Those who suffer from allergies each year know the frustration of trying to figure out how to avoid the problem. Medications, including over-the-counter antihistamines, often have side effects that are just as bothersome as the allergies. The good news is that there are natural alternatives that can help ease or alleviate the symptoms of allergies. A natural antihistamine can provide relief without the headaches, dizziness or drowsiness that usually occurs after taking over-the-counter medications.
What Are Antihistamine and Natural Antihistamine?
When your body is fighting off something – such as the pollen, dander or other things you might be allergic to – it produces a natural chemical called histamine. This immune response increases blood flow to the area where the problem is. The blood vessels than leak a bit of liquid – again, a normal reaction – and that makes the mucus membranes swell. The result is more mucus, which can lead to itching, swelling, sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes and all the other symptoms of allergies.
So, though histamine can be useful, it can also be annoying. Antihistamines are designed to block the reaction from histamine, bringing relief to the possible symptoms. And the natural antihistamines are those that have the similar effects like the antihistamines medicines in our daily life naturally, such as some kinds of foods. Using a natural antihistamine can help give you relief without any side effects.
6 Kinds of Natural Antihistamines
Antihistamines are usually well-tolerated, but they do produce side effects. Even those that claim to have fewer side effects usually have some problems associated with them; for instance, they might not make you drowsy, but could give you a headache instead. This is why finding a natural antihistamine that works for you is the best bet.
Fortunately, even the food you eat contains some form of antihistamine. Though they might not be as powerful as over-the-counter drugs, they can be very effective when used over time, and they are much better for you in other ways, too.
1. Vitamin C
This healthy vitamin is found in fruits, especially citrus. It is helpful because it fights against free radicals, which can cause long-term harm in the body. It also helps alleviate the symptoms of allergies by fighting against histamines. Finally, it provides a healthy boost to the immune system. The foods with high vitamins include peppers, guavas, dark green leafy vegetables, kiwi, broccoli, berries, etc.
2. Vitamin A
It has strong antioxidant properties that will help to avoid and control allergic reactions. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain this vital ingredient, including carrots, spinach, mangoes, tomatoes and most green leafy veggies. Try eating these items raw in order to get the maximum value – heating them or processing them diminishes the vitamin A in the food.
These act like antihistamines and have carotenes that have anti-inflammatory properties, and the good news is that you will probably love them! Just include foods like blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers and sweet potatoes in your diet every chance you get in order to increase the allergy-fighting power.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
This natural antihistamine is known to be a cough suppressant, as well as causing reduction in the thickness of the mucus in your body. It’s a protein-digesting enzyme that can be found in the stem of pineapples. It works by blocking your body’s production of fibrin and kinins, which cause inflammation and swelling.
Certain herbs have long been known for their healthy properties, and some of them can serve as a natural antihistamine. These can be used in teas, syrups or supplements.
- Elderberry. This sweet berry discourages the inflammation and swelling of mucus membranes, and can help you breathe easier during allergies, flu or the common cold. It is often found in liquid syrup that can be used with a variety of foods, and can also be used in teas.
- Eyebright. This herb with the interesting name has been used as an eye medication for centuries, and now it is believed to be able to alleviate some symptoms of allergies, including dry, itchy or watery eyes. You can take this in a tea or even use it as an eye wash when your allergies start from eyes.
- Ginkgo. This is known as an energy enhancer and for helping with memory, but it also has great properties as a natural antihistamine. It can fight things like seasonal allergies, poor blood circulation, bronchitis, asthma and much more. This is often taken as a supplement.
- Jewelweed. Poison ivy creates a histamine reaction, which causes swelling and itching. Native Americans have known for centuries that jewelweed can alleviate those problems. It is also helpful for other histamine reactions, such as those that are caused by pollen or dander. It can even be used for bee stings. You can apply it to the skin or use it as a supplement.
- Stinging nettle. Well-known for blocking histamine reactions, this herb works very well for many people. When taken as a supplement or applied to the skin, it has been known to relieve the symptoms of gout, hay fever, sore joints and seasonal allergies.