Got seasonal allergies? Ragweed is the #1 culprit. But good news, the antidote grows right next to it. Just make it into tea!
If you’ve ever moved from the West Coast to the eastern half of the country, you may have noticed something in the air here that makes you sneeze around this time of year. That something is likely ragweed, the most common culprit for fall allergies.
It grows all over the country but especially along the East Coast and the Midwest.
It blooms and releases its pollen from August to November, but is most prevalent in September… triggering violent, repetitive sneezing in people prone to pollen allergies.
Pollen allergies are caused by misidentification, in which some people’s immune systems consider pollen a dangerous foreign substance (it is actually harmless) and attempt to get rid of it via sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes, according to Healthline.com.
But luckily, the antidote to this irritating weed grows right next to it, and is even often mistaken for it.
Goldenrod can be distinguished from ragweed, by its much brighter yellow/golden flowers. Ragweed has green, less densely packed petals.
They are in the same family, but have greatly different effects on the human body and ecosystem at large.
Ragweed can trigger our immune response into overdrive, while goldenrod soothes all the symptoms of this detox process, according to Mother Earth News.
Goldenrod provides an important source of nectar for pollinators and has large, heavy pollen grains that attach easily to their bodies.
Ragweed has small, lightweight pollen particles picked up easily by the wind and carried for miles, and contains no nectar.
Goldenrod dries quickly and easily for tea making and is excellent for opening up the bronchial passages that can become constricted with pollen allergies.
Combine it with other anti-inflammatory plants like stinging nettle and elderflowers and you have the perfect allergy-relief tea, according to Mother Earth.
Goldenrod tea is also great for urinary tract infections and dissolving kidney stones. It also makes a beautiful dye for wool and a colorful addition to fall bouquets.