A couple of months ago a wrote an article on helping children who struggle with seasonal allergies for The Bible Herbal Magazine which is a new online magazine. I shared quite a few ways to help your child keep seasonal allergies at bay. One of the things I shared was how we use nettles for seasonal allergies.
Yep, those weeds that sting bare little feet as they run over them are great for helping with seasonal allergies.
Several of our children struggle a bit with seasonal allergies and I often find myself with itchy eyes when the mold count is high. So each March we start supplementing our diet with nettles. Nettles work best for allergies if you start them several weeks before you start experiencing allergy symptoms.
We’ll start adding some dried nettle leaf to our smoothies but we also use it as a tincture, a glycertite, capsules and pastilles. Today I’m going to show you how we make each one. I like having it in different forms because some in our family prefer capsules but some prefer tinctures and, of course, Esther can’t take either one of those since she’s only 6 so the glycerite and pastilles are great for her.
The tincture and glycerite are made almost the same. I use the glycerite for Esther and any of our teens that want to use it and the tincture is for the older teens and adults. Yes, there is alcohol in the tincture but we’re not drinking it, we’re taking just a few drops at a time as needed. If you don’t feel comfortable making a tincture, a glycerite will work the same without the alcohol.
How to make a nettle tincture
20 grams of dried nettle leaf
100 ml vodka (I use 100 proof for my tinctures)
Nettle is fairly “fluffy” when it’s dried so I give mine a whirl in the coffee grinder that I keep for grinding herbs and make it a powder. Put the nettle and the vodka in a jar (a pint size mason jar is great), put a lid on it and give it a shake. Be sure to label the jar with “Nettle Tincture” and the date. Let is sit for 14 days and shake it daily. After 14 days, strain out the plant matter and put the liquid in a small bottle. I really the ones with the dropper tops for tinctures. We take about 2 dropper fulls a day. Some us take it straight and some take it with a bit of water.
How to make a nettle gylcerite
A glycerite is similar to a tincture but the compounds are extracted from the herbs with gylcerine instead of alcohol which makes it great for kids or anyone who doesn’t consume alcohol.
Grind the dried nettle into a powder and put it in a pint size mason jar. Mix the glycerin and water together and pour into jar. Put a lid on the jar, label it and give it a shake. Let is sit for 21 days and give it a shake daily. After 21 days strain out the plant material and put the liquid in a jar with a dropper lid. We take 1-2 dropper fulls a day.
How to make nettle capsules
Capsule making is something new I’m learning and I’m really liking it. We don’t take a lot of supplements but with 6 of us in the house supplements can get quite pricey. I first heard about making my own capsules from Chris at Joybilee Farm.
To make the capsules you just need the herb in powdered form (I just powder my own with the coffee mill), empty capsules and a capsule making “machine”. The capsule maker is wonderful because it holds the capsules, tamps the herb down and then puts the top on. Of course, all of this is manual so you still have to do it, but it’s much faster than I thought it would be. I got mine at Mountain Rose Herbs.
I bought size “0” capsules which hold 500 mg of powder. The capsule maker that I have makes 24 capsules so I needed 12 grams of nettle powder.
After you have your herbs in powder form, open up 24 capsules and put the bottoms (the thinner one) in the machine and then put the tops in the top holder. Fill the bottoms with the herb, tamping it down until you can’t get any more in. You might have a little bit of herbs left over, but it should be an insignificant amount. When the bottoms are as full as they can get, put the tops on. (Be sure to read and follow the instructions in your capsule machine.) Store in jar with lid.
We take one capsule, three times a day, to help keep allergy symptoms at bay.
How to make nettle pastilles
Herb pastilles are are great way to get herbs into your children and they’re super easy to make. You just need powdered herbs and honey. Yep, that’s it.
Weigh your powdered herbs (I had 4 grams) and put them in a bowl. Add some honey and mix until you can form balls with it. Keep adding a little honey until you get a play dough consistency. If you have some crystallized honey, it’s perfect for this project.
Roll the herb and honey mixture into balls that are about the same size. I had 15 balls so each ball has about 260 mg of herbs in it. Let the balls dry out over night and then store in an jar. I put these in the refrigerator but you don’t have to.
Disclaimer: I’m not a health care provider. I’m just a mom who is trying to keep my family healthy and have found nettles to be helpful. The information in this post if for educational purposes only. It is not an attempt to diagnose or treat any medical condition. If you are on ANY medication, have ANY heath issues or are pregnant or nursing, please consult your heath care provider before taking nettle supplements. You can learn more about safely using nettle in this article from the University of Maryland Medical Center.
If you’re interested in studying herbs I highly suggest the courses from The Herbal Academy.
Now it’s your turn, what natural remedies do you use for seasonal allergies?