Natural Antihistamines

Natural antihistamines are herbs to treat allergies naturally. According to a survey conducted in 2019, about 41 percent of people suffered from hay fever and pollen allergies in Japan as compared to 25 percent in 2003. Day by day it is becoming more prevalent for people to suffer from allergies. 

Antihistamines are usually used to treat allergic reactions caused by hives, hay fever, insect bites, pollen, etc. Antihistamines block the effect of histamine in the body. Histamine is released in the body when the body becomes in contact with allergens. As a result, you feel runny nose, itching, rashes, watery eyes.  Antihistamine medicines can cause some side effects. For example, you may feel sleepy, dry mouth, headache, blurred vision, or feeling sick. To avoid these side effects people used natural substances that have antihistamine properties.

Let’s discuss these natural antihistamines. 

1     Butterbur as Natural antihistamines 

                        Butterbur treats different types of allergies. It is used as a natural antihistamine for people who have allergic rhinitis. In the united states, about 35 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis in which allergy is caused by dust mites, pollen, pet dander, or mold spores. Common symptoms of allergy are itching eyes, sneezing, and runny nose. Butterbur contains an active ingredient called petasin. This petasin has antihistamine properties. But still, research on petasin is not enough and more research is needed to prove its benefits. Always use butterbur with a consultation with your doctor because it may have some serious safety concerns like it has a chemical called alkaloid that can affect your kidney or liver or can be cancerous or may create blood clots. A person who is allergic to ragweed should avoid butterbur.           

2      Forskolin  as Natural antihistamines 

                        There is insufficient evidence on using forskolin as a natural antihistamine. In two clinical trials on people suffering from asthma, it proved that it works more effectively than asthma medicine sodium cromoglycate and as useful as beclomethasone in curing asthma attack. Water-soluble forskolin called colforsin daropate in injected form cured tight airways during an asthma attack. More clinical trials are needed to prove its benefits. 

3     Bromelain as Natural antihistamines 

                        It is a protein-digesting enzyme derived from fruit or stem or juice of pineapple. Historically it is used to treat various diseases. Its supplement is FDA approved. Unlike butterbur, it can be used in combination with other medicines. It reduces swelling and inflammation for the nasal tract hence used as a natural antihistamine. Bromelain contained in pineapple juice is not enough to use as treatment. You have to take its supplement. But always consult your doctor when using natural substances as these might not as safe as seem to be. Usually, bromelain is safe to use but can have some side effects like intestinal discomfort or diarrhea, menstruation changes, increased heart rate, or some allergies. If you are allergic to pineapple, wheat, fennel or grass pollen, latex, carrot, papain, celery then you should not use bromelain as you can have allergic reactions. 

4    Astragalus as Natural antihistamines 

                        Astragalus is used in traditional Chinese medicines as natural antihistamines. It is effective in boosting the immune system and cure inflammation and swelling of the nasal tract in chronic asthma. It is used in soups and as a binding or thickening agent in food items. Astragalus reduces histamine levels. Its active ingredient astragalin also acts as an antioxidant. It is available in capsules and tablets forms and also available in injectable form. Astragalus is generally considered to be safe. It does not interact with other medicines. Women who are breastfeeding and people with autoimmune diseases don’t use it as there is no evidence that this herb is safe for them or not.     

5    Quercetin as Natural antihistamines 

                          Quercetin is a flavonoid and can be found in grapes, green tea, red onions, apples, broccoli, peppers, Ginkgo biloba, red wine, tomatoes, olive oil, nuts and seeds, berries, black tea, buckwheat tea, parsley, and yellow beans. It is a natural antioxidant. It boosts the immune system and reduces histamine levels. It has anti-inflammatory properties hence it can be used as a treatment for asthma, allergic rhinitis. It is also available in supplement form. Recommended doses of quercetin range between 250 mg to 600 mg and it can be taken a few minutes before a meal, three times a day. Quercetin can have side effects like headache or tingling effect in the legs and arms. Don’t use quercetin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Higher doses of quercetin can cause kidney damage. Talk to your doctor if you are planning to use quercetin as a natural antihistamine as it can interact with other medications like an antibiotic, warfarin, cyclosporine.            

6    Stinging Nettle as Natural antihistamines 

                              Stinging nettle or Urtica Dioica grows in Africa, Europe, Canada, and North America. It is historically used as a herbal remedy for allergies. There is limited research on the effectiveness of this herb. It has sharp hair on leaves. Stinging nettle is mainly used for seasonal allergies as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Stinging nettle grows in damp soil. It can be purchased online or in health food stores. When buying make sure it is original stinging nettle and not similar looking plant. Stinging nettle can be used as tea, tincture, tablet, or capsule. Stinging nettle is generally considered to be safe but may have some side effects including hives or rashes, diarrhea, urinary or stomach problems, and sweating. Children and pregnant women should avoid using it. Use with caution when using other medicines because it can interact with other medicines e.g. diabetic medicines, high blood pressure medicines, heart disease medicines, and blood thinners. 

Nettle leaves isolated on white background as package design element

7   Vitamin C as Natural antihistamines 

                     Vitamin C can be used as an alternative to allergy medications. Since our body does not make vitamin c on its own so we have to take it in the form of food or supplements. Vitamin C protects cell damage and reduces symptoms of allergic reactions, boosts the immune system, and helps the body to fight against infections. Vitamin C reduces histamine levels in the body. Vitamin C rich foods include: 

  • Guava 
  • Lemon 
  • Red cabbage 
  •  
  • Broccoli 
  • Oranges 
  • Papaya 
  • Kiwifruit 
  • Red peppers 

Supplements of vitamin C are also recommended. You can take a dose of 500 to 5000 mg of vitamin C depending on the severity of the symptoms during a day. Try to opt for powdered or supplement in the form or capsule for quicker absorption. Tablets can irritate the stomach lining and take a long time to cure symptoms. 

8   Basil  as Natural antihistamines 

            Basil is usually used to increase taste in pasta and salads but It has great anti-inflammatory properties and decreases histamine. You can also use holy basil in the form of tea. You can also make a tea blend of moringa, holy basil, nettle, and lemon balm. It really calms the body to histamine reactions and soothes the stomach. 

9   Probiotics as Natural antihistamines 

                        Probiotics are good bacteria. Usually, we think that bacteria are bad for health and cause diseases. But our body is full of bacteria some good and others bad. Probiotics are considered to be good and healthy. Yogurt is a source of probiotics but you can also find supplements. Some research is done to prove its effectiveness as natural antihistamines. It may help in alleviating allergies and colds. Probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered to be safe but people having immune system problems should avoid probiotics. In rare cases mil side effects can be seen like gas, bloating, upset stomach, or diarrhea. Some people may feel their allergy is triggered after using probiotics. If you feel such a condition then stop taking it and talk to your doctor.                     

10   Omega 3 Fatty Acids as Natural antihistamines 

                                        Omega 3 fatty acid is found in seafood and fish oil. It is also found in flaxseed oil, grass-fed meat, walnuts, and canola oil. It is anti-inflammatory and boosts the immune system and is one of the natural antihistamines. Your lungs are affected when your immune becomes weak. It reduces asthmatic symptoms. A study was conducted in 2007 In which it was found that pregnant women who consumed omega3 fatty acids during pregnancy reduce the risk of developing asthmatic allergies and inflammation. 

11  Pycnogenol as Natural antihistamines 

                           Pycnogenol (pine bark extract) inhibits the release of histamine. This is a very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and makes breathing easier. People who used pycnogenol 50 mg twice daily showed their symptoms reduced by 32 percent. Pycnogenol is generally considered to be safe but has few side effects e.g. headache, mouth ulcers, gut problems, or dizziness. 

12   Grape Seed Extract as Natural antihistamines 

                                         Grapes are traditionally used in Europe to cure many diseases. The grape seed extract is extracted from red wine grapes. In the USA it is the new trend to used grape seed extract to treat diseases. It contains antioxidants and acts as natural antihistamines. Grape seed extracts are safe to use. Mild side effects are headache, dizziness, nausea, and itchy scalp. If you have high blood pressure, bleeding disorder, or if you are allergic to grapes then don’t use grape seed extracts. It could interact with painkillers, heart medicines, blood thinners, or cancer treatment. 

13   Reishi as Natural antihistamines 

                Reishi is a mushroom that boosts our immune system and resists common allergens. Reishi has terpenoid constituents and due to these ingredients, it has a bitter taste. That terpenoid acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It inhibits histamine release. Reishi is also known to boost oxygen flow so it cures chronic asthma allergy. You can boil reishi into the water along with a little bit of lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, and honey and drink this tea to ease allergic symptoms. Don’t take reishi for more than one month as it can be toxic for the liver. Other side effects might be stomach upset, headache, dizziness, nosebleed, diarrhea, dry mouth, itchiness, rash, or bloody stool. Don’t use if you are pregnant, or have a bleeding disorder, low blood pressure, clotting disorder, or after surgery. 

14 Thyme as Natural antihistamines 

                 Thyme is used in foods to increase flavor but it has so many healing properties. You can use it as tea. If you take it by mouth or in a combination with other herbs it cures symptoms of fever, coughing, bronchitis, and sputum. It reduces coughing and upper respiratory tract infections and common flu. 

Thyme is generally considered to be safe but It can have some mild side effects e.g. digestive system upset. Don’t use thyme during pregnancy, or if you are allergic to thyme or oregano, or you have a bleeding disorder, or after surgery. Don’t give it to children. 

15 Lemon Balm as Natural antihistamines 

                           Lemon balm releases toxins out of the body in the form of sweating hence cures fever, colds, and flu. It is a powerful antiviral protection. It has natural antihistamines properties and treats allergic reactions and eczema. Lemon balm can create side effects e.g., vomiting, nausea dizziness, increased body temperature headache, etc. You can reduce these side effects by consuming less quantity less than 2 grams per day. 

16 Ginger as Natural antihistamines 

                Ginger is also one of the very good natural antihistamines. A study in 2015 showed that patients who had hay fever who consumed ginger supplements reduce symptoms significantly. After 2 months of treatment, 62 percent of people showed a significant reduction in sneezing, and 83 percent of patients reduce sinusitis, and 79 percent of patients showed a reduction in nasal itching. Make ginger tea by boiling ginger slices in hot water and adding honey. The Key is to used ginger consistently for about 1 to 2 months. Use ginger with extract caution if you are using other medicines like blood thinners ie aspirin as ginger can react with these medicines. 

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