Natural antihistamine alternatives


When your nose runs, your eyes itch, you can’t stop sneezing, and you’re breaking out in hives, what’s going on?

Allergies? A cold?

How can you tell? The symptoms can be very similar.

What should you do?

The usual response is to “take something.”

Whether it’s a cold or an allergy, that “something” is usually an antihistamine.

But, you should think twice about taking a Big Pharma antihistamine for a cold. They offer little or no help, and can have very undesirable side effects.

The same advice goes if you’re taking it for an allergy.

The problem with antihistamines

I firmly believe that people get better with age.

Not so with antihistamines. The first of those to arrive on the scene came in the 1940s. They were a breakthrough at the time, and some remain the go-to choice for treating both colds and allergies. Diphenhydramine, for example, undeservedly remains one of the most widely-used medications in the US.

You’ll recognize these brand names—all for the same old 1940’s diphenhydramine formulation:

  • Allermax
  • Benadryl
  • Compoz
  • Dramamine

This is only a few of a dozen or more diphenhydramine old-timers still active in the market.

Other familiar oldies, but no longer so goodies, include chlorpheniramine—brand name Chlor-Trimeton, and brompheniramine, sold as Dimetapp Cold and Allergy Elixir.


First generation Antihistamine, thanks and bye bye

All of these old-timers, called “first-generation” antihistamines, should be sent off, with thanks and respect, to an old meds home. For allergies, there are much better solutions.

Exceptions: You spotted Dramamine in the list up there? The anti-motion sickness aid gets a pass. And diphenhydramine can also be useful in the treatment of some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Histamine intolerance symptoms:

But they still have side effects you don’t want:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Trouble peeing
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion

If your body tolerated and worked well with these old-timers, it wouldn’t throw those side effects at you.

Best Natural antihistamines?

For people who suffer from what’s clearly an allergy or allergies, not a cold or upper respiratory infection, we recommend what nature has given us.

For example, who would choose a mind-messing, mean-sounding chemical like diphenhydramine when one of our preferred natural antihistamines includes such lovely-sounding ingredients as Ambrosia artemisiaefolia and Euphrasia officinalis.

And it won’t knock you out—it’ll just knock out your symptoms.

Same goes for other natural antihistamines.

Another trusted symptom whacker I like is an immune system booster with a special fenugreek-based formulation that helps move mucus out of your stuffy head and hacking lungs. Among its other healthy ingredients:

  • Carrot root
  • Sweet potato
  • Soy beans
  • Oat flour
  • Dried alfalfa juice
  • Wheat germ
  • Sunflower lecithin rice
  • Vitamin E
  • Carrot oil

Sounds like a great salad, all packed into a pill.

We also recommend finding a natural antihistamine that delivers a good dose of the calcium we need to supercharge our stressed immune system.

Merci, our French friends

Finally, thanks to an observant French GP in the 1970s, there’s the quail egg. He noticed that several of his patients … and their families … and their farm workers … reported that their allergy symptoms had inexplicably disappeared. He was able to identify the raw quail eggs in their diets as the cause.

Voila—after extensive research proved the eggs’ anti-allergenic effects, a quail egg formulation was born. We recommend it, if your doctor agrees. (Don’t worry. It’s made with powdered quail egg, not raw.)

Newport Natural Health, for example, offers an allergy formula that includes AllerGuard Express®. This proprietary extract of the common quail egg powder is backed by a successful, human, clinical study in which study subjects experienced an 18% improvement starting in as little as 15 minutes and no seasonal symptom complaints after 90 days in up to 70% of them. You can learn more about how to get relief from all your seasonal and year-round allergy symptoms with this top-notch allergy formula here.

Make sure your doctor knows about these safe, natural, and effective alternatives to Big Pharma’s first-generation old-timers—think of all the money you’ll save on tissues!

Breathe clearly this season.



Disclaimer: Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Last Updated: May 4, 2021
Originally Published: August 5, 2016