Ragweed allergy is an increasingly widespread phenomenon that sometimes causes severe erythema and rhinitis. It often happens that a subject cannot bear several kinds of pollen, so his/her symptoms may last all summer. Obviously, the treatment for critical phases implies corticotherapy and antihistamine administration, but a natural solution may be found in sage leaves and black currant buds.
There are many kinds of sage, but the richest in anti-allergic components is salvia glutinosa, a sticky plant characterised by typical yellow flowers. It grows in piedmont underwood areas together with black currant bushes.
Sage has always been considered precious both in cooking and in pharmacy. As a matter of fact, it was widely used to season food and to "soothe the nerves", to heal paralysis and even to prolong life: "cur moriatur homo cui salvia crescit in horto?" said medieval doctors in the famous School of Salerno. Nowadays it is still very common in cooking and it has also revealed anti-allergic properties thanks to particular substances contained in its leaves. However, these elements are extremely unstable and they disappear when the leaves are dried.
Black currant has been known and used for ages as well. When the Arabs arrived in Spain, they looked for a substitute of a drink with a basis of rhubarb juice (very common among them) and they found it in black currant fruits. As a consequence, medical properties of this plant were neglected. Young leaves and buds are actually the most useful parts of the plant from a medical point of view: modern science has demonstrated that they are precious sources of anti-allergic "medicines".
by dr. Ernesto Riva