Allergies are the result of an immune system reaction to foreign substances like pollen, dust or medication. The severity of the symptoms vary from person to person and include sneezing, wheezing, runny nose and itchiness. Quercetin and stinging nettles are two over-the-counter natural supplements that may provide allergy relief, but supplementation with these products should be medically supervised.
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Quercetin is a nutrient called a bioflavonoid that occurs naturally in some vegetables and fruits, giving them their color. It is believed to have antioxidant properties, and research done in test tubes found quercetin helpful for preventing immune cells from releasing histamines, the chemicals responsible for allergic reactions, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Naturalnurse.com reviewed several research studies that found quercetin effective in managing symptoms of allergies when used either alone or in combination with vitamin C.
Stinging nettles, scientifically known as Urtica doica, is a medicinal herb native to the U.S. and Europe. Nettles have been used in folk medicine to prevent seasonal allergies, either in a juice form or prepared homeopathically. According to Naturalnurse.com, research studies have found nettle to be beneficial for allergic patients.
Quercetin is considered a safe and well tolerated supplement for adults, but it is not recommend for children. A daily dose of 250 to 600 milligrams of quercetin is usually prescribed by a health care provider. Typical dosage of nettles is 600 mg of dried herb or 2 to 4 milliliter per day of fluid extract in divided doses. These dosage may be adjusted based on the severity of your symptoms and other medical conditions you might have associated with allergies.
Side Effects and Drug Interactions
Quercetin is generally considered a safe drug. Side effects may include an upset stomach and headaches. Higher dosages may result in kidney problems. Quercetin may interact with anticoagulants and chemotherapy drugs and corticosteroids, warns University of Maryland Medical Center.
Nettle supplements are generally safe and well tolerated when used as recommended by a health care provider. Possible side effects include mild stomach and fluid retention. Nettle may interact with blood-thinning drugs and conventional medication used for high blood pressure and diabetes.
Consult a qualified health care provider to find out optimal dosage of quercetin and nettles for your condition. Keep in mind that these supplements do not replace conventional antiallergy drugs and are not approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat allergies.