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Top 7 Naturopathic Home Remedies for Mast Cell Degranulation and Histamine Stabilization

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on September 27, 2023

Mast cells play a pivotal role in our immune system, releasing histamines during an allergic reaction. Sometimes, this response can be excessive, leading to allergies and inflammation. Natural remedies are often sought for histamine stabilization and mitigating mast cell degranulation. Here are seven naturopathic solutions that are backed by scientific evidence to some extent.

1. Quercetin

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables like onions, apples, and berries, has been shown to inhibit mast cell degranulation and stabilize histamine levels in the body. Studies suggest that quercetin can inhibit histamine release and reduce inflammation, providing relief from allergic reactions. (1)

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Research indicates that it can modulate the release of histamines by stabilizing mast cells, thereby reducing the severity of allergic reactions. (2)

3. Nettle Leaf

Nettle Leaf, or Urtica dioica, is a traditional remedy used for its anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Some preliminary studies have supported its use in mitigating allergic responses, though more research is required to establish its efficacy. (3)

4. Bromelain

Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, is acknowledged for its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. It has demonstrated potential in reducing allergic sensitization and preventing mast cell degranulation, though further studies are warranted to corroborate these findings. (4)

5. Butterbur

Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) has long been used for its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects. Some clinical trials suggest that it can be an effective natural antihistamine without the sedative side effects of traditional antihistamines. (5)

6. Probiotics

A healthy gut microbiome influences immune system function. Probiotics may help regulate immune responses, including those involving histamines and mast cells. Some studies show that certain strains of probiotics can inhibit histamine release, aiding in the management of allergic reactions. (6)

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, especially those found in fish oil, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help mitigate allergic reactions. Some research suggests that these fatty acids can inhibit mast cell activation and degranulation, thereby reducing histamine release. (7)

Histamine Stabilization in Holistic Healthcare

While these naturopathic remedies provide promising support in stabilizing histamine levels and preventing mast cell degranulation, it’s crucial to consult holistic healthcare professionals, such as licensed naturopathic physicians, before incorporating them into your routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are on medication. Remember that while natural, these remedies are not devoid of side effects or interactions with other drugs, and individual responses may vary.

Resources:

  1. Mlcek J, Jurikova T, Skrovankova S, Sochor J. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. 2016 May 12;21(5):623. doi: 10.3390/molecules21050623. PMID: 27187333; PMCID: PMC6273625.
  2. Anogeianaki A, Castellani ML, Tripodi D, Toniato E, De Lutiis MA, Conti F, Felaco P, Fulcheri M, Theoharides TC, Galzio R, Caraffa A, Antinolfi P, Cuccurullo C, Ciampoli C, Felaco M, Cerulli G, Pandolfi F, Sabatino G, Neri G, Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb YB. Vitamins and mast cells. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;23(4):991-6. doi: 10.1177/039463201002300403. PMID: 21244748.
  3. Roschek B Jr, Fink RC, McMichael M, Alberte RS. Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis. Phytother Res. 2009 Jul;23(7):920-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2763. PMID: 19140159.
  4. Fathi AN, Babaei S, Babaei S, Baazm M, Sakhaie H, Babaei S. Effect of bromelain on mast cell numbers and degranulation in diabetic rat wound healing. J Wound Care. 2022 Aug 1;31(Sup8):S4-S11. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2022.31.Sup8.S4. PMID: 36004940.
  5. Schapowal A; Petasites Study Group. Randomised controlled trial of butterbur and cetirizine for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis. BMJ. 2002 Jan 19;324(7330):144-6. doi: 10.1136/bmj.324.7330.144. PMID: 11799030; PMCID: PMC64514.
  6. Luo C, Peng S, Li M, Ao X, Liu Z. The Efficacy and Safety of Probiotics for Allergic Rhinitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Immunol. 2022 May 19;13:848279. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.848279. PMID: 35663980; PMCID: PMC9161695.
  7. Kawasaki M, Toyoda M, Teshima R, Sawada J, Saito Y. Effect of alpha-linolenic acid on the metabolism of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and histamine release in RBL-2H3 cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 1994 Oct;17(10):1321-5. doi: 10.1248/bpb.17.1321. PMID: 7533019.

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