Thank you to Ricola® Herb & Throat drops for sponsoring this post as part of an ongoing campaign with Socialstars. #swissherbs
Hello and Happy Earth Day, my friends! As you guys know, I’m a big lover of the great outdoors; being outside on a beautiful day is definitely when you’ll find me at my happiest. A phrase I’ve seen floating around on the internet lately: “there is no app for this.” So true – I think that every time I’m out with the sun on my face and the ground beneath my feet. There’s nothing better.
I take pretty much any opportunity to get a little extra sunshine and fresh air in my life, and it’s one of the big reasons that I love running, hiking, and biking so much! I’ve also started back up with my short afternoon weekday walking breaks – it makes such a difference in my mood and ability to focus when I take a quick break to reset.
That said, spring allergies are no joke. Matt and I came out on our porch the other day to find it literally COVERED with a thick film of pollen. I’m lucky that I only get very mild spring allergies – a little bit of itchy eyes and the occasional stuffy nose or scratchy throat – but I know that for a lot of people spring is a tough balance of trying to enjoy the fresh air while keeping allergies in check.
When Ricola first reached out to me about working together this year as a brand ambassador, I was interested, as they are my cough drop of choice when I’m sick (yay for no artificial colors or flavoring), but originally said no since I didn’t see how they were relevant beyond cold and flu season in the fall. Well, interestingly enough, their cough drops can also apparently help to ease mild spring allergy symptoms, like itchy or sore throats. Cool, right?
The reason is because of Chrüterchraft, which is Swiss for Ricola’s blend of 10 herbs that are in every cough drop: lemon balm, horehound, elder, peppermint, mallow, sage, thyme, lime flowers, hyssop, and wild thyme. Of particular importance to the spring allergy situation are:
Horehound – The chemicals in white horehound can thin mucus secretions and decrease swelling, making it useful for easing lung and breathing problems like swollen breathing passages, cough, and asthma.
Elder – Elder can help to relieve swollen sinuses. In unrelated news, I had elderflower cocktail recently and it was awesome. Good to know it may have also helped to relieve any sinus situations. 😉
Mallow – Mallow flower contains a mucus-like substance that protects and soothes the throat and mouth, so it is often used for throat irritation (like that from frequent coughing).
Sage – Sage’s essential oil has a cleansing action against bacterial infection agents in the mouth and throat. Fun tip from Ricola: Make your own throat-soothing mouthwash/gargle! Recipe: 2 tbsp coarse, freshly plucked Sage + 1 tbsp each of Thyme, Lavender and Rosemary infused in 1 L fruit vinegar. Two weeks later, strain off the liquid and it’s ready to go! Dilute with a little water as desired.
Thyme – Can help to reduce coughing. Fun tip from Ricola: Fill a preserving jar with Thyme blossom and add high quality honey until the flowers are well covered. Tightly close the screw-top lid, turn the jar upside down and leave for four weeks. This honey is especially good in tea for treating coughs.
So, here’s to an allergy-free spring full of the great outdoors! Speaking of herbs, Matt and I have plans to re-plant our herb garden soon – I miss having fresh herbs on hand all the time!
How are you planning to enjoy the great outdoors this spring? Besides running, walking more again during the day, and eating lunch and dinner outside when I can, I also dusted off my trusty steed Pinky last week! (Yes, my bike is named Pinky, for obvious reasons – don’t judge.)
I’ve already been enjoying tooling around on her instead of taking the car when possible. Environmentally friendly, exercise for me, and more fun, too. Win all around! And don’t worry – my helmet is back in action, too. 🙂
Happy Earth Day!
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