Quercetin is an antioxidant flavonoid found in many different fruits and vegetables. Quercetin is a strong antioxidant, with anti-allergy, anti-viral, and gastroprotective activity. Quercetin is especially effective for allergy symptom overload because it stabilizes mast cell membranes and prevents the release of histamine and other inflammatory agents. Due to its antioxidant effect, quercetin can inhibit inflammatory processes.
If you have allergies, you are among a group estimated at nearly 50 million Americans. Allergic rhinitis is the most common allergy form, which is further subdivided into two types: seasonal and perennial.
Seasonal allergies or "hay fever" recurs annually during certain months and is triggered by weed, grass, and tree pollen, but not actually hay. Perennial allergies persist year-round and are usually associated with both indoor and outdoor allergens, as well as hidden food allergies.
When an allergen enters the body of a sensitized, susceptible person, substances called antibodies are produced to fight off the invaders. The interaction of the allergen and the antibody irritates the affected tissue. Swelling of the nasal lining during hay fever season is one example. Nasal allergies can be easily confused with a cold, flu, or recurring sinus infections since these ailments have certain common symptoms. The successful treatment of allergies is dependent on the accurate and specific identification of all allergens responsible for the allergic reaction.
A Japanese study of 20 people with pollen allergies found that quercetin supplements reduced eye irritation and itching. The subjects were given 200 milligrams of a proprietary form of quercetin for eight weeks. An animal study found that quercetin significantly reduced asthmatic reactions. Still, other research has found that quercetin reduces the reactivity of mast cells, which release histamine during allergic reactions.
Quercetin works in strengthening the cell membrane of the mast cells, however, takes time. One may need to take it for 3 to 6 weeks to notice an antihistamine effect, and it's more effective if taken preventively before the allergy season begins and continued throughout. To ease pollen allergies, start with 250 milligrams of quercetin daily. If it doesn’t alleviate symptoms, slowly increase the daily amount to 1,000 milligrams.
The richest food sources of quercetin are:
Capers, lovage (also known as sea parsley), green tea and red wine, buckwheat, and apples. It’s also concentrated in honey and the outermost rings of red onions.
Other vegetables that have high amounts of quercetin include:
Kale, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Raw Asparagus, Capers
Quercetin is also in herbs such as:
American Elder, St. John's Wort, Ginkgo Biloba