mid-august marks the beginning of ragweed season, which lasts through october and causes a whopping 36 million americans to suffer the symptoms of “hay fever” or allergic rhinitis. i’ve focused on foods to include in your diet that can help reduce allergies. both of my sons are in hyper-allergic mode this summer, both to foods and to pollen. according to national geographic’s revelatory article on allergies (may, 2006), americans spend billions of dollars annually on antihistamines to treat symptoms of allergies. but i need more than just a few hours’ reprieve and, as a desperate parent sick of doping my children, i have turned to a natural alternative for help: foods that fight allergies.
well, lucky for you, most of them are available in abundance at your local green market or grocer. in addition to being a natural antihistamine, this water-soluble vitamin has a multitude of other functions in the body. from being a powerful antioxidant fighting free radicals to its role in the synthesis of collagen, it’s the vitamin we truly can’t live without. flavonoids, such as quercetin, are a group of plant pigments that are largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. omega-3 fatty acids are found in such foods as cold-water fish (think salmon) and walnuts. eating a diet rich in natural antihistamines can help prevent the allergic reactions from happening in the first place, thus reducing the need for the drugs, and making us all a little healthier and happier, not to mention less congested!
you might be familiar with antihistamines in otc products for seasonal allergies, but there are compounds in foods, herbs, and other botanicals that can also help your immune system produce less histamine, therefore leading to a more mild allergic reaction. mast cells interact with other cells in your immune system to produce inflammation, which you recognize as coughing, sniffling, sneezing, and all your favorite allergy symptoms. quercetin is a flavonoid, which is a type of compound naturally found in plants and plant foods, that inhibits the release of histamine from your immune system, thereby reducing side effects such as itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and sinus congestion.
you’ll often find quercetin in foods and supplements with bromelain, which is an enzyme that helps increase the bioavailability of quercetin. this is because chaga promotes a balance between the anti-inflammatory (th2) and pro-inflammatory (th1) arms of your immune system (5). the stinging nettle plant isn’t very friendly to the touch, but prepared correctly it has been used for centuries as a tonic for a variety of ailments–especially those involving inflammation and histamine. in addition to it’s impact upon mast cell function, astragalus has been primarily used in traditional chinese medicine as a lung tonic, and has been shown to decrease the occurrence of upper respiratory infections in children (9).
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4 natural antihistamines 1. black seed oil 2. medicinal mushrooms 3. stinging nettle 4. astragalus. vitamin c is a good example of a natural antihistamine. in a study natural antihistamines butterbur quercetin stinging nettle bromelain., natural antihistamine for eczema, natural antihistamine tea, natural antihistamine quercetin, best antihistamine for food allergies.
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