Monday, March 6, 2023

Allergies anyone!

It's Spring again!  

The sky is so pretty and a deep blue. The trees in my back yard are all starting to bud out. Flowers soon will be blossoming. And you know what that means to some of us.  That wonderful Pollen will soon be floating around making us keep a tissue handy!

For many, spring is a fun time. A time to start getting outside more and enjoying the beauty God has given us.  Others stay indoors, keeping the tissues handy and trying to not sneeze the day away.  A morning ritual of nose drops, eye drops, and trying to make sure you drink more water to stay hydrated is some chores of those with allergies.  At least it's a good thing we have all those covid mass laying around they do come in handy. 

Speaking of spring did you ever wonder what the settlers did before the local grocery store come along offering a nice soft tissue.  A friend of mine said this on one of her blogs and I thought it was so funny.  So thanks Kimberly Grist for the next few lines. 

Can you imagine Matt Dillon ready for a shootout but he has to stop and blow his nose? Isn't that just too funny!! And she went on to say what about the Lone Ranger on his way to save the damsel in distress, but instead of sneaking up on the bad guys, goes into a sneezing fit and gives away his element of surprise. 

Kim Grist is a great friend and writes a lot of historical romance novels and I just love the way her mind works. You should check out some of her novels HERE as a thank you for some of her quotes ;) 

I use the term allergies but the term ~ hay fever ~ seems to have been first used by but John Bostock (1772–1846) he was an avid contributor to the Medical and Chirurgical Society's Medico-Chirurgical Transactions. His paper read to the Society on 16 March 1819 on summer catarrh was the first description of hay fever.

The phrase 'hay fever' developed from a paper he wrote with his findings on the condition in 1819, "an idea has very generally prevailed, that it is produced by the effluvium (smell) from new hay, and it has hence obtained the popular name of the hay fever”, and has grown into a common household term ever since.

Now, as I said most of us use the term allergies.  Thinking about this and all the sneezing that comes with allergies I wondered when the handkerchiefs showed up in history. 

I learned that it was seen and carried around as early as the first century BC, when they were mentioned by the poet Catullus and used for utilitarian purposes, such as wiping one's brow or general-purpose cleaning. They would not become fashion accessories until at least the 17th century. Sadly, the pocket handkerchief went out of fashion later in the 60's.

The next thing would be a tissue or Kleenex. In the 1920s the Kleenex® Brand's story began during the First World War when Kimberly-Clark developed a crepe paper used as a filter within gas masks. 

In 1924, the Kleenex brand of facial tissue was first introduced.  Kleenex tissue was invented as a means to remove cold cream. Early advertisements linked Kleenex to Hollywood makeup departments and sometimes included endorsements from movie stars (Helen Hayes and Jean Harlow) who used Kleenex to remove their theatrical makeup with cold cream.

By 1926, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the manufacturer of Kleenex, became intrigued by the number of letters from customers stating that they used their product as a disposable handkerchief.

A test was conducted in the Peoria, Illinois, newspaper. Ads were run depicting the two main uses of Kleenex, either as a means to remove cold cream or as a disposable handkerchief for blowing noses. The readers were asked to respond. Results showed that 60% used Kleenex tissue for blowing their noses. By 1930, Kimberly-Clark had changed the way they advertised Kleenex and sales doubled, proving that the customer is always right.  You can learn more about the history of the Kleenex here if you'd like.

Now for modern man or woman, you have all kinds of options for allergies.  Just go to any local mini-mart or grocery store and you'll see most of the time a whole isle of options for sneezing and runny nose all kinds of ailments.  What did people do for allergies before the local mini-mart come along? 

Herbs were prolific in what is now northern China where the favorable climate and rich soil attracted large bands of settlers. Shen Nong (c. 2700 BC) is considered the Father of Chinese Herbal Medicine.  According to legend, he was the first to taste ephedra which was used to treat asthma-like symptoms five thousand years ago.

Ephedra, known to the inhabitants of China as Ma Huang, was used to relieve bronchospasms, produce vasoconstriction, reverse congestion, and inhibit mucus secretion. The Chinese brought ephedra to Greece where it spread to other civilizations.

Ancient Egyptians believed respiration was the most vital function of the human body, as delineated in the Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BC), which contained an impressive number of remedies for maladies including asthma, hepatitis, bubonic plague, dandruff, and more.

A combination of plants and ceremonial customs was used to treat respiratory ailments in the ancient Americas. Early peoples of Mexico and South America used natural resources to compound cures and to make medical instruments. For instance, they used rubber to make an enema syringe. Rubber was also used to treat chest disorders and rheumatism.

Additional herbal remedies were discovered after Columbus arrived in the New World, including the dried root of the ipecacuanha shrub of Brazil, which is a natural expectorant, and balsam which is used in cough medicines to this day. In addition, atochietl and tzompilihuizxihuitl were pungent herbs used as inhalants to clear the head. The ancient Americans also used ephedra. Cocaine, the principal ingredient of the dried leaf Erthroxylon coca, was another Incan herbal remedy and was later used in both the United States and Europe to treat rhinitis and asthma.

For me, I'm just happy that today we can go to the local store and get some relief,
but I have to think if someone wanted to they could cure allergies with a shot or a pill we take once a month. If they did that though look at all of the money they would lose on Kleenex alone 

If you don't have allergies that's great be thankful to the good Lord it's not something you suffer from, because for those that do, be it bees, flowers, dogs or pollen, allergies are nothing to sneeze at. 

All images are from Pixabay 

Website Facebook Group Contact Us Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series.  She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors. She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover Artist, Helpful Indie Facebook Groups. 


  1. Thank you for a very interesting post. I too am happy that I can go to a pharmacy. I didn't grow up with allergies. The pretty set of handkerchiefs my mother gave me went unused for the most part. I became sensitive to pollen and long pet hair soon after I came back from college. Not sure what that's about but now I keep the Benadryl close.

  2. What a great and informative post, Samantha. Our daughter's allergist told her where we live (Dallas-Fort Worth area) is an allergy cocktail as bad as anywhere in our country--if not the worst. We were NOT glad to learn that, because we're pretty well stuck here.


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