Supplements for Allergies

Which supplements are best for seasonal allergies?
Reviewed and edited by Tod Cooperman, M.D. Tod Cooperman, M.D.
Initial Posting: 5/15/2014    Last Update: 12/12/2019
Supplements for Seasonal Allergies -- Woman Outside Sneezing
Supplements shown to help with seasonal allergy symptoms include butterbur, bromelain, nettle, spirulina and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). You can learn about the evidence for these supplements, including clinical studies, dosage and more, in the Encyclopedia article about Allergies >>

Preliminary research suggests that some probiotics may also reduce allergy symptoms. When taken with a daily antihistamine, one particular strain of probiotic was found to improve ocular (but not nasal) allergy symptoms. See the Probiotics Review for more information >>

EpiCor, a branded ingredient produced from the fermentation of "whole food" by brewer's yeast, may reduce nasal congestion, but not other symptoms, when taken during allergy season.

Curcumin (from turmeric) may improve seasonal allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion, and decrease levels of certain inflammatory mediators.

Pycnogenol, a branded pine bark extract, may be helpful for birch allergies if taken far enough in advance of allergy season.

Laboratory research suggests stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) extract may bind to histamine receptors and inhibit certain inflammatory processes associated with seasonal allergy symptoms (Roschek, Phytother Res 2009). There appears to be just one study of its effects in people with allergies, which found that 58% of those who took stinging nettle (reported it to be effective in relieving their symptoms, compared to 37% of those who took a placebo. However, two of the twenty-one people who took stinging nettle dropped out of the study after their symptoms worsened. Participants took 600 mg of freeze-dried stinging nettle leaf at the onset of allergy symptoms and 300 mg as needed for one week (averaging about 3 doses per day) (Mittman, Planta Med 1990).

Preliminary studies suggest quercetin may help to inhibit the release of histamine and antigen-specific antibodies (IgE) involved in allergic responses to seasonal allergens, and may help to reduce certain symptoms in people with an allergy to cedar pollen, but more research is needed to confirm there is a benefit.

Interestingly, low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of allergies, including birch, oak and ragweed allergies, in children and adolescents, but not in adults. See the Vitamin D Supplements Review for more information >>

Be aware that while echinacea may be helpful for colds and respiratory infections in some people, it is not typically recommended for allergy symptoms. In fact, people who are allergic to ragweed, daisies, sunflowers, and other flowers may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to echinacea.

Learn About Supplements for Colds, Flu and Immune System Health:

Is it okay to take a zinc supplement while I am on an antibiotic for a respiratory infection? >>

Is it true that NAC can help clear nasal passages? >>

Do any supplements help prevent or treat a cold? >>

What is EpiCor? Does it really "boost" the immune system and prevent colds? >>

What is monolaurin? Can it really prevent colds, cold sores, or other infections? >>

Is Esberitox effective for treating a cold? >>

Does CBD help fight colds or the flu? >>

What are the health benefits of holy basil extract? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>

M.E.19201   March 17, 2020
At a visit to a local health food store 2 years ago I found Rootology which is an herbal supplement. The store owner said she couldn't keep it in stock. I have always taken drugs for my severe allergies (pollen) but the side effects have gotten worse with age which happens to many people. I now take Rootology and eye drops (Bausch +Lomb Alaway) if necessary . Rootology works very well for my nasal symptoms, not as well for my itchy eyes. If my allergies get more severe I take children's Zyrtec (5 ml). Regular adult Zyrtec knocks me out for hours at a time. So happy that I found an herbal supplement with NO SIDE EFFECTS. No extreme dryness or drowsiness. I thought Flonase was my miracle until I developed a hole in my nasal septum and my doctor said it was from the Flonase. Good luck to everyone with allergies!   March 17, 2020
We have not tested rootology, but it appears to provide moderate amounts of vitamins C and D and a larger amount of a proprietary blend of 13 herbal ingredients. We are not aware of any clinical study with this product.

Jennifer18199   August 13, 2019
Quercetin has helped me tremendously. I started taking it about a month before my appointment with an allergist to receive allergy shots after a friend told me how much she'd improved with them. I qualified a few years before for shots but didn't want to try them then since I hadn't yet met anyone they'd worked for. Anyway, I took quercetin that morning as usual, about 1.5 hours before the appointment, and the allergy skin prick test on my back showed nothing except for the positive histamine control -- literally, nothing reacted, which has never happened to me in my life during one of those tests. The only explanation was the quercetin which I'd added to my daily routine about a month earlier. Then, when I thought about it, I realized that my allergies had definitely improved over that month, but I hadn't been paying attention. This proved to me that quercetin works as a mast-cell stabilizer -- prevents histamine from being released from mast cells so no sample but their positive control where they injected histamine was positive for a reaction. However, I found after using for a long time that if I took too much quercetin in one day, it could be proinflammatory (hand arthritis) so I stick to no more than 1g/day. I also take in the morning as there were some reports it could be mildly stimulating.

Daniel17689   March 30, 2019
I have used HAS by Nature's Way for ragweed allergies in the fall with great success. I have also since increased my Vitamin D intake the last few years, now I rarely take HAS or anything for seasonal allergies.

Julieanne17685   March 28, 2019
Judith- I live in south Florida and have been taking quercetin year round twice a day for years. I was so happy to be off of Zyrtec and over the counter allergy meds. It absolutely works for me.

Ralph16707   April 11, 2018
MSM has worked for me and is well known to reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms. I was surprised not to see it listed. You need to take a teaspoon twice a day or more during allergy season. Also great for nails, hair, skin and joints. If the ingredient says OptiMSM it's made in the USA.   April 19, 2018
Hi Ralph - Thank you for sharing your experience with this. There does not appear to be good evidence for using MSM for allergies, although there is some evidence it may be helpful for osteoarthritis. More information can be found in the Encyclopedia article about MSM:

Ralph16743   April 19, 2018
A multicentered, open-label trial on the safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis.   April 20, 2018
Thank you for sharing this Ralph. We are aware of this study, but as it was not double-blinded and placebo-controlled, it does not prove efficacy.

Eric16472   February 19, 2018
I'm surprised no one has mentioned local honey. The theory is by taking a teaspoon regularly - straight or with tea, it builds up antibodies to the local allergens as the bees will use pollen from local flora. It has worked for me and many others I've discussed this with

Gail17820   May 5, 2019
Thanks Eric you are right. So many people do not realize it is important to use Local Honey that is raw and not pasteurized for allergies. It is wonderful in Nettle tea.

nancy13908   April 9, 2017
My family has used Country Life's Aller-Max. My husband used to have 3-4 sinus infections every year. In 1997 I discovered Aller-Max and gave it to him for 6 mos. He has YET to have a sinus infection! I myself have been having a runny nose all the time. Some kind of allergy. I understand Aller-Max has undergone changes - more quercitan, etc. So have started on a protocol of using every day for 3 weeks. I am in week two it has lessened so I am encouraged. It also has stinging nettle among other ingredients.

Candace13934   April 21, 2017
Where do you get allermax

nancy15240   July 3, 2017
Sorry, Candace, did not see your comment until now. You can buy Aller-Max at any natural health store or I buy mine thru

Cynthia13904   April 9, 2017
I believe there was a recent study mentioning that probiotics helped seasonal allergies   April 9, 2017
Hi Cynthia - You're correct; the study is discussed in the "Allergy" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review (, and also linked to in the paragraph about probiotics in the above answer.

Karen8658   April 27, 2016
My family and I use D Hist by Orthomolecular. Very good!

Anita8549   March 24, 2016
Try Stinging Nettle (freeze dried). Hopefully Consumer Labs will do a purity test for Stinging Nettle, I don't see one as yet.

Stinging Nettle is a natural anti-histamine & anti-inflammatory (one study showed 57% of patients found stinging nettle relieved allergies & 47% found it as effective as prescription anti-histamine medication) [from University of Maryland Medical Center review of Stinging Nettle research]

My husband and a closed friend both have terrible seasonal allergies and they used to take Claritin or other prescription antihistimines daily (my husband can't take Claritin too many sideaffects, needs to take prescription Clarinex ) Also my husband cannot take pseudophedrine to help with the symptoms since it aggravates his BPH and causes a flareup (prostate tissue similar to sinus tissue, not good when it dries out)
Even on antihistamine medication they both still had allergy symptoms and just didn't feel well on the drugs... They have both started taking freeze dried Stinging Nettle daily and NO LONGER need to take antihistamine medication and barely have any allergy symptoms, no sideaffects & the side benefit is that it is also helping their BPH.

Karen8659   April 27, 2016
Do you know what the are allergic to ?. Re, pollen ? Dust mites ? Karen

Elaine13905   April 9, 2017
Stinging nettle works for me.

Dan680   April 22, 2015
I've been using stinging nettle and that seems to work well   April 22, 2015
Hi Dan - You may be interested in the Encyclopedia article about nettle ( which describes evidence for its use for allergies, as well as other uses.

George M672   April 19, 2015
For the past 6 or 8 years, I have been using quercitin -- specifically, a product put out by Source Naturals called 'Acivated Quercitin" which has been enormously helpful to me. I have really bad seasonal allerigies, with tree and grass pollen being the worst. The only inconvenience is that, duirng allergy season, I need to take 2 capsules 3 time a day -- but this minor inconvenience is well worth the effort to control my symptoms.

Dan13909   April 9, 2017
I have also been using quercitin for a number of years to help with seasonal allergies. Once I started taking it, I completely eliminated the need for over the counter medicines. By experimenting on myself, I've found that I adjust the amount taken based on the severity of the allergy, and I may need to take it several times per day during the worst part of allergy season. So, I don't care if there's much supporting evidence. It works for me.

Dan15235   July 2, 2017
I would like to also add the following.

I think it's best to start taking Quercitin maybe a week or two before allergies start. This is not a drug, so don't expect instant results if you only start taking it when you start having allergy attacks. So, you might need to build it up in your system before the allergies start. This is not a scientific statement. It's only anecdotal evidence based on what seems to work for me.

Candace13911   April 10, 2017
Quercetin has helped me as well.
I still take Zyrtec but no longer need the Sudafed thx to Quercetin
As I get braver I shall reduce the Zyrtec by 1/2 and hopefully to ZERO!!

Lisa109   August 20, 2014
Why don't you ever mention Serrapeptase, which has wiped my allergy symptoms off the map? It is good for so many ailments that my doctor even has it in his office. It literally eats up all inflammation in your body, so any inflammation causing condition is healed considerably. It doesnt' cure allergies, but it reduces the symptoms about 95%. It cured my arthritis and now I am taking a stronger dose to clean my arteries.

Tod110   August 20, 2014
You can find information about serrapeptase in the CL Answer at

Harold162   September 17, 2014
Serrapeptase has done nothing for my allergies either food nor seasonal.

JOAN17893   June 2, 2019
Thanks for providing balance to this discussion.

Harold8656   April 27, 2016
Serrapeptase had no positive effect on me whatsoever.

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This CL Answer initially posted on 5/15/2014. Last updated 12/12/2019. members may submit questions to We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.



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