Having seasonal allergies can be an uncomfortable situation leading to itchy watery eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, fatigue and coughing.
Many people try to help control their allergy symptoms by using over the counter antihistamines to limit the allergic response. However, these medications may not be well tolerated by all users or may lead to unwanted sleepiness, drowsiness, or brain fog during the day.
For this reason, many allergy sufferers look into natural supplements derived from plants in order to keep their symptoms at bay.
Below, we will review some of the most common natural plant-derived ingredients used to help control seasonal allergies including Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, and Bromelain.
We will cover just what Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, and Bromelain are, how they might work to help control allergies, and go over some studies done using these ingredients for allergies. Finally, we will let you know about some products that contain all three of these ingredients, as well as how you might want to use these natural supplements, and who might be a good candidate for using these supplements.
What is Stinging Nettle?
Stinging Nettle is a plant that has heart-shaped leaves, and yellow or pink flowers. This common plant has tiny sharp hairs underneath the leaves and on the stem which contain the "stinging" chemicals.
Stinging Nettle has a long medicinal history. In medieval Europe, Stinging Nettle was historically used as a remedy for joint pain as well as a diuretic. Today, you might see Stinging Nettle used for enlarged prostate induced urinary problems, urinary tract infections, allergies, or even applied topically for issues including sprains, strains, tendonitis, insect bites, or joint pain.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a brightly-colored plant flavonoid contained within many fruits and vegetables including grapes, red onions, apples, berries, and green tea.
This chemical is thought to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that may aid in heart disease prevention, blood sugar control, fighting cancer cells, and reducing swelling. You may see people taking this supplement in order to possibly help with blood vessel and heart conditions, diabetes, arthritis, and bladder infections.
What is Bromelain?
Bromelain is an enzyme found in the pineapple fruit, as well as the stem of the pineapple fruit. This enzyme can induce the body to make compounds that combat pain and swelling, as well as aid in the breakdown of proteins in your food.
People might use Bromelain supplements to try and help with pain, burns, muscle soreness, or even kidney stones. Although, more research needs to be done to verify that Bromelain can help with these situations.
How might Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, and Bromelain help with seasonal allergies?
Stinging nettle may help balance the immune response by helping to control histamine release, and reducing the formation of inflammatory prostaglandins.
Quercetin may help with seasonal allergies by supporting immune health and moderating the release of inflammatory compounds commonly released during an allergy attack. Quercetin may stabilize mast cells to reduce the release of histamine. Since histamine plays a role in the allergic hypersensitivity occurring during seasonal allergies, having less of it released may alleviate symptoms.
Bromelain can use its enzymatic activity to help break down protein complexes, potentially including antigenic compounds triggering an immune response. Bromelain may also help enhance the absorption of Quercetin.
What do the studies say about Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, and Bromelain for allergies?
One double-blind placebo controlled trial tried to measure a positive effect on allergic rhinitis by giving one group Stinging Nettle extract and another group a placebo. At the end of the trial, the researchers noted there were certain positive effects of the Stinging Nettle in controlling allergy symptoms, but positive effects were also noted in the placebo group. The study concluded that having a small number of participants may be a limitation and more studies are needed to prove the efficacy of Stinging Nettle for seasonal allergies.
An in vitro study showed how Stinging Nettle extract can reduce allergic rhinitis markers by inhibiting mast cell degranulation, inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory mediators, and inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins.
One study done in mice with allergic asthma found that Quercetin and the related compound Isoquercitrin were effective at suppressing eosinophilic inflammation. The researchers concluded that this suggests Quercetin and Isoquercitrin may be potential supplements for treating allergies.
A study done on Bromelain showed that the extract has anti-inflammatory and antiallergenic properties and was able to reduce allergic sensitization and avoid the development of allergic airway disease when challenged with an antigen.
Natural allergy supplements with Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, and Bromelain
D-Hist from Ortho Molecular Products is a natural allergy supplement which contains all three of the ingredients we talked about above; Stinging Nettle, Quercetin, and Bromelain. This supplement even includes a little N-Acetyl-Cysteine and Vitamin C.
If you want to try out a natural allergy supplement, but are not sure where to start or which of the ingredients to try out, you can use all three at once with D-Hist.
Also, if you are looking for a natural allergy supplement for children, Orthomolecular makes D-Hist in a less potent form for kids called D-Hist Jr.. One dose (1 chewable tablet) of D-Hist Jr. contains exactly 1/4 of the amount of Quercetin, Stinging Nettle, and Bromelain as one dose (2 capsules) of the full-strength adult version, making it appropriate for children. D-Hist Jr. is also chewable to make it easier for small children to use.
You can purchase D-Hist from our pharmacy website: Here.
You can purchase D-Hist Jr. from our pharmacy website: Here.
How to use Ortho Molecular D-Hist or D-Hist Jr. for allergies
To use D-Hist or D-Hist Jr. for seasonal allergies, follow the instructions listed on your product, or take as directed by your healthcare professional.
According to the D-Hist package, the suggested use is to start with a loading dose of taking 2 capsules by mouth three times per day for the first 7-10 days. Then, for maintenance, you can take 2 capsules by mouth once daily, or as directed by your healthcare professional.
The suggested usage on the D-Hist Jr. bottle recommends taking 1 tablet by mouth as needed or as recommended by your healthcare provider.
Who might benefit from using Ortho Molecular D-Hist
D-Hist or D-Hist Jr. can be a great alternative for seasonal allergy symptom relief in people or children who cannot use or do not respond well to anti-histamine medications.
D-Hist products are also a good fit for people who like to try and use plant-based supplements to try and help with their issues over pharmaceutical medications.
Who might not be a good fit for using D-Hist products
The ingredients inside of D-Hist have not been studied in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, so this supplement should be avoided in those situations.
Also, if you are currently using medications that help to thin your blood, you may want to avoid the use of this supplement as some of these ingredients may also increase blood thinning.
Always talk to your doctor before starting on a new supplement to make sure that they are a good choice for you and do not interact with any of your current medications.
Bromelain is an extract from pineapples, if you have an allergy to pineapples, you should not use supplements which contain Bromelain.
Written by: Jill Barat, PharmD