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Natural Antihistamines

Allergy, Immune | January 2, 2020 | Author: Naturopath

Rhinitis, Immune, allergy

Natural Antihistamines

An allergic response such as allergic rhinitis or eczema, or hypersensitivity disorders are an inappropriate or exaggerated immune response to foreign antigens (allergen). An antigen is something ther body deems is dangerous or potentially damaging. Sometimes these substances assumed to be antigens maybe harmless but the body sees them as a threat. Dust, pollens, animal dander are examples and sneezing, crying and itching are all ways the body is using to remove the substance.

Histamines are chemicals produced by the immune system in response to potential allergens.

Trouble is this immune system response often releases too many histamines and the symptoms experienced can be overwhelming. This is where an anti-histamine can be useful.

The immune system response to allergens

When the immune system detects an allergen (or something deemed to be harmful to the body), it launches into action first by sending a chemical signal to cells containing stored histamine (mast cells) to release histamine. These masks cells are located in the skin, the lungs, nose, mouth, the gut and blood.

Histamine receptors “dock” histamines in the area where the allergen is found. This could be in the gut in response to harmful foods, or the nasal passages from pollen or dust, or skin for instance.

Symptoms of histamines response

Symptoms of histamines responseIncreased blood flow – resulting in inflammation and allows other chemicals to initiate repair. But too much inflammation and resources can over-whelm the area.

Somooth muscle contraction - airways obstruction.

Gastric acid secretion 

Release of mucous – resulting in a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, post-nasal drip and coughing.

Pruritus (Itching) – irritation of eyes, nose, throat and skin.

Oedema - swelling.

Some foods are naturally high in histamine such as fermented foods, aged cheeses and red wine, and can cause a response in sensitive people. Histamine is known as biogenic amine and occurs in varying degree in many foods. When too many of these foods are eaten an accumulative effect can result in unpleasant symptoms.

Dietary histamine is normally rapidly detoxified by amine oxidases, but in some people histamine intolerance can result from an imbalance of accumulated histamine and the body’s capacity for histamine degradation. In this dysfunction it is necessary to remove or limit foods high in histamine. Copper and Vit C are crucial components of the DAO enzyme and B6 is a key cofactor that enables DAO to degrade histamine. 
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Antihistamines block receptors which help to reduce the symptoms of an over-zealous immune system.

Natural antihistamines

Along with reducing or avoiding the known allergy risk, there are some natural nutrients to help reduce the allergic response and help with the breakdown of histamine.


Quercetin has anti-histamine, anti-allergic and antioxidant properties. It may reduce the release of histamine, allowing the allergic response to be down-regulated. As an antioxidant quercetin provides nutritional support for healthy capillaries. In cases of allergic reactions or as a preventative supplement with quercetin.

Natural antihistaminesQuercetin is a flavonol found in many foods which include: apples, red grapes, raspberries, tomatoes, red onions, garlic, brassica vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts), black and green tea and citrus fruits. Include as many as you can in the diet everyday.

Herbs which contain quercetin include ginkgo biloba, hypericum and sambucas canadensis

Vitamin C

Vitamin C offers antihistamine and antioxidant properties. This vitamin cannot be made by the body and must be sourced from the diet or supplemented.

Food sources include citrus fruits, guava, strawberries, blackcurrants, pineapples, pawpaw, tomatoes, broccoli and brussel sprouts, raw cabbage, potatoes and rosehips. 

Thyme is high in vitamin C and other compounds beneficial in blocking histamine release and inflammation.

Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis/rostkoviana) offers anti-inflammatory and astringent action to help dry up secretions and relieve inflammation of the mucous membranes. It contains many beneficial compounds including quercetin and also luteolin to help prevent the release of histamine. 


Chamomile has been traditionally used for treating many disorders including allergic disorders and inflammatory mediated diseases. Studies have revealed the methanol extract of matricaria recutita showed potent anti-allergic activity by inhibition of histamine release from mast cells.


Albizia (Albizia lebbeck) suppresses histamine signaling thus preventing allergic reactions.

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) extract has been shown to inhibition several key inflammatory actions associated with the cause and subsequent symptoms of seasonal allergies. Reducing allergic and other inflammatory responses.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa‚Äč).

Natural antihistaminesThe active component of turmeric is curcumin, a polyphenolic phytochemical, was reported to have antiallergic properties with inhibitory effect on histamine release from mast cells. Turmeric also provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. It can be supplemented and also included in the diet.


Ginger (Zingiber officinale) offers many medicinal properties and has been shown to works in the prevention or alleviation of allergic rhinitis symptoms. It is also beneficial to the immune system. It can be grated and added to foods, drank as a tea or supplemented.


Good gut health is essential for a healthy immune system. Bacteria are involved both in the production and degradation of histamine. Several probiotic bacteria have been shown to both reduce symptoms of allergy and also reduce the allergic response.

Look for:

  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus (particularly GG) May help stabilize mast cells and reduce the sensitivity of allergy-associated receptors.
  • Bifidobacterium longum is a histamine degrading probiotic.
  • Bifidobacterium lactis – May help break down histamine and tyramine.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum – May help your body break down biogenic amines, including histamine and tyramine.


Many studies have shown that diet plays a role in allergic responses and a diet high in fat has often been implicated. Choose fats wisely and consume healthy fats such as those found fatty fish, olives, nuts, seeds and avocado. 
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Mast Cell Function

Histamine and histamine intolerance.

The Role of Histamine in the Pathophysiology of Asthma and the Clinical Efficacy of Antihistamines in Asthma Therapy

Histamine and histamine intolerance.

Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response

Fisher, Carole; 2009, MATERIA MEDICA OF WESTERN HERBS, Vitex Medica, New Zealand.

Henry, Osiecki; The Nutrient Bible 9th Edition, Bio Concepts, AG Publishing; QLD, Australia

Anti-allergic activity of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) in mast cell mediated allergy model.

Albizia lebbeck suppresses histamine signaling by the inhibition of histamine H1 receptor and histidine decarboxylase gene transcriptions.

Antioxidant activities of curcumin in allergic rhinitis.

Prevention of allergic rhinitis by ginger and the molecular basis of immunosuppression by 6-gingerol through T cell inactivation.

Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus downregulates FCER1 and HRH4 expression in human mast cells

Systemic Effects of Ingested Lactobacillus Rhamnosus: Inhibition of Mast Cell Membrane Potassium (IKCa) Current and Degranulation

Beneficial effects of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum BB536 on human health: Modulation of gut microbiome as the principal action

House dust mite-related respiratory allergies and probiotics: a narrative review

The anti-allergic activity of Lactobacillus plantarum L67 and its application to yogurt

High-Fat and Low-Carbohydrate Diets Are Associated with Allergic Rhinitis But Not Asthma or Atopic Dermatitis in Children.

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