Top 5 Natural Antihistamines

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

A green plant. There are natural alternatives antihistamines that can provide relief without inducing drowsiness and headaches.Are you among the many seasonal allergy sufferers each year? Are you tired of the negative side effects many over-the-counter antihistamines provide? Fortunately, there are natural alternatives that can provide relief without inducing drowsiness, dizziness, or headaches — symptoms usually accompanied by most conventional approaches. Most natural antihistamines help to deter symptoms associated with an overactive immune system. They may also help quiet allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, sinus congestion, and difficulty breathing. Or, they may simply respond to a histamine reaction resulting from exposure to a specific allergen.

5 Natural Antihistamines

There are many natural herbs that display inhibitory properties to histamine. Here are the top 5 herbs which address some of the most common allergy symptoms:

1. Elderberry

Elderberry is a European folk remedy typically used for supporting health during bouts of the cold and flu. However, there is evidence that the active ingredients in elderberry also support the sinuses by discouraging swelling of the mucous membranes. [1] This benefit makes elderberry an excellent tool for supporting health while combating seasonal allergy symptoms. It naturally protects defenses by keeping bacteria in check, and it has also been used to deter sinusitis and nasal congestion. [2] It is usually found over the counter in health food stores as a liquid syrup.

2. Eyebright

Eyebright is a flowering herb that has been used to support eye health since the Middle Ages. There is very little scientific evidence to date to support the herb’s use as a natural antihistamine; yet, the existing data does provide promising insight into the herb’s powerful benefits. Eyebright contains high levels of antioxidants [3] which may be used to support eye health, and the plant itself has been said to combat dry eyes, allergies, sinusitis, conjunctivitis, and other eye infections. [4] It can be taken as an herbal tea or combined with water and used as an eyewash.

3. Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba is a Chinese herb that is often associated with mental alertness and memory support. [5] However, it is actually a versatile herb that can be used for a variety of conditions, including glaucoma, bronchitis, asthma, [6] seasonal allergies, [7] tinnitus, and poor blood circulation. Some references also describe ginkgo as a natural antihistamine. It is considered a tonic herb in Ayurveda, meaning it helps restore balance in the body.

4. Jewelweed

Jewelweed has been used for centuries by Native Americans as a natural approach to poison ivy. The allergic response generated by poison ivy is what is known as a histamine reaction. [8] The natural chemical constituents of jewelweed appear to act much like corticosteroids, compounds that inhibit or “block” this histamine reaction. This may also apply to other histamine reactions, such as those that occur with contact dermatitis and bee stings.

5. Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle may sound painful, but it’s actually considered a wonderful health-supporting herb. Nettle has natural histamine-blocking properties which are especially beneficial for seasonal allergies. [9] Historically, stinging nettle has been used for sore joints and gout as well as eczema and hay fever. Current research, however, has yet to support this ancient use.

Using these Remedies

Have you had success using any of these remedies? Are there other natural approaches you employ when allergy season comes? Share with us in the comments!

References (9)
  1. Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD. Elderberry. UMM. Fact Sheet. January 11, 2012.
  2. Uncini Manganelli RE, Zaccaro L, Tomei PE. Antiviral activity in vitro of Urtica dioica L., Parietaria diffusa M. et K. and Sambucus nigra L. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2005 April 26;98(3):323-7.
  3. Blazicus B, Alberti A, Kery A. Antioxidant activity of different phenolic fractions separated from Euphrasia rostkoviana Hayne. Acta Pharmaceutica Hungarica. 2009;79(1):11-6.
  4. Stoss M, Michels C, Peter E, Beutke R, Gorter RW. Prospective cohort trial of Euphrasia single-dose eye drops in conjunctivitis. Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine. 2000 December;6(6):499-508.
  5. S. Mahadevan and Y. Park. Multifaceted Therapeutic Benefits of Ginkgo biloba L.: Chemistry, Efficacy, Safety, and Uses. Journal of Food Science. Volume 73, Issue 1, pages R14-R19, January/February 2008. DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2007.00597.x.
  6. Tang Y, Xu Y, Xiong S, Ni W, Chen S, Gao B, Ye T, Cao Y, Du C. The effect of Ginkgo Biloba extract on the expression on the expression of PKCalpha in the inflammatory cells and the level of IL-5 in induced sputum of asthmatic patients. Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology - Medical Sciences. 2007 August;27(4):375-80.
  7. Russo V, Stella A, Appezzati L, Barone A, Stagni E, Roszkowska A, Delle Noci N. Clinical efficacy of a Ginkgo biloba extract in the topical treatment of allergic conjunctivitis. European Journal of Ophthalmology. 2009 May-June;19(3):331-6.
  8. Iwaoka E, Oku H, Iinuma M, Ishiguro K. Allergy-preventive effects of the flowers of Impatiens textori. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 2010;33(4):714-6.
  9. Roschek B Jr, Fink RC, McMichael M, Alberte RS. Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis. Phytotherapy Research. 2009 July;23(7):920-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2763.

†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.

  • orin

    I am very familiar with the above and let my boyfriend try it all but it doesn’t matter the allergies keep coming back what else aside of detox ( which we actually doing now ) will you recommend?

    thank you much.

  • Well, you may be unable to get rid of them. Lessening the intensity of the experience is where the remedies may help. Has he at least had any luck w/that? Any other readers have input on good solutions that weren’t covered here?

  • sherry

    bee pollen

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  • Robb

    IM 66 and have been drinking HAWTHORN-berry tea…Hawthorn berrys grow all over and i usually pick a few kg to dry and use over the winter, easy to make and great tasting with or without honey ..boil the berrys and or leaves for about 20 minutes .
    it been used in my family for 5 generations and has been in use world wide for thousands of years as a great heart helper.

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  • Jackie

    I am allergic to “somerging” that causes. Itching all over, a rash in various places, and redness. I am having allergy testing next week and have been instructed to discontinue all antihistamines for a week as they interfere with the efficacy of the results. So, I am absolutely miserable without Medication. Tried soothing baths to no avail. Had a really tough night, even some shortness of breath which I assume is related to the reaction. Woke up with red blotches. not sure I can make it until Thursday without some intervention. I am desperate for relief hence the reason for searching for natural remedies. Which of these do you think will give me the relief I need. Thanks for any advice you can give.

  • KGalgerud

    I actually had no idea about the benefits for elderberry for this but was given some juice by my nutritionist to have a defense against a flu bug that I was exposed to and I actually crave sips of it now and again which she confirmed having like 1 tsp a day now and again (what I was craving) was okay. I also have a nettle tea once a day and since starting this routine I haven’t had any allergy issues.. Also the Nettle helped clear my skin with my pregnancy and I believe it to have aided with my digestion as well. Although I do not like the nettle tea a whole lot i am so happy I started drinking it daily.

  • KGalgerud

    I have a friend who has had some luck with local law honey and her seasonal allergies.

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  • Jasmine

    Choosing the natural way of healing is always a good option to consider. Side effects are very minimal or sometimes doesn’t have at all. The natural health centers approach in treating various allergies, always starts with analysis of the problem before giving a treatment. In food allergy there is a Matrix detox and Allergy food diet that can be considered. Dr. Edward we hope we could reach out to you and tackle things with Dr. Sundardas about clientele and natural way of healing.

  • Jasmine

    There is alternative medicine that can be considered for those who have reactions when taking an over the counter antihistamine medicine. Histamine free diet may be a good option to consider. Also, there is a detoxification process like Chelation detox. Dr. Sundardas specializes with naturopathy wants to reach out to you Dr.Edward and share clientele. Please visit our website or email us

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  • TG

    Thank you so much for the recommending Fenugreek and Thyme. I just picked some up and it`s knocked out my hay fever symptoms better than antihistamines! Brilliant stuff, will be stocking up on this! -Just a note for others, I have read that it may not be too good if diabetic or pregnant, more info can be found around the web on this.

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