Lifestyles characterized by a lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet
Homegrown Rooibos tea may provide relief and contribute to a more carefree summer. Taking a “tea break” is unquestionably a health-enhancing ritual that is not only relaxing but also high in antioxidants. However, rooibos tea truly distinguishes itself from all other teas and has been praised for its various health benefits.
As a result, there is renewed interest in herbal and alternative remedies, such as Organic Rooibos Tea, which may be more affordable and accessible.
The cost of treating allergic rhinitis has risen dramatically in recent years, putting a significant financial strain on many patients. Given this high cost, University of Cape Town researchers are now investigating the extent to which Rooibos tea can provide relief for those suffering from runny, stuffy noses and itchy eyes.
Studies were done on Rooibos Tea so far and their results
Prof Jonny Peter, head of allergology and immunology at the UCT Lung Institute, says allergies are becoming more common around the world, and the prevalence is rising in low and middle-income countries as well, affecting an estimated 30% of South African adults.
Different types of allergies affecting people worldwide include:
- life-threatening anaphylaxis
- hay fever
- food allergies
- skin allergies: such as angioedema, urticaria (hives) and eczema
- allergic rhinitis: which is typically triggered by house dust mite and fine powdery pollen from trees, weeds, and grasses
Previous allergy research has looked into the effects of Rooibos on various cell types in the lab, and the results have shown that:
- Bioflavonoids, such as rutin and quercetin, that are found in Rooibos, could relieve itchy eyes and a runny nose
- Quercetin can block the release of histamine from mast cells, and this may be why it could reduce several symptoms
- Rooibos also suppresses basophil activation
Furthermore, Japanese researchers at Showa University discovered that drinking Rooibos on a regular basis helps to improve allergy status due to increased levels of this enzyme in the body.
Herbal teas, such as Rooibos, are widely used in Japan to prevent and treat pollen allergy, asthma, and other chronic allergies. Rooibos can help fight allergies by increasing the production of Cytochrome P450, an enzyme that aids in the metabolization of allergens.
Going natural saves money on expensive medications, and because it is gentle and non-toxic, it is safe for children to use, making it the ideal allergy solution for your entire family.
Best ways to use Rooibos for allergies:
- To help relieve runny noses and hay fever: place a cup of lukewarm Rooibos tea in your hands and slowly draw the liquid into your sinuses, holding it for a few seconds before releasing it and gently blowing your nose.
- Rinse your eyes with lukewarm Rooibos tea if they are itchy and sensitive: for instant relief from irritated eyes, dab them gently with a face cloth soaked in lukewarm Rooibos. To relieve tired or red eyes, place cold Rooibos tea bags over them.
- Eczema and itchy or burning skin can be relieved by: adding a few Rooibos tea bags to your bathwater, rinsing the affected skin areas in brewed Rooibos tea, or applying the cooled Rooibos to the affected area with cotton wool or a facecloth (NB – do not rub, as this will aggravate the itching/burning).
Other ways to use Rooibos
Due to Rooibos tea’s slightly sweet flavor and health benefits, the traditional African beverage can be enjoyed hot, iced, or with milk and sugar.