Most people associate allergies with the onset of spring, but for many people, fall culprits such as pollen, ragweed, and mold can also trigger the dreaded sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses, and coughing. Medication such as antihistamines can be helpful but may cause unwanted side effects. Fortunately, there are some natural ways that may help to combat allergies. One promising nutrient called quercetin may help.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Good sources of quercetin include apples, onions, kale, citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, berries, red wine, and tea. Quercetin can also be taken in supplement form. In preliminary laboratory and animal research, quercetin has been shown to slow the release of histamine and act as a natural antihistamine. For hay fever, the suggested dosage is 400 mg, twice a day.
What are Histamines?
Histamines are a type of chemical released by the immune system upon exposure to allergens and are known to trigger allergy symptoms like itching, sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. According to research, quercetin may be more effective when combined with bromelain (a mixture of enzymes found naturally in pineapples), which may help to increase the intestine’s absorption of quercetin.
Although more research is needed, increasing your intake of quercetin may be another weapon in your arsenal to help combat seasonal allergies. If you have questions about which nutritional supplements are right for you, take our supplement quiz!
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