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Natural Remedies for Allergies: Bromelain, Butterbur, Grape Seed and More!

August 24th, 2009

Finding allergy relief from a natural supplement can help you avoid some of the negative side effects that typical store bought medicines will have.  Quercetin, Butterbur, Bromelain, Echinacea and Grape Seed are good alternatives but you have to test them out to make sure they are the right supplement for you. 

Quercetin is a phytochemical found in wine, some fruits and vegetables and may help block the histamines that can trigger your allergies.  It has been studied for the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is naturally found in capers, apples, red onions, citrus fruits, red grapes, broccoli, cranberry and many other fruits and vegetables.  You can take a dietary supplement in which Quercetin has been isolated and put into a tablet or capsule form if you are not receiving sufficient amounts of Quercetin in what you eat and drink. 

Butterbur is a well-tolerated herbal medicine that helps block chemicals that cause swelling in the nasal passages.  It is a good alternative to some of the antihistimines that cause drowsiness because it is doesn’t have a sedative effect.  You want one that is UPA (unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloid) free because they may have unsafe compounds that should be avoided.  It is also used to treat migraines and asthma.

Bromelain has been known to be useful in decreasing the swelling of the nasal passages, so it can help with clear breathing.  Bromelain is a mix of protein-digestive enzymes that are found in pineapple.  It has been used to treat indigestion, reduce swelling and reduce inflammation.  It has been studied for its usefulness in decreasing mucos caused by sinusitus which can help reduce coughing and symptoms of hay fever.  You generally can’t eat enough pineapple to get enough Bromelain to notice any relief from the symptoms mentioned above, so add a supplement to reach optimal levels of this enzyme. 

Echinacea is something recommended right when you start feeling symptoms of allergies come on.  It stimulates the body’s natural response to allergies, so it supports the immune system at the early stages of discomfort.  You can find echinacea in powder, liquid, capsule/tablet form, or even wafers that dissolve under your tongue.  Echinacea is a flowering plant, and all species have chemical compounds called phenols, which are used as markers to figure out the quality level of echinacea.

Grape Seed extract is a vegetable oil made from crushing and pressing grapes.  It is known for the antioxidant properties, which may help reduce the symptoms of allergies.  High amounts of resveratrol can be extracted from the grape seed, and are mostly present in liquid forms like wine and grape juice.  You can find many supplements on the market, which contain both red wine extract, resveratrol, and grape seed extract. 

The best thing to do is try these natural remedies out to see how your allergies are lessened.  In time you will find one you like – one that won’t make you drowsy and listless all day.  It is worth experimenting with so you don’t have to deal with the negative side effects you are usually expect from the antihistimines you normally reach for.

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