The Herbal Bear - Newsletters

The Herbal Bear's
May - June  2007 Newsletter

In this issue

  • Herbal Remedies for Allergies
  • "Green Energy" can Reduce Global Warming
  • The Herbal Bear Classes

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Herbal Remedies for Allergy Relief
By Ursula Basch                                                                            
Herbal Bear School of Botanical Medicine

Spring has finally arrived and the trees and flowers are now in bloom.  Nature’s beautiful display can cause problems for people who suffer from allergies. All of a sudden, the sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion begin. Experts who monitor pollen and mold counts say pollen counts are largely the same in urban and suburban areas.

Many of our most common trees; maples, oaks and birch, are big pollen producers.  Tree pollen concentrations begin in late April and peak in late May – just when grasses and molds concentrations start to rise! So what can an allergy sufferer do?

Many people reach for over the counter antihistamines. However, antihistamines can cause sedation and reduce concentration. A recent study conducted by Privilege Insurance revealed some alarming results. A survey of almost 5,000 adults found that one in seven suffered from hay fever or other allergies and almost half of these had driven after taking medication.  Many of those questioned said they had lost concentration at the wheel because of side effects such as drowsiness.

Herbal Allergy Relief

Herbs are generally considered to be quite safe, and they can offer you natural allergy treatment without the drowsiness of conventional over the counter antihistamine drugs. Here are a few example of herbs that are used for allergy symptoms:


Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Stinging nettle has a long history as a treatment for a variety of respiratory conditions, including allergic rhinitis. Stinging Nettle juice contains an anti-inflammatory component similar to that of steroid drugs.  It is thought that properties in the nettle prevent the body from making inflammatory chemicals known as prostaglandins1.  A  preliminary trial reported that capsules made from freeze-dried leaves reduced sneezing and itching in people with hay fever2.

1 Obertreis B, Giller K, Teucher T, et al. Antiphlogistic effects of Urtica dioica folia extract in comparison to caffeic malic acid. Arzneimittelforschung 1996;46:52-6.

2 Mittman P. Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.Planta Med 1990;56:44-7.


maitakeEyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)

Eyebright has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Due to its ability to reduce mucous secretions, it is often used for infectious and allergic conditions affecting the eyes, middle ear, sinuses, and nasal passages including: eye strain and inflammations, weeping eyes, itching eyes, and runny nose.

Click here for more information about clinical studies for eyebright




Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)

A 2004 study published in "Clinical & Experimental Allergy" reported Butterbur to be as effective as the prescription drug fexofenadine (Allegra)  for treating symptoms of hay fever. Another study published in "Phytotherapy Research" showed similar results. The clinical evidence of butterbur is still out for debate because  both studies were conducted for a limited time of two to three weeks. Butterbur does contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) which can be toxic to your liver and kidneys.  Only use preparations that are PA free.

Click here for more information about clinical studies for Butterbur

Green Energy can Reduce Global Warming
by Ursula Basch
Herbal Bear School of Botanical Medicine 

Ever wished you could do something about global warming? It might seem there's nothing you can do because the problem is just too big. But there are simple steps that can dramatically effect the carbon dioxide emissions we create when we use electricity.  And the solution is as simple as a choosing to buy your electric power from a company that generates power from a renewable energy source such as: hydroelectric, wind or solar energy.  Just about all the electric companies purchase some portion of electric power from "Green" sources.  You can elect to buy electric power  from renewable sources though your local electric supply company.  It's easy!  Simply click here to see how you can buy "Green Energy" for your home or business.




We are offering the following classes:

  • Medicinal Plant Preparations Workshop - Saturday, July 14, 2007 NYC
  • An Introduction to Herbal Medicine - Saturday, July 28, 2007 Grand Gorge, NY
  • Herbal Soap Making - Sunday, July 29, 2007 Grand Gorge, NY
  • Phyto-Chemistry of Medicinal Plants - September 22 & 23, 2007 NYC
  • Herbs for Stress Management - Saturday, October 13, 2007 NYC
  • 2007 Botanical Medicine Program - Starting June 23, 2007 Grand Gorge, NY

    Click on any of the above courses to see a full description.

    For our full schedule - click here

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