NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO ANTI-HISTAMINES
by Dr. Zoltan Rona MD, MSc
One in every three North Americans suffers from hay fever (sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, nasal and sinus congestion) every spring (grasses, weeds), late summer or fall (ragweed, goldenrod). Synthetic antihistamines are the mainstay for symptom relief and work by interfering with the binding of histamine to cells after it's release. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness, depression, weight gain and serious cardiac complications when combined with antibiotics or other drugs.
Avoid dairy, corn, wheat and simple sugars to lessen the body’s allergic load Increase intake of raw fruits and vegetables for their live, anti- inflammatory, enzyme content
Eat more immune system boosting foods: garlic, onions, horseradish, citrus, carrots, greens, cayenne, or other hot peppers as tolerated
One or a combination of the following are effective in given individuals:
Stinging nettles - 1-2 capsules every 4 hours as needed reduces mucous and nasal congestion Cayenne - 1-2 capsules every 4 hours as needed - a mild stimulant to the beta receptors; enhances the release of adrenalin from the adrenal glands to open breathing passages
Bromelain (pineapple enzyme) - 250 mgs. 3 or more times daily for its anti-inflammatory effects Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5) - 500 mgs. 3 or more times daily - aids in the formation of hormones deflecting stress and allergic reactions. Vitamin C - bowel tolerance doses (6000 mgs. or more) produce a natural antihistaminic effect
Quercetin (a bioflavonoid) - 500 mgs. 3 or more times daily - stabilizes mast cell membranes and prevents histamine release; reduces pro-inflammatory hormones (prostaglandins) in our bodies. Pycnogenol (pine bark extract) or grape seed extract - 150 -300 mgs. daily prevents histamine release, thereby reducing all the adverse effects of histamine, not just their effects on target cells. N-Acetyl-Cysteine - 1000 mgs. 3 or more times daily - an immune support amino acid that boosts the level of the antioxidant glutathione and dissolves excessive mucous (mucolytic).