Butterbur for Allergies, Stinging Nettles for Allergies – Helpful Herbs

Butterbur for allergies? Stinging nettles for allergies? Funny names, but these are two leading traditional herbs for treating allergies, These two herbs are among the most effective natural remedies for seasonal allergies affecting the nose.

Here are some points for you to consider when making your decision on what to take for natural allergy relief:

1. Butterbur for Allergies

ButterburExtractThis herb has a botanical name called petasites hybridus. This is a large-leafed plant that looks like a shrub originating from Europe. The extracts from leaves, stem and roots of the plant are used to treat stomach ulcers, migraines, coughs and other infections. They also have been used to treat asthma and allergies. If you have both migraines and allergies, this may be the herb for you.

Back in the 14th century, the plant was used to reduce fever and counteract plague.

How does the product work? It contains anti-inflammatory ingredients that reduce some of the mediators of allergies (leukotrienes and histamine). Petasines are the active compounds in butterbur which lessen the production of leukotrienes (chemicals in the immune system that enhance the inflammation seen in allergic rhitinis or hay fever).

However, it is important to know that ordinary butterbur contains substances which may be toxic to the liver. As a result, some products are processed in a way that will remove the toxic alkaloids from raw butterbur. For safety reasons, always check any supplement to make sure it was manufactured in a way that makes a butterbur extract into something safe for use.

Does butterbur have any common side effects?

A review of adverse effects of herbal medicines found that butterbur was actually mostly associated with minor rather than severe adverse effects. Some of the more likely side effects of butterbur include: Diarrhea, severe headache, nausea, Irritated eyes, tiredness, and constipation. The biggest risk of improperly processed butterbur is serious, that is, cancer. Some toxic chemicals in the herb called pyrrolizidine alkaloids or the “PAs” may contribute to causing cancer and/or kidney and liver damage. These risks are greatest if the patient uses butterbur for a long period of time,

Paradoxically, another risk of butterbur is allergic reactions. Because this herb is in the same botanical family, if a patient is ragweed allergic, then butterbur could aggravate the symptoms of their allergy.

The bottom line with butterbur is – use with caution for short term periods only. Make sure that the product manufacturer knows what they are doing and have removed the potentially toxic ingredients in this herb. Nevertheless, if all of those issues are addressed, this may be a particularly effective way to treat pollen allergies and other types of allergic flares.

2. Stinging Nettles for Allergies

FreezeDriedStingingNettlesThis herb is also referred to as nettle, and its botanical name is Urtica dioica. It is extracted from the roots or leaves of the stinging nettle shrub. It also originates from Europe, but was established in North America and currently grows all over the USA and in Canada.

The name was derived from how the herb provokes an intense reaction — with urticaria that can sting for over 10 hours after the little toxic hairs of the plant get into the skin. For allergies, experts usually recommend getting a freeze dried supplement form of the nettles in capsules.

How does it work?  Some studies suggest that the nettles have both a mechanical and biochemical mode of action. In allergic rhinitis, nettles can inhibit inflammatory pathways that affect the nose.

The leaves of the herb are covered by little hairs that contain high concentration of silicon. So when your skin makes contact with the leaf, the hairs’ round tips detach and the hair’s sharp point penetrates the skin. In response, the body releases the mediators serotonin and histamine. These chemicals are the ones responsible for reduction of pain by stimulating pain neurons.

What the side effects of stinging nettles?

Because of the nature of nettles, there are several possible side effects, including:

o Burning effects

o Rashes

o Uncontrollable itching

o Digestive discomfort or constipation

o Bleeding

o Low blood pressure, which in older individuals can lead to faintness and falls

As with any herbal product, nettle-allergic people are also at risk when using the herb. Knowing whether or not you are allergic to it, however, may require cautious testing.  Notably, diabetics should also be alert for possible increases or decreases in blood sugar levels. If the supplement otherwise helps your allergies, adjust your other treatment accordingly. If not, it may not be worth the risk.


Both butterbur and stinging nettles can be helpful for allergies. However, as both of these natural remedies are herbs or plants, people with allergies, especially pollen allergies, may or may not be allergic to them. Always check with your own health care provider and pharmacist before starting any herbal treatment. You never know what may interact with prescription drugs you are also taking.

Despite these caveats, for an otherwise healthy person who is tormented by seasonal pollen allergies, butterbur and stinging nettle, alone or in a combination product, may be just the solution for your symptoms.




Quercetin for Allergies – Health Benefits, Side Effects, and Supplements Review

SolarayQuercetinBromelainVitCCan you use quercetin for allergies? Quercetin is a member of a broadly defined group of naturally occurring compounds in certain plants called flavonoids. You can get some quercetin in everything from apples and berries to onions.

Found in the pigment cells of certain fruits and vegetables, quercetin in this type of healthy diet has been shown to have health benefits both in preventing some diseases and minimizing the negative effects of a number of chronic health conditions. Eating a diet high in flavonoids may help lessen the effects of allergens, but it may not be enough of a response when the nose, hives or other swelling are already in full evidence. Then supplements may be needed.

Quercetin For Allergies

Among its health benefits, quercetin can reduce the effects of histamine on the body. When you experience an allergic reaction, one major mediator is histamine, a substance the body releases when it perceives an invader has entered and is attacking. Histamine can cause swelling, flushing, redness, itching, and much discomfort. Common allergens that can release histamine and other allergic mediators like leukotrienes are pollens, animal dander, chemicals, dust, molds, foods and and wide range of other substances.

Most allergic people have more than one allergenic substance, and the actual offenders can change with the seasons, other health problems, medications, and a host of other factors. As a result, avoidance is not always possible. Taking a natural remedy for allergies like quercetin, bromelain, stinging nettles, butterbur and/or grapeseed extract may make a big difference in how you feel.

The allergic reaction varies also dependent upon the person and the trigger. Sometimes the allergy sufferer exhibits skin conditions such as hives or a rash, often with itching. Other times the predominant effect is sneezing and watery eyes.

You may find that your nasal passages swell up or it may become hard to breathe. Extremely severe cases of allergic reactions can progress to anaphylaxis, where several of the body’s systems may shut down, the airways are closed off by swelling, creating a life threatening situation that needs immediate medical treatment. In anaphylaxis, taking quercetin would not be appropriate or enough – rather, you would need emergency medication such as an epinephrine injection.

The most severe cases of allergic reactions should be dealt with by a medical professional, but there is increasing evidence for annoying everyday allergies that quercetin may be able to help, without some of the side affects that have become associated with allergy medicines.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Quercetin In Response To Allergic Reactions?

Quercetin is thought to interfere with the release of the histamines a body produces when the allergen has triggered a response. This mechanism could result in episodes of allergic reactions becoming less common and generally less severe in nature. The anti-inflammatory effect some studies have show for flavonoids may also relieve the swelling that is commonly associated with allergic reactions.

One of the effects of ingesting quercetin is a reduction in inflammation. This is helpful for allergic reactions but also can assist the body’s other defenses when battling a number of other diseases or chronic conditions. There is also growing evidence that the flavonoids In the supplement have an antioxidant effect that may slow or stem the growth of cancer cells and minimize heart disease risk.

In addition to allergies, conditions and diseases for which quercetin may be a viable part of the total therapy include the following:

  • Heart Disease and Elevated Cholesterol Levels
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Prostatitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Bone Health

One reason for its versatility in providing health benefits may be that quercetin has more general anti-inflammatory effects, and inflammation is now recognized as a major problem in many different diseases. Quercetin is one of many natural remedies that have antioxidant effects as well. This can protect you from what are called free radicals that regular metabolic activity and biological stresses can cause to damage your cells.

Quercetin Side Effects

Overall quercetin does not have many severe side effects. It may sometimes cause a headache in some people or perhaps tingling in the arms and legs. Extremely high doses have been associated with damage to the kidneys.

People who are extremely allergic to the specific plant source in a particular product may not tolerate one product, but will be fine with another. For those individuals, Solaray makes a specific non-citrus form of quercetin that people with allergies to oranges and other citrus fruits might find better for them.

Quercetin Reviews – Top Supplements

It is important to note that  an enzyme called bromelain, commonly found in fruits like pineapple and other foods high in Vitamin C has also shown promise in helping reduce the distress of allergic reactions when combined with quercetin.

Taking a combination supplement of quercetin, vitamin C, and bromelain all together in one product is one way to get these types of benefits more efficiently. Ensuring that good sources of both types of helpful compounds are regularly in the diet and/or included in a natural remedy program of self care treatment may go a long way to minimizing the distress of seasonal, animal, food and other environmental allergies.

Best Quercetin Supplements from User Reviews for Treating Allergies

Jarrow Formulas Quercetin 500mg 100 pills

Reviewed by more than 200 Amazon consumers with an average of over 4.5 out of 5 stars, this entry retails for about 17 cents per pill. If taken one pill daily, the bottle will last a little over 3 months. Some experts recommend taking 2 pills per day, however, which would translate into a 6 week supply.

Reviewers who rated Jarrow Quercetin with a 4 or 5 for allergy control noted they have reduced itchiness and decreased sinus drainage. Quercetin did not make the user sleepy or groggy, which was a real plus for many who are tired of the tiring effects of some antihistamines.

A reviewer who loved the results noted one pill gave her relief for about 6 hours. Another reviewer shared that taking a divided dosage of 2000 mg (4 pills) over the course of a day eliminated almost all allergy symptoms. This goes to show you how individuals are different in how they respond and how much they need to take to get benefit.

Many of the reviews indicate the supplement has been taken for several years with continuing symptom control and few side effects. A few mention that the positive effects take a few days to weeks to appear fully. Interestingly the few poor reviews the product has received have not mentioned the use was for allergies.

One reviewer felt the price was high, but several others wrote they thought the cost was fair and even half of what they were paying in a health food store.

Now Brand Quercetin with Bromelain – 120 Vcaps (800 mg of Quercetin and 165 mg of Bromelain)

These pills retail for about 13 cents each, with two suggested daily as a dose, a daily cost of 26 cents.

Reviewers are almost all very happy with the results, one calling the supplement “nature’s benadryl.” Taking the supplement over a long period of time again is noted as key, with a few reviewers indicating they either take it daily or 6 weeks before their allergy season for the best control.


Chronic ear ache and sinusitis concerns were cleared, and even a few pets received relief from regular use of the pills.

A reviewer also said that this particular product was interchangeable with other Quercetin supplements, and that this brand was purchased when the price was best.

Sinus & Seasonal Discomfort Formula by LES Labs (60 Vegetarian Capsules with Quercetin, Bromelain, Nettle Root and Butterbur Extracts) (200 mg Quercetin, 150 mg Bromelain, 50 mg Nettle Root and 25 mg Butterbur)

This product was touted by Amazon as being the “Top-Voted” supplement, but only received a few reviews, all very positive. This combination product has many of the leading anti allergy natural remedies all in one capsule.

The additional ingredients may account for some variation in the results. The pills are much more expensive than the others mentioned, about 50 cents each. Reviewers mention itchiness decreased and a great improvement in breathing in sinus drainage.