I woke up one morning last week with itchy watery eyes and stuffed up nose and I knew – spring snuck up on me (sorry all you Eastern folks in the dead of winter).
My plan was to be prepared for the inevitable hay fever by taking immune boosters and naturally occurring antihistamines. But, I was too late. Mama nature had a different plan and has been particularly unpredictable this year.
Contained in this smoothie are some ingredients purported to be effective in mitigating allergic responses and easing their symptoms. Blueberries (with a hint of lime) are a tasty nutrient-dense base to support the stars of the show.
Up First: Stinging Nettles
Nettles contain a small amount of histamine and histamine-like compounds that can modulate the immune response so that symptoms felt are milder when experiencing airborne pollens.
It’s best if you can get fresh ones and boil yourself an infusion. (Be careful if looking for them in the wild. They do sting. But they lose that property after steaming.) If that’s not possible, simply steep some dried nettles either loose or in tea bag form. You can find them at most health food stores.
Next: Local Bee Pollen
Thought to help you gradually build up your resistance to pollens from the inside out. Word of caution: if you are really sensitive to pollen try a little tiny bit first. It does give me a mild allergic response (itchy mouth, slightly difficult to swallow) on its own, but I didn’t notice it in the smoothie. If you’re worried about it, skip it and ask your naturopath or health care provider for advice.
Last, Red Reishi Mushroom
Red Reishi mushroom and other concentrated mushroom blends support the immune system as it can get run down during the allergic response. It can also ease the inflammation associated with allergies and asthma.
Do note that it’s recommended that these natural foods are taken on a regular basis a few months prior to allergy season to be most effective. I clearly dropped the ball this year, but still, hope they work! If spring is a far off dream for you, starting now is your best bet for relief.
Choose organic. Makes one serving.
- 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 tsp local bee pollen
- A tsp reishi mushroom powder (or another mushroom blend)
- Juice of half a lime
- 1-2 soft medjool dates
- 1 Tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 cup chilled nettle tea/infusion
- Filtered water or ice as neededBlend until smooth and enjoy. Even if all this allergy-relief talk is hearsay, it’s still a VERY nutritious and delicious snack.