Allergies result from your immune system incorrectly “thinking” that something harmless is an intruder. For example, pollen doesn’t hurt you, but your body mistakenly thinks it will. As a result, it releases a family of chemicals called histamines. These cause you to cough, sneeze and leak through your eyes and nose. Since this response does little more than cause misery, you probably want some allergy solutions. Of course, you can get allergy remedies in drug form such as with loratidine, the active ingredient in ClaritinTM. But there are also natural allergy relief pills. So would you rather take the drugs, side effects and all, or a natural cure?
Quercetin: A Natural Solution for Allergies
Quercetin is a flavonoid you can find in many fruits and vegetables. It occurs in onions, apples, berries, and grapes, and is available as a dietary supplement. Studies have shown that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Both can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body (1). It is thought to work by stabilizing mast cells, which are a type of immune cell that is involved in allergic reactions. When an allergen activates mast cells, they release histamine, which causes the symptoms of allergies. Quercetin prevents mast cells from releasing histamine, which can reduce allergy symptoms (2).
In addition to its mast cell-stabilizing properties, quercetin also inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines. These proteins that play a role in the inflammatory response. By reducing the production of cytokines, it can help reduce inflammation and alleviate allergy symptoms (3). Several studies have investigated the use of quercetin in treating allergies. A study published in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology found that supplementation significantly reduced allergy symptoms in patients with pollen-induced allergic rhinitis (1). Another study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that it reduced nasal congestion and improved overall quality of life in patients with allergic rhinitis (3).
Get Some Stinging Nettle for Allergy Relief
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a plant that has been in continuous use for centuries as a traditional herbal remedy for various ailments, including allergy solutions. It is available as a dietary supplement in various forms, including capsules, tablets, teas, and extracts. Stinging nettle contains a variety of compounds that are thought to contribute to its health benefits, including flavonoids, polysaccharides, and lectins. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties, which can help reduce allergy symptoms (4).
Stinging nettle is most likely works by reducing the amount of histamine in the body. Histamine is a chemical that mast cells release during an allergic reaction and is responsible for the symptoms of allergies. It also inhibits the production of histamine by interfering with the enzymes responsible for its synthesis (5). In addition, it has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It can reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-alpha and IL-6. Both of these play a role in the inflammatory response. By reducing inflammation, it can alleviate allergy symptoms (6).
Several studies have investigated the use of stinging nettle in treating allergies. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal Planta Medica found that it significantly reduced the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, including sneezing, itching, and congestion (7). Another study published in the Journal of Herbal Medicine found that stinging nettle tea reduced the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and improved quality of life in patients (8).
Oil of Oregano for Allergies
Oil of oregano is a natural remedy peoples have been using for centuries to treat a wide variety of health conditions, including allergies. It comes from the leaves of the oregano plant (Origanum vulgare) and is available as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules, liquids, and essential oils. It contains a number of active compounds, including carvacrol and thymol, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. These properties make oregano a potential treatment for allergies (9).
It is thought to work by reducing inflammation in the body. Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to infection and injury, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of allergies. In addition, it may help to reduce inflammation by inhibiting the production of inflammatory cytokines and enzymes (10). On top of that, it also has antimicrobial properties, which may be helpful for people with allergies. Allergies can increase the risk of respiratory infections, such as sinusitis and bronchitis. The antimicrobial properties of oregano may help to prevent these infections and reduce their severity (11).
Several studies have investigated the use of oil of oregano in treating allergies. A study published in the journal Inflammation Research found that carvacrol, a major component of oil of oregano, reduced inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model of asthma (12). Another study published in the journal PLoS One found that thymol, another active compound in this oi, had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in human lung cells (13).