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Question:
Which supplements are best for seasonal allergies?

Answer:
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 evidence suggests quercetin may help to inhibit the release of histamine, however, there do not appear to be any studies demonstrating its effects on allergy in people.

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.


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Leon15272   July 6, 2017
I would be cautious with quercetin.
It might both protect against cancerous cells and stimulate them, depending on the specific circumstances and dose.

nancy13908   April 9, 2017
Namby
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 Vitacost.com.

Cynthia13904   April 9, 2017
I believe there was a recent study mentioning that probiotics helped seasonal allergies

ConsumerLab.com   April 9, 2017
Hi Cynthia - You're correct; the study is discussed in the "Allergy" section of the Probiotic Supplements Review (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/_/probiotics/#allergy), 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

ConsumerLab.com   April 22, 2015
Hi Dan - You may be interested in the Encyclopedia article about nettle (http://www.consumerlab.com/tnp.asp?chunkiid=21815) 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 https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/What+is+serrapeptase+and+does+it+work%3F/serrapeptase/

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

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

This CL Answer initially posted on 5/15/2014. Last updated 8/8/2017.

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