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When I went to Morocco I bought Nigella seeds. I was told if you smell them that it will help fight allergies. Is that true?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Corey Clay
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Smell?

I haven't heard of smelling them, but may be behind the curve.
Nigella seeds contain thymoquinone, which blocks (likely H2 receptor predominantly) histamine and is shown to activate TRP1 receptors. Notably, azelastine (nasal antihistamine) is effective in part due to activation/desensitization of TRP1 receptors (good for allergic and non-allergic rhinitis). Suspect Nigella acts (see comment)

In brief: Smell?

I haven't heard of smelling them, but may be behind the curve.
Nigella seeds contain thymoquinone, which blocks (likely H2 receptor predominantly) histamine and is shown to activate TRP1 receptors. Notably, azelastine (nasal antihistamine) is effective in part due to activation/desensitization of TRP1 receptors (good for allergic and non-allergic rhinitis). Suspect Nigella acts (see comment)
Dr. Corey Clay
Dr. Corey Clay
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Dr. Corey Clay
acts via a similar pharmacological mechanism compared with azelastine. Of course, this is not a validated treatment option and extracts (I have only heard of patients using nigella oils orally, but maybe smell is a good idea) are not FDA approved. Always risk of lot-to-lot changes in potency/purity. Would not use if you have glaucoma.
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