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Zinc sulfate as antihistamine?

How effective can zinc be against hay fever?

When a person has chronic health problems, one possible cause (or aggravating factor) is a lack of zinc. Hay fever is one of those problems. Physicians heal or help some patients just by prescribing a dietary supplement of zinc. This will often be pills that contain an organic salt of zinc, sold in pharmacies.

A zinc deficiency will most often not show up in blood tests, because zinc (like iron) is a key element for the transport of oxygen. Even if your organs are mildly depleted in zinc, the content of zinc in your blood will remain adequate. (A zinc deficiency can be diagnosed with the dysgeusia test. Ask your doctor.)

This year when the pollen triggered my hay fever I was disappointed that my usual antihistamine medication, a nasal spray, did no more work. Friends had reported the same loss of potency with that medication. I heard about zinc... so a day after taking any antihistamine and with my nose itching and dripping like a fountain, I dissolved 30 milligrams of zinc sulfate in a glass of water and drank it straight on an empty stomach. I was surprised to get an immediate effect. In about 20 minutes time my nose stopped leaking and one hour later its dryness was almost disturbing. The next day it started itching again. This time I took 20 milligrams in a glass of water and again the effect was like immediate. From then on I had no more problem, I didn't have to take a third dose or any other histamine for days. (I do perform the dysgeusia test once in a while and I was supposed to have no zinc deficiency.)

Many antihistamines make you dizzy. Zinc has the opposite effect. You feel more alert.

When the effect of the zinc sulfate wore out, I tried again my regular antihistamine and this time it was very effective. This would need some research and statistics but it seemed quite obvious that the supplementation of zinc allowed the antihistamine to work again to its full effect.

If you'd like to try to take a dietary supplement of zinc, ask your pharmacist. Consult you doctor for possible contraindications.

Some pharmacists can sell you a little bag with 5 grams of zinc sulfate for about €4. Be very careful. 5 grams is enough to heal an entire mid-sized little town. Too huge a dose of any zinc salt can make you seriously sick. A long-term over-consumption of zinc has nasty side effects. Doses like 10 milligrams of zinc sulfate, up to 30 milligrams, are generally considered safe, especially if they are taken for only a few days. If you don't know for sure how to weigh such a tiny dose, take no risk and ask your pharmacist.

Eric Brasseur  -  April 23 till May 7 2018