Being in Austin, it’s opened my eyes to see how much allergies are very common here (everything is bigger in Texas!). I mean – YEAR AROUND. Not the usual ‘allergy season’, but every season something is blooming and people can be relying on over the counter antihistamines more often than not.
You guys know that I’m a natural nutrition nerd. I found the power in foods and herbs and what it can do for our health and surprisingly not, there are plant components and herbs that help with natural allergy relief! Whoo hoo! I wanted to go over some of the top natural antihistamines that have been studied to be beneficial if you find yourself suffering from allergies.
*I HAVE to preface that if you find yourself suffering from a lot of allergies – I recommend diving deeper into figuring out what else you can work on in your body to help your immune system and the allergy response. We’re starting to realize that the microbiome (in all areas of our body) impacts our allergies and how much nutrition and our environment influences this. Make sure you book a free 15 minute appointment with one of our nutritionists or dietitians to help you understand the holistic approach to your health + how we can help support you with food + herbs!
Quercetin For Allergies
Quercetin is one of my favorite natural antihistamines and is naturally found in foods like apples, onions, green tea, leafy greens like kale, broccoli, tomatoes, and more! It’s actually been studied for being an anti-inflammatory, beneficial for heart health, and antioxidant capacity reducing free radical damage in the body.
Quercetin inhibits the production and release of histamine and other allergic and inflammatory substances, possibly by stabilizing cell membranes of mast cells. In particular, quercetin is an inhibitor of allergic (IgE-mediated) mediator release from mast cells and basophils, another type of white blood cell involved in immune reactions.Molecules, 2016
Going back to the anti-inflammatory part of quercetin, histamine is considered an inflammatory mediator, as well as cytokines and interleukins. Inside that same Review in Molecules, it shows that quercetin inhibits mast cell activation and the release of these inflammatory mediators.
The recommendation that I have for quercetin, also includes nettles. Keep reading to why I like nettles! (If you purchase through my virtual dispensary below, you’ll see that the price is BETTER than Amazon pricing + you support Thrival! Whoop – win win!)
Nettles For Allergies
I don’t recommend stinging nettles on it’s own for allergies, as some people fine relief and some people don’t. A fantastically built study in the Iran Journal of Pharmaceutical Research showed that while symptoms improved in people that took nettles, they also improved with people who took the placebo. There was a great reduction in the nasal eosinophil smear count in the nettles group, but overall the IgE, interleukin 4 and 5 saw no changes in either groups. There needs to be a bigger study size, along with a longer amount of time in the study.
An older randomized, double blind study based on symptoms showed improvement with nettles, but only a little higher from placebo. But, just like quercetin, nettles as a plant is known for modulating and reducing inflammatory responses. Stinging nettle can stop the protein called NF-kB, which is a transcription factor of inflammatory mediators, like cytokine and TNF.
While the plant is known for it’s amazing-ness, I moreso recommend it being combined with quercetin for a better, effective approach. Usually 600 mg is recommended for allergies. (Recommendation is above!)
Another comprehensive supplement that brings together nettles, quercetin, nutrients, and a couple of other ingredients his HistaEze and it’s worked great for some of my clients who are really suffering!
Bromelain For Allergies
You might be thinking – pineapple? YES! This enzyme comes from the core of a pineapple and has been studied via mice to help reduce the allergic response and is naturally an anti-inflammatory agent. There is tons of inflammation going on with allergies, so reducing it as much as you can, especially if you have chronic allergies is so important!
Conversely, bromelain reduces IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α secretion when immune cells are already stimulated in the condition of inflammation-induced over production of cytokines.Biomedical Reports, 2016
Vitamins/Nutrients For Allergies
Outside of herbs, there are nutrients that play a big role to support our immune system.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is very similar to quercetin, as it stabilizes mast cells and reduces the histamine that is produced and as we all know, vitamin C supports the immune system!
- Magnesium – Magnesium has been studied to help people struggling with asthma, along with the link between magnesium deficiency and allergies. In mice studies, a magnesium deficiency can heighten the allergic reactivity. In a couple of double blind studies, mangesium helped relieved some symptoms from allergies.
- Omega-3 – Getting the right fats to support a healthy cell membrane is essential! Most of our Standard American Diet is full of omega-6, which is pro-inflammatory (we need omega-6, but at a BALANCE). There have been observational studies + epidemiological studies that try to show the connection between omega-3 and the reduced risk of allergies, as the omega-3 can create less of a substrate in the cell membrane for the inflammatory mediator production.
We offer a micronutrient test in our practice that we can test your nutrient deficiencies and help you replete your stores in what you’re deficient on. Instead of throwing tons of supplements your way, test first, don’t guess!
While I do recommend my multivitamin that you can get on Amazon, it’s great to fill in the gaps, but will not REPLETE any deficiencies. Usually to replete deficiencies (depending how low), you’ll need big doses and focus in on nutrient dense foods of the nutrients that you are missing. Make sure you book that free appointment with us, so you can learn about how we can help you!
Kid Supplement For Allergies
You’ll start to see some of these herbs and nutrients in a supplement form for kids + I highly recommend this version of a more natural antihistamine for kiddos. My daughter has used this personally and it works great! P.S. You DEFINITELY don’t want to try to order this on Amazon, as it’s like quadruple the price! We partnered with Fullscript for the access to supplements that you can only get via practitioners + the savings!
And as always, try to reduce exposure to your allergen as much as possible + get connected with an allergist (preferably functional medicine or is more knowledgable about the holistic approach), so you can get the best care for you! It takes a village!