The 6 Best Natural Antihistamines for Allergies in 2024

An image of mother and daughter with seasonal allergies blowing their noses.

When it comes to allergy symptom relief, did you know that natural antihistamines can be as effective as their pharmaceutical counterparts without all those bothersome side effects?

If you’ve never heard of natural antihistamines, you’re in for a treat. In this SANE MD Natural Remedies blog post, we will discuss how OTC and prescription antihistamines work and then delve into science-backed natural alternatives.




Exploring Natural Antihistamines for Allergy Relief in Palm Springs

Allergies are a prevalent issue in Palm Springs, a city with a population of approximately 48,000, where the arid climate and seasonal winds can stir up a variety of allergens. While over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription antihistamines are common go-to treatments, they often come with unwanted side effects. In this SANE MD Natural Remedies blog post, we’ll explore how these traditional antihistamines work and introduce effective natural alternatives that can offer relief without the adverse effects.

Summary Points

1. Understanding Allergy Symptoms

Seasonal allergies, or allergic rhinitis, manifest through symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and nasal congestion. These symptoms are particularly common in Palm Springs due to its environmental triggers.

2. Conventional vs. Natural Antihistamines

While OTC and prescription antihistamines are readily available and effective at alleviating allergy symptoms, they can also cause side effects such as drowsiness and dry mouth. Natural antihistamines, however, offer a promising alternative without these bothersome issues.

3. Effective Natural Antihistamines

Several natural substances are backed by science for their antihistamine properties and can help reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis:
– Vitamin C: Beyond its immune-boosting effects, Vitamin C can also help moderate histamine levels.
– Quercetin: This natural flavonoid is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, reducing allergic reactions.
– Stinging Nettle: Often used in herbal medicine, it may reduce hay fever symptoms.
– Bromelain: Found in pineapple, it can help reduce nasal swelling and improve breathing.
Spirulina: A type of blue-green algae that may reduce symptoms like nasal discharge, sneezing, and congestion.
– Butterbur: Studies suggest that Butterbur can be as effective as some OTC antihistamines in reducing nasal symptoms.

Practical Tips for Residents of Palm Springs

– Integrate Natural Supplements: Incorporating supplements like Quercetin and Vitamin C into your daily routine can help manage allergy symptoms naturally.
– Hydration and Humidity: Keeping hydrated and using a humidifier at home can lessen the severity of allergy symptoms by keeping your nasal passages clear.
– Dietary Adjustments: Including foods rich in natural antihistamines, like pineapples and oranges, can support your body’s ability to fight allergens.
– Consult with Healthcare Providers: Before starting any new supplement, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider, especially to avoid interactions with other medications.

Next Things to Do:

For residents of Palm Springs suffering from seasonal allergies, natural antihistamines provide a viable alternative to traditional medications, potentially reducing symptoms without adverse side effects. By understanding both the environmental triggers and the range of treatment options available, individuals can make informed decisions about managing their allergy symptoms more effectively.

This blog post not only addresses the specific allergy challenges faced by the population of Palm Springs but also provides insight into natural remedies that can be tailored to individual needs, promoting a holistic approach to health and well-being.

Key Takeaways

  • Seasonal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, cause various symptoms, including runny nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion.
  • OTC and prescription antihistamine medications are widely available for seasonal allergies but have side effects. On the other hand, natural antihistamines can reduce allergy symptoms without distressing side effects.
  • Several natural antihistamines have been proven to help reduce allergic rhinitis symptoms, including vitamin C, Quercetin, Stinging Nettle, Bromelain, Spirulina, throat cleaner, and Butterbur.

What are Antihistamines?

In simple terms, antihistamines are a drug typically used to treat allergy symptoms such as sneezing. But this definition, of course, doesn’t explain how antihistamine medications work. Before going into their mechanisms of action, we must explore what triggers allergic reactions.

Allergies are immune responses to typically harmless substances like pollen, dust, or animal dander. Upon exposure to an allergen, the immune system signals most cells in different body parts to release histamine. Histamines promote blood flow to the affected area, leading to inflammation that guards the surrounding cells from the allergen. Additionally, histamines prompt specific receptors to eliminate allergens from the body, causing symptoms like a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamines in the body, reducing histamine production. They are commonly used to alleviate allergy symptoms like congestion, cough, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes that occur with allergic rhinitis, also known as seasonal allergies. Antihistamines can also seem like a lifesaver if you have perennial rhinitis, where allergy symptoms are present year-round.

An image of a sick young woman with allergies holding packets of antihistamines.

Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis

Antihistamines are often used to treat seasonal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, with symptoms that can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Sore, scratchy throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Postnasal drip
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

How do Natural Antihistamines Work?

Natural antihistamines function similarly to antihistamine medications by blocking histamine activity, and some additionally reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, factors known to contribute to allergic reactions.

Many foods contain natural antihistamines, and you can also take them in supplement form.

Top Rated Natural Antihistamines

Below are six substances or compounds that are natural antihistamines that have been shown to relieve allergy symptoms and boost the immune system.

An image of an orange and a glass of orange juice as an example of natural antihistamines.

1. Vitamin C

You might be aware that vitamin C is beneficial in reducing the length and intensity of colds. However, it also possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies indicate that inflammation and oxidative stress, caused by an imbalance of free radicals, are significant factors in allergies.

According to research, administering high doses of intravenous vitamin C effectively alleviated allergy symptoms. Additionally, evidence suggests that a deficiency in vitamin C could lead to allergy development (1).

You can get Vitamin C in a wide variety of foods, including:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits and their juices
  • Broccoli
  • Raw green or red peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapefruits
  • Kale
  • Kiwi

You can also purchase vitamin C supplements, typically ascorbic acid, at stores and online outlets.

Because vitamin C is water soluble and not stored in the body but instead excreted through urine, severe side effects are rare, even at significantly high doses (2).

Mild side effects may include (2):

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach

It’s important to note that excessive amounts of vitamin C can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals (2). Therefore, it’s best to refrain from taking mega doses of this vitamin.

An image of a pitcher filled with blueberries on a table outdoors on a summery day.

2. Quercetin

Quercetin is a flavonoid that occurs naturally and possesses anti-allergy and antihistamine properties. Studies have revealed that Quercetin helps to maintain a balanced immune system, reduces the release of histamine, and reduces inflammation in the body. Quercetin is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.

Quercetin is widely available in a variety of herbs and foods, including:

  • Asparagus
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Dill
  • Chili peppers
  • Cranberry
  • Oregano
  • Blueberry
  • Fennel leaves
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Green tea
  • Cherries

Many people find that taking quercetin supplements is more effective than consuming quercetin-rich foods in relieving allergies. For maximum effectiveness, quercetin should be taken for six to eight weeks.

An image of Stinging Nettle leaves.

3. Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle, or Urtica dioica, has been used in herbal medicine for centuries. The ancient Egyptians used it to alleviate arthritis and lower back pain, while Roman soldiers applied it to stay warm (3).

Even today, stinging nettle is a popular herb in natural medicine and has been found to have natural antihistamine properties. In a study conducted in 2000, 58% of participants experienced relief from their symptoms after using freeze-dried nettles, with 69 participants rating it better than a placebo (3).

Additionally, stinging nettle has shown promise as a natural remedy for hay fever, an allergic response that causes inflammation in the nose lining. Research has shown that extracts from the plant can inhibit inflammation that triggers seasonal allergies. This is due to its ability to block histamine receptors and prevent immune cells from releasing chemicals that cause allergy symptoms (3).

You can incorporate stinging nettle into your diet through various methods, such as cooking and consuming the plant’s young leaves or adding stinging nettle leaves to curries, pastries, breads, and soups.

Stinging nettle leaves can also be found online and at health food stores in tea or supplement form (capsules, tinctures, etc.) The study participants in question used 300 milligrams (mg) each day.

An image of a whole pineapple beside one cut in half on a white background.

4. Bromelain

Did you know that bromelain, an enzyme found only in pineapples, has anti-inflammatory properties? It’s true!

In addition to fighting inflammation, bromelain is effective in reducing allergy-related respiratory irritation (4). This is because it breaks down proteins that cause inflammation and swelling, which helps to alleviate allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion and sinus pressure.

Although bromelain is available in supplement form, consuming fresh pineapple may also provide benefits. However, it’s important to note that fresh pineapples contain a high amount of naturally occurring histamines. Therefore, if you have issues with histamine, such as histamine intolerance, it’s best to avoid eating fresh pineapple.

5. Spirulina

Spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, is highly regarded as a superfood due to its rich nutritional content. Recently, it has gained attention for its natural antihistamine properties. Spirulina contains compounds such as phycocyanin and carotenoids, which possess anti-inflammatory properties and may help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Its effectiveness lies in hindering the release of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals that cause symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, and itching. Spirulina can be consumed in either supplement form or added to smoothies and other foods.

An image of spirulina powder in a wooden spoon and on the table.

6. Butterbur

Butterbur, a marsh plant from the daisy family, can be found in various regions across Europe, Asia, and North America.

Studies (5) have indicated that it may reduce the frequency and severity of migraines and treat nasal allergies. Furthermore, research has shown that taking butterbur supplements may improve allergy symptoms in individuals (6).

Butterbur seems to be well-tolerated by most people, but some individuals may experience side effects, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Problems breathing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Drowsiness

Butterbur can be consumed either in the form of oil extract or pills.

Alternative Treatments to Natural Antihistamines

Alternative remedies and practices may work if natural antihistamines do not reduce your allergy symptoms.

Alternative methods to treat and prevent allergy symptoms include:

Allergen Avoidance

Allergy avoidance is typically the first step in reducing allergic reactions, whether or not you use natural or pharmaceutical antihistamines.

Common allergens include:

  • Grass pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Cat saliva
  • Animal dander
  • Mold


Immunotherapy may be a good option if you have severe allergies and your medication doesn’t help relieve symptoms.

During this treatment, a healthcare provider will give you a series of injections that contain small amounts of the allergen. The goal of this treatment, which can last several years, is to desensitize your body to the allergen.

Doctors may suggest sublingual immunotherapy for those with pollen allergies, which involves dissolving a tablet under the tongue.

Nasal Irrigation

Nasal irrigation involves flushing out mucus, allergens, and debris from your nasal passages and sinus cavity to help you breathe more freely.

Many people use a neti pot to perform this procedure.

However, saline nasal spray or nebulizers can also serve as nasal irrigation systems, as they help to moisten mucous membranes.

Epinephrine Use

Individuals with severe allergies should carry an emergency epinephrine shot, such as Auvi-Q or EpiPen, at all times. Administering this treatment at the onset of an allergic reaction can reduce symptoms and potentially save a life.

Other Alternative Treatments to Natural Antihistamines

Other alternative treatments for allergies include the following:

  • Use an air purifier to remove allergens from the air.
  • Replace your HVAC filter regularly.
  • Vacuum the carpet regularly.
  • Use essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and chamomile.
  • Exercise regularly.


Dealing with allergies can be difficult, especially when symptoms are severe. It is recommended to seek medical assistance and guidance to manage allergy symptoms.

Some natural substances may possess antihistamine properties, which can help break down the chemicals that cause allergy symptoms. However, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of these natural remedies.

To achieve relief, limiting or avoiding exposure to allergens is advisable. You can also practice good self-care techniques and consider using natural antihistamines.

It is crucial to consult with a doctor before starting any new supplement or herbal remedy, as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements, and natural remedies can interfere with certain medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most powerful natural antihistamines?

There are many powerful natural antihistamines, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Quercetin
  • Stinging Nettle
  • Bromelain
  • Spirulina
  • Butterbur

What is a good herbal choice among natural antihistamines?

Stinging Nettle is a natural antihistamine with a centuries-old history of relieving allergies and reducing inflammation. This plant works by inhibiting immune signaling that triggers most cells to release histamine, which is responsible for causing allergic reactions. By doing so, stinging nettle can help alleviate various respiratory allergic symptoms and reduce allergic reactions.

What are natural antihistamines similar to Benadryl?

Several natural substances or compounds can have similar effects to Benadryl, including vitamin C, Stinging Nettle, bromelain, quercetin, spirulina, and butterbur. In addition, nasal irrigation, regular exercise, using an air purifier, regularly changing the filter in your heating and air conditioning system, and essential oil usage can help you manage your symptoms.




1- Vollbracht C, Raithel M, Krick B, Kraft K, Hagel AF. Intravenous vitamin C in treating allergies: an interim subgroup analysis of a long-term observational study. J Int Med Res. 2018;46(9):3640-3655. doi:10.1177/0300060518777044






SANE MD Chief Medical Director at SANESolution

Dr. Matthew Olesiak, MD, is the Chief Medical Director at SANESolution, a renowned wellness technology company dedicated to providing evidence-based solutions for optimal living. Dr. Olesiak earned his medical degree from the prestigious Jagiellonian University Medical College in Kraków, Poland, where he developed a strong foundation in medicine.