Before you run to the drug store for allergy medications, consider some natural antihistamines instead.
Histamine is a compound that the human body releases in response to injury or contact with a substance that triggers an allergic reaction.
It’s a natural part of the inflammatory process, which is your body’s natural defense system.
The release of histamine can lead to itching and other allergy symptoms that leave you reaching for relief.
Antihistamines or products or substances that decrease the activity of histamine in the body.
These substances can lead to allergy relief quickly, allowing you enjoy your daily life with less itching, sniffling, sneezing, and eye watering.
You can take over the counter or prescription allergy medication, but there are also some natural antihistamines that have far fewer side effects.
If your go-to allergy medication leaves you feeling fatigued, dried out, drowsy or nauseous, these natural options may deliver the effective relief without interfering with your ability to stay alert, focus, and safely participate in your daily life.
To help you get the allergy relief you deserve quickly, we identified some of the most effective natural antihistamines.
Try some of these options if you aren’t getting the results you expect from store-bought products or you want to keep your medication as natural as possible.
When researchers studied vitamin C as a natural antihistamine in 1992, they found it could decrease active histamine by more than 35%.
The study included 10 participants who were administered 2 grams of ascorbic acid.
They were first given a placebo, and their blood antihistamine levels were compared after taking the placebo and after taking the ascorbic acid.
In 2018, researchers found that vitamin C administered intravenously was an effective solution for more severe allergy symptoms like fatigue, depression, sleep disturbance, and lack of focus.
Patients were delivered high doses of vitamin C, and many experienced significant relief without any additional allergy medication.
Most people can achieve the same results at home by taking 2 grams of vitamin C daily.
That’s equivalent to 1,000 mg, and it’s generally deemed safe to take up to 2,000 mg of vitamin C daily.
If you want to experiment with even higher doses to see if it can relieve your allergy symptoms naturally, talk to your doctor about the safest dose for your body.
You don’t want to take super high doses of vitamin C for extended periods of time.
Vitamin C naturally fights inflammation and boosts the immune system.
The human body doesn’t make it naturally, so supplements and high-vitamin C foods are essential.
You can include citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, bell peppers, and broccoli in your diet to increase your natural consumption of ascorbic acid.
If your allergy attacks involve your sinuses or impact your nasal passages, you may find this natural extract from pineapple helpful.
Bromelain is extracted from the core or fruit of the pineapple and then packaged as a topical or oral supplement that can help with a variety of medical conditions, including:
Bromelain tablets and capsules are the best option for nasal inflammation and swelling.
You can find creams and lotions that are used to help heal wounds and burns topically.
For burns, the most common use is to remove dead skin cells to aid the healing process.
While there is some scientific evidence that bromelain is effective at combating sinus and nasal inflammation caused by allergies, most studies suggest using it in addition to other allergy medications.
It’s generally considered safe but may cause some side effects like increased heart rate or gastrointestinal distress. Allergic reactions are possible.
Start with low dose of bromelain and increase as needed to relieve allergy symptoms.
If you want to relieve your symptoms with only natural antihistamines, you may combine this supplement with vitamin C and other natural options on this list.
If you suffer from hay fever, butterbur is a natural supplement proven to help relieve your symptoms.
You can find it in a variety of over-the-counter supplements, but stay clear of the teas because they may contain substances that aren’t safe for consumption.
Butterbur is a shrub that is native to Europe, North America, and Asia. Different parts of the plant have been associated with relief of different medical conditions, including:
Most supplements contain extracts from various parts of the plant, and some contain larger quantities of butterbur than others.
It’s important to look for supplements that are labeled “PA-Free.” That label indicates the manufacturer removed chemicals naturally found in the shrub that can damage the liver.
While butterbur can come with mild side effects for some users and shouldn’t be given to children without the supervision of a doctor, it is deemed safe for most adults in moderate doses.
You should consult with your doctor if you take prescription medications or have a chronic condition that may not react well to a new supplement.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You’ve heard about omega-3 fatty acids and may have even tried fish oil supplements at some point.
It’s one of those supplements that have a wide range of health benefits from protecting your heart to potentially relieving your allergy symptoms.
Research has shown that pregnant women may protect their growing babies from allergies by consuming fatty fish or a high-quality fish oil supplement during pregnancy.
It’s important to avoid fish that contain high levels of mercury and other metals, so many women opt for high-quality supplements that provide omega-3 fatty acids with the metals and other potential toxins removed.
There is some limited research that suggests omega-3 fatty acids may help with allergies in adults as well.
It’s best to use this supplement in addition to other natural antihistamines.
It can provide a variety of health benefits in addition to getting your allergies under control.
Try consuming fish oil supplements all year long to keep your immune system strong and prepare for allergy season in advance.
Have you heard about the health-boosting power of flavonoids?
Many people know that flavonoids are found in fresh fruits and vegetables, but they don’t fully understand what they are and why it’s important to include them in their diet.
If you suffer from allergies, it’s to your advantage to learn about one flavonoid in particular: quercetin.
Flavonoids are chemicals that give many fruits and vegetable their robust color.
From the deep red of tomatoes and intense purple of some grapes to the greens, yellows, and reds of bell peppers, flavonoids work with carotenoids to make some of your favorite dishes more visually stimulating.
They also provide a variety of health benefits that may include relieving your allergy symptoms.
There’s a good chance you already consume some foods and drinks that contain small amounts of quercetin.
Some of the best options include red wine, green tea, and berries.
Any natural food that is brightly colored may contain some amount of quercetin, but there are also supplements that will provide a more concentrated dose to combat your allergies more aggressively.
This bioflavonoid fights inflammation and is a natural antioxidant.
Research has shown that it can reduce the impact of histamines while fighting inflammation.
It also has anti-viral properties, so including fresh fruits and vegetables can provide many additional benefits even when it’s not allergy season.
This is another supplement that most people will benefit from taking daily whether it’s allergy season or not.
They place live microorganisms in your gut to help balance out the harmful bacteria that naturally find their way into your system.
Different strains of microbes may provide different health benefits, but in general, they’re believed to boost the immune system, soothe gastrointestinal distress, and prevent some illnesses over time.
Correcting an imbalance of gut microbes can have a significant impact on your allergic response to a variety of substances.
While taking a probiotic isn’t likely to provide immediate allergy relief, taking a high-quality probiotic daily can make a difference.
There are a variety of supplements and natural products that are suggested as natural antihistamines with little to no scientific research backing up the claims.
While many of them are considered safe for consumption and may come with a variety of additional health benefits, they aren’t proven as natural antihistamines.
You may still want to try some of them to see if they have an impact on your allergies.
Some noteworthy options that you may see recommended online include:
When you come across recommendations for other natural antihistamines, look for scientific evidence before investing in a supplement.
When using a supplement with multiple ingredients, determine how much of each ingredient is included.
Some supplements contain low doses of natural antihistamines and aren’t as effective as higher doses of pure supplements.
Did you notice that many natural antihistamines have a place in the kitchen as well as your medicine cabinet?
Consuming a nutrient-dense diet that includes a fresh fruits and vegetables as well as spices like fennel can have a significant impact on your allergy symptoms.
They may also boost your immune system, allowing you to escape colds, flu's, and viruses that are passed around in your social environment.
You can also boost your immune system with exercise and at least 20 minutes of sunshine every day.
The healthier your lifestyle, the less likely you are to suffer extreme allergic reactions in the spring and fall.
Adding some of the natural antihistamines listed here can provide fast relief when those allergy symptoms do set in.
Antihistamine effect of Supplemental ascorbic acid and neutrophil chemotaxis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1578094
Intravenous vitamin C in the treatment of allergies: an interim subgroup analysis of a long-term observational study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6136002/
Harvard health Publishing: By the way, doctor: What's the right amount of vitamin C for me? https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/whats-the-right-amount-of-vitamin-c-for-me
Can early Omega -3 Fatty Acid Exposure Reduce Risk of Childhood Allergic Disease? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537898/
Quercetin and it/s Anti-Allergic immune Response. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27187333
Web MD: Quercetin: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-294/quercetin
Probioitcs: What You Need To Know https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know