Antihistamine medications are used to relieve or alleviate the red swelling skin, itching, stinging and burning sensation associated with hives rash. It works by counter reacting to the effects of histamine. Moreover, all the antihistamine drugs, both over-the-counter and the prescription antihistamine drugs can cause side effects like drowsiness, blurry vision, stomach upset, headache and dry mouth. Even though antihistamine is effective in alleviating the symptoms of hives rash, they are not permanent cure. However, there is hope of a more holistic approach to treating hives rash and reduce or possibly eliminate future outbreaks, naturally.
Hives Treatment Begins With A Good Immune System
A weak immune system is vulnerable to hives attack. Fortunately, mother nature has provided the cure and its supply of natural antihistamines are in the abundance that we not only can use to treat the hives rash symptoms, it also strengthen our immune system. Thus, preventing possible future hives attack.
Let us explore the few important nutrients that are available in some fruits and herbs that can equal the properties of antihistamine for hives treatment.
These nutrients that are known to possess antihistamine properties are Vitamin C, Quercetin, Bromelain and Pycnogenol.
Nutrients Known To Be Natural Antihistamines
Vitamin C is a popular antioxidant and one of the vitamins that are essential in the body to help neutralize potentially damaging free radicals. It also protects our body against damage caused by harmful chemicals and pollutants such as passive cigarette smoking. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine that is capable of blocking the effect of histamine produced by the body in response to numerous allergies.
Lack of Vitamin C will subject our bodies to some undesirable symptoms and diseases like dry hair, gingivitis or gum inflammation, anaemia, rough and scaly skin, taking a longer time for wounds to heal, easily bruised, nosebleeds, painful and swollen joints..etc. Our bodies are unable to produce Vitamin C, so we can only obtain it from the food we eat and it has to be replenished to a sufficient level daily. The daily dose of Vitamin C will help in boosting the immune system and alleviating the symptoms of allergies. It is also said to help increase immunity to certain allergens, and better control of allergic conditions. It is perhaps the best alternative to antihistamines that nature can provide.
Some of the rich sources of Vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables like strawberries, kiwi fruits, broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, guava, Brussels sprouts and all citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lime, lemons etc.
Another vitamin that can help to control allergic reactions is Vitamin A, which is also an antioxidant. Our body can produce Vitamin A from the food we ate that are rich in Carotenoids, such as carrots, pumpkin, ,sweet potatoes, squash, apricots, and dark leafy greens. Carotenoids are plant pigments that give yellow and orange vegetables their colour. The most well-known Carotenoids is beta-carotene, and is used to treat sun hives or sun urticaria in combination with other drugs and treatment, and also as a protection against sun burn. Studies have shown that high doses of beta-carotene may reduce the skin sensitivity to the sun. In rare cases such as erythropoietic protoporphyria, which is a rare genetic condition, in which a common symptom is very painful photosensitivity, and with a burning sensation and unbearable itching on the skin surface, is often treated with beta-carotene to reduce sun sensitivity.
Bioflavonoids As Natural Antihistamines
Besides Vitamin C & A, the flavonoid Quenrcetin is also an antioxidant which is commonly found in grapes, strawberries, red onions, apple skins, red wine…etc. It is believe to be an effective natural alternative to synthetic antihistamines. Unlike antihistamine drugs which block histamine from binding to the H1 receptors, Quercetin has proven to be able to inhibit the release of histamine that cause allergic and inflammatory response of hives rash, without causing drowsiness which is a major side effect of synthetic antihistamine.
Other medicinal benefits of Quenrcetin are in the treatment and prevention of other allergies like severe conditions of asthma, hay fever and eczema. It is also used for gout, pancreatitis and prostatitis treatment.
Similar to Quenrcetin, Pycnogenol is also an antioxidant and a natural antihistamine belonging to the bioflavonoid group. Extracted from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, which can be found in abundance over the coastal region of south-west France, Pycnogenol has natural antihistamine properties that are quite similar to Quenrcetin. It can also prevent the mast cells from releasing histamine when exposed to allegens. Pycnogenol will not cause drowsiness and studies have shown that this natural antihistamine can inhibit up to 70% of histamine releases from the mast cells.
Pycnogenol has powerful antioxidant properties that can protect individuals against arthritis, diabetes induced complications, heart disease, cholesterol control, asthma, varicose veins…etc. Other benefits the flavonoid can provide include memory improvement, joint flexibility and stress and inflammation reduction.
Apart from these vitamins and nutrients, Bromelain, which is a natural enzyme found in the stem and juices of the pineapple fruit, is also an effective natural antihistamine with anti-inflammatory properties. It can enhance the adsorbtion of Quenrcetin, which then allows Quenrcetin to take its effect faster in combating the symptoms of hives rash or other illnesses. Bromelain can help reduce swelling (inflammation), after surgery or injury and particularly of the nose and sinuses. It is also commonly used for hay fever and treatment of bowel condition that includes ulcers and swelling, removing of dead and damaged tissue caused by burn, stop water retention in the lung, relaxing of muscles, enhancing the absorption of antibiotics, reduce labor pain and reducing of body fat.
Minerals As Natural Antihistamines
Other natural antihistamines that are known for treating allergies, and are not classified under nutrients and flavonoids, are also found in minerals; such as magnesium citrate, selenium and calcium citrate. Another natural antihistamine is L- histadine, which is an amino acid, is known for its ability to inhibit excess releases of histamine.
Natural Antihistamine Herbs
Since ancient Egypt and China, herbs have been predominantly used to cure diseases and ailments, and some of the herbal treatment methods are still been widely used today. To a certain extend of using herbs on a long term treatment and prevention of hives rash and other allergies are concerned, it is advisable not to over indulge and result in excessive use. We suggest seeking an herbalist or a health care specialist for professional advice before choosing to go down this path for your long term allergy or hives treatment or prevention. Some of the herbs can cause long-term adverse effects if taken inappropriately along with other medications. So be sure to get the proper advice, and be safe.
There are several herbs that can be consider as natural antihistamine based on its unique properties that can prevent or lower the release of histamine, to curb the allergic symptoms of hives rash. One such herb is the popular Green Tea, which contain quercitin and catechins, that are known to possess antihistamine properties. Other herbs with similar properties include stinging nettle, chamomile, licorice root, and butterbur. Other common home remedies such as ginger, thyme, aloe vera, basil, spirulina, ginkgo biloba, fennel, garlic, echinacea can also be used as natural antihistamine for allergy treatment.
These natural antihistamines not only help to alleviate the harshness of allergy symptoms, but can also control the frequency of possible future outbreaks. With professional guidance and advice, having such natural antihistamine rich food in our daily diet can certainly be a good defence against hives rash outbreaks or allergic reaction in the future. They can certainly boost the immunity system to withstand any environmental and food allergies and provide the much needed relief to the allergic symptoms.