Natural Antihistamine

December 21, 2013  |  Blog, Drug Intolerance, Histamine Intolerance

Did you know that there is a natural antihistamine alternative?

Dr Janice Joneja is a Canadian dietician who has been working in the area of allergies and food intolerances. Her book Dealing with Food Allergies was one of the first books I bought when diagnosed with histamine intolerance.

Dr Joneja believes that pharmaceutical antihistamines, whilst highly effective in a medical emergency, can have rebound effects if used daily as a preventative for histamine intolerance. She says:

Antihistamines stop histamine activity by blocking their entrance.  If this blockage is constant the immune system sees this as a problem, and senses that it must be producing inadequate levels of histamine. It therefore increases its production of histamine.  Consequently, over the long term, there is even more histamine for the enzymes to break down, and the problem of histamine intolerance becomes even worse.”

Joneja recommends alkaline salts as a natural antihistamine to manage the symptoms of histamine intolerance and mast cell activation.

The natural antihistamine mixture effectively works as an oxygen (Co2) supplement. One of the known side-effects of histamine excess is that it interferes with the metabolisation of both oxygen and alkalinity inside and out of the mast cell. This imbalance results in a cascade of symptoms linked to reduced oxygen (Hypoxia).

By adjusting the alkaline balance of the mast cell, the natural antihistamine not only rebalances the oxygen but stabilizes the mastcell. It does not interfere with histamine degradation.

Here is Dr Joneja’s recipe which can be either made at home or purchased from most compounding chemists. For those of you who do not have a compounding chemist near by Seeking Health also has a natural antihistamine mix called Neutralize although the ratios are different.

Natural Antihistamine
  • 2 tablespoons sodium bicarbonate (baking soda not baking powder)
  • 1 tablespoon potassium bicarbonate (available at most compounding pharmacies)
  1. Mix well, place mixture in an airtight jar.
  2. Take ½ teaspoon completely dissolved in warm water.
  3. Symptoms should resolve fairly rapidly.
  4. A second dosage can be taken 20-30 minutes later if symptoms have not completely resolved. Do not repeat for 24 hours.
  5. The natural antihistamine mixture can also be mixed into a paste, rubbed onto the skin, and left.
Whilst baking soda is often used in detox baths it is not commonly used with potassium bicarbonate. The inclusion of both in this recipe is important.


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  • Since writing this post I have had a lot of queries asking me if I have tried the natural anti-histamine and whether it works.

    I only post things on my blog which are a personal experiment and I can absolutely attest to this working for me with small symptomatic reactions.

    I have just taken this and obtained immediate relief from the hot feeling and uticaria in my body induced by a choc-top whilst at the boxing day movies (Philomena – Loved it!).

    I would like to say that it was a scientific experiment but it was in fact an emotional craving (movies = choc-top).

    Enjoy! Alison

    • Michelle

      I wanted to know how to make the paste? Especially if water dissolves them both? My Mom had a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin – 7 weeks and she still has hives, tachycardia, has angioedema, and she is bedridden from the pain. Just horrific. We are being followed by a medical doctor and naturopath, but can she take this 1/2 teaspoon every day for a while? She is on prednisone and a pain patch (Butrans 5 5 ug/daily), and she has one nephrostomy tube for urethral strictures, but nothing alternative worked – and I am trying to follow a low histamine diet as best as I can for her.

  • A reader form Canada told me that she managed to purchase ‘Potassium Bicarbonate’ from For those of you wondering about compounding chemists in Canada here is also a link. It also appears to be readily available on Amazon. Enjoy!

  • Isabeau Chaloult

    I’m am eager to try the alkaline salts recipe, but alas cannot find it. I tried reading the label on the picture, but the element that seems to indicate 150mg is blocked by the bowl! Blast! hahaha. If there could be a link, I would be grateful 🙂

    • Hi Isabeau apologies for the inconvenience we changed recipe software and this recipe was not converted but is now so it is in the blog post and you can print it! Enjoy!

      • Isabeau Isatorial

        Replying two years later, just found your reply, ahah.
        I have tried pretty much everything under the sun by now, some with good results but still haven’t tried this. Thanks for updating the recipe, will try and (if I don’t forget, my memory is not that great some days) I will report back with my anecdote 🙂

  • healingjourneygirl

    Have you heard of Alkalife tablets? They are a mixture of sodium bicarbonate (20mg) and potassium bicarbonate (80mg). That is what my doctor has advised me to take.

    • Thanks for the info; I had not heard of those tablets. They do have a few fillers in them, but if tolerated definately more convenient!

  • Miren Hary

    Hello Alison, I receive alot subscribed e-mails from different health practitioners over the past 6 months and observe their comments and advice. I am impressed at the quality and depth and key pieces in your articles.

    • Thankyou Miren. I do so appreciate it. It takes a lot of work for me to write these articles (not being a natural writer) and so I do so appreciate you appreciate them. Thankyou

  • Paula Carnes

    I shopped for potassium bicarbonate and the local compounding pharmacy and at Walgreens. I cannot buy it here. Would it be about the same thing to take AlkaSeltzer Gold? If so, what dose and how often?

    • HI Paula, no that is different. I think you can get it on ebay. Also someone wrote to me about this; Although the ratio is different and the results are likely to be slightly different.

    • Jeanette

      I was surprised to find it available at the grocery stores here, it’s called Potash. It’s used to make cookies crispier, so try looking around the natron (baking soda)!

  • Paula Carnes

    Thanks, I guess I will buy the potassium bicarb online rather than Alkalife. I want to start out with your basic recommendation.

  • Miren Hary

    awesome again

  • Rainey

    Hi, I am histamine intolerant, but I also have another problem that seems to prevent me from eating any cooked or processed foods without getting a histamine reaction. I want to try your idea here, but I’ve heard that people with histamine intolerance have trouble with baking soda. Is this true? I think it has bothered me in the past, but could it work differently if mixed with the potassium bicarbonate? I used to go in shock randomly after days of indigestion, but I have gotten that to go away after changing my diet to one that is 100% raw, though NOT vegan, and no whole raw veggies, which trash my gut ..I have to juice them, but I still build up intolerance to even most raw foods if I eat them more than a few days at at a time. If I try anything cooked, I get a trashed gut, itching ears, and a severe three day long headache that comes with the hypoxia …thank you for this article, now I know why my chest hurts with the headache and why my skin is blue and my veins shrink to thin lines! So, I have hope about this solution, just worried about the baking soda. Does the solution halt the histamine reaction too? I’m wondering if it will stop the headaches and indigestion.
    Thank you,
    Angela R.

    • Hi Angela thanks for dropping by. I do not think that this is an issue with histamine intolerance per say. I would encourage you to work with a health professional to get to the bottom of your issues.

      • Rainey

        I would like to but have no health insurance, and no way to pay for it. I am disabled, and can’t afford medicare, but supposedly $1120 per month is too much to qualify for medicaid …anyway, I know you can’t diagnose conditions and understand you aren’t an MD, but can you tell me if people with histamine problems are okay usually with baking soda? If mixing it with potassium bicarbonate changes anything?

        • I am sorry to hear that; yes people with histamine intolerance are usually fine with baking soda and with this mix. Your situation presents as a gut issue. Many gut issues mimic histamine intolerance.

          • Rainey

            This happened after a Tdap vaccine in 1998. I tasted metal in my mouth for two weeks, then the headaches started, and over the next 10 years I lost the ability to digest every food I liked, one after the other. I almost died several times of shock, and became disabled over it, as I seem to be allergic to stress …the hormones, most likely aggravate the condition — whatever it is.. Through all of this, I haven’t been able to see a specialist, and the only medical care I received was in Emergency Rooms. I started researching nutrition in 2008, and tried going vegetarian ..both raw vegan, then Japanese macrobiotic ..both nearly killed me. I was finally able to get stabilized when I went on the raw Primal Diet in 2012, and have had nothing but improvement since then …I am in very good health most of the time, but if I deviate from the diet one bit, everything falls apart. Quickly. Everything I eat has to be organic, and those foods are limited to ONLY RAW milk and meat from 100% grass fed cows/goats ..the milk must be from goats, raw completely unheated honey, raw green veg juice made from celery with carrot, but no kale ..most veggies are off limits. I can also eat bananas and avocados, and that’s it. I can do fresh organic berries for a short time, and even pineapple for a short time, but after a few days I will have a reaction. No nuts …nuts make me go nuts, LOL!

          • Oh interesting. I feel sad that you cannot access appropriate healthcare. Thankyou for sharing with me what has worked.

          • Rainey


          • Rainey

            Well, I feel you are right that this is more than a histamine condition. I tried your remedy when I started getting itchy ears and had a violent reaction against it. My body won’t tolerate any type of supplement.

          • I am sorry to hear that. Thankyou for letting me know and also letting others know. It is important to get testing although I know that is an issue for you.

  • Esther Joan

    I have MCAD and have to take DAO enzymes before meals so as to prevent histamine reactions. Would you say that this baking soda and potassium bicarbonate recipe is good for buffering mast cells (like DAO), or is it a “fire extinguisher” when one is feeling a histamine attack? (is it a “pre” or a “post”?)

    • Hi esther this works at a cell level. DAO works at a gut level. I suspect it would work either before or after.

  • Patricia

    Hi both my son and I are very allergic to many things …foods …chemicals …well the list is immense. We both carry epi pins and live on antihistamines . If we are to take this say instead of our meds what is the protacal ? Do we take it once a day in the morning or twice a day morning and night ? Does he take less as a child ? Will it lower my IGE level which is very high ? Could we make the mixture and have it in a bottle and sip it all day for a long lasting effect ? Are there side effects ? He gets very bad hives can he put this mixture on the hives? Thank you for your time and information . Patricia

    • Hi Patricia I am not familiar with your situation enough to give you any personal advice and you should not take it in replacement of your medications without speaking to your doctor as a result. It will not lower your IGE level (as this is being caused by something) which once identified and removed will significantly improve your situation. Personally I had an IGE of 3400 due to medication. Once the medication was removed it returned to normal for example. The mixture works best to reduce the severity of reactions. I do hope that helps.

    • Patricia

      Thankyou for your reply …so what I’m hearing if this is correct..not sure …this mixture isn’t for everyday’s just for a reaction…..and the same amount can be taken by a child and an adult ……or can this be taken as a daily preventative measure ….and if it can how is it taken …is it morning or night or morning and night …….is there a daily maintenance dosage …that you take a certain amount every day to lower histamine all the time ….I’m looking for a natural substance that we can take every day that will lower histamine because anti histamine meds have to many side effects ….so I need a natural way but I’m not clear on dosage ,how to take it ,and if this is a maintenance product or an emergency allergy product ….say can we take it every day in the morning instead of zertec and if that’s a yes how much should we take …I’m adult dose what would a 60 pound child take or does it matter

  • I react very negatively to potassium as it’s linked to my autoimmune condition which acts against potassium pathways in my nerves. Is there an alternative that you can recommend?

    • I am not sure what is going on for you so I cannot speak to your situation. I recommend you get either a hair mineral analysis or spectra-cell test to check your calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium levels within the cell. You can then customise your approach. Some people who are particularly sensitive also experience good results with homeopathic cell mineral preparations.

  • Mike Robins

    Baking soda is not recommended for people with histamine intolerance. It can actually make a flare up worse

    • Actually that is not correct.

      • Mike Robins

        it most assuredly is. It gives me problems and i heard from others in a histamine forum that it cannot be tolerated. Even the low histamine chef advises against it. Alison I must say you are very argumentative on your blogs and get defensive when people challenge you in any way. You also rarely provide references or scientific backing to your statements. You act like you are an authority on everything and that your words should be taken as gospel. If anyone challenges or disagrees with you you get very defensive and ban people from commenting. Ive read a lot of your posts. Also clearly your only concern is $ and getting people to sign up for your coaching. if you had a credible business you wouldnt be soliciting on your blogs. You may want to change your attitude and business model if you are struggling to get clients.

        • Mike

          One of the real issues with histamine intolerance is that it is a symptom not a diagnosis and black and white statements are therefore not helpful and only lead to confusion. I therefore ask for sources.

          As I understand it your experience is differently so I am wrong. I am happy to be proven wrong but I need cited sources other than personal experiences so as not to mislead you and I will happily amend the information on my site.

          Every single article on this blog (other than a personal experience piece) is cited including this one you complain about.

          I do not propose to comment on any other aspect of your comments in relation to me and my business model.

  • Hi Nat, unfortunately, I do not work with children so I am unable to confirm other than to say that the ingredients should be safe or at what dose. I would suggest that you general practitioner or pediatrician, explain it is helpful, and ask for their advice. From a functional perspective, salicylate issues are always gut and/or liver issues. Hope that helps.

    • Nat

      Thank you so much for your response. Re salicylate issues being gut and/or liver – I have suspected liver issues with myself (amine and salicylate I tolerance with me) but because my son is affected by salicylates (not amines), I discounted the liver and thought that perhaps I should be looking at mast cell activation disorder. Do you think this would be a logical question to ask my GP at my next appointment? I am about to write everything in a letter for my GP and try to find out what it is…but it is so complicated. I can certainly say that your natural antihistamine has been a wonderful find – Telfast wreaks havoc on my system for a few days whereas this one does not. Thank you. Wishing you a lovely day

      • If you start with the basics most resolve themselves. Thats not to say that MACD does not exist jut that the only way to rule it out is rule out the basics. Need a functionally minded GP who will run a gut test, liver function panel, methylation panel, and SIBO breath test. Many bacteria produce salicylates and amines which then put pressure on the pathways in the liver that detoxify.

  • There is no issue at all with continued use – in the next few weeks I will also be sharing some information about correcting it via your diet.

  • IAmWhatIAm

    Does this work for seasonal and nasal allergies as well or just good allergies?

  • Barbara Huhgins

    Does it have to be potassium bicarbonate? I can’t seem to find it. Would other kinds of potassium work just as well?

  • carrie

    Will this still be an effective antihistamine if the proportions are different than what you recommended? I found a product from Klaire Labs called Bi-Carb Formula which contains 320 mg. each of sodium bicarb and potassium bicarb

    • Probably although I cannot be sure.

      • carrie

        Okay thanks!

  • Chris Brookhouse

    I cannot get potassium bicarbonate for a few days. Is it of any benefit to use sodium bi-carb on its own ?

  • NanDee

    Hello – I do not suffer from any obvious food allergies at the moment but I do have terrible reactions to bug bites. In addition to creepy-crawly skin tingles, the bumps puff up pretty big right away. The reaction can last well into the night and prevent sleeping. Would your remedy work for bug bite allergies? Thanks.

  • sleeping_sheople†††

    Does it help with hives

  • Kathy Bergman

    Can this be made without the sodium bicarb? it raises BP and I can’t do that? Can magnesium bicarb be substituted — or only use Pot. bicarb?

    • I have no experience with those changes. Sorry.

    • Becky

      I use Mag bicarb and it works great