Seasonal Allergies Got You Down? 5 Natural Antihistamines to Try for Your Summer Allergies by Dr. Vikki Petersen
Did you know that more than 50 million Americans experience some form of allergy every year? Whether it be food, pollen, dust, dander, mold (or any other allergy you can think of), allergies can take us down in an instant without notice. While you may be tempted to turn to your handy-dandy, over-the-counter antihistamines, there are some other approaches that may help ease your allergy struggles totally naturally.
An antihistamine, meaning “against histamine,” is a substance that blocks the effects of histamine. Histamines are released by your immune system when you are exposed to something it feels is a danger to you. The histamine response is responsible for the classic symptoms of allergies including seasonal allergies, environmental and food allergies. Antihistamines come in the form of synthetic drugs as well as natural substances.
How do antihistamines help with all allergies Antihistamines block the receptors for histamine, lessening the symptoms histamine creates. They provide relief of such symptoms as runny nose, watery eyes, itchy skin, congestion and scratchy throat. Antihistamines can also provide benefit for the symptoms associated with food allergies, which can include hives, rashes and digestive upset.
Here are five natural allergy-reducing antihistamines to try out:
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a known antioxidant and antihistamine and is a great natural way to get these benefits. Taking 2 grams (2,000 milligrams) of vitamin C per day has potent antihistamine effects. Vitamin C is high in citrus fruits, berries, grapes, kiwi, red and green bell peppers, onions and green tea.
- Butterbur: Butterbur is a marsh plant, and part of the daisy family, that has been found effective in treating hay fever symptoms. It is best taken in supplement form.
- Bromelain: Bromelain, commonly found in pineapples, has been found effective at treating allergy-related respiratory distress and inflammation. Bromelain is also found in kiwi, ginger and asparagus, and you can easily find it in supplement form.
- Probiotics: A healthy immune system is important to prevent allergies. Probiotics balance the good bacteria in your gut, enhancing your immune system. Probiotics, and a healthy diet that feeds your good bacteria, would be a long-range approach to avoiding allergies. You can find probiotics in cultured yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha tea and many more healthy foods.
- Quercetin: Quercetin is an antioxidant with known antihistamine effects. Research has shown it to reduce inflammatory effects even in the lungs and sinuses. Quercetin can be found in foods such as capers, red onion, shallots, apples, grapes, berries and cherries.
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