Food intolerances are notoriously difficult to test for.
A person's tolerance to certain foods can vary from day to day, and it's not clearly understood how some foods can cause such a variety of symptoms, but not a full-blown allergic reaction.
This means it is difficult to design a reliable test for the consistent detection of problem food.
There are a number of commercial 'allergy testing' kits available, but the effectiveness of many of them is questionable - results can differ even within the same person.
Doctors specialising in allergic reactions use blood tests to look for the level of immune reaction within the body, but these too often fail to pick up an intolerance.
The blood tests are designed to look at the body's response to a foreign substance, rather than one that isn't completely foreign, as is thought to be the case with a food causing intolerance symptoms.
The most successful way of dealing with any intolerance is an exclusion diet.
This involves eliminating suspect foods from the diet and then gradually reintroducing them. Problem foods soon make themselves known.
from Weil Lifestyle
Best Test for Food Intolerance?
With certain exceptions (such as sensitivities to lactose and gluten, both of which have a genetic basis), food intolerances are often highly individual and mysterious. In some cases, they are due to physical or emotional stress or exposure to environmental toxins rather than a reaction to the foods themselves. Lactose intolerance results from a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest the sugar in milk. At least one out of 10 people worldwide shares this deficiency and develops bloating, abdominal pain and, often, diarrhea when consuming milk. Gluten intolerance is caused by an abnormal immune response to the major protein in wheat and some other grains.
I discussed the issue of testing for food intolerances with Randy Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, who specializes in immunology. We agree that the only reliable approach to determining food intolerances or sensitivities is to use avoidance and provocative testing - in other words, an elimination diet followed by a "challenge" to see whether a suspect food really does set off a reaction.
Dr. Horwitz notes that when food sensitivities - not true allergies - are a problem, traditional allergy tests such as the IgE RAST blood tests or skin prick tests often yield negative results. He says that in his practice, he has not seen uniformly good results with IgG anti-food blood tests, applied kinesiology (muscle strength testing), or "live blood" microscopic analysis, all of which have been advocated by some practitioners as ways of determining food intolerances. Results "go all the way from questionable to downright useless," he says.
Instead, he prefers to ask patients to keep a record for a few weeks of everything they eat and any symptoms that develop in response to specific foods. This can help narrow the list of foods that may be causing problems. The next step is a defined food elimination diet. This can be an avoidance diet of patient-defined triggers, a "hypoallergenic" diet for four to six weeks, or a rotation diet, in which new foods are introduced sequentially. Once symptoms have been associated with a food or food group, the intolerance can be confirmed with a "challenge" in which the patient is given the suspect food and then watched to see if symptoms develop (This isn't practical when symptoms are severe).
Sometimes you can overcome food intolerances by avoiding the food or foods to which you're sensitive for a few months. Then, you can try reintroducing each food (separately) on a regular basis beginning with tiny amounts. Eat some every day, gradually increasing the portions. With luck, you'll find that you are able to develop tolerance to foods that have previously bothered you.
from Purehealth Clinic
Histamine intolerance (HIT) is defined as an intolerance to histamine. The cause can be a lack of the DAO enzyme needed to break down histamine, or be a discrepancy between DAO and histamine. In other words, you could have a high or normal level of blood histamine but not enough DAO to break it down. There is a test to measure the levels of DAO enzyme you have in your system to see if the lack of enzyme is your problem. |
from Allergy UK
It should be noted that allergy tests measuring IgE levels, such as skin prick testing and specific IgE blood tests for these foods will be negative. This is because reactions to histamine are not caused by an IgE food allergy - the cause is histamine intolerance.
Diagnosis of histamine intolerance is usually made by a person trialling a low-histamine diet for a couple of weeks, and seeing if their symptoms improve. Blood tests that claim to be helpful in measuring levels of histamine or the level of the enzyme that normally breaks histamine down are not reliable.
Food exclusion should always be followed by a period of reintroduction in order to confirm a diagnosis. If this is not done the diet can easily become over restricted and unmanageable. At worst it can become nutritionally deficient.
from Healthy Pixels
If any type of food allergy is suspected, consult with an allergist and start carefully taking notes about diet and symptoms. ChartMySelf.com can help you keep online records of your health. Blood tests for both immediate and delayed food allergies are available to doctors from Great Plains Laboratory, US Biotek and many others. Depending on the type of allergy exposure and related damage, a body may require days, weeks, or even months to fully recover.
Histamine on the horizon
We can now begin to imagine how to change our diet, avoid certain drugs, and adjust our lifestyles to better regulate our histamine levels. By first identifying our allergens through food or skin tests, we can reduce exposure and dramatically empty our "histamine bucket" and lower inflammation. Even if we have no allergies to avoid, we can improve our ability to breakdown non-allergic histamine with C and B vitamins. Ideally we can better prepare our bodies to handle histamine "spikes" as needed for fighting disease, increasing motivation, or simply tolerating delicious leftovers.
We desperately need a way to identify and "scan" histamine content in our food and supplements prior to purchase and consumption. Packages can differ widely based on their microscopic bacteria content - even within expiration dates. Austrian scientists have made suggestions for tolerable levels for certain foods including sausage, fish and cheese, but we need global standards for all foods and awareness of the risks surrounding fish, fermented foods, canned meats, alcohol, prepackaged meals and other high-risk products.
Similarly, daily tracking of our own histamine metabolism would help guide our diet and lifestyle. Recognizing the triggers can help us map our journey to good health and beyond!
I have thoroughly scoured the web to see if there is a supplement or herb on the market that can naturally increase the level of DAO (as you read above, this is the enzyme the keeps the histamine levels in check).
There are a few products on the market, but the reviews are POOR. I don't recommend that you purchase them. My belief is that you'll find more success in using natural antihistamines.
"Copper supplementation of adult men: effects on blood copper enzyme activities and indicators of cardiovascular disease risk."
Jones AA, DiSilvestro RA, Coleman M, Wagner TL. Department of Human Nutrition and Food Management, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1295
"Although copper had no significant effects on any parameter for the entire study group, it did significantly increase two enzyme activities (SOD and DAO), as well as lipoprotein oxidation lag times, in 10 subjects in the lower half of a median split for precopper values. Thus, copper supplementation appeared to influence some types of measurements in subjects beginning with less than median values." |
from Healthy Pixels
Copper is required to form the DAO enzyme and copper deficiency associates with low DAO enzyme activity in animals. More research is necessary to confirm that copper supplementation increases DAO activity. Foods high in copper include fresh basil, cocoa powder, cashews, soybeans (mature), herbal tea, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans and lentils. |
from Dr. Janice Vickerstaff Joneja, Ph.D., R.D.
Diamine oxidase (DAO) is an essential enzyme in the body that breaks down histamine. The body then takes the break-down products (called imidazole compounds) and excretes them through the kidneys into the urine. When the body's level of histamine exceeds its requirements, DAO breaks down the excess so that histamine is kept within the "normal" level. A normal level of histamine is required for its vital control of some brain and digestive tract functions, and immune defenses. If a person has a slightly lower level of DAO, or has eaten too many foods with high levels of histamine that exceed their enzyme's capacity to break down the excess quickly enough, signs of histamine excess result. Each person has his or her own "limit of tolerance," which is determined by his or her DAO's ability to keep histamine at a tolerable level.
Once a person feels comfortable, he or she might try one histamine-rich food, while continuing to take DAO. If they do not develop the familiar signs of histamine excess, they should be able to eat the occasional histamine-rich food while continuing to take a DAO supplement. This should allow them to be less rigid in their dietary choices and to eat some of the high-histamine foods they especially enjoy on occasions. It's important to recognize, however, that while DAO can help maintain a healthy histamine tolerance, a person can still exceed his or her limit.
Finding a balance really depends on your body's ability to handle histamine. People who have very low levels of natural DAO will need to restrict their histamine-rich foods as well as taking a regular DAO supplement. If you experience only the occasional "histamine reaction" after indulging in too many histamine-containing foods you should be able to simply take a natural supplement when you plan to consume high-histamine foods and beverages such as wine and cheese at a party, or a large pepperoni pizza with double cheese and tomato sauce.
It is possible for anyone to exceed his or her DAO's capacity to break down their excess histamine. For example, people who have quite normal levels of DAO may break out in hives after eating a large basket of strawberries. I have a client who breaks out in hives due to histamine excess when she eats ripe cherries from the tree in her garden; however, she can eat unripe cherries without difficulty because the unripe fruit has not yet produced a high level of histamine. Many people seem to develop a stuffy nose after consuming alcohol, especially if they consume a high-histamine food at the same time. Beer and pizza is a common combination that often results in headache, not so much from too much alcohol (although of course that will happen on occasion!) but from the excess histamine. If a person regularly experiences these signs after eating high-histamine foods it would be a good idea for them to try taking DAO prior to eating, and to find out if this helps. But again, I do want to caution that it is important to visit a health professional if your experience seems like it may be due to an allergy. We certainly do not want to encourage people to self-diagnose something that could truly be a medical condition. But in those instances where allergy is ruled out, histamine excess could be in play and in my experience, DAO has proven to be very helpful for many people.
from Jamie Scott on That Paleo Guy
The main treatment is adherence to a low histamine diet. This is quite a separate entity to a histamine-free diet which would be practically impossible to adhere to, nor is it required for the patient to enjoy relieve from the typical symptoms of histamine intolerance. The key is to identify low histamine-containing and inducing foods and to bulk up the diet with these foods. I advise people to run a three day rolling average with their histamine loads. This allows a degree of freedom to perhaps consume some higher histamine foods, e.g. bacon, but still stay on top of histamine levels overall.
Once awareness is created around which foods are highest in histamine, constructing a low histamine ???paleo' diet is actually relatively easy to do. It is also important to recognise that a degree of additional tolerance is gained by removing the major inflammatory agents from the diet (grains, sugars & vegetable oils) - something that should already be taking place within the context of a paleo diet and which may explain either the full or partial relief people experience when they begin eating such a diet.
Where high histamine foods are unavoidable (e.g. you want to drain a bottle of red one night), then prophylactic dosing with antihistamines may buy you a bit of extra breathing space. However, in the general run of things, the taking of antihistamines appears to not add any additional benefit over the adherence to a low histamine diet. If an individual has been following a low nutrient diet for some time, then perhaps additional vitamin B6, copper and vitamin C may be of benefit. Diet should be assessed to ensure it is providing these nutrients in adequate amounts moving forward.
It is useful to assess all medications that are being used, including the oral contraceptive. It is quite on the cards that many of the medications that might be in play and which may interfere with histamine metabolism, are being used to treat individual symptoms of histamine intolerance, e.g. blood pressure medications, anti-depressants, and (ironically) histamine antagonists.
from Judy Tsafrir, M.D. of Boston Holistic Psychiatrist
I stopped eating left overs. I cooked smaller pots of food and froze the left overs in individual containers. I stopped eating cheeses, bacon and avocado. I began eating more salads. Most foods contain histamine, so you cannot have a histamine free diet like you can have a gluten free diet. But it is the relative quantity of histamine in relationship with your own capacity to handle it that translates into symptoms. I clearly was overwhelming my capacity to metabolize the histamine quantity that I was ingesting.
Within days of instituting the dietary changes, I slept better than I have in years; very deeply and I dreamt. This is unusual for me. I have had insomnia since I was a child, probably due to life long undiagnosed histamine intolerance. A sense of calm and peace replaced the chronic anxiety I was experiencing, my spirits lifted and I felt much less tired and more alert. Given the strength and immediacy of my response to lowering the histamine content of my diet, I believe that histamine intolerance should be considered in every case of anxiety disorder, depression, sleep and attentional disorders, especially if a person is aware of food sensitivity issues. My father could not tolerate eggs, shellfish, strawberries and alcohol, all which either contain high levels of histamine or liberate histamine. There may be genetic vulnerabilities.
How to Develop a Healthy Diet
1. Avoid foods to which you are intolerant and/or allergic.
First and foremost, you must know your own body and what foods are toxic to your body. Food sensitivities are very individual. You can be sensitive to a food that no one else in your family or groups of friends finds problematic. It's part of why we are all individuals, and you should determine for yourself what foods may be causing damage to your body. Many healthcare practitioners are knowledgeable about food sensitivities and, especially if you are experiencing significant symptoms, you should consider talking with your healthcare practitioner about your diet and suspected food sensitivities. The Allergy Avoidance Diet discusses in more detail what foods to avoid and for how long.
2. Eat organically-grown foods whenever possible.
Especially if you suspect food sensitivities, you should avoid foods with pesticides, artificial colorings and preservatives. These synthetic food additives can cause food sensitivities and may promote the intensity of other symptoms you are experiencing. Avoiding these artificial additives is essential in determining the foods to which you are sensitive and in developing a diet that promotes your optimal health.
3. Support healthy digestion.
One way you can support healthy digestion is to ensure you have adequate amounts of digestive factors. After chewing, the food the next stop is the stomach, where an adequate amount of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) is the next necessity. Stomach acid is required for adequate breakdown of proteins, and without proper breakdown, all proteins are potential antigens and toxic food molecules. Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) is common, especially in older people since as we age, we make less stomach acid. Research suggests that as many as half of the people over 60 years old have hypochlorhydria. A variety of factors can inhibit sufficient stomach acid production including the pathogenic bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, and frequent use of antacids. Hypochlorhydria is also associated with many diseases, such as asthma, celiac sprue, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and diabetes mellitus. Signs of hypochlorhydria include a sense of fullness after eating, bloating, excessive belching, indigestion, multiple food allergies, undigested food in the stool, and peeling and cracked fingernails.In addition to hydrochloric acid, the production of pancreatic enzymes and bicarbonate is also compromised in some people. If necessary, these digestive factors can be replaced with appropriate supplementation. Digestive enzyme support can also be obtained from fresh pineapple or papaya, which contain the enzyme bromelain, and other fresh vegetables and herbs. Processed foods, like canned pineapple, contain little enzyme activity since digestive enzymes are proteins, which are destroyed by heating, such as occurs in the sterilization process.
4. Support the gastrointestinal barrier.
The gastrointestinal cell wall is the barrier between potentially toxic food molecules and the inside of your body; therefore, the integrity of this barrier is vital to your health. Support for the mucus that covers the cells in the gastrointestinal tract is very important, especially in the stomach. The mucus layer is one way the stomach and upper small intestine protect themselves against the damaging effects of stomach acid. Alcohol, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, called NSAIDS (e.g., aspirin), and the pathogenic bacteria, Helicobacter pylori can all reduce the mucous layer, leading to lesions in the stomach and small intestinal tract walls. Choline provides nutritional support for a healthy mucous layer and is found in vegetables such as cauliflower and lettuce. Choline can be obtained from lecithin (phosphatidylcholine) as well, which is high in eggs and soybeans. Some foods also help combat or protect against the damage of Helicobacter pylori; these include catechins found in green tea, some spices such as cinnamon, carotenoids found in vegetables, and vitamin C, found in many fruits and vegetables.
The Allergy Avoidance Diet
Adverse food reactions, also called food allergies and food intolerances, affect millions of people, and are believed to cause a variety of common health complaints and diseases. Many nutritionists and physicians believe that the only definitive way to identify and manage adverse food reactions is through an Allergy Avoidance Diet.
Some health care practitioners prescribe an Elimination Diet followed by food challenges. In an Elimination Diet, any food that is suspected of causing an allergy or intolerance is eliminated for a period of four days to three weeks, until symptoms are gone. Depending on the severity and type of symptoms, an Elimination Diet may range from moderately to severely restrictive in the amount of foods allowed.
However, Elimination Diets typically include a variety of hypoallergenic foods including lamb, pears, apples, rice, most vegetables, most beans and legumes (except peanuts) and the "non-gluten" grains (for example, millet, quinoa, and amaranth). Once the body has adjusted to the absence of suspected foods, these foods are systematically added back into the diet, and any resulting symptoms are recorded.
An alternative way to manage adverse food reactions is to follow a Rotation Diet, in which problematic foods are eaten only once every four days. An Allergy Avoidance Diet may be especially beneficial for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, recurrent otitis media, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
from The Failsafe Diet
FAILSAFE stands for Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. It was originally designed to treat ADHD children, but has proven useful for a wide range of symptoms.
FAILSAFE is Sue Dengate???s term for the low-chemical exclusion diet formulated by allergists at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia. It is designed to treat sensitivities to specific natural and man-made flavouring, colouring and preservative chemicals found in foods.
Sensitivities to food chemicals are pharmacological and dose-related (like the side effects of drugs), rather than immune-mediated like allergies. Different people have dramatically different tolerance levels to salicylates, amines, glutamates, sulphites, food colourings and other additives, and sensitivity symptoms (intolerances), occur when a person's tolerance levels are exceeded.
The symptoms caused by food chemicals appear to be allergy-like which can make determining their true cause very confusing. Despite food chemical intolerance being more common than true allergy, a lack of knowledge about this syndrome means that the symptoms are rarely understood properly by the layperson or the medical practitioner. There are specific metabolic reasons for these symptoms.
The failsafe diet excludes strong tasting and smelling foods and environmental chemicals, in particular:
About fifty additives including colours (like tartrazine, sunset yellow), flavours, preservatives and antioxidants (sulphites, nitrates, benzoates, sorbates, parabens).
Salicylates (aspirin) and polyphenols (natural flavours, colours and preservatives) found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables as well as in man-made NSAIDs and COX II inhibitors.
Neurotransmitters: free glutamates (MSG) and amines (histamine, serotonin, dopamine, phenylethylamine, tyramine and others) in aged proteins and fermented foods like cheese, game and hung meat.
Environmental chemicals and strong smells like perfumes, most commercial cosmetics, scented and coloured toiletries and especially mint and menthol products.
Some pharmaceutical drugs, including aspirin, all NSAIDS including ibuprofen, and the methyl-salicylates found in decongestants and anti-inflammatory creams.
Finding the right combination is going to take a bit of time. Don't try and fix yourself in one day. Try out a couple of the natural antihistamines for a few days, and see how your body reacts. It's all about patience and the willingness to experiment ... and listening to your body.
A natural antihistamine is a substance found in nature that can fight against histamines in the bloodstream. Antihistamines can treat allergies, colds, and sinus problems by blocking histamines and alleviating symptoms caused by excess histamines in the blood.
Histamines are a defense mechanism used by the body to protect against organisms it views as a threat. When an allergen is encountered, the body releases histamines into the blood to fight against the perceived intruder.
from Healthy Skin Care
In addition to being a powerful anti-oxidant and immune booster, some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin c can help reduce sensitivity to allergens and reduce inflammation, mucus production, and wheezing. Researchers at Arizona State University indicated that taking 2000mg of vitamin c per day reduces histamine levels in the blood by up to 40%. In order to act as a natural antihistamine the dose is usually greater than 1000mg per day.
(Please Note: Many studies have shown that Vitamin C is an energy booster, so I highly recommend that you don't take it later than mid-afternoon in order for it not to interfere with your sleep).
is a bioflavonoid. Bioflavonoids are potent nutrients that help maintain the health of collagen in the body. The firmness of the skin is due to collagen and so quercitin plays a role in preventing the anti-aging of skin and more specifically preventing the sagging of skin. Because quercitin and other bioflavonoids aid in improving the health of capillaries, connective tissues, and circulation, they also help treat bruising and varicose veins. Bioflavonoids are powerful antioxidants that also boost immunity and can aid in reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cataracts, cancer, help to regulate blood sugar, help in respiratory problems such as asthma, and prevent inflammation.
In addition to the above stated benefits, quercitin falls into the group of natural antihistamines that will not cause drowsiness. Quercitin can be very effective in preventing the release of histamine from cells and can be used to treat allergy symptoms such as swollen nasal passages, congestion, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes and nose, and skin conditions such as dermatographism, psoriasis, and eczema. On the other hand, non-natural antihistamines work differently. They do not prevent the release of histamine, but rather they block the action of histamine at receptor sites.
Natural antihistamines such as quercitin can be found in apples, grapefruit and some other citrus fruits, cherries, raspberries, red grapes, yellow and red onions, leafy vegetables, red wine, green tea, black tea, evening primrose, squash, shallots, courgettes and broccoli, blue-green algae, and capsium or "chili peppers".
Uritca urens is an herb that has been used for many centuries because of its natural antihistamine properties. This herb is a rich source of quercitin.
Quercitin also helps boost the benefits of vitamin c and visa versa and therefore are often taken together.
There is no set dosage for how much quercitin should be taken. Some recommend 1,200mg per day, while others suggest not going over 500mg per day to be absolutely sure of no problems, although no side effects have been reported. Dosages should be discussed with a physician and/or in consultation with a qualified nutritionist.
is an enzyme from pineapples that is an effective natural anti-inflammatory compound. It improves the absorption of quercitin and other bioflavonoids and therefore, natural antihistamine products often contain bromelain as well.
(Note: Some companies like NOW Brand have supplements that are a combination of Quercitin and Bromelain).
also falls into the bioflavonoid group of natural antihistamines. Like quercitin, this bioflavonoid will not make you drowsy and is very effective at preventing the release of histamine from mast cells. Some laboratory studies have shown that this natural antihistamine can block up to 70 per cent of histamine released when an individual is exposed to an allergen.
Pycnogenol is obtained from the extract of the bark of the French maritime pine, which grows in Les Landes in southwest France. Suggested dosage is around 300mg per day.
Many studies have been performed on pycnogenol and have shown that it is very safe. In addition to being one of the very effective natural antihistamines, it also is a powerful antioxidant and helps with a variety of conditions from diabetes to cholesterol control, menstrual disorders, asthma, other skin care problems, etc.
Grape Seed Extract
can be used as a natural antihistamine. The main active component is its high content of proanthocyanidin (OPC or PCO). Proanthocyanidin is found in red, white, and purple grapes, blueberries, cherries, and plums. The PCO is found mainly in the peels, skins, or seeds. Food processing and storage is detrimental to the amount of active proanthocyanidin available.
The PCO bioflavonoid complex can also be found in the barks of the lemon tree and the Landis pine tree, as well as the leaves of the hazelnut tree. The highest known concentration (95 per cent) of the PCO complex is found in purple grape seeds, and the second highest (80-85 per cent) in pine bark.
In addition, it has other benefits for the skin and body as well, such as: use as an anti-inflammatory, improves circulation and therefore good for varicose and spider veins and bruises, promotes healing, restores collagen and elasticity of the skin and thus good for anti-aging of the skin, strengthens weak blood vessels, arthritis, etc.
Dosage is usually 75 to 300mg daily for 3 weeks, then a reduction to a 40 to 80mg daily maintenance dose.
Butterbur (petasites hybridus)
is an herbaceous plant found in Europe and parts of North Africa and Asia. It is a plant with heart shaped leaves that enjoys damp marshy areas and sometimes is referred to as bog rhubarb.
For many years, butterbur was used to treat migraines. Recent research (in 2005) by Swiss and German scientists compared the butterbur extract versus other non-natural antihistamines. The conclusion from the study was that butterbur was as effective as an antihistamine as the other products, but with fewer side effects such as drowsiness.
Extracts from the butterbur plant need to be processed in order to eliminate some of the existing toxic components. This is the main concern about the use of butterbur, although proper processing of the extract would eliminate this problem. Many would like to see more safety information and research being produced before recommending it for long-term use.
Butterbur extracts are not recommended for individuals under 12 years of age, people with kidney or liver problems, or pregnant or lactating women. Consultation with a physician is highly recommended before considering the use of this product.
also falls into the group of natural antihistamines. Green tea contains quercitin and catechins, which possess antihistamine properties. Two to three cups of green tea a day is required in order to obtain the antihistamine benefits. Green tea extract supplements are also available.
can be used as a natural antihistamine. The active component in honeycomb that possesses mild antihistamine properties is propolis.
Simply chew a small square of honeycomb up to three times daily or add honeycomb to tea, etc., instead of sugar.
Natural antihistamines may also include certain minerals. For example, magnesium is one such mineral. Dosage as a supplement is typically in the 400 - 800mg per day range. Certain foods are also good sources of magnesium - plants, grains, meat, and fish. More specifically the top magnesium containing foods are: pumpkin and squash seed kernels, Brazil nuts, bran cereal, halibut, quinoa, spinach, and almonds.
is an essential amino acid in the body that can prevent excessive histamine production. One or two 500mg capsules three times daily are usually required.
from Allergy Relief Help,
Modern Alternative Health
and better nutrition
Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica)|
has been used for its herbal quality for centuries. Other than being used for allergies, nettle is commonly used for inflammation and water retention. The leaves contain biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation. They can also be used as a diuretic. The leaves have also been used to treat conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer's disease. The roots contain unique and helpful qualities in similar and different ways from the leaves. The root has been known to assist in prostate problems and treatment, including BPH (an enlarged prostate). An infusion of the plant also stems intern bleeding and can be used to lessen and control excessive menstruation. Similar infusions have also been used to treat hemorrhoids and skin complaints like eczema.
Stinging nettle's leaf contains a quality that blocks histamine receptors. This quality means that the leaf can function just as a common allergy treatment such as Allegra or Claritin as a histamine blocker but has none of the side effects that those drugs carry.
The best ways to receive the benefits of the plant as a histamine blocker are to either take a supplement or make a nettle infusion. Taking a supplement of freeze dried extract provides you with the best possible option as a supplement - the activity of the leaves are biologically preserved in the freeze drying process. A dosage of 300 mg 2-3 times a day should keep allergies at bay.
Making an infusion of the leaves is also a successful way to treat and prevent allergies, much more effective than a tea. A trip around the web will give you multiple recipes for infusions. Most lead to a recipe of 1 cup of dried leaves to 1 quart of water. Some people recommend boiling the water and then having the leaves steep/set for 8-10 hours. Others recommend using the sun as the heating element for the process.
Some researchers think one of the active components is a bioflavonoid, others think polysaccharides are responsible, still others say lectins deserve the credit. But whatever the final determination of the active ingredients, nettle loses its antiallergy power if not harvested and processed correctly. Look for a high-quality powdered product that has been freeze-dried or specially processed to retain the active ingredients. This special processing costs more, so don't be seduced by cheap imitations.
from Cybele Pascal on CybelePascal.com
such as Quercetin are a group of plant pigments that are largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine that helps stabilize mast cells to prevent both the manufacture and release of histamine, as well as other allergic and inflammatory compounds. Good sources of Quercetin are citrus fruits, onions, garlic, apples, parsley, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, legumes and berries.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
are thought to reduce allergic reactions through their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in such foods as cold-water fish (think salmon), and walnuts, but since this is a blog devoted to food allergy sufferers, I prefer to recommend you get your Omega-3s from less allergenic sources, such as hemp seeds, flax seed oil, canola oil, and grass-fed meat.
from One Good Thing By Jillee
Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint|
For a couple of months now I have been dealing with the most random ailments. Things I've never dealt with before. But the two most tormenting things have been itching (all over) and swelling in my ankles. No matter WHAT I tried I couldn't find relief! I would find temporary relief with a few natural remedies for the itching???but since it wasn't dry skin related they really didn't last. The swollen ankles were impervious to anything I tried!
UNTIL my sister Rebecca (Camp Wander) recommended I try something new. Through her work and research with essential oils she has become more and more convinced that many chronic medical issues stem from an allergic response our body is having to toxins. Toxins that our bodies are bombarded with every day from our drinking water, to our health and beauty products, to the materials used to build and furnish our homes!
So by following this line of thinking it makes sense that an antihistamine of some sort would help with this allergic reaction. No? YES! And, according to my sister, the combination of Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint essential oils can create a powerful all-natural antihistamine. These three oils together can cool down body inflammation resulting from the body's allergic response.
I'm going to get technical for just a minute???so bear with me. From what I understand, when an allergen of some kind (which could be a myriad of different things) enters the body, something called IGE antibodies begin releasing histamines that trigger an inflammatory response in the body. Cells start to release fluid and SWELL. The exact symptom I was having.
After Rebecca explained all this to me it made so much sense, and I was eager to give it a try! I've been taking the LLP combination faithfully since then and have seen an almost COMPLETE elimination of my symptoms. The itching is MUCH better (with just an occasional flare-up) and my ankles are finally back to their normal size and shape! I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am about this!
While the typical recommendation for using LLP as an antihistamine is to combine equal parts Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint essential oils with 1 part fractionated coconut oil and rub it on your feet twice a day, my sister suggested I try taking it internally. At first I was a bit worried about this because I know how STRONG those oils are! But then she told me about these "gelatin capsules" (which I found at my local health food store for about 5 bucks) and I was off and running and haven't looked back! I faithfully fill and swallow 3 capsules a day with 3 drops each of Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint in them. For me, it has made all the difference in the world.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)|
can be found growing in the woodlands and meadows of many parts of North America. Its gnarled underground root is collected for medicinal use. Goldenseal possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in combating the effects of histamine. Goldenseal has been nicknamed the "cure-all" herb because it can be used for a wide range of ailments, including periodontal problems, eczema, heartburn, infections and painful menstruation. AltMD.com advises only taking goldenseal for short periods -- not more than three weeks at time -- because it can build up in your tissues and become toxic.
Horny goat weed
is a member of the Epimedium genus of plants; in traditional Chinese medicine, it is known as yin yang huo. This herb is native to parts of China and Korea, being used to relieve some of the symptoms caused by the body's release of histamine. Horny goat weed has some anti-inflammatory properties, which may account for its effectiveness in treating hay fever. Horny goat weed should only be used for a short time, and it should not be used if you are pregnant, nursing, have heart disease or are taking any type of steroids.
is very rich in vitamin C; each piece of whole fruit contains more than 300 percent of the recommended daily allowance, according to the World's Healthiest Foods website. In addition to the antioxidant vitamins, enzymes found in papaya can help regulate inflammatory response in your body. "The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook" suggests that eating papaya or drinking its juices may act as an antihistamine and relieve the itching associated with hives.
from Colette Bouchez on WebMD
In addition to whatever natural treatments you try on your own, you may also find significant relief visiting a practitioner of the ancient Chinese medical practice known as acupuncture. Based on the idea that stimulating points outside the body can change or initiate reactions inside, in this case treatment is thought to affect the immune system, where allergic reactions begin.
In a small but significant study of 26 hay fever patients published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture reduced symptoms in all 26 -- without side effects. A second study of some 72 people totally eliminated symptoms in more than half, with just two treatments.
Acupuncture can be particularly useful if you are suffering from multiple allergies, since it works to quiet the areas of the immune system that are overstimulated by exposure to multiple irritating factors.
from Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac. on acufinder.com
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)|
is rich in anti-histamine properties. The flowers can be crushed and used as a poultice for inflammatory swelling. Make a tea and drink 2-3 times a day. Chamomile can cause histaminic allergic reactions in some very sensitive people. If this occurs, simply discontinue.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
is a widely used herbal remedy for treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. This purple coneflower has shown to have antihistamine properties.
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)
Hailed the "mushroom of immortality", one of my favorite natural remedies is Reishi (Ling Zhi). Japanese researchers have found that reishi acts as an antihistamine, making it useful for treating allergies. "Lanostan", a compound found in reishi, appears to control the release of transmitting chemicals in the body, thereby inhibiting the release of histamine. Since reishi also promotes the adrenal function and immune reaction, it has added effectiveness in controlling the body's reaction to an allergen.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
is a natural antihistamine, as well as having antiseptic properties to help purge infections. The essential oil has been shown to have antimicrobial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi.
from Jeanie Lerche Davis on WebMD
is considered a superfood -- whether it's black, green, white, or oolong tea. All those tea types come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis. The leaves are simply processed differently. Green tea leaves are not fermented; they are withered and steamed. Black tea and oolong tea leaves undergo crushing and fermenting processes.
All teas from the Camellia plant are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Tea has about eight to 10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables, according to long-time tea researcher John Weisburger, PhD, senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention in Valhalla, N.Y.
Studies of humans, animals, and petri-dish experiments show that tea is high beneficial to our health. Research suggests that regular tea drinkers -- people who drink two cups or more a day -- have less heart disease and stroke, lower total and LDL cholesterol, and recover from heart attacks faster. There's also evidence that tea may help fight ovarian and breast cancers.
Tea also helps soothe stress and keep us relaxed. One British study found that people who drank black tea were able to de-stress faster than those who drank a fake tea substitute. The tea drinkers had lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.