Allergy Awareness Week: Eczema, Hayfever and Asthma


The NIMH supports UK Allergy Awareness Week 

Members of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists will be participating in Allergy Awareness Week which started Monday 25th April 2016.

Allergies are commonplace with an estimated 21 million people affected in the UK alone and is rising by 5% each year.

Speaking about allergy awareness, Nathalie Chung, NIMH Director of PR said: "Rhinitis, asthma and eczema have trebled in the last 20 years.¹ There are many types of allergens and the severity of reactions varies greatly but the aim of this week is to highlight all the issues surrounding all forms of allergy." 

Medical herbalists can do a lot to bring relief from symptoms so that life can be more bearable. Herbal medicine has safe and effective remedies for allergy sufferers. When putting together an individual formula for their patient, a medical herbalist might include one of the following herbs to treat allergic conditions.

Nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) offers a natural antihistamine effect which works in several ways, including blocking the body’s production of histamine, one of the compounds responsible for allergic reactions. Inflammation is also inhibited by interrupting the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, reducing or negating symptoms of allergy.² Though Nettle grows abundantly in our gardens and in the wild, care should be taken when collecting for consumption due to pesticide contamination and collection from areas where dogs are walked should be avoided. Safety and provenance is at the forefront of NIMH practitioners’ minds when sourcing our medicine.  

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) can be taken for asthma, eczema, hay fever and particularly migraines associated with allergies or food sensitivities. One of the many important active constituents is pathenolide, which has anti-inflammatory action through the inhibition of inflammatory mediators NFkappaB and IL-4.³

¹ Royal College of Physicians. Allergy: The Unmet Need. June 2003. 

² Roschek B, Jr., Fink RC, McMichael M, Alberte RS. Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis. Phytotherapy Research. 2009;23(7):920–926.

³ Li-Weber M et al. The anti-inflammatory sesquiterpene lactone parthenolide suppresses IL-4 gene expression in peripheral blood T. European Journal of Immunology. 2002; 32: 3587-3597.

Your nearest NIMH herbalist can be found here.

More about Allergy Awareness Week

The week is organised by leading national charity Allergy UK, as part of a series of programmed events throughout the year to highlight issues faced by those with allergies. Their fundraising efforts afford them to offer support to millions affected in the UK.

For information about allergies visit:

More about the NIMH

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists is the UK's leading professional body representing herbal medicine practitioners. First established as the National Association of Medical Herbalists in 1864, today the National Institute of Medical Herbalists has more than 700 members across the UK and beyond.The NIMH promotes the benefits of herbal medicine and oversees the provision of the best patient care through the work of its members.NIMH members undergo a lengthy training programme before they can register as qualified medical herbalists and gain MNIMH or FNIMH after their name. All NIMH-registered herbalists are fully insured, and follow a strict code of conduct. NIMH-registered medical herbalists take a holistic approach to treating illness. Medical herbalists treat people suffering from a wide range of acute and chronic conditions and frequently work in collaboration with GPs and consultants to achieve the best combination of treatments for individual patients.

NIMH can be contacted at:Clover House, James Court, South Street, Exeter EX1 1EE

Tel: +44 (0) 1392 426022

Fax: +44 (0) 1392 498963