An antihistamine, as the name suggests, is something that works counter to or against histamine, either to lessen production or negate effects. Antihistamine use is quite prevalent and great relief is brought to those suffering conditions for which an antihistamine is indicated. There is a wide range of symptoms that qualify. There are four basic types of antihistamine currently in use, with Type H1 and Type H2 antagonist antihistamine varieties being the ones most used. Types H3 and H4 are still in the testing and clinical trials stage.
Histamine production within the body is a function of the immune system and is triggered when the organism senses some type of invasion from an outside source. This is usually felt by the sufferer as an allergic reaction. This allergic reaction can be the result of many different causes, some of which include dust, pollen, pet dander, insect bites and the ingestion of certain foods. There are many others as well.
Symptoms of Allergic Reactions
Symptoms of allergic reactions are common to those regularly experiencing them and include runny nose, itching, watery eyes, inflammation, sneezing and a scratchy throat. Some sufferers can also experience breathing difficulty. Taking an antihistamine can bring relief by countering excess release of histamines by the body. What occurs when histamines are released into the bloodstream is that, the affected area to where the histamines are sent experience a fluid leakage from the capillaries into the tissue surrounding them. This fluid leakage is what is responsible for the inflammation, watery eyes and runny nose, so common with allergic reactions.
Types of Antihistamines
Antihistamine users have choices of what specific type of antihistamine they can use, whether Type 1 or Type 2, and also whether the formula is chemical based or of a more natural or organic composition. Many different foods contain natural antihistamine properties and some find relief in consuming them at times when they may be prone to a high incidence of allergic reaction, such as days when the pollen count is high. Onions and garlic, for example, are thought to be useful as they contain natural antihistamine properties. Certain citrus fruits such as lemons may also help. It is also thought that daily consumption of honey can strengthen the immune system against certain allergens.
Natural Antihistamine Herbs
Certain herbs have also been shown in laboratory trials to have natural antihistamine activity. However, real world testing on humans is not nearly as prevalent as those that have been conducted using the types of antihistamine products produced by the pharmaceutical companies in their chemical laboratories. Millions of people have achieved satisfactory results from the use of various high quality formulas made from antihistamine-containing herbs. Commonly used ingredients include basil, chamomile, papaya, stinging nettle, Echinacea, fennel, ginger, wild oregano and thyme. Vitamin C is also thought to have useful antihistamine properties when taken in high daily dosages.
Methods of Ingesting Antihistamines
Natural antihistamine formulas may be delivered to the user in the form of pills, capsules, sprays and creams. Each allergy sufferer is unique and some treatments work better for some than others.