Allergy sufferers rejoice! Those over-the-counter antihistamines that cause an array of undesirable side effects aren’t the only option available for symptom relief. Quercetin, a powerful antioxidant derived from plants, is a natural and effective alternative to conventional allergy medication.
What is Quercetin?
Found in a variety of foods such as apples, onions, grapefruit, and black tea, Quercetin is a bioflavanoid renowned for its anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic properties. It works in the body by reducing the amount of histamine produced and released in response to allergens (histamine being the pesky compound responsible for symptoms such as puffy eyes, a runny nose, and itchy, irritated skin). While a balanced, whole-food diet can provide a fair amount of quercetin, concentrated doses in capsule form are your best defense when it comes to combating allergies.
Quercetin & Bromelain
Quercetin is often available in formulations containing Bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme derived from pineapple stems. Aside from possessing significant anti-inflammatory properties, Bromelain is also a mucolytic, meaning it aids in the breakdown of mucous (something we all tend to have in excess when allergy season strikes!) The combination of Quercetin and Bromelain is truly a perfect pairing, effective at easing congestion and relieving the runniest of noses.
Quercetin is most effective when used proactively in the weeks preceding allergy season; however, it can also be taken in acute cases where exposure to allergens like animal dander, dust mites, and food sensitivities arise, in order to reduce symptom severity. Generally, Quercetin is taken daily in three divided doses, but it’s important to consult your ND or healthcare provider prior to introducing a new supplement or nutraceutical into your wellness routine.
Tannis Grauer, CNP is a Holistic Nutritionist and Meal Planner at Evoke Integrative Medicine Ltd. She arms urban professionals with customized, efficient, pragmatic real-world meal options to maximize nutrition, letting you focus on the rest of your life. 5-day meal plans include recipes and grocery lists, and are individualized based on your needs and personal preferences. Learn more about urban meal planning here.