New Section coming to the website 'Weekly Updates from the resident herbalist Jane Ramsden

16 May, 2013

Herbal Medicine in Shipley Health Store

Herbal Medicine is the use of plant remedies to treat illness and disease and can be taken as a tincture, tea, tablets, capsules, lozenges or applied as a cream. Such remedies have been used since the beginning of human history and are readily available today.  With the support from a qualified Herbalist anyone can use herbal remedies including babies, pregnant women, the elderly and anyone already taking orthodox medicine.

Deciding which herb to choose to treat your illness can be difficult and that is why, here in Shipley Health Store, we have our own Medical Herbalist, Jane Ramsden, who will provide you with the support you need to make the right choice.  Jane is a quailed Herbalist, with a sound knowledge of modern herbal practice, herb/drug interactions and can also advise on diet and lifestyle improvements.

If you would like an informal and confidential chat with Jane she can be found in store on Tuesdays and Thursdays.   To read more about Jane and herbal medicine you can visit her website at .  For an in-depth consultation an appointment can be made by contacting Jane on 07954435517 or 01274 402747 


Help with Hay Fever

Spring has well and truly sprung bringing with it the annual round of high pollen count.  Pollen is responsible for the allergic condition known as Hay Fever affecting around 20 % of the population.  Hay fever occurs as a response to allergens such as pollen, which get into the throat, eyes and nose. Also known as Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis, hay fever has many different symptoms, including: 

•             Sneezing

•             Runny nose

•             Itchy eyes

•             Stuffy nose

•             Itching

•             Fatigue

•             Headache

•             Wheezing

If your symptoms arrive early in the spring it’s most likely that you are allergic to tree pollen. Trees most associated with hay fever are Hazel, Yew, Birch, Alder and Horse chestnut.  A very few sufferers find their symptoms starting in the autumn. This is most likely caused by the pollen of nettle and dock, and by mould spores.

Both Chamomile and Nettle contain a natural form of histamine which helps with the body’s allergic response.  Try making your own tea to help ease you through the hay fever season:

Hay Fever Tea


4 tbls of fresh nettles or 2 tbls of dried

2 tbls of fresh German chamomile or 2 tbls of dried

1 teaspoon of manuka honey or local honey (optional)


Tip: using local honey made by local bees is said to be more beneficial,  due to a process called “desensitization”



Nettles grow everywhere!!! Gather the top 30cm (remembering to wear gardening gloves to protect you from the sting) and wash well.  Roughly chop the whole stalk and leaves and put in a teapot.  Add the chamomile.  Pour on boiling water and leave to brew for 8 minutes.  Using a strainer, pour into a mug and add honey to taste.


This makes approximately 3 mugs of tea which is the medicinally effective amount required to help sufferers from hay fever.


Other herbs which are helpful include:


  • Elderberry: supports the immune system and is a source of Vitamin A, B and C.  Generally alleviates cold and flu symptoms
  • Elecampane/Thyme/Coltsfoot: great expectorants (clears excess mucous)
  • Marshmallow: has mucilaginous qualities which relieves inflammation, helps with wheezing
  • Plantain/Sage: reduces over production of catarrh. (avoid sage in pregnancy)
  • Eyebright: soothes irritated eyes


Dietary recommendations: avoid too much caffeine, alcohol and dairy and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (limit oranges and tomatoes).  Drink lots of water.

Supplements for Hay Fever:

Quercetin:  500mg bd (20 mins befor meals) (inhibits histamine release)

Vitamin C: 500mg twice a day (immune support and antioxidant)

Pantothenic acid: 100mg twice a day (reduces nasal congestion)

Omega 3 Fish oils (or flaxseed oil): 2 teaspoons daily (reduces inflammation)




All material provided on this website is provided for informational or educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your healthcare professional or physician.


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