Millions of people around the world suffer from allergies and if you are one of them, you know what it is to suffer. Sneezing, headaches, puffy and watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, sinus pressure, and digestive problems – all of these symptoms can become almost unbearable. There are certain medications that can be taken, but natural antihistamines can also be used to ease or even prevent allergy-related symptoms.
Let’s take a first look at what antihistamines are and how they can help alleviate allergy-related symptoms. Later we will share antihistamine foods and supplements.
What are antihistamines?
Histamine is a substance that is released by the body during an allergic reaction. Mast cells, which are a type of white blood cell, release histamine, and this triggers a process that is more commonly known as an “immune inflammatory reaction.”
The inflammatory process is easily recognized by swollen eyes, a red nose, inflammation of the intestines, or hives on your body. Antihistamines block the activity of histamine, seeking to stop the allergic reaction. Many allergy medications work as antihistamines, but they usually come with side effects, such as sedation, learning and memory problems.
There are certain foods and plant extracts that can have similar effects to these medications and as such can be used as natural antihistamines.
The best natural antihistamines to reduce allergies.
Here are these natural foods and supplements, how they work, how to take them and how much to take, as well as the scientific studies reporting their effectiveness.
Nettle (Urtica dioica).
Nettle can be used as a natural antihistamine, as it contains several different components that help in the fight against histamines.
A randomized double-blind study using 300 mg lyophilized nettle in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, found that the 69 patients who completed the study rated it superior to placebo in global evaluations: 58 percent rated it effective in relieving their symptoms and 48 percent found that it was the same or more effective than the previous medicine.
300 mg daily of lyophilized nettle is recommended for the treatment of allergens found in the environment and some allergens that are ingested. Freeze-dried (freeze-dried) nettle can be found in health food stores or online.
Bromelain against allergy.
Bromelain is another natural antihistamine that you may want to add to your medicine cabinet. It is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and pineapple stem. However, it is important to mention that pineapple itself can be a histamine trigger, therefore it is necessary to use bromelain supplements. Bromelain supplements are available at health food stores, vitamin stores, or online.
There are mechanisms during the anti-inflammatory process that cause inflammation, swelling, and pain. Bromelain is able to reverse the effects of harmful substances, and reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation.
The therapeutic dose for allergic rhinitis ranges from 400-500 mg of bromelain three times a day, of a strength of 1800-2000m.cu Allergic reactions can occur in those who are sensitive to pineapple. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea is some of the unlikely side effects.
Quercetin is another natural ingredient that can help fight allergic reactions. Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of quercetin, particularly citrus fruits, apples, onions, parsley, sage, tea, and red wine.
In test tubes, quercetin prevents immune cells from releasing histamines. As a result, researchers think that quercetin can be used as a natural antihistamine and may help reduce allergy symptoms, including runny nose, watery eyes, hives, and swelling of the face and lips.
It has been found to stabilize mast cells in a way that helps reduce stress-induced anxiety and allergic reactions. A study has discovered that quercetin is capable of suppressing the gene that promotes histamine, and helps in the antihistamine process.
It is best to use quercetin supplements as a natural antihistamine, and not foods that contain quercetin. The reason is that some of the foods that contain quercetin may have high levels of histamines and may actually increase the allergic reaction. For example, citrus fruits contain quercetin, but they can cause allergic reactions in some people.
Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a natural antihistamine and is the most common and easiest to use for the purpose of treating allergic reactions. There are countless foods that contain adequate amounts of vitamin C, as well as many different types of supplements available.
A study states that vitamin C supplements of 2 grams per day reduced blood histamine levels by 38%.
As mentioned before, it is best to use vitamin C supplements as a natural antihistamine, and not foods that contain vitamin C, as some of these foods may have high levels of histamines and may actually increase the allergic reaction (for example, the lemons).
Foods and herbs that contain natural antihistamines.
Here we share a great list of vegetables, herbs and fruits that fight allergies because they are natural antihistamines.
Vegetables that fight allergies.
Watercress has been shown by researchers to be capable of blocking up to sixty percent of the histamines that are released from mast cells.
Pea sprouts are antihistamines.
They are a type of vegetable that have a high concentration of diamine oxidase, a degrading enzyme histamine (DAO). DAO is also very high in peas, lentils, and chickpeas (however chickpeas may have the opposite effect, so be careful when eating these).
Garlic and onion.
Garlic and onion have the same effect as watercress: they inhibit the release of histamines from mast cells.
Herbs that fight allergies.
Ginkgo biloba is a Chinese herb that is often associated with mental alertness and memory support. A 2009 study has suggested that Ginkgo biloba extract may have therapeutic activity in the treatment of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis.
Moringa also inhibits up to 72% of all histamines released, plus it has many other health benefits.
Holy basil is a natural antihistamine.
Holy basil helps stabilize mast cells and produce a calming effect on them as a result; it can be used as a natural antihistamine.
Jewelweed, also known as “don’t touch me,” has healing properties for the skin. A 2010 study found that its main compounds have significant allergy-preventative effects.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is an herb with high levels of vitamin C that helps stabilize mast cells.
Tarragon inhibits histamine release.
It works in a similar way to thyme and holy basil, helping mast cells to stabilize and inhibit the release of histamines.
Chamomile can be used as an herb or in a tea that has many health benefits. This herb also inhibits the release of histamine.
It contains flavonoids which are plant pigments and phytonutrients, and they have been shown to inhibit histamine release, especially when it comes to allergens that are in the environment and cause nasal congestion and mucus.
It can be found in seed or oil form, also known as fennel flower, Roman coriander, and black caraway. This herb acts as an antihistamine that protects the lining of the intestines, inhibits the secretion of histamine in the intestine. It has many other health benefits and has even been called “the cure for everything but death.”
Roots that can be used as natural antihistamines.
The following roots can be used as natural antihistamines because they have the potential to prevent allergic reactions, are histamine inhibitors, and stabilize mast cells. Some help support the immune system, are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, such as turmeric and ginger.
- Lotus root.
Fruits that are considered natural antihistamines.
The following fruits have been shown to help fight allergies because they are some rich in quercetin, reduce the allergic response, and inhibit the release of histamine.
- Black rice bran.
- Mung bean sprouts.
Consuming these different types of natural antihistamine foods in combination with the supplements mentioned above, might be able to reduce the intense allergic response naturally. Medications currently used to treat allergies have been found to produce harmful and uncomfortable side effects.
Natural Antihistamines – Precautions and Side Effects.
Be aware that some of the above natural antihistamine foods and supplements can interact with pharmaceutical medications. If you take any medications, it is best to consult with your doctor before taking any natural supplement.