Nature’s Superfoods

Spices for histamine intoleranceNature’s ‘Superfoods’ for People with Histamine Intolerance

Every body is different, so as always when you introduce a new food into your diet, we recommend trying a small quantity at first.

Asafoetida, fenugreek, turmeric, dill and nigella blackseed can be beneficial for people who are histamine intolerant. Scroll down to see some of the reasons why.

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek seeds have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The first recorded use of fenugreek is written on an ancient Egyptian papyrus dated to 1500 B.C. Fenugreek seed is a culinary spice; traditionally it was also used medicinally, to treat a variety of health problems including menopausal symptoms and digestive upsets.
A 2011 experiment in which lab researchers exposed the paws of rats to histamine, to make them acutely swell (‘oedema’), showed that an extract of fenugreek seeds “exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity” in the paws of the rats.

[Trigonella foenum graecum (fenugreek) seeds had remarkable acute and chronic anti-inflammatory and in vitro antioxidant actions in the tested models validating its traditional uses.” [Source: Anti-inflammatory and in vitro antioxidant property of Trigonella foenum graecum seeds. Authors: Subhashini, N.; Nagarajan, G.; Kavimani, S. Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology 2011 Vol. 6 No. 4 pp. 371-380 ISSN 1816-496X DOI 10.3923/jpt.2011.371.380]

 Asafoetida powder

“Ferula assa-foetida (asafoetida) is not only used as a culinary spice but also traditionally used to treat various diseases, including asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, intestinal parasites, etc. This oleo-gum-resin has been known to possess antifungal, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic and antiviral activities.”

[Source: J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Mar 8;134(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.11.067. Epub 2010 Dec 3. Traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of asafoetida (Ferula assa-foetida oleo-gum-resin) – a review. Iranshahy M, Iranshahi M.]

Another study found that asafoetida may have inhibitory properties on the histamine (H1) receptor.

[Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine. Received: July 19, 2011; Accepted: Aug 9, 2011. Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 2012, 10-16 AJP, Vol. 2, No. 1, Winter 2012.  Possible mechanism(s) of the relaxant effect of asafoetida (Ferula assa-foetida) oleo-gum-resin extract on guinea-pig tracheal smooth muscle. Zahra Gholamnezhad, Goltaj Byrami, Mohammad Hossein Boskabady, Mehrdad Iranshahi]

Nigella blackseed

The seeds of Nigella sativa (family: Ranunculaceae), commonly known as Black Seed, Black Cumin, or “Habbatul Barakah”, have long been used in folk medicine in the Arabian Gulf region, Far East Asia, and Europe. (Find out more about traditional uses here.)

“Nigella sativa (blackseed) could partly protect gastric mucosa from acute alcohol-induced mucosal injury, and these gastroprotective effects could be due to (its) antiperoxidative, antioxidant and antihistaminic effects. ”

[Source: ‘The antioxidative and antihistaminic effect of Nigella sativa and its major constituent, thymoquinone on ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage.’ Arch Toxicol. 2006 Apr;80(4):217-24.  Kanter M1, Coskun O, Uysal H.]


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory, antihistamine  and antioxidant properties.

[Source: Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin Vol. 32 (2009) No. 5 P 842-849 ‘Effects of Benzylidenecyclopentanone Analogues of Curcumin on Histamine Release from Mast Cells’ Agung Endro Nugroho, Zullies Ikawati, Kazutaka Maeyama. ]

Dill seeds

Dill (Anethum graveolens) is rich in quercetin, a substance that “stabilizes mast cells and prevents the release of histamine and other chemicals from these cells.”

[J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1984 Jun;73(6):819-23. Mucosal mast cells. III. Effect of quercetin and other flavonoids on antigen-induced histamine secretion from rat intestinal mast cells. Pearce FL, Befus AD, Bienenstock J.]

” Two flavonoids have been isolated from A. graveolens L. seed, quercetin and isoharmentin, which have antioxidant activity and could counteract free radicals.”

[Source: Pharmacogn Rev. 2010 Jul-Dec; 4(8): 179–184. doi:  10.4103/0973-7847.70915 PMCID: PMC3249919 Anethum graveolens: An Indian traditional medicinal herb and spice. S. Jana and G. S. Shekhawat]


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