Histamine and hay fever

For many people, the start of spring also marks the start of the hay fever season. Itchy eyes, stuffy noses. Very clumsy and annoying. There are many remedies on the market to relieve it. But did you know that you need histamine and can reduce the surplus naturally?

Histamine is a substance that the body can produce itself. It plays a role in stomach acid production, the immune system and sleep. It also functions as a neurotransmitter and is a signaling substance of the central nervous system. A lot of histamine is in the mast cells, which have an important function within your immune system. These mast cells are located in the tissue that makes contact with the outside world such as your skin, lungs and digestive tract. It is only the inside when it passes through the intestinal wall into your body. In addition to the mast cells, histamine also occurs in your brain.

dandelion histamine e1681139034928 -Histamine intolerance and nutrition


As soon as an allergic reaction occurs, a lot of histamine is released, increases local blood supply and increases the permeability of the vascular walls. This makes it easier for clotting factors to travel to the blood vessel to repair damaged tissues. When an excess of histamine is not tolerated, it is called histamine intolerance. The threshold for achieving a surplus is different for everyone. It is not that you are allergic or sensitive, but simply that there is too much in your body. Complaints that may arise include headaches and migraines, but also:

  • Palpitations
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Intestinal cramps, diarrhea
  • To sneeze
  • Dizziness
  • Itchy skin
  • Stuffy nose, runny nose, stuffiness
  • Heat and redness


Normally it is broken down by the enzymes MAO, DAO and NMT. For some people this does not happen enough. One cause may be that fewer of these enzymes are produced due to genetic changes. Problems in the intestines also influence this. Certain medication (such as dihydralazine, isoniazid, clavulanic acid, promethazine, verapamil, metoclopramide and ambroxol hydrocholoride) or alcohol use can also cause the DAO enzyme to be produced to a reduced extent.

Other DAO blockers include:

  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks
  • Tea (black, green, yerba mate)

Vitamin B6 and vitamin C work closely with the DAO enzyme. When these 2 vitamins are insufficiently present, the histamine level will rise. Due to reduced production, too much histamine remains in the blood.

Causes may include:

  • Allergies
  • Inflammations
  • SIBO / imbalanced intestinal flora
  • Celiac disease
  • Foods
  • Long-term use of histamine blockers
  • Mastocytosis; there are too many mast cells present.

People who are prescribed antihistamines notice a reduction in their current complaints. But at the same time, this can affect the production of stomach acid. Heartburn is a consequence of this. In most cases there is a stomach acid deficiency instead of an excess. Gastric acid inhibitors such as Rennies or similar remedies relieve heartburn, but also prevent proper food digestion. You notice, everything is connected. With the anti-histamine diet it is possible to reduce the complaints without the use of medication. A diet with little histamine automatically results in a lower histamine level.

Histamine-rich food

MeatPig, lamb, game, liver. Dry sausage types: ham, salami, cervelate
FishMackerel, tuna, cod, herring, sardines, crustaceans and shellfish (also prawn crackers). Canned fish
DairyBlue cheeses, cottage cheese, aged cheese, buttermilk, yoghurt, sour cream, crème fraiche
Vegetables fruitTomatoes, sauerkraut, spinach, beets, soy. Strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, melon, avocado, grapefruit, olives
Herbs/spicesVanilla, cloves, cumin, coriander, chervil, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, soy
DrinkAlcoholic drinks, carbonated drinks
MiscellaneousChocolate, licorice, menthol. Yeast-rich food
Dried fruitRaisins, plums, dates, figs
Fermented foodsKimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles

Histamine releasing food

MiscellaneousAlcohol, sugars
Fruits/citrus fruitsBananas, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, mango, papaya, figs, lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange
EggEgg white
Nuts and seeds 
VegetableFresh spinach, beetroot, tomato
Artificial additivesE102. E104, E110, E122 to E124, E128, E154, E155, E180, E249 to E252, Glutamates E621 to E625 

Food low in histamine (except the above)

Fresh organic grass fed meatThe above mentioned are excepted
Fresh wild caught fish 
Fresh vegetables Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnip, asparagus, endive, kale, onion, garlic, etc.
Fresh fruit Apples, berries
Dairy / substitutesYoung cheese, coconut milk, hemp milk, almond milk, rice milk
ToppingPeanut butter, honey, apple syrup
CerealsGluten-free: rice, quinoa, buckwheat, oatmeal
EggEgg yolk
Herbs/spicesFresh herbs and spices
OilOlive oil, coconut oil

*These lists do not include the entire range of foods. But give a comprehensive indication.

Low histamine diet

If you want to work on lowering your histamine, it is important that your diet is as fresh as possible. The longer you keep something, the higher the histamine content. Raw meat, fish and poultry carry certain bacteria that ferment the food, with histamine being a byproduct. To combat the natural increase, you can buy food fresh and process it the same day by cooking or freezing it. The schedule is intended to make you aware. Not to impose all kinds of restrictions. When you eat a product, enjoy it to the fullest. 

This article does not take into account the influence of the products on other processes in the body. We purely looked at the amount of histamine in the product or what stimulates its production. A diet low in histamine can relieve complaints in one week. However, it is a short-term solution. Detecting the underlying problem and its cause is important to get rid of the intolerance permanently. To relieve hay fever complaints, rinsing your nose and sinuses is recommended. You can use a Rhinohorn for this, which is available at various drugstores or online.

Personal assistance

If you would like more information about the antihistamine diet, a stomach acid deficiency or improving your intestinal health, email Janneke@triptherapie.nl. These components also have an influence in preparation for a beautiful psychedelic session. We will always include these in a personal lifestyle plan that we create for you based on the intake.