21 Anti-histamine Foods That Fight Inflammation And Stabilise Mast-Cells

September 23, 2014  |  Blog, Histamine Intolerance

If you have histamine intolerance, mast-cell activation disorder, or any other inflammatory disorder, then here are 21 anti-histamine foods that fight inflammation and stabilise mast-cells naturally (and also a further 21 supplements to boost nutritional reserves):


anti histamine watercress

1. Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)

Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable that has a peppery, tangy, taste like rocket. It is considered one of the most nutrient dense plants commonly available. A study showed that watercress inhibits 60% of all histamines released from mast cells.

Study: Goda, Hoshino K, Akiyama H, Ishikawa T, Abe Y, Nakamura T, Otsuka H, Takeda Y, Tanimura A, Toyoda M, “Constituents in watercress: inhibitors of histamine release from RBL-2H3 cells induced by antigen stimulation”, Biol Pharm Bull. 1999 Dec;22(12):1319-26.

anti histamine pea sprout

2. Pea Sprouts (Pisum Sativum)

Pea sprouts contain a high concentration of diamines oxidase (the enzyme that degrades extra-cellular histamine) during the cotyledon phase. All the fabaceae family contain DAO, but it is particular high in, pea (pisum sativum), lentil (lens culinaris), and chickpea (cicer arietinum) seedlings.

Study: Masini, Emanuela, et al. “Pea seedling histaminase as a novel therapeutic approach to anaphylactic and inflammatory disorders.” The Scientific World Journal 7 (2007): 888-902.

anti histamine onions

3. Onions (Allium Cepa)

The humble onion (including the spring onion) is incredibly nutritious and an important prebiotic. Onions have been shown to inhibit histamine release, stabilise mast cells, and even lower histamine levels extra-cellularly in blood plasma.

Study: P. Kaiser, M.S. Youssouf, S.A. Tasduq, S. Singh, S.C. Sharma, G.D. Singh, V.K. Gupta, B.D. Gupta, and R.K. Johri, Anti-Allergic Effects of Herbal Product from Allium Cepa (Bulb), Journal of Medicinal Food. April 2009, 12(2): 374-382.

anti histamine garlic

4. Garlic (Allium Sativum)

Like onions, garlic, is incredibly nutritious, high in anti-oxidants, and a prebiotic. Garlic has also been shown to inhibit histamine release from mast cells.

Study: Hogberg, Bertil. “Inhibitory action of allicin on degranulation of mast cells produced by compound 48/80, histamine liberator from ascaris, lecithinase A, and antigen.” Acta Physiologica Scandinavica 44.2 (1958): 157-162.


anti histamine moringa

5. Moringa (Moringa Oleifera)

Moringa is a “super-food” that has found its way onto health food shelves. It is so nutrient dense that it has historically been used to treat malnutrition. A study has shown that Moringa inhibits 72% of all histamines released, making it almost as effective as Ketitofen.

Study: Mehta, Anita, and Babita Agrawal. “Investigation into the mechanism of action of Moringa oleifera for its anti-asthmatic activity.” Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine 8.1 (2008): 24-31.

anti histamine holy basil

6. Holy Basil (Ocimum Tenuiflorum)

Holy basil is a herb in the basil family. It has a subtle flavour that is minty, and mildly floral, with a natural sweetness. It is an adaptogen with anti anaphylactic, anti histamine, and mast cell stabilising properties. Whilst dried teas are readily available there is really nothing like the taste of fresh herbs which are easy to grow.

Study: G Sridevi, P Gopkumar, S Ashok, C Shastry. Pharmacological Basis For Antianaphylactic, Antihistaminic And Mast Cell Stabilization Activity Of Ocimum Sanctum. The Internet Journal of Pharmacology. 2008 Volume 7 Number 1.

anti histamine thyme

7. Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris)

Thyme is a nutrient dense herb. It has exceptionally high levels of Vitamin C, combined with flavonoids, that stabilises mast cells. It also has anti microbial benefits.

Study: Watanabe, Jun, Hiroshi Shinmoto, and Tojiro Tsushida. “Coumarin and flavone derivatives from estragon and thyme as inhibitors of chemical mediator release from RBL-2H3 cells.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 69.1 (2005): 1-6.

anti histamine tarragon

8. Tarragon (Artemesia Dracunculus)

Tarragon has a pleasant anise flavour. It is one of the highest anti-oxidant food sources amongst herbs. A study shows that it stabilises mast cells.

Study: Watanabe, Jun, Hiroshi Shinmoto, and Tojiro Tsushida. “Coumarin and flavone derivatives from estragon and thyme as inhibitors of chemical mediator release from RBL-2H3 cells.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 69.1 (2005): 1-6.

anti histamine chamomile

9. Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita)

Chamomile is typically consumed as a tea. Fresh flowers are frequently available and are preferable to dried. A study found that chamomile acted in a dose-dependent manner to inhibit histamine release from mast cells.

Study: Chandrashekhar, V. M., et al. “Anti-allergic activity of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) in mast cell mediated allergy model.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 137.1 (2011): 336-340.

anti histamine nettle

10. Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

Nettle is typically consumed as a tea. It has been shown to be a potent anti histamine (working at the H1 receptor), and mast cell stabiliser.

Study: Roschek, Bill, et al. “Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis.” Phytotherapy research 23.7 (2009): 920-926.

anti histamine peppermint

11. Peppermint (Mentha ×Piperita)

The flavonoids in peppermint have been found to have a potent inhibitory effect on histamine from mast cells. It was particularly effective for allergic rhinitis, and has traditionally been used as an H2 antagonist.

Study: Inoue, Toshio, et al. “Antiallergic effect of flavonoid glycosides obtained from Mentha piperita L.” Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 25.2 (2002): 256-259.

anti histamine nigella sativa

12. Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed and Oil

Nigella Satvia is also called fennel flower, black cumin, roman coriander, and onion seeds. It has a slightly bitter herbal flavour similar to oregano. It acts an anti histamine, and anti oxidant, protecting the gastric mucosal layer. It can be consumed either as a seed or as the oil.

Study: M Kanter, O Coskun, H Uysal, The antioxidative and antihistaminic effect of Nigella Sativa and its major constituent, thymoquinone on ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage, Archives of toxicology, 2006 – Springer.


anti histamine galangal

13. Galangal (Alpinia Galanga)

Galangal is also called “Thai Ginger” and is readily available at Asian grocers. It has a subtle delicate flavour that has a gingery, lemongrass, lightly floral flavour. A study shows that it is extremely effective at stabilising mast cells and preventing anaphylaxis.

Study: Hisashi Matsuda, Toshio Morikawa, Hiromi Managi, Masayuki Yoshikawa, Antiallergic principles from Alpinia galanga: structural requirements of phenylpropanoids for inhibition of degranulation and release of TNF-alpha and IL-4 in RBL-2H3 cells, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters Volume 13, Issue 19, 16 October 2003, Pages 3197–3202.

anti histamine ginger


14. Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)

Ginger is a rhizome that inhibits allergic reactions. It has traditionally been used as an H2 inhibitor but a 2009 study shows that it also acts as a mast cell stabiliser.

Study: Chen, Bing-Hung, et al. “Antiallergic potential on RBL-2H3 cells of some phenolic constituents of Zingiber Officinale (Ginger).” Journal of natural products72.5 (2009): 950-953.

anti hsitamine lotus root

15. Lotus Root (Nelumbo Nucifera) 

Lotus roots are available from most Asian supermarkets. They have an immune-modulating effect with mast cell stabilising properties and a study found they inhibit the release of histamines by up to 70%.

Study: Mukherjee, Debajyoti, et al. “Exploring the potential of Nelumbo nucifera rhizome on membrane stabilization, mast cell protection, nitric oxide synthesis, and expression of costimulatory molecules.” Immunopharmacology and immunotoxicology 32.3 (2010): 466-472.

anti histamine turmeric

16. Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its colour, and on its own it has a savoury, almost cheddar like taste.  The fresh rhizomes are increasingly available and can be frozen and grated over most savoury dishes as a condiment. Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. A study found that it inhibited mast cell activation.

Study: Lee, Jun Ho, et al. “Curcumin, a constituent of curry, suppresses IgE-mediated allergic response and mast cell activation at the level of Syk.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 121.5 (2008): 1225-1231.


anti histamine pomegranate

17. Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

Pomegranates have a sweet but tart taste and are used in both savoury and sweet foods. They contain polyphenols, such as tannins and anthocyanins, and are higher in anti oxidants than green tea. A study showed that they act as mast cell stabilisers.

Study: Rasheed, Zafar, et al. “Polyphenol-rich pomegranate fruit extract (POMx) suppresses PMACI-induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting the activation of MAP Kinases and NF-B in human KU812 cells.” J Inflamm (Lond) 6 (2009): 1.

anti histamine apple

18. Apples (Malus Domestica)

The nutrients of apples are concentrated in the skin. Apples are not so much rich in one nutrient but have a wide range of flavonoids and polyphenols. A study has shown that they inhibit the release of histamines from mast cells.

Study: Kanda, Tomomasa, et al. “Inhibitory effects of apple polyphenol on induced histamine release from RBL-2H3 cells and rat mast cells.” Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry 62.7 (1998): 1284-1289.

anti histamine capers

19. Capers (Capparis Spinosa)

Capers add a tangy peppery taste to dishes. They are one of the richest sources of quercetin. Capers have antimicrobial, anti oxidative, anti inflammatory, and antiviral properties. A study also found them to be anti-histaminic. The study was performed with fresh capers (not preserved in vinegar but preserved in salt*).

Study: Trombetta, Domenico, et al. “Antiallergic and antihistaminic effect of two extracts of Capparis spinosa L. flowering buds.” PTR. Phytotherapy research19.1 (2005): 29-33.

* I have received a number of questions about the preservation of salt. There is strong scientific evidence that preservation in salt prevents histamine formation.

Study: Chong, C. Y., Abu Bakar, F., Russly, A. R., Jamilah, B. and
Mahyudin, N. A., MiniReview; The effects of food processing on biogenic amines formation, International Food Research Journal 18(3): 867-876 (2011).

anti histamine mangosteens

20. Mangosteens (Garcinia Mangostana)

Mangosteens are a tropical fruit the size of small apples. Their flesh consists of creamy white segments with a delicate, sweet taste, and melt in the mouth texture. They are increasingly available in supermarkets. Studies not only show that they lower the c-reactive protein inflammation marker and, act as an anti-histamine (H1), but that they also inhibit mast cell degranulation.

Study: Itoh, Tomohiro, et al. “Inhibitory effect of xanthones isolated from the pericarp of garcinia mangostana L. on rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cell degranulation.” Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 16.8 (2008): 4500-4508.

Chairungsrilerd N, Furukawa K, Ohta T, et al. Histaminergic and serotonergic receptor blocking substances from the medicinal plant Garcinia mangostana. Planta Med 1996;62:471-2

anti histamine peach

21. Peaches (Prunus Persica)

Peaches are a summer fruit, that are sweet and juicy. A study found that they inhibited mast cell derived allergic inflammation.

Study: Shin, Tae-Yong, et al. “Anti-allergic inflammatory activity of the fruit of Prunus Persica: Role of calcium and NF-?B.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 48.10 (2010): 2797-2802.

22. Chinese Quince

Pseudocydonia sinensis, the Chinese quince, is a fruit in the family Rosaceae and native to China.  The fruit has a diverse group of bioactive components with anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-itching activities.

Study: Osawa, K., et al. “Inhibitory effects of Chinese quince (Chaenomeles Sinensis) on hyaluronidase and histamine release from rat mast cells.” Natural Medicines 53.4 (1999): 188-193.





23. Black Rice Bran

Black rice is believed to have many notable health benefits. Researchers have found that a 10% diet of black rice reduced inflammation and inhibited the release of histamine from mast-cells by about 32%. Brown rice did not have the same benefits.

Study: Sun Phil Choi, Sung Phil Kim, Mi Young Kang, Seok Hyun Nam, Mendel Friedman. Protective Effects of Black Rice Bran against Chemically-Induced Inflammation of Mouse Skin. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010; 58 (18): 10007 DOI: 10.1021/jf102224b


24. Mung Bean Sprouts

A recent laboratory study found mung bean sprouts (after 48 h of growth) to provide significant protection against mast cell degranulation and histamine release due to their high flavonoid content.

Study: Li, Li, et al. “Anti-allergic effects and related active constituents of mung bean (Vignaradiatus Linn) sprouts.” Food Science and Biotechnology 25.2 (2016): 553-559.

Advanced Supplements

These 21 (now 23) foods have clinical trials in support of anecdotal evidence. Some are even proven to be as effective as commonly used mast cell stabilising medication.

I still believe that whole foods provide many if not all of the natural anti-histamines and mast-cell stabilising nutrients our bodies need. However, in researching this article, I also identified 21 advanced supplements, that can build nutritional reserves, and provide natural anti-histamine and mast-cell stabilising support.

You can grab your personal copy of these 21 advanced supplements, together with a summary of these 21 foods, by clicking the image below.

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  • Tanya Bee

    For Nigella Sativa, isn’t it high in omega 6’s and 9’s? Aren’t omega 6’s high histamine?

    • Hi Tanya. Omega 6s release histamines in the absence of omega 3s and other anti-inflammatory compounds. The unique total composition of Nigella Satvia is proven to be anti-histaminic because of the total nutrients (not must individual micronutrients).

  • Kt Lynn

    This list of foods would kill most people I know with MCAS and MCAD

    • Hi Kt Lynn thanks for you opinion. I have MCAD and I am highly sensitive, and I can in fact eat them. It is important to take the whole body into consideration, and consult your doctor, but I have had tremendous success through settling symptoms through diet. I wish you well on your healing journey.

      • Kt Lynn

        Thanks Alison! I wish I knew where to find fresh Malunggay! I grew up in Metro Manila, Philippines and loved that. We also had a mangosteen tree that was my favourite fruit!!

        • Ohhh I have never heard of Malunggay will have to look it up. Mangosteens are now around occasionally here so will be including those when I can find them fresh.

          • Kt Lynn

            Oh sorry! Malunggay is just the filipino name. Its Moringa!!! I use to eat bunches of it with chicken! We had trees in our back yard so it was easy to pick fresh and cook with

          • Oh you are SO lucky. I have seen them available as plants here in Australia. http://www.daleysfruit.com.au/Herbs/horseradish.htm. Tempted to get one for my edible garden.

          • Janice Taylor

            You can order Moringa powder, teas, caps, lotion, etc from Certified Organic “Morninga Source” I also ordered the caps through EBay, was cheaper than their website.

          • This sounds so yum. I am seriously thinking of planting a tree.

    • tudi

      how so? are they low histamine foods or not?

      • yes

      • Kt Lynn

        Low histamine doesn’t mean that someone with MCAS or MCAD won’t react to it. In fact, most people react to things regardless of whether they are low histamine or not. It’s a misnomer to suggest otherwise…But it is helpful to know if you have no idea where to start with your food elimination and addition process. Just don’t bank on not reacting to foods low in histamine as there is a lot more to MCAD than that

        • True!! I am ana to airborne and ingested garlic 🙁 ingested onion and black pepper. (and other foods)

      • Capers are low histamine foods depending on how they are processed. Histamines can be added when processed. I do hope that helps. Many tolerate capers in salt even the most sensitive souls.

    • Swampmom

      Cannot eat anything pickled, as pickling increasing the histamine content. The capers would put me over the top. I love them, and hated to give them up. I think some folks are just going to have reactions to things others may not.

      I have systemic masto, and if the garlic is “aged” vs fresh from the garden, it will trigger me.

      • Hi Swampmom; welcome and totally agree. The basic mantra is to “buy fresh, cook fresh, eat fresh”. It solves a lot of problems. It is the precondition outlined in my low histamine food list. It just solves a lot of problems Capers are grown here (in Byron Bay) so I can now buy fresh capers. But I am also love to grow my own stuff so might try. I can also now tolerate them preserved in salt (not vinegar). I have diagnosed mast cell activation disorder.

    • Willow Silverhawk

      I eaten most of the foods on this list and the only one I’ve had a bad reaction to is the stinging nettles. Everyone is different and has to find what works for them.

  • Barb

    I was surprised you didn’t have pineapple on the list. But I’ve tried many of these with success. I don’t have a specific disease, but I do have allergies. Eating these foods reduces my reaction to dust and other allergens.

    • Thanks Barb. I am happy to hear that some of these foods have been helpful particularly for environmental allergens. Pineapple is a bit of a grey area. So many good foods to choose from!

    • Wendy Allen

      Pineapple has enzymes which helps digest the problem food. Lowing histamine…lowers zinc. Vit C and quercetin may lower histamine. Onion/apples may have quercetin.

    • Peggy Dart

      pineapple bad high in histamines for those who are sensitive

      • Yes not generally well tolerated. Bromelain was used in some old formulations as a digestive enzyme but we have come a lot further in our knowledge.

        • Peggy Dart

          yes, thanks, I was looking up turmeric. I have been using in small amounts, but I am reacting to something. But I react to most foods, not necessarily foods with histamines, though certainly those. here’s my short list of what I react to in foods in terms of histamines: pineapple, cranberries, many fruits, nuts, fish, egg whites, seeds, spinach, chard, anything canned, processed. etc. anything fermented like cheese, yogurt, alcohol. And vinegar. But you already know this.

          I am posting this for others, I think some people might be confused about digestive issues, and histamines in foods, which is also a digestive issue, but a different digestive issue and airborne allergies. And the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity.

          I wonder about beans and lentils. In terms of histamines. I have seen yes, I have seen no. I do know that soaking time and or sprouting these make them fermented for me.

          • Martin Bates

            To get the most out of tumeric, should consume with a volatile oil, and black pepper(some chemical boosts the efficacy of tumeric)

  • Barbara

    I hope this question isn’t foolish, but how does one consume things like nettle, locus root, and moringa? I know supplements aren’t as potent as buying it in raw form, but aside from onions,
    tarragon, thyme, apples. pomegrantes, and a few others, I have no idea how to get some of the best anti-histamine foods into a diet.

    • Not at all. I am rather limited by my local experience but here you go;

      Nettle I usually use in a tea (it is divine with lemon balm) but I can only tolerate fresh leaves (you may be able to tolerate them dried). It is not readily available her in Australia.

      Lotus root you can buy from Chinese grocers. It is absolutely divine roasted in coconut oil.

      Moringa (you can get the plants here in Australia; and use the fresh leaves as a tea, from Daleys Nursery but they are not otherwise easy to find fresh here).

      Alternatively, I use this brand (having met the owner) http://organicmiracles.com.au/shop-2/. I use the powder in smoothies. You can also use it as a tea.

      Hope that helps.

    • sarahholdway

      nettle can be added to any food we pick and chop and add to any food we eat it makes a good soup wild garlic and nettle soup is delicious! moringa can be added to anything as well

      not used lotus root as yet but I know it has a delicate flavour and I’d add to a smoothie mangosteen is good to eat as it is or added to a morning smoothie

    • George Philip

      Hi Barbara, Lotus root and moringa can be cooked to make delicious side dishes that go with rice, chappathi or bread. If you google South Indian curries you can get several recpies as to how to cook these. Please bear in mind that for some people moringa can be a bit problematic My mum vomits if she takes moringa, but for me no problem. Here is one recipe I have:
      Muringayila /Moringya leaves lentil(Dal) Curry Recipe – Drumstick Leaves Curry Recipe

      Preparation Time : 40 minutes
      Cooking Time : 15 minutes
      Serves : 4-6
      Ingredients :

      Drumstick (Moringa) Leaves : 2 cups
      Toor Dal : 1/2 cup
      Green Chilies : 2 nos (or as per your spice level)Red Chili Powder : 1 tsp (or as per your spice level)
      Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
      Salt to taste
      For Grinding :
      Coconut Grated : 1 cup
      Cumin Seeds : 1/2 tsp
      Shallots /Red Small Onion : 2-4 nos
      Dried Red Chillies : 2 (or as per your spice level)
      Garlic : 1 clove

      For Tempering :
      Mustard Seeds : 1/2 tsp
      Shallots /Red Small Onion : 8-10 (very thinly sliced)
      Curry leaves : few
      Coconut Oil : 1 tbsp
      1. Pressure cook toor daal,when its done; remove from the fire and settle down the pressure and mash the dal and keep aside.
      2. Clean the drumstick leaves by removing the leaves from the stem and discarding the yellow leaves. Wash couple of times and allow it to drain (Note : Take care not to have any bits of the stem.)
      3. In a pan; cook the drumstick leaves with the slit green chilies, turmeric, chili powder and salt in 1 1/2 cup water for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
      4. Meanwhile grind the ingredients listed above ‘For Grinding’ into smooth paste and set it aside.
      5. Add the cooked and mashed toor daal into it and bring to a boil.
      6. Add the grounded coconut paste to the cooked drumstick leaves-dal mixture; mix well and allow to boil, adjust the salt and
      7. Heat the coconut oil in a pan, Splutter mustard seeds, add the sliced shallots /red small onions and fry the shallots till light brown and then add the curry leaves. Pour the seasoning to the curry and mix well.
      8. Moringa leaves /Drumstick leaves curry is ready. Serve with hot rice and pour drop of ghee on top & enjoy!

  • Shelley

    I have heard that antihistamine drugs can cause histamine intolerance to get worse over time. Is the same true for antihistamine foods and supplements (resveratrol, pine bark extract, etc)? Thank you!

    • Hi Shelley. There is no evidence that antihistamine foods cause histamine intolerance to get worse.

    • no. Not in my opinion.

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  • easyout

    What about intolerance to garlic and onion, with allicin being the culprit I think, which causes a build up of toxins which burn the skin on the face along with a lot of itchiness, swelling, etc.

    • That is a different issue. It is difficult to comment on your specific situation. Do you have a sulfur issue?

  • Eve

    There are a lot of typos on this page, which does not lend credence! Do some editing please. As a scientist I can tell you that we all know one thing- nothing is accepted as fact until AT LEAST two studies observe it!! You only lost one per each. Also you do not account for how sulfites, for example often found in skins (because still considered an “organically safe” pesticide) factor in, nor foods which are high in oxalaes may trigger hustamine response.

  • Eve

    Did you delete my comment?
    I posted a very politely worded review which pointed out some valid issues, and it looks to have been immediately deleted by you. For example, I pointed out that there are:
    1. Several typos on your page here
    2. Only one scientific reference per “fact” which, as a scientist, I can tell you is not sufficient: the point of the scientific “community” is to reproduce and therefore validate or invalidate results.
    3. That none of your suggestions account for sulfite or oxalate content- which can both also trigger histamine response. Sulfites are found in high levels in all of the onion family, for example, as well as in the skins of fruits because it is still used as an “organic” pesticide.
    4. Capers- whether preserved in vinegar OR salt will still have a high histamine content.

    You are giving out health advice- shouldn’t you want to know about checking facts and be open to observations and suggestions??

    I began my last post by stating that I appreciated your efforts. If you delete this too, I will be in a different position!

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  • Carolyn Lowe

    Hi Alison, I have read somewhere that dried herbs are high in histamine and are better fresh? what is your feeling on this? warm regards, Carolyn

    • Absolutely FRESH. I also grow herbs; they are very easy to grow, and grow like crazy, even on a balcony.

      • Carolyn Lowe

        are dried herbs high in histamine? even Rosemary and Basil?

        • Carolyn Lowe

          and dried turmeric?

          • Better than no turmeric (but you can also react to this in large quantities if you have phase 1 liver issues). With dried products we are concerned with yeast and mould on the product. So buy in small quantities and from a reliable place with good turnover. Growing your own turmeric is very easy. Just plant a piece of turmeric and wait for the shoots to grow, and them die off.

          • Carolyn Lowe

            Hi Alison 🙂 thank you so much for your wisdom, your website is amazing and so much golden information. So its the yeast and mould that would be an issue with the dried herbs? I do buy organic and they are from Austral herbs which is a great supplier with at least a 2-3 year expiry date.. I am also fodmap and sibo so getting the flavour is tricky 😉 dried herbs are a little more pungent … i am experimenting for a week without them and then may slowly introduce to see if it makes a difference..

          • Yes; yeast and mould particularly with SIBO. Just make sure it is not too old.

          • Carolyn Lowe

            Thank you Alison, so quite possible they could be ok, especially the turmeric… I will begin again slowly with small amounts…

          • Lorraine Mercer

            Hi Alison. Do you mean Ph 1 is too fast? Mine is and my PH 2 is too slow. Lately I’ve been using tons of turmeric! Argh. Maybe that is why I had an allergic reaction the other day? I thought it was the 5 small strawberries.

          • Phase 1 can be fast or slow. It is important to know and which pathways are affected. Phase 2 is where turmeric is most useful.

          • Lorraine Mercer

            I guess I was not very clear. I have a very fast Phase 1. And a very slow PH 2. Detoxing is awful for me. Should I not use turmeric if PH 1 is too fast? Thanks.

          • Hi Lorraine I cannot give personal advice as you are not my client. You are welcome to make an appointment her is the link; http://alisonvickery.com.au/schedule-an-appointment/

  • Allison

    Hi Alison,
    Dont know if it is too late to join this discussion.
    I have recently realised that I have histamine reactions to a lot of things. My husband has diabetes and has had gastro paresis for 7 years which is very debilitating. I recently discovered that it is also histamine based. To the degree that when I gave him antihistamines, his bg levels plummeted from 19-10 in just 4 days. We are both trying to follow LCHF lifestyle to heal our bodies, so many things on your list here are out because of the carb levels. I am researching foods that will inhibit histamine production to try to reduce the histamine reactions that seem to strike regularly in the early hours of the morning. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    • Hi Allison unfortunately I cannot give personal recommendations. I believe histamine intolerance has a functional cause and I treat histamine intolerance by addressing the root cause. Its typically not about the food although that can be important to managing symptoms.

      • Leslie Stanick

        Hi Alison, what is a functional cause? Do you mean in the gut? Stress also worsens my reactions. But getting all fragranced products out of my life has helped, I can’t go near any fragrances. I used to love rose oil, and incense…totally toxic and triggering for me now.

        • Hi Leslie – functional cause means a functional medicine (systems based) cause of which the gut is only one type of system. Stress intolerance in my experience is a function of the HPA (Adrenal) system for example. I hope that helps. Alison

    • Leslie Stanick

      Do you have your mattress, pillows and quilt encased in an anti-allergenic cover? I bought mine online at Allergy Control Products after trying several that were useless at local stores. When my allergies hit, it was awful, I couldn’t sleep, my face was swelling, lungs aching and head aching. Once I got the covers, things started to improve, but I had to wash the sheets daily, and vacuum every day. It was a nightmare, just exhausting, and quite frightening. I”ve tried allergy shots, but I reacted to them, even if the dose was miniscule. I have recently gone back on the elimination diet, which is rice, spinach, lettuce, oilve oil, peas, turkey (organic) except I’m vegan and don’t eat turkey. After 3 days on the diet, my allergies calmed down. I don’t know what is going on tonight…but face and throat, chest very red. Perhaps its the pumpkin seed butter I tried. Once you go on the elimination diet, you can challenge a food every 3 days. If you have a reaction, you go back to the basic diet until things settle down, then try another food item. I’m so grateful I love brown rice in any form.

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  • Kelly Jean

    I though Nettle promotes histamine release? please explain thanks

    • Please see the study sited above. What is the source of your information?

      • Kelly Jean

        There are a bunch of articles saying the leaves contain histamine. your study is the only one i have seen that says otherwise. maybe the seeds are better for people with histamine intolerance?

        • No it is the leaves. Provide me with one of the study that you are relying upon and I will explain the difference.

          • Kelly Jean

            no specific study just read on a few websites that the leaves contain histamine. one person said they soak the leaves first which helps reduce the histamine. So you’re saying the leaf is ok for HIT?

          • Yes that is correct – and I am aware of many who use it.

          • Kelly Jean

            Heres what i read


            Nettles (urtica dioica) actually contains histamine. It seems counterintuitive that ingesting histamine would alleviate allergic symptoms. However, histamine acts as a local hormone that modulates the immune response. Acute allergic reactions do not correlate with high plasma histamine levels. Low plasma histamine, though, has been linked to severe reactions to inhalant antigens. Seemingly, there’s a significant difference in the implications of a localized release of histamine and systemic blood levels. Nettles also contain serotonin and acetylcholine, two potent neurotransmitters. –

    • George Philip

      Nettle leaves triggers itching. I think that’s why you assumed it releases histamines. However its effect inside the body is quite opposite. It acts as an antihistamine! I give my kids chewable nettle and calcium tabletes for allergies associated with common cold. Find it very effective.

  • Kelly Jean

    Allison my ND wants me to take Zinc carnosine and mastic gum to help treat h pylori. are these safe to take if you have histamine issues? Granted the pylori may be causing my histamine problems so its tricky – thank you so much

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  • Marta Godden

    Hi Alison,
    I’m vegetarian and was just wondering about legumes. You list them as very high on your HIT food list yet you recommend the sprouts on your 21 anti-histamine food list. Are they OK once sprouted? Also, as a vegetarian, how will I get my protein requirements on an anti-histamine diet if I avoid legumes?

  • Luxie Ryder

    I wonder if natural anti-histamines carry the same risk as pharmaceutical ones, in that if you suppress histamine release, the body can think you aren’t releasing enough and flood your system with excess once the effects of the food/drugs wear off?

  • Shelley

    So onion is safe to eat on a low histamine diet? It was in the medium category, so I wanted to check. Thank you!

    • Yes its generally safe. Moderate foods are not black and white. Most people tolerate a % of moderate foods

    • Amy Clift

      no if you have a fodmap allergy

  • Alison King

    This article contains a great deal of helpful info but ….. I have to say, although I have varying reactions (source dependent, I assume) to histamine … there is nothing worse than Onions & Garlic. My reaction to either is beyond tolerable. Onions = Severe Rhinitis & Sneezing for 24 to 48 hours and Garlic = swollen (edema) eyelid … usually my left one, for 5 to 7 days. Taking antihistamines doesn’t help … only time will. However, I have discovered that taking Activated Charcoal shortens my recovery time somewhat. I’ve learned that the sulphites in Onions and Garlic are the culprits for me and wonder if a cautionary comment in your Onion and Garlic section might be worthwhile.

    • Hello and thanks for your comments. I write on histamines. It is not possible to cover individual food intolerances over and above histamine on a general blog. Onions and garlic as you point out are not well tolerated with sulphur issues. Molybdenum can often help.

    • Amy Clift

      Onion and Garlic are the two worst FODMAP allergy foods. Don’t eat them if you have a FODMAP sensitivity to them.

  • Andrijana

    Thank you for this list Alison! I unfortunately have MCAD and live in the Arctic where fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs are rare. I grow what I can with an aerogarden, but obviously that is not enough to combat this and offset the amount of prescription antihistamines I have to take. Could you perhaps recommend what are the staple ingredients I should be growing to have the greatest impact (regarding mast cell stabilizers)?


    • Thanks for stopping by. I am not very familiar with an aerogarden and what you can grow in the artic. What is the cause of your MCAD. I believe this to be a generic description whereas the “trigger” can affect the answer.

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  • Flo

    Hi Alison,
    I’m trying to find out what the effects of the use of essential oils is on people with histamine intolerance. Does it depend on the oil? Would lemon be bad and holy basil be good for you? or is it an ‘aged’ product and therefore full of histamine? thanks!

  • Steven Roth

    I’ve just bought Moringa capsules and it seems my itching has not gotten any better for my histamine intolerance. Since it blocks 72% of histamine release,it should be getting better, correct? My detox smoothies (kale, asparagus, beets, ginger, turmeric and banana) do a better job.

    • Rebecca

      What is the nature of this itching? I had maddening itching at night–which would keep me awake. I take a capsule of marshmallow root before bed now and it helps greatly!

      • Steven Roth

        It is quite odd but I get itchy when my body temperature rises whether its working out, stressed/nervous etc. But its temporary meaning it will happen once a day for about 15 minutes..basically the first pre-sweat sequence. Marshmallow root is interesting but am skeptical at this point since Moringa does nothing

        • Rebecca

          You are lucky that the itching lasts such short periods! Mine would keep me awake all night. I think it’s probably pretty normal to feel a bit itchy or prickly when sweat is breaking? Perhaps sweat combines with soap residue on the skin? Try not using soap except for specific “fragranted” areas.

    • It would depend on the cause of your histamine intolerance – noting that you are able to tolerate bananas and kale which are high histamine. Many of my clients do well on moringa – even when they can only eat a few foods.

  • Jos

    Hi Alison, I just changed my diet recently and trying to be a healthier person, I stopped drinking coffee or milk and started consuming hot cocoa drink only, it was ok for a week.then just last week, I had itchy rash on my thighs and hips, I tried zyrtec and telfast which normally works, but not this time, the rash just off and on, and just yesterday, I knew the term Histamine Intolerance, I checked the food list and it happened that I consumed most of them in a short time (banana, daily cocoa drink,eggplant,cheese,strawberry,citrus fruit…) Thanks for this antihistamine food list, its very helpful to me, I cut cocoa drink today and the rash mostly gone down, cant be happier 🙂

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  • Danielle LaVigna

    I’m confused. Peppermint is on this anti-histamine list, but it is also on your High Histamine Foods List. Is this the difference btwn fresh vs dried? Same with Nettles, but Stinging Nettles is on High Histamine Foods List. Can you clarify please?? Thank you!

    • Yes your right. The heading in the list says “dried” but it is not obvious. So anything fresh. Thanks for asking. Ill try and make it clearer.

    • Quality is important. Also, most histamine intolerant people can tolerate low and medium histamine foods. It’s a threshold thing.

  • The issue, in my opinion, is bacterial growth. That is determined by how they are sourced, processed, transported, and stored. Buy for a reputable source and if you can tolerate them then you should not be concerned. However, I would always recommend starting with the wholefoods – with all its water and fibre content where possible. I only use powders where supradoses are needed and only then for a limited period of time. I hope that is of help.

    • Danielle LaVigna

      Thank you for your responses! I’m beginning to understand better both the freshness and threshold issues with histamines. So the “freshness” factor has to do mainly with bacterial growth, whether on meat or on vegetables correct?

      I’m still confused with stinging nettles on your Histamine Foods list. It is on the High histamine foods under the category of fresh vegetables. I do not see it anywhere in the dry teas section. However in the comments you are referring to fresh stinging nettles as a antihistamine and the dried nettles as a higher histamine, right?? I tried fresh nettles last week. I made a strong tea as an herbalist friend instructed, and when I drank one cup, I immediately got a headache. So I’m not sure what to make of that. Reading through the comments, it sounds like there is some controversy about nettles in general.

      Lastly, I’m getting ready to start the elimination diet phase from your foods list. And I am still confused about things like onions and turmeric which are on the medium list, but also on this antihistamine list. Why is that? Are they on the medium list only because they are have the potential of being less fresh, being stored for longer lengths of time with potential of bacteria? Wouldn’t this then be true of all dried spices, like black cumin seed, and also fresh garlic?

      I realize I am confused about the Foods List in general. Why is each food is on the list in each category? If it is because of freshness and potential of bacteria, than that can be adjusted, right? But if it’s because each particular food just naturally has more or less histamines, than that cannot be adjusted.

      I just recently found your website and finding your articles very helpful! Thank you so much for the work you’re doing! I’m very grateful.

  • Catherine Hays

    My histamine attacks completely stopped by increasing my magnesium intake. This magnesium deficiency (in 75% of Americans) is a crime. I was extremely deficient due to serious blood loss. I use magnesium glycinate and magnesium cell salts also helped. I found an article. David Mayo’s ‘The Wrath of Histamine’

  • Beth

    I’m confused. You name peppermint here as an anti-histamine, but peppermint tea is in the high category in your histamine intolerance food guide. Is peppermint safe? In all forms – fresh, tea, oil/extract – or only certain forms? Thanks.

    • Dried peppermint tea is listed in the moderate category on my list. Most people can tolerate moderate foods in some small quantities.

  • This is definitely a Godsend. Been having trouble with watery/dry eyes that scale up and swell up, and am tired of it.

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  • I was suffering histamine intolerance. which leads me towards itching and hives. I took many antihistamine medicines but could not get relief. finally, i changed my food preferences to antihistamine foods (Apple, Pomegranate Cucumber, Wheat bread, Chappati, Dal, etc.) and started taking Ginger roots morning and evening. I have seen that my itching problem resolved finally by having Ginger roots.

  • Laura

    Thanks this is so helpful! I’ve been looking for some teas that I can tolerate, definitely going to give chamomile, peppermine, and nettle a try! For whatever reason, I do badly with strong ginger tea and of course any tea with cinnamon in it or black or green teas in it (which seems to be most in the regular grocery stores!). Appreciate the suggestions here!

    • Needs to be fresh. Most commercial teas are either moldy or treated. Its typically not the underlying ingredient that is the issue.

      • Laura

        Thanks, I’ll try making tea from fresh ginger root and see how that goes. I tried nettle tea just now and it actually quelled the histamine response I got from driving to the store. 🙂 Oh cars and their vibrations..