Histamine and hay fever

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

Histamine is a substance that the body can make for 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 found in mast cells, which have an important function within your immune system. These mast cells are 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 enters your body through the intestinal wall. In addition to the mast cells, histamine also occurs in your brain.

dandelion histamine e1681139034928 -Histamine intolerance and nutrition


Once an allergic reaction occurs, lots of histamine is released, increases the local blood supply and increases the permeability of the vessel walls. Clotting factors can therefore get to the blood vessel more easily to repair the damaged tissues. When an excess of histamine is not tolerated one speaks of a histamine intolerance. The height of the threshold for reaching an excess is different for everyone. It is not that you are allergic or sensitive, but purely that too much is present in your body. Complaints that may arise from this are headaches and migraines, as well as:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Intestinal cramps, diarrhea
  • Sneeze
  • Dizziness
  • Itchy skin
  • Stuffy nose, runny nose, shortness of breath
  • Heat and redness


Normally, it is broken down by the enzymes MAO, DAO and NMT. In some people, this does not happen sufficiently. One cause may be that due to genetic changes less of these enzymes are produced. Problems in the intestines also affect this. Also, certain medication use (such as dihydralazine, isoniazid, clavulanic acid, promethazine, verapamil, metoclopramide and ambroxol hydrocholoride) or alcohol consumption can cause the DAO enzyme to be produced at a reduced rate.

Other DAO blockers are:

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

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

Causes may include:

  • Allergies
  • Inflammations
  • SIBO / unbalanced gut flora
  • Celiac
  • Food
  • Long-term use of histamine blockers
  • Mastocytosis; this involves the presence of too many mast cells.

People prescribed antihistamines notice a reduction in current symptoms. But at the same time, this can affect the production of stomach acid. Heartburn is a result of this. In most cases, this is a stomach acid deficiency rather than an excess. Stomach acid suppressants such as Rennies or similar drugs, remedy heartburn, but thereby also prevent proper food digestion. You see, everything is interrelated. With the anti histamine diet, there is a way to reduce symptoms without medication. A diet low in histamine automatically results in lower histamine levels.

Histamine-rich foods

MeatPork, lamb, game, liver. Dry sausages: ham, salami, cervelate.
FishMackerel, tuna cod, herring, sardines, seafood (also crackers). Canned fish
DairyMoldy cheeses, cottage cheese, aged cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche
Vegetables / fruitsTomatoes, sauerkraut, spinach, beets, soy. Strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, melon, avocado, grapefruit, olives
Herbs / spicesVanilla, cloves, cumin, coriander, chervil, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, soy
BeverageAlcoholic beverages, carbonated drinks
MiscellaneousChocolate, licorice, menthol. Yeasty foods
Dried fruitRaisins, plums, dates, figs
Fermented foodsKimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles

Histamine-releasing foods

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

Foods low in histamine (except those mentioned above)

Fresh organic grass fed meatExcluded are the aforementioned
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
SiegePeanut butter, honey, apple syrup
GrainsGluten-free: rice, quinoa, buckwheat, oatmeal
EggEgg yolk
Herbs / spicesFresh herbs and spices
OilOlive oil, coconut oil

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

Low-histamine diet

When you want to get started on lowering your histamine levels, it is important that your food be as fresh as possible. The longer you keep something, the higher the histamine level. 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 meant to make you aware. Not to impose all kinds of restrictions. When you eat a product, enjoy it to the fullest. 

No consideration was given in this article to how the products affect other processes in the body. Pure consideration has been given to the amount of histamine in the product or what stimulates its production. A diet low in histamine can relieve symptoms in one week. However, it is a short-term solution. Identifying the underlying problem and there cause is important to get rid of the intolerance permanently. To relieve hay fever symptoms, flushing your nose and cavities is recommended. For this you can use a Rhinohorn available at various drugstores or online.

Personal guidance

If you want more information about the antihistamine diet, heartburn deficiency or improving your gut health, email Janneke@triptherapie.nl. In preparation for a beautiful psychedelic session, these components also have an impact. We will always include these in a personal lifestyle plan we create for you based on the intake.