Don't drink dandelion if you're allergic to ragweed


Dandelion Allergy

The single biggest issue when approaching any medicine, wild or pharma (other than will it kill me)?


I was reminded of this in the most unpleasant way today. Spring detox and a new morning ritual of Dandelion + Chicory tea. Day 3 finds me in the bathroom in front of the mirror. My face is hot and dry and I look to see the most unappealing red rash taking over my face beginning at the sides of my mouth...

My husband, the dual boarded family and emergency medicine doctor, looks at me as I look in the mirror and say..what the hell.

I turn to face him and he says....hives.

I KNOW! Look! It's on both sides of my mouth.

Yep. He says, That's how you know a true allergy.

You put something in your mouth that your body didn't like.  What did you eat?

Just dandelion tea, I reply.

Then. Realization hits...

Ugh. I say. Dandelion allergy is directly related to Ragweed allergy. I have seasonal Ragweed allergies.

Is my throat going to close?

He's rummaging through the towel closet...he thinks he has a steroid pack in there if we need it...he has an Epi pen in the car.

He is very calm. My allergy is not as big of an issue for him as it is for me at the moment.

Take two Benadryl.

I just woke up...

Then the medical professional in the house that I regularly give one sided healthcare administrator conversations to turns to me and says...If you are allergic to ragweed, why are you drinking it? Aren't you an herbalist?

You should be putting it on your allergies list when you go to the doctor so it's not like you don't know you are allergic. Aren't you the girl who needed allergy shots as a child? He is now in full medical mode, with a slight condescending tone of what are you thinking...

You are probably going to get diarrhea next.

I am irritated. At myself. At him. Who puts ragweed allergies front and center of anything???

The medical patient part of me is amazed at this. I never think of environmental allergies when I fill in the blank at the doctors office. To me, this is for those people who can't breathe when a dryer sheet is used. Not me and my stupid seasonal allergies.

The part of me that is a healthcare executive is irritated at the doctor for being right.

The part of me that is an herbalist and a mom is reminded of how careful we need to be with these plants, and our approach to them. Teas, tinctures, poultices, and essential oils are all powerful plant medicine. Each calls for a concentrated dose of the botanical matter. How quickly the plant properties can impact bodies small and large.

It is estimated that 10-20% of the population suffers from ragweed allergies. Anyone who has these allergies may also be allergic to Dandelion, If you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion per the University of Maryland.

Now I'm thinking of the kids and allergies yet to surface and safety of trying any new anything in smaller quantities and watching for reaction before jumping all in.

This post is a friendly public service announcement. The doctor in the house says to remember to list every allergy you have on any allergy sheet, and any prescribed and/or over the counter medicine and/or herbal preparation you take on the doctors sheet (any and every doctor you see), and of course to talk to your doctor before starting any new herbal anything.

The herbalist in the house agrees.

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Comments 1
  • Margaret

    Thank you so much for posting this. I just took my first dandelion root pill (only 1 of the recommended 3) and I too have Ragweed and Iodine allergy. After reading your post, just took an antihistamine and a shot of an inhaler. Guess I will have to de-bloat a different way!! I too feel foolish as I have a BS in Exercise and Nutrition and a MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health!!!!!

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