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Congestion Relief for Allergies and Colds


Typical anti-histamine medications can leave our patients and clients feeling drugged, sleepy, or foggy-brained.  They can have other potent (but seldom publicized) side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, or making an enlarged prostate or a yeast infection worse. I encourage my clients to avoid them whenever possible.

Quercetin is a natural extract from plant foods like onions, apples, tea, berries, buckwheat, and citrus fruit (technically a flavonol).   It actually calms the immune system to prevent histamine release.   I suggest 500-1000mg twice daily (with or without food), depending on severity of symptoms.  Quercetin combined with bromelain (an extract from pineapples) enhances absorption and is desirable if available (and if no pineapple allergy).  A very recent study highlights quercetin’s usefulness in asthma as well.

Specific contraindications for quercetin include your patients and clients who are (1)  currently taking antibiotics (quercetin interference with how antibiotics bind to bacteria), (2) currently taking blood thinners (e.g. Coumadin, Plavix), and (3) women using estrogen hormone replacement therapy.  As always, make sure clients who have concerns with taking other medications check with their doctor.

You may access an in-depth technical review of quercetin’s mode of action  (the 2nd half of the article features many references to the benefits of quercetin in a variety of diseases).

If you’d like to learn more about quercetin specifically for seasonal allergy use, check out this related post.


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4 Questions for “Congestion Relief for Allergies and Colds”

  1. 2
    Gabriella Udabor says:

    ok so I have a 4yr old patient who gets easily congested and sometimes goes into wheezing and needing breathing treatment. He was never diagnosed a being asthmatic. However mom thought he might have some food allergies, talked to her pediatrician who did a blood test. It came out positive IGE antibodies of various foods ,moderate allergy to milk, low amount of whole egg, wheat,soy and some nuts. Pediatrician referred her to an allergist who did a skin test and no food allergy showed in the test except grass and cat allergy. The mom said the allergist told her the blood test is sometimes not very reliable. Allergist started child on an inhaler and request follow up in a month but mom is still confused and still believes strongly that child is allergic to all those food so currently not giving the child the food but still slightly confused. How would you suggest starting to help this patient?

  2. 1
    Frances Starr says:

    Great post. Thank you very much. I’m working with a 72 year old woman who has suffered with asthma and allergies her entire life. Now we’re working on her chronic fatigue. She is currently taking 1 1/2 mg per day of Estrodial and 100 mg every other day of progesterone. She is also on Quercetin. Should she be concerned with the contraindication?

    • 1.1
      SAFM says:

      There is no contraindication to quercetin when one is using supplemental hormones. If anything, use of a phytoestrogen like quercetin (and it’s generally regarded to be a weak one) is helpful. When weaker estrogens are available to fit into receptors, the body is better able to find hormonal balance and stability, and yet avoid the effects of too much strong hormone support. As an aside, oral hormone can contribute directly to dysbiosis in the gut, and all of my clients with Chronic Fatigue found that imbalances and/or overgrowths of microbes in their intestines were a major driver for their symptoms. Over time, this client may want to consider transdermal hormone support as opposed to oral.

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