Here in the Hill Country, red juniper cedar trees grow rampant. They are the source of the dreaded “cedar fever” November through January, when the pollen of the male trees puff into the air, causing sneezing, ear aches, sinus infections, pneumonia, and stuffy head symptoms in almost everyone. With huge amounts of pollen, every bodies immune system is overwhelmed, often allowing other bugs to take hold. Now is the time to start raising immunities to this pollen. Many use Juniper berry capsules, or collect the blue berries off the female trees and pop them like pills. Boil a teaspoon of berries in boiling water for tea. Mash them up in honey, vinegar or vodka, keep in a dark place, use daily during allergy months. Juniper berries increase the fluid-filtering rate of the kidneys, called diuretic and can deplete potassium, and shouldn’t be taken if you have kidney issues, or are already on diuretics. Juniper is an ingredient in the prescription diuretic, Odrinil, often prescribed for congestive heart failure and reducing excess body water. Juniper is helpful for urinary and bladder infections, killing bacteria and some fungus, and anti-parasitic. Homeopathics are very popular also. Diluted quantities of the local pollen in a sugar pill or under the tongue spray, are my number one selling product. Oak pollen comes shortly after cedar season in January, this sublingual spray has this also, along with ragweed and mold. I have had hay fever all my life, and was tested sensitive to grass, trees, and weeds in that order. At one time I was taking 2 shots twice weekly, along with a prescription antihistamine and was happy with the results. Job layoffs in 1999 took away my insurance and a couple years later my hay fever returned. I have been so miserable at times, I didn’t care what it cost, someone please fix it. A free sample of the homeopathic for Texas Allergy from a vender, was literally the only thing I hadn’t tried yet. I have been virtually allergy free for 4 years since finding this wonderful product. In fact this is the number one seller nationwide for this Wisconsin homeotherapeutic company. It is so diluted it is safe for animals, kids, elderly, and anyone on many medications. Another cool herb is stinging nettle, its natures antihistamine. Vitamin C type vitamins are wonderful immune stimulators and help the gut not absorb toxins. Some have said they take as much as 20 grams to get relief. You know you took too much when your bowels tell you to stop. Eucalyptus augustafolia oil is the only known natural mucus buster. Drops in boiling water with a towel over your head in a tent like fashion, can really help break up congestion and allow drainage. Teas with eucalyptus are available also. Zinc lozenges help raw throat pain and infection. Juniper berries should not be taken by children or pregnant women unless under professional care.