6 Health Benefits of Quercetin

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

Apples are a fruit that contain quercetin

Quercetin is an flavonoid (plant pigment) commonly found in fruits and vegetables, especially onions, citrus, and apples. Other sources include dark berries, grapes and olive oil. Green tea and red wine have also been pointed out as having notable amounts of quercetin.

That’s all great. But, what does it do for us? Well, perhaps the primary benefit of quercetin is that it possesses potent antioxidants. Antioxidants fight against free radicals –- chemically reactive compounds that damage cell membranes and DNA and also cause cell death. In fact, many of the benefits you’ll often hear attributed to antioxidants refer to the the effects associated with quercetin. Let’s take a look at what some of them are.

1. Supports Normal Respiratory Health

When your respiratory system is irritated, redness and swelling can result from the release of histamines, and quercetin has been reported to have an antihistamine effect. Lab tests have shown quercetin influences intracellular enzymes and may help inhibit histamine release. [1] This can often provide relief for watery eyes, runny nose, and swelling in the face.

Another study compared the effectiveness of quercetin against contact dermatitis and photosensitivity, two conditions that do not respond well to a conventional approach. Researchers found that quercetin is effective at inhibiting redness and is easy to administer. What’s more, quercetin promoted significant improvement in both conditions. [2]

2. Supports Cardiovascular Health

Studies have shown that the consumption of flavonoids, specifically quercetin, offer a two fold benefit (at least) in promoting overall cardiovascular health. First, it encourages blood flow. [3] Secondly, researchers have observed that quercetin’s antioxidant action protects against LDL cholesterol oxidation. This may be beneficial because oxidation causes LDL cholesterol to stick to artery walls. [4]

3. Promotes Balanced Blood Pressure

In addition to supporting cardiovascular health, quercetin naturally promotes balanced blood pressure. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study evaluated the effect of quercetin supplementation and reported that the participants experienced a stabilization in systolic, diastolic and average arterial pressure. [5]

4. Offers Protection Against Stress

When your body is stressed, it produces cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that produces that “fight or flight” response. Although this is normal, when your stress levels are high and ongoing, cortisol can damage muscle tissue, leading to protein breakdown in the body. Quercetin can fight these effects during times of extended stress as it suppresses the enzyme necessary for cortisol release. [6]

5. Potential for Upper Respiratory Conditions?

Although the jury is still out, numerous animal studies and lab models have suggested that quercetin may offer a bronchial dilating effect. A 2013 study determined that it inhibited an enzyme that breaks down signaling proteins which produce swelling and airway narrowing. Quercetin caused a relaxation of the airway smooth muscle, leading researchers to suggest it may offer therapeutic solutions for persons suffering from upper respiratory conditions. [7] Hopefully more research will continue to explore this possibility.

6. Offers Nutritional Support for Overall Health

Listen, putting good nutrition into your body is one of the best measures you can take to encourage good health. It’s not a guarantee, and some people will still get sick, but it’s a good foundation and fundamental approach. Why should quercetin be part of your approach? Because research has shown that people who consume more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of some diseases and lab studies have shown that quercetin has a positive benefit against some cancers. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] Is it a cure? No. Is it something you should check into? I think so.

Supplementing With Quercetin

Although quercetin offers many benefits and it is all-natural, there are a few health considerations. Large amounts can stress the kidneys, it may also interact with blood thinners, corticosteroids, and aspirin. If you’re taking any of these, it’s probably best to check with your healthcare provider before adding quercetin to the list — especially if you’re taking it in supplement form. Most people, however, should be able to enjoy dietary quercetin (fruits and vegetables) without a problem.

Do you take a quercetin supplement? How long has it been part of your regimen and what have you noticed? Please leave a comment below and share your experience with us!

References (12)
  1. Chirumbolo S. The role of quercetin, flavonols and flavones in modulating inflammatory cell function. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2010 Sep;9(4):263-85.
  2. Weng Z, Zhang B, Asadi S, Sismanopoulos N, Butcher A, Fu X, Katsarou-Katsari A, Antoniou C, Theoharides TC. Quercetin is more effective than cromolyn in blocking human mast cell cytokine release and inhibits contact dermatitis and photosensitivity in humans. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33805. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033805. Epub 2012 Mar 28.
  3. Perez-Vizcaino F, Duarte J. Flavonols and cardiovascular disease. Mol Aspects Med. 2010 Dec;31(6):478-94. doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2010.09.002. Epub 2010 Sep 15.
  4. Egert S, Bosy-Westphal A, Seiberl J, Kürbitz C, Settler U, Plachta-Danielzik S, Wagner AE, Frank J, Schrezenmeir J, Rimbach G, Wolffram S, Müller MJ. Quercetin reduces systolic blood pressure and plasma oxidised low-density lipoprotein concentrations in overweight subjects with a high-cardiovascular disease risk phenotype: a double-blinded, placebocontrolled cross-over study. Br J Nutr. 2009 Oct;102(7):1065-74. doi: 10.1017/S0007114509359127. Epub 2009 Apr 30.
  5. Edwards RL, Lyon T, Litwin SE, Rabovsky A, Symons JD, Jalili T. Quercetin reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects. J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11):2405-11.
  6. Cheng LC, Li LA. Flavonoids exhibit diverse effects on CYP11B1 expression and cortisol synthesis. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2012 Feb 1;258(3):343-50. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2011.11.017. Epub 2011 Dec 8.
  7. Townsend EA, Emala CW Sr. Quercetin acutely relaxes airway smooth muscle and potentiates-agonist induced relaxation via dual phosphodiesterase inhibition of PLC and PDE4. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2013 Jul 19.
  8. Long Q, Xiel Y, Huang Y, Wu Q, Zhang H, Xiong S, Liu Y, Chen L, Wei Y, Zhao X, Gong C. Induction of apoptosis and inhibition of angiogenesis by PEGylated liposomal quercetin in both cisplatin-sensitive and cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancers. J Biomed Nanotechnol. 2013 Jun;9(6):965-75.
  9. Wang G, Song L, Wang H, Xing N. Quercetin synergizes with 2-methoxyestradiol inhibiting cell growth and inducing apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells. Oncol Rep. 2013 Jul;30(1):357-63. doi: 10.3892/or.2013.2469. Epub 2013 May 15.
  10. Kim H, Seo EM, Sharma AR, Ganbold B, Park J, Sharma G, Kang YH, Song DK, Lee SS, Nam JS. Regulation of Wnt signaling activity for growth suppression induced by quercetin in 4T1 murine mammary cancer cells. Int J Oncol. 2013 Oct;43(4):1319-25. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.2036. Epub 2013 Jul 23.
  11. Del Follo-Martinez A, Banerjee N, Li X, Safe S, Mertens-Talcott S. Resveratrol and quercetin in combination have anticancer activity in colon cancer cells and repress oncogenic microRNA-27a. Nutr Cancer. 2013;65(3):494-504. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2012.725194.
  12. Hu Y, Wang S, Wu X, Zhang J, Chen R, Chen M, Wang Y. Chinese herbal medicine-derived compounds for cancer therapy: A focus on hepatocellular carcinoma. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Aug 1. pii: S0378-8741(13)00531-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.07.030.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Jeff Shum

    what would really be nice would be if you can point us to a source for this and other vitamins that make their stuff from quality with the least filler and most bio available I just bought some of this on Amazon and have NO idea if the maker is selling me bio available stuff or crap! Thx Doc I am a big fan of this site!

  • ghc_health

    Hey Jeff, thanks for the feedback. You’re right, it can be difficult to know which products are quality and which are sub-par. I don’t currently take a quercetin product by itself but I do take Intramax, which is a high quality, liquid multivitamin that contains a quercetin complex (and everything else you would want). It’s a little more expensive but it’s an excellent product, there is none better.

    -Dr. Edward Group

  • Trav

    Quercetin is also good for detoxing BPA I hear.

  • Mycall

    Whenever I feel like the symptoms of a cold brewing I take quercetin. I have been amazed how quickly it works to knockout those symptoms. Whenever I see someone suffering with similar symptoms I recommend them to take quercetin. They too are amazed!!! It has dramatically improved my life and I am pleased with no side effects, other than some dry mouth.

  • Tea

    I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 20 (26 years ago) and had to use an inhaler every day to keep my airway clear and “wheeze-free”. I have been taking a quercetin supplement along with a probiotic for about 8 years now and haven’t had to use an inhaler since! My allergies have even improved tremendously!

  • Dee Dee B

    Awesome to hear! I am a runner with asthma and I was using my inhaler 3-4 times a day! sometimes more to sleep.. then I started using acv ( apple cider vinegar in water) and I could literally feel my lungs relax and open and now I have drastically reduced usage and feel SO much better – my breathing has improved greatly even while running! So today I got quercetin to supplement the acv – cant wait to try it since it worked so well for you!

  • Helen Hay

    I’ve been taking quercetin for well over a year for chronic rosacea and it cleared my skin within days of taking it. Highly recommend it to any suffers.

  • JazC74

    I have taken Quercetin along with Pepogest for my digestion issues.

  • Amie

    I’ve been taking Quercetin since April for allergies and have seen a dramatic difference. I’m a fan! Just curious, though…are we able to stay on it indefinitely or only about 6 to 8 weeks?

  • A lot of the information I’ve seen points to what you said, 6-8 week occasional use. Anyone else have some insight here?

  • Lindsay

    I see a kinesiologist, he is amazing and has helped me in more ways then any type of doctor has been able to. I have severe ragweed allergies and before ragweed season starts to right after for a bit I take 2 supplements that have a good amount of Quercetin in them but one of them I am allowed to take as a needed basis for asthma or anything that may pop up I feel the need for. I would think that if you feel a need to keep taking it and it is helping that it wouldnt hurt to keep using it for what you need it for. My kinesiologist has never stressed there was anything that I would need to worry to stop taking it. I hope that was helpful 🙂

  • Misty Simpson

    I was in bed for 2 days with severe seasonal allergies. After researching natural cures on the internet, quercetin kept coming up. I went to a natural food store last night and bought some. Within an hour of taking it, I felt markedly better. I had expected it to take much longer. I am a true believer and look forward to discovering a lot more natural remedies.

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  • bob

    I have heard quercertin helps keep the herpes virus at bay ! Anyone else heard this ?

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  • Alaina Rose Chocolat

    I’ve been taking Quercetin for almost a year now (and have enough for another 4 months on hand so rest assured I have every intention of continuing to take it) and haven’t once gotten sick! I used to get sick all the time. When I cut back to once a day or stop taking it altogether (because I run or am running out and because I heard you should take breaks every now and then) I get headaches, itchy nose, start sneezing and sniffling, acne, and this feeling like there’s a blockage in one of my ears comes back. As long as I continue taking Quercetin and ACV for my asthma, I feel great!

  • myis

    would be good if someone could produce quercetin free from alcohol and which is sutiable vegans

  • mark

    how much is your dose per day? thanks

  • Msbee

    I have IC also and take Quercetin, Omega 3, Selenium, and Turmeric. After 10 years of excruciating pain, I have now been symptom free for about 14 months. Blessed relief. Good luck to you.

  • FunctusOfficio

    I use a powdered drink mix from a Canadian company called Q Energy (the Q is for quercetin which is their main ingredient!). I find it really helps reduce inflammation when I am training. It also gives me a pretty good energy boost. Bonus is that it tastes great.

  • Michelle O

    Do you mind telling me what the drink mix is called ? Im not a fan of taking pills or capsules so I`d much prefer this approach.. Thanks

  • Amy

    I developed some sort of allergic reaction…. to something!!! I went to dermatologist and 2 allergy specialist. No luck. Then I went to my nutrition store, and they gave me Quercetin and voila!! Problem solved!!! My rash / hives have gone away and I am off the Allegra and other Rx meds….. Genius!! So happy!!

  • Jen Jen

    Not sure how to add something new. I was just diagnosed with Sarcoidosis. Has anyone used Quercetin for it?

  • ron

    I am 55 years old and have been taking supplements for over 35 years and i have experienced great results with quercetin.having once had allergies and asthma. This one product has helped me out tremendously. I have not experienced any allergies in years now using quercetin. I highly recommend this product. thank you

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  • Carla S.

    I drink AXIO WITH QUERCETIN AND FEEL ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I think clearer. I have mental focus. I have tons of energy and no allergy or asthma symptoms any more!

  • Faith

    Hi. I learned about quercetin along with quercumin from a friend yesterday who said my brother should start taking immediately as he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Can you elaborate on the benefits of these two to fight cancer, especially in such late stages? Thank you so much!

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  • Claudie Claudie

    I’ very been taking Quercetin with vitimins C for 15 years for respiratory allergies where no over the counter or prescription medicines works. I don’t get cold or flu with the ?mg daily divided doses i am taking. I get mine pills at Puritan Pride 🙂 they are a mix the one i buy (Quercetin with C) i don’t take any other allergy pills.

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  • Sonia Margarita Gangotena

    Taking one Activated Quercetin a day and allergies have been almost under control, after this article I am increasing to 3 a day for a total of one gram for greater support (the label says 3-6 a day).

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  • E. L

    love QUERCETIN …take for seasonal allergies and then continued into the winter months also – when I stopped , the veins in my leg hurt, and realized the “Q” had reduced the swelling of the varicose veins Feel best when i take it every day- all year long.

  • Michelle Marolda-Parvana

    Me too. I Just Started And What A difference!

  • Rae

    Amy, which brand do you take and how much?

  • i drink a all naturl drink called Axio that has it in it and i love it !!! i also take a antioxidant supplement call Protandim ;D email me at kdflores2369@yahoo.com if interested about them

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  • Ray S

    This stuff help cure my gas problems. For about 3 months straight I use to fart almost every 10 minutes. I don’t know what was going on. GI doctors said I was eating too much fiber but even after cutting fiber out it was still happening. Tried this and now only farting once a day! Praise the Lord!

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  • Warren Trupin

    I added Quercetin, Resveratrol, Curcumin and Green tea to my regiment of supplements and it cured my prostate cancer. I’m sure it will work on all cancers.

  • Missy

    I drink Axio (a healthy “energy drink”) which has quercetin in it plus all sorts of amazing brain food. Love Lifevantage and their category creating products!!

  • Missy

    Have you heard of Protandim or Axio? These have the same ingredients in them plus the synergy of them together is more effective. It opens up the Nrf2 pathway into our cells!

  • Warren Trupin

    Thank you, I’ll look into it.

  • Steven Welte

    wish i could learn more about your regiment Warren….I have prostate cancer also

  • Lauren Nelson

    I have been using Quercetin for a couple of weeks for allergies. I just moved to the Gulf Coast, and all the vegetation was causing me trouble. Last night I came in from working outside all day with a stuffed up nose. I took Quercetin, and within an hour, my airways were cleared. This stuff is the best.

  • Warren Trupin

    Take Curcumin, Quercetin, Green Tea, 3x a day and Resveratrol 2x. Add a good multi like Solgar V-2000, 15000iu vitamin D a day for about one month (if you are not in the sun much) and then 5000iu. as well as Patassium and don’t skim on salt to get your body fluids to the correct ph.

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  • Melody Fern Lehmann

    The best salt to use is Himalayan salt. It’s pink and not overly processed. It’s actually the *real* salt of the earth. It supplies lots of minerals we need and don’t get from white table salt.

  • Warren Trupin

    Thanks for the info.

  • Julie

    My husband has been suffering from psoriasis for several years. After unsuccessfully being treated with various creams and gels, (which had negative side effects) I did some research into natural remedies. I learned that for some people, Quercetin supplements have been found to be successful in inhibiting the terrible effects of psoriasis. I began giving him Quercetin about a year ago, twice a day, between meals, as indicated and since then, he has had a dramatic reduction in his symptoms. If he forgets to take the supplement for a couple of days, the symptoms begin to return. I believe based on our personal experience with this supplement that Quercetin is an effective treatment for psoriasis.

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  • jon

    I suffered from your until taking 500 mg of quercetin with my morning meal. If I stay in a little longer, I start feeling big toe tingling which is gout announcing its attack. Didn’t know it was also helping with my rosecea!

  • Maryanne Koch Schneller

    I too have been taking for IC & allergies…..has helped both.

  • Dylan Russon

    I have been taking a product that has quercetin in it mixed with l-arginine for my scottish highland games and my powerlifting weight regimen. It has helped me to decrease the amount of time I am sore. Decreased my lactic acid build up after competitions and has helped me increase my throws and weights. The product I have been taking is called pro argi9 plus active if anyone is curious.

  • Charlotte

    I started taking quercetin for my interstitial cystitis and it has helped tremendously!! It has helped me with pain and I am now able to sleep at night much better than before. Also, I noticed that my nasal allergies and subsequent congestion is much improved.

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  • Demi Monde

    So Dee Dee B, has it helped with your asthma? Thanks for the tip about ACV – I’m ordering some right away.

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  • denise

    I have taken Quercetin for over 7 years and has helped tremendously with allergy to mold and asthma triggered by mold , etc. I began using it along with ester C and it keeps me healthy and virtually allergy free.
    Recently Scientific Botanicals went out of business and I had used their product for all those years and guess what I got sick twice in two months. Many of the Quercetin products out there do not work for me at all. Scientific botanicals was by far the best for me and I miss it so-too bad the FDA raided them. I guess their products were helping too many people. The second runner and what I am using now is by Pure Encapsulation.

  • rrpjr

    I’ve been taking Quercetin for about six months for chronic hay fever-type allergies. I’ve seen a dramatic improvement. I’ve been taking the Solgar brand with Ester C.

  • susan

    i’ve found Progressive Labs to have a good one that really seems to help my chronic sinus trouble and i think also dry eye condition along with skin stuff. wondering if it helps the liver cuz all these things seem to be related perhaps to the liver. i know chinese med says eyes and liver go together. when i run out of the above, these conditions worsen. i think Pure Formulas has this one and they have free shp, 10% off for the asking! good folks for a bus. co.

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  • Retta V

    Yes I found that Quercetin cured my severe IC about 6 years ago and now I have symptoms again so I will start taking it again. I also will avoid all forms of caffeine and red wine as this really aggravates it.

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  • Christine Bryant

    I’ve been taking Quercetin 1000mg for just about 2 years. I ran out 3 months ago and ended up with an asthma attack. Also my inflammation levels/pain has been greater in these last three months since I haven’t been taking the quercetin. Back on them now in less than 5 days feeling much better.

  • Esmeralda

    I have read the blog for the reason , I am looking for something that can help with allergies , currently I am doing allergy shots and also using two types of nasal sprays that were prescribed by physician, I also take Claritin and Cingular.. I have been doing this for 1 year and 4 months and I still getting flareups , with ear aches sinus pressure and a lot of throat and face swollening .. I get a lot of respiratory infections with in a month , the Drs all they are are giving more medication like steroid treatments and steroids shots, I am really frustrated with them because all they tell me is you have build up with shots that they don’t understand why Ikeep getting sick? I am going to this vitamin out bc I need healing..

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  • Hey very useful information but we can also follow some common #exercise for good #health.

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  • Denis Ables

    Dr. Rothfeld’s book “The Atlas of Natural Cures” and a recent ad appear to claim that it kills several cancers.

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  • Intramax, what brand?

    Intramax!! What brand to buy? There’s so many out there im very confuse !!

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  • Chris Kirkpatrick

    Have you had any luck with your allergies or found a Quercetin supplement that is right for you? I just found an amazing Quercetin supplement that is the only 99.5% pure Quercetin supplement in the world. I have been taking it and feeling amazing!

  • Chris Kirkpatrick

    I have been taking a Quercetin supplement that is the only 99.5% pure Quercetin in the world. I have been told by my naturopath that staying on Quercetin should not have any side effects – obviously check with your doc for personal advice. If you are interested in checking this stuff out, let me know and I can send you info. I have been on it for 6 weeks and it has made a world of difference for me.

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  • Mark

    Try kicking all dairy and grain products out of your diets. Watch 90% of you, all your asthma and allergies go away within a week or 2. The rest of us will have to dig deeper and try supplements like Quercetin.

  • Indre

    Hey Chris! Please share with me which Quercitin you are using? Thank you! Email indre.tamulynaite@gmail.com

  • Michael (NW)

    Quercetin seems to have a lot of great benefits all of which I’m interested in. But, I’ve read that Quercetin can distrupt the thyroid, “The flavonoid quercetin inhibits thyroid-restricted genes expression”, and possibly iodide uptake? I’ve read some studies on this but none that has been done with human trials. I’m curious to know whether or not anyone has read about or experienced thyroid issues taking Quercetin? Also, someone has claimed quercetin can cause stimulation causing insomnia due to it’s MAO inhibition? I started Quercetin and have had some increased insomnia issues, but I haven’t narrowed it down to Quercetin as of yet. I’ve also taking Iodine and do not want to interfere with that. Thank you.

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  • GHC Support

    Thank you for your inquiry.
    It is hard to say exactly how each product you are taking will affect you individually, and comments probably aren’t a good way to determine that. We recommend seeking the advice of a trusted healthcare provider who may be able to evaluate your situation while considering your individual needs.

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  • Michael (NW)

    I put Vitamin C Quercetin powder in a water bottle and drink it throughout the day. Lately on occasion I feel a bit of a flush similar to a niacin flush but I’m not taking any niacin. I suspected the quercetin s I went a day with out it and only took the Vitamin C and was fine. Today I added quercetin to the mix and I’m having some minor flushing. Is this norma, if so, what is going on? Or, is this a negative reaction to quercetin and why? I don’t recall having this reaction when I first started taking quercetin. Thank you.

  • Alexandra Gomes

    Okay, question: I read that when cortisol levels are high it’s when we start having symptoms, but then they drop radically and they get way lower than they should – and that’s when the real problems start happening. So, what I mean is: does quercetin lower cortisol levels or does it regulate them in case we need them to be higher?

  • anika

    ‘d also appreciate! please share with me – anya.larchenko@gmail.com Thanx & all the very best!

  • Gri Court

    Hi, what’s the name of the product? Thanks!

  • Gri Court

    What form of quercetin? I’ve read that some form don’t absorb well and so should be taken in conjunction with green tea and other bioflavonoids…Thanks!

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  • Traci Scheelk

    Hi. I see no one answered your question. Quercetin alone is poorly absorbed. Bromelain enzyme is enough to make it easily absorbed. Look for as close to 2400 GDU (potency/strength per gram). Some will have 2000 GDU’s. which is okay and still good. I forget the ratio reccomended. I’m looking at a good manufacterer’s bottle now (Doctor’s Best) which is a 2:1 ratio – 2x Quercetin to Bromelain 2400.

    Quercetin is a bioflavanoid. Bioflavanoids are synergistic with other bioflavanoids. It’s not necessary to put them together but good to pair them when you do take the others. Quercetin is also synergistic with many other nutraceuticals. I forget all which ones. Many plant extracts have higher activity and new actions when paired together. So you get more bang for your dollar and new benefits. So take your quercetin with your other expensive standardized extracts.

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