Allergies are no fun. Next time you’re feeling particularly itchy, sneezy, and generally gross, you may want to reach for a cup of herbal tea. Our suggestion? The Republic of Tea’s Nettle SuperHerb Tea Bags With Peppermint and Vanilla. But before we talk about that, let’s take a deeper look at seasonal allergies:
Seasonal Allergy Causes and Symptoms
Seasonal allergies—also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis—are caused by your immune system’s overreaction to outdoor allergens (like pollen). Typically, this happens after exposure to certain trees, grasses, and weeds.
Signs of seasonal allergies include:
Because of these irritating symptoms, allergic rhinitis is often confused with the common cold.
Of course, severe and persistent allergies warrant a trip to the doctor. Best case scenario: They can prescribe you medications that will treat your condition quickly and effectively. Worst case scenario: They discover an underlying illness that’s causing your symptoms. Either way, you’ll be better off for having seen the doc.
Just to be clear, we’re offering this advice as a possible (though unproven) treatment for mild seasonal allergies. If you suspect you have something deeper going on, please see a doctor. Do not try to treat possibly infectious or dangerous diseases with tea.
If your symptoms are mild, though, or if you favor holistic treatments (for non-life threatening illnesses), a cup of herbal tea could be in order.
Best Tea For Allergies
The Republic of Tea’s Nettle SuperHerb Tea Bags With Peppermint and Vanilla, which boasts an almost 5-star rating on Amazon, seems to be a gamechanger for allergy sufferers.
Most nettle tea has an unpleasant, grassy taste—but this product makes up for it with delightful flavors of peppermint and vanilla.
What Is Nettle—And How Does It Help With Allergy Symptoms?
For centuries, people have used nettle to treat allergies.
The herbaceous flowering plant, also known as Urtica dioica or stinging nettle, is found all over the world, though it was once localized to Europe, Asia, and parts of North Africa.
Covered in delicate white flowers and tiny hairs, nettles look pretty darn innocent. But don’t let their daintiness fool you: They sting.
Read more: What Is Nettle and What Does It Taste Like?
The sharp hairs (trichomes) act as hypodermic needles, injecting histamine into the unlucky person who touches them. Though typically relatively harmless to humans, this can produce a painful sensation at the site of contact. Burning, itchiness, and redness caused by touching nettle will usually subside after a few hours or with the use of antihistamine creams, like Benadryl.
But wait—how can a tea made from something that causes skin irritation be used to treat allergies? Well … scientists aren’t sure.
Most experts think that more evidence is needed to prove nettle’s effectiveness against seasonal allergies. A study from 2017 found that nettle extract and a placebo reduced symptom severity in comparable ways.
However, some research does suggest that there’s something to this whole nettle-treats-allergies thing: There’s a theory that the plant disrupts allergies by inhibiting the body’s histamine production and reducing inflammation. So, while nettle tea may not help you, it probably won’t hurt you either. Also, if you’re into anecdotal evidence, let The Republic of Tea’s product reviews speak for themselves:
“I have been able to stop taking my allergy medicine by having a cup of this delicious Nettle tea each morning. It has been a lifesaver for the past two years,” raved one reviewer.
“I have been brewing nettle tea almost daily for the past year and it has been life changing for me,” wrote another. “My energy level has increased and my seasonal allergies are a thing of the past. I was thrilled when I saw Republic of Tea nettle tea and couldn't wait to try it. I've never been disappointed in this brand so I was anxious to see what they did with the nettle. I was so pleased. It has a smooth, pleasant taste and I love the addition of peppermint and vanilla. It totally elevates my usual brew.”
One nettle believer wrote about her experience with the tea for MindBodyGreen.
“My allergies got noticeably better,” explained writer Liz Moody. “In about a week of drinking a cup or two a day, my eyes stopped itching and I went from blowing my nose upward of 10 times a day to blowing it once or twice.”
Other Teas For Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
Can’t stomach the taste of nettle, no matter how many benefits it boasts? No worries. There are plenty of other tea blends on the market that may help with allergies. For instance:
Yogi Breathe Deep Tea leads with licorice and thyme, herbs that have traditionally been used to treat the respiratory system. It also contains eucalyptus, cinnamon, and ginger, which have a wide variety of medical benefits.
Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat Tea is packed with slippery elm and licorice root, two of the best herbal remedies for a sore throat. We actually did a deep dive into what makes this tea so damn effective—read all about it here.
The Republic of Tea’s get wellness No.11 Herb Tea for Immunity blend has plenty of rooibos, which is said to have antihistamine properties, among other beneficial herbs.