During the worst of allergy season, quercetin and bromelain for allergies can be a lifesaver.
Quercetin and bromelain work especially well for sinus pain and pressure. Along with a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy watery eyes. Not only does it help relieve symptoms it helps improve inflammation in the body.
Some links in this article are affiliate links. I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information please see affiliate disclosure.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a type of flavonoid found in plants. It is in plants with dark colors like red, purple, and green, it also can be found in some teas, for example, green tea. Red onions are great natural sources for quercetin. Apples, berries, and grapes are fruit sources that contain good amounts.
The yellow pigment in the plant is what makes up quercetin. Quercetin supplements are often bright yellow in color, try to be careful not to break open the capsules else it will dye anything it touches bright yellow.
Benefits of Querecetin
- It is an antioxidant
- Anti-cancer properties
- Helps with allergy symptoms
- It can help prevent allergy symptoms
- Antiviral properties
- Improves inflammation
- May reduce blood pressure
This journal article list some of the benefits of quercetin in detail.
Quercetin not only improves inflammation and helps with pain but quercetin also helps regulate the immune system. Quercetin helps the immune system stop overreacting to harmless triggers. By improving inflammation it helps get rid of sinus headaches and pressure that can come with allergies.
Food sources of Quercetin
- Red and white onions
- Red grapes
- Teas (green and black)
- Yellow and green peppers
Keep in mind the quality of the food makes a difference. A study of organic tomatoes shows the organic tomatoes had 79% more quercetin than conventionally grown tomatoes.
While all these foods are healthy and great to add to your diet, getting a high enough dose through food may not be possible. Taking a supplement is a great option that can start to help allergy symptoms quickly.
How Much Quercetin to Take
It is good to start at a lower dose and work your way up to a dose that helps you. For quercetin, a dose of 200mg to 400mg two times a day or once a day may help. If you find it doesn’t help enough you can increase it to 500mg twice a day or 1000mg daily. 500mg to 1000mg is a typical dose but if you find it isn’t helping some people go higher to 1500mg to 2000mg daily.
Higher doses could upset your stomach. There haven’t been any long-term studies but it is tolerated well over a period of three months. Quercetin has been taken by some people for years with no side effects but it is always best to check with your health care provider before starting a new supplement.
Bioavailability of Quercetin
Quercetin isn’t absorbed very well, however taking it with bromelain and vitamin C can increase the amount of quercetin your body absorbs. For anyone with intense allergies, I suggest taking quercetin, bromelain, and vitamin C at the same time.
One product I like that is cheap but effective is the NOW brand quercetin with bromelain. I get some vitamin C to take with it and take 1 or 2 capsules of quercetin and bromelain along with 2gms of Vitamin C. This starts to clear up my allergy symptoms within an hour.
My husband has been taking 2 capsules morning and night of quercetin with bromelain for several years now. It’s what keeps his allergies under control. Without out is he is a miserable mess within a few days. He is much happier taking this than over-the-counter plus prescription allergy medications that kept him in a zombie state for most of the day.
What is Bromelain?
Bromelain is a digestive enzyme that is found mainly in pineapple. The core of the pineapple has the highest amount of bromelain. Other fruits don’t have a significant amount of bromelain, so hopefully, you really enjoy pineapple.
Benefits of Bromelain
- Like quercetin, bromelain has been shown to help regulate the immune system.
- It is a great anti-inflammatory.
- Helps with digestion
- Good for heart health
- Helpful for asthma
- Great for sinus pain and pressure
A study was done on people with chronic sinusitis (inflammation in the sinuses). Sinus surgery was performed to relieve and fix their symptoms but they continued to have pain after surgery. Bromalin was given for 3 months and symptoms improved.
When I worked at the hospital as an RN there was a surgeon who recommended patients take bromelain whenever having surgery on a part of their face. He would suggest a cup of canned pineapple daily or a supplement. I have no idea what his recommendation for a dose was but now I wish I would have asked.
You will get much more bromalin with a supplement than eating pineapple. But if you want to try pineapple the core has the most bromalin. It may be a little tough to eat but if you have a good blender toss it in and make a smoothie.
How Much to Take
Bromelain is best if taken at the same time as quercetin. You can start out with a dose of 100mg-400mg two times a day. High doses of 500mg-1000mg 1-2 times a day can be used if lower doses aren’t providing relief.
If you need a higher dose for relief take it but work your way back down when possible. Higher doses appear to be tolerated well but have not been studied for extended periods of time.
When to Take Quercetin and Bromelain
When taking quercetin and bromelain for inflammation take between meals on an empty stomach. Taken with meals bromelain may aid digestion. But works best when taken between meals for inflammation. If you find it upsets your stomach take it with a meal or snack. It will still help your allergies and inflammation.
Both quercetin and bromelain can interact with medications. This includes blood thinners, antibiotics, over-the-counter pain medications, blood pressure medications, and sedatives. Any medication that is changed by the liver may be affected. If you are already on medication make sure to discuss this with your doctor first.
Since bromelain is found in pineapple don’t take it if you are allergic to pineapple.
Do not take these supplements if you are nursing or pregnant. But there appears to be no risk to increasing food sources of quercetin and bromelain.
High amounts of quercetin for extended periods of time could cause kidney damage. It is important to be cautious when taking for long periods of time.
Quercetin and bromelain for allergies can do wonders. You may have to take it a couple of times a day to have sustained relief. Our experience over the years has been that allergies have improved overall while taking this supplement.
If you have seasonal allergies simply taking quercetin and bromelain may be enough. Chronic or severe allergy sufferers could require additional supplements or one of these may work better for your particular needs:
Natural supplements can take a few months to fully work but you can start feeling benefits quickly. Supplements and vitamins have very few side effects (most times none) compared to the sedative side effects of most allergy medications. I have seen people’s lives drastically improve and get off all prescription and over-the-counter allergy medication with only supplements and vitamins.
Disclaimer – Medical advice is not provided in this article. This article simply reflects my opinions and experiences. Consult a healthcare provider before adding any supplements or making lifestyle changes.
Mlcek J, Jurikova T, Skrovankova S, Sochor J. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. 2016; 21(5):623.
Büttner L, Achilles N, Böhm M, Shah-Hosseini K, Mösges R. Efficacy and tolerability of bromelain in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis–a pilot study. B-ENT. 2013;9(3):217-25.