Recently on Facebook I had a conversation with a friend regarding allergies. It had to do with antihistamines. They all scare me – especially Benadryl – because of the wide spectrum of reactions I have had to it.
Biochemically, antihistamines work to inhibit the inflammatory response which is brought about primarily by histamines. So while it’s true that, theoretically, they should work and not cause problems, things aren’t so simple because we are all individuals with different genes, different makeups, different diets, etc. We just can never know, with any drug, how a single individual will react to a medication.
So our discussion centered on what could you do that would work naturally as an antihistamine. Here are some suggestions of foods that act naturally as antihistamines:
- Vitamin C – citrus, berries, greens, many fruits, tomatoes, etc.
- Flavonoids such as Quercetin – citrus, onions, garlic, apples, lettuce, parsley, tomatoes, broccoli, legumes & berries
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – cold-water fish (salmon), walnuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, grass fed meats.
I do recommend getting them directly from foods if at all possible. Notice the overlap w/ Vitamin C and Flavonoids. Hmm, maybe mom was right about eating your vegetables?
If you wanted to bring in herbs, this article lists a number of herbs that are natural antihistamines. I’ve also heard from fellow health coaches that stinging nettle is a potent antihistamine and that a combination of feverfew + stinging nettle can be beneficial.
Additionally, you may want to consider avoiding foods high in histamine. This article has a good list if you scroll down a bit.
What do you think? What tricks have you found that help you survive seasonal allergies?