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Allergy A-Z

Sunday March 24, 2019

Did you know an astounding 44% of adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy? (1) Sensitivity to grass and pollen(hayfever) to dust and pets, allergen exposure triggers the immune system to release histamines and antibodies in the body, therefore causing the onset of allergic symptoms.



Don’t let itchy eyes, runny noses and sinuses take over this allergy season. Overcome your allergies with natural remedies that may help provide effective relief against irritating symptoms.  


Black Seed Oil:

Utilized for thousands of years for its myriad of therapeutic benefits, black seed oil is believed to ‘treat everything but death’. Bursting with anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory active ingredients, such as thymoquinone, black seed oil supplementation may reduce the severity and duration of hay fever symptoms. In a promising trial conducted on hay fever sufferers, supplementation with 0.5ml of black seed for 30 days resulted in a marked reduction of nasal congestion, itching and sneezing (2)

Vitamin C:

Fundamental to a variety of functions in the body, vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that has been shown to act as a natural anti-histamine. Therefore, vitamin C supplementation may promote allergy relief and reduction of symptoms. Vitamin C may also suppress inflammation caused by allergic reactions, by increasing the function of immune cells. In a study conducted in South Korea, high vitamin C intake was associated with a reduced risk of hay fever symptoms in schoolchildren (3).    

Vitamin D:

As vitamin D deficiency is prevalent, Public Health England recommends all adults and children to take a supplemental dose of 400IU per day. The sunshine vitamin is critical in our immune system, due to its important role in modulating the immune response and reducing inflammation. Due to this effect, vitamin D is thought to reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Scientific evidence suggests a correlation between vitamin D status and incidence of allergies and hay fever (4)

Nettle Leaf:

Accidentally brushing your leg against a stinging nettle is a painful and unfortunate encounter. However, oral administration of the nettle leaf may pose major health benefits, according to scientific research(4).  It is suggested that nettle leaf contains therapeutic active compounds that may relieve inflammation and allergies when taken orally. In a trial conducted on 98 individuals suffering from hay fever, nettle supplementation supported the relief of allergic symptoms and nasal congestion (5).


A naturally-occurring bioflavonoid found in cruciferous vegetables and onions, quercetin is commonly used as a remedy to relieve seasonal allergies. It is suggested that quercetin may stabilize the release of histamines in order to naturally reduce allergic symptoms. This extensively studied flavonoid is also an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agent, which may contribute to the treatment of an array of health issues.

Author: Salma Dawood is a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Human Nutrition.

1)      Allergy UK, Statistics, Available from:

2)      Nikakhlagh, Soheila Fakher Rahim, Faezeh Hossein Nejad Aryani Amir Syahpoush, Mehri Ghafouryan Brougerdnya, Nader Saki. 2011. Herbal treatment of allergic rhinitis: the use of Nigella sativa. American Journal of Otolaryngology , Volume 32 , Issue 5 , 402 – 407.  

3)      Seo, J.-H., Kwon, S.-O., Lee, S.-Y., Kim, H. et. al (2013). Association of Antioxidants With Allergic Rhinitis in Children From Seoul. Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research, 5(2), 81–87.

4)      Bener A, Ehlayel MS, Bener HZ, Hamid Q. The impact of Vitamin D deficiency on asthma, allergic rhinitis and wheezing in children: An emerging public health problem. J Family Community Med. 2014 Sep;21(3):154-61. doi: 10.4103/2230-8229.142967.

5)      Paul Mittman,1990 Randomized, Double-Blind Study of Freeze-Dried Urtica dioica in the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis Planta Med 1990; 56(1): 44-47 DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-960881


The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.

Related articles:

Allergies - a 21st Century Phenomenon
Black Seed Oil: The Ultimate Hayfever Hack?
Delving into Nature to Tackle Allergies


TAGS: Nutrition News and ViewsAllergy, Allergies


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